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Daily Archives: November 3, 2013

Cuban singers Gloria Estefan and Willy Chirino are backing a campaign to deliver "the Internet without the Internet" to the island - USB drives, DVDs, CDs and other memory formats loaded with uncensored information. The "Conn... Continue reading
MSW ($48K) [6f] Winner: Beach Hut, c, 2 by First Defence Beach Hut (c, 2, First Defence--Chanceisalady, by American Chance), entering off a three-furlong bullet work at Santa Anita in :36 Oct. 30, Continue reading
HAVANA - Cuba closed dozens of home-based movie theaters on Saturday and reaffirmed its plans to end the private sale of imported goods as communist authorities pressed for "order, discipline and obedience" Continue reading
As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of US President John Kennedy nears, pundits are reconsidering his impact on the US and the world and his legacy. He was a man who caught the imagination of Continue reading
La economía cubana mantiene un crecimiento sostenido de un 3% y espera fortalecerse gracias a las inversiones extranjeras que pretende atraer con la apertura de la Zona Especial de Desarrollo del Mariel, afirmó el domingo el ministro de Inversión Extranjera y Comercio Exterior. Continue reading
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- A Michigan State University professor's photos from Cuba are going on display Monday at the East Lansing campus. Music composition associate professor Mark Sullivan says the exhibition Continue reading
Cuban singers Gloria Estefan and Willy Chirino are backing a campaign to deliver "the Internet without the Internet" to the island - USB drives, DVDs, CDs and other memory formats loaded with uncensored Continue reading
The 31st Havana International Trade Fair opened Sunday with the focus on Cuba's new Mariel Port special development zone in a bid to attract more foreign investment. About 1,400 companies from more than Continue reading
In this forum the delegations from Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic ask for a vote on the following declarations: “At the XXIII Submit of Iberoamerican Chiefs of State and government under the slogan of: Alliance for new paradigms; … Continue reading Continue reading
Según El Nuevo Herald, la isla es el refugio preferido de los latinos fugitivos de fraude al Medicare del sur de la Florida. Continue reading
GII Nashua S. ($250,000) [1m] Winner: Cairo Prince, c, 2 by Pioneerof the Nile CAIRO PRINCE (c, 2, Pioneerof the Nile--Holy Bubbette, by Holly Bull) was backed at 4-1 off his successful debut at Continue reading
La Feria Internacional de La Habana, la mayor bolsa comercial del Caribe, abrió sus puertas este domingo en busca de aumentar las exportaciones cubanas y las inversiones extranjeras en la isla. Continue reading
BRASILIA: Some 3,000 more Cuban doctors are to arrive in Brazil from Monday to join a government programme to fill vacancies in the country's public health system. Authorities said on Saturday the Cubans Continue reading
alive at the time, it was one of those events that are so shocking that you remember where you were when you heard the news. I was getting off a train in Nairobi when i saw the dramatic headline. Kennedy Continue reading
Cuba espera que los primeros proyectos de inversión extranjera para su Zona Especial de Desarrollo del Mariel (ZEDM), la primera creada en el país, se puedan empezar a implantar a inicios del año 2014, dijeron fuentes oficiales. Continue reading
El número dos del gobierno cubano, Miguel Díaz-Canel, pidió acabar con el “secretismo” en la prensa de la isla y afirmó que los medios provinciales tienen un mayor “enfoque crítico” que los nacionales, informó este domingo una agencia local. Continue reading
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Soviet truck convoy deploying missiles near San Cristobal, Cuba, on Oct. 14, 1962. This image, taken by Maj. Steve Heyser in a USAF U-2, is the first picture that proved Russian missiles were being emplaced Continue reading
La convocatoria en las redes sociales surge mientras Remón Arzuaga se encuentra en "estado crítico" en el Hospital Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, en Bayamo. Continue reading
La casa más antigua de Cuba, que tiene cinco siglos y ahora es sede de un museo, comenzó a ser restaurada para evitar filtraciones en su techo, informó este domingo un medio local. Continue reading
10/31/2013 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release) Cuba - The Cuban government has granted approval for public bathroom rentals . As reported by the Continue reading
Activists on social networks are convoking a “tweet-protest” using #FreeElCritico starting this Monday, November 1st, at  AM in solidarity with Cuban dissident rapper and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, known best as “El Critico” form the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso). The call surges while Remon Arzuaga is in […] Continue reading
Some 3,000 Cuban doctors will be on their way to Brazil starting Monday to join the 2,400 already participating in a government program to recruit foreign professionals to provide medical services in Continue reading
Una opción responsable y consecuente con la vida económica actual de los cubanos habría sido crear para los cines domésticos el perfil adecuado Continue reading
MSW ($70k) [6f] Winner: Mamdooha, f, 2 by Daaher Mamdooha (f, 2, Daaher--Marraasi, by Rahy), second on debut at Monmouth over this distance Sept. 28, fired a best-of-11 three-furlong bullet over Continue reading
The Cuban government ordered the closing of private 3D movie theaters, which have proliferated on the island over the past year, at the same time that it imposed a deadline to do away with autonomous Continue reading
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Las autoridades brasileñas esperan que estén operativos en un mes, tras someterse a un curso de familiarización con la lengua. Continue reading
Havana, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) The United Status and its business people are to lose more by their self-exclusion from the Special Development Zone at Mariel Port, in western Cuba, says Juventud Rebelde newspaper today. "But the US government a... Continue reading
Havana, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) Cubans slept an additional hour today as normal winter Greenwich meridian time was re-established. State-run energy company Union Electrica reported that at one o'clock, all ... Continue reading
Una operación internacional de Colombia y Estados Unidos permitió el decomiso de 1,450 kilos de cocaína y la detención de cuatro personas, entre ellas tres venezolanos, en aguas del Caribe, informó este domingo la Policía colombiana. Continue reading
Twenty-six Jamaican nurses have now been cleared to receive their license to practice. The nurses who were trained in Cuba had complained of difficulty in obtaining the license. "For persons studying in Cuba, in the present instance, they ne... Continue reading
TAMPA ?" President John F. Kennedy was shot to death in Texas. His protectors had been more worried it would happen here. There were suspects, there were motives, there were opportunities. Fifty years Continue reading
Havana (AFP) - Cubans have welcomed news the government will end its unpopular dual currency system, but they are beyond keen to know when the change will actually come."It should be done already," said retiree Mirtha Graveran, 67, wh... Continue reading
The Long-Awaited End to Cuba's Two-Currency System / Ivan Garcia
Posted on November 3, 2013

Danilo, an illegal hard-currency speculator, has had a busy week. "I buy
dollars, euros and convertible pesos. But after the government announced
it would move to a single currency, I am without funds," he says from a
centrally located Havana boulevard.

Some of the CADECA currency exchanges have closed early because they did
not have enough "chavitos" to carry out transactions in convertible
pesos, the stronger of Cuba's two currencies.

Although the regime is trying to ward off panic by issuing an official
statement indicating that the measures to be implemented will have no
effect on savings, there were long lines to be found at branches of
Banco Metroplitano.

"In only five hours fourteen customers closed their hard-currency
accounts at the bank where I work" said an employee. The news comes as
no surprise to one segment of the population.

An avalanche of rumors in mid-August about a possible devaluation of the
convertible Cuban peso, or CUC, led hundreds of people to exchange their
Cuban pesos, or CUPs, for hard currency.

"Two months ago I withdrew all the chavitos from my bank account and
bought pesos. It isn't clear how currency unification will be
implemented but rumors are that, before it disappears, the convertible
peso will be gradually devalued," says a self-employed worker.

In Cuba rumors are often more credible than information found in the
state-run media. Eusebio, an economist, believes the dual-currency
system leads to distortions in prices, accounting practices and domestic
commercial transactions.

"Many local businesses are profitable because they sell their
merchandise in convertible pesos. For example, domestically produced
mayonnaise sells for between 3.0 and 5.5 CUC, or roughly 75 to 132 CUP.
Once currency unification occurs, this disparity will disappear and
inflated prices, which result from the stronger currency, will have to
be adjusted. Nothing will be solved by replacing the chavito with the
Cuban peso if stores maintain rigid price structures in CUC or CUP. The
real price of rationed rice is not 20 centavos a pound, nor is 800 CUC —
or 20,000 CUP — the real price for a plasma screen TV. Currency
unification will be complicated. Businesses will be affected and could
suffer losses," he claims.

Some chain stores are already selling products in pesos tied to the
exchange rate of the convertible peso. Magaly, a high school teacher,
does not believe this will solve anything. "If a large segment of the
population cannot afford to pay 25 chavitos for food, they won't have
625 pesos for it either," she notes.

An official with a state agency asks for patience. "The salaries of
employees who work in profitable industries which generate income in
hard-currency (such as tourism, healthcare, Cubana de Aviación or
ETECSA*) will begin earning salaries based on the new
paradigm relatively soon. Their buying power will be increased. It will
be healthy for the consumer as well as for society to re-emphasize the
value of work. The inverted pyramid, where professionals earn salaries
lower than that of a garbage collector, will gradually change," though
he did not provide details.

The convoluted announcement published in Granma raises more questions
than it answers. People hope that by year's end the guidelines for
creating a single currency will begin to take effect.

When Fidel Castro made it legal to possess dollars on June 26, 1993, the
Cuban peso and the U.S. dollar went into circulation. In May 2004 the
United States fined the Swiss bank UBS for violating the embargo and for
having "laundered" almost four billion dollars destined for Cuba. Fidel
Castro was furious. Six months later, in November 2004, the dollar was
replaced with the convertible peso. But for Castro it was not enough to
remove the dollar from circulation. In March 2005 he imposed an 18%
surcharge on dollars sent to the island.

When his brother Raul came to power in 2006, the goal became to attract
more greenbacks, so he reduced the surcharge on the dollar to 10%. In
spite of this undue financial burden, high food prices
in hard-currency retail stores and slow turnover of hundreds of
inventory items in state-run stores, the volume of remittances from
family members overseas has grown phenomenally.

In the year 2000 the country brought in 986 million dollars in
remittances. By 2013 it had grown to 2.6 billion. It is estimated to
surpass 2.8 billion in 2013. This does not include almost three billion
additional dollars in the form of food, clothing, cell phone account
payments, household appliances and medications that enter the country
through "mules" and travel agencies based in Florida.

A casual poll of twenty or so Havana residents, who these days argue
passionately over the ramifications of currency unification, suggests
that the main problems will continue to be poverty-level salaries and
excessive regulation in an inefficient system.

According to the National Office of Statistics and Information the
average salary in Cuba is about 466 pesos or some 20 dollars a month. In
spite of lukewarm economic reform efforts, agriculture has yet to take
off and industry needs something more than good intentions to be efficient.

Cuba imports everything from fruit for the tourist industry to
toothbrushes for sale to the public. No one believes for a moment that
the doing away with the dual-currency system will improve his or her
quality of life. Rather, it will represent the beginning of a new set of
challenges.

Iván García

Photo: Diario de las Americas

*Translator's note: The state-owned telecommunications company.

29 October 2013

Source: "The Long-Awaited End to Cuba's Two-Currency System / Ivan
Garcia | Translating Cuba" -
http://translatingcuba.com/the-long-awaited-end-to-cubas-two-currency-system-ivan-garcia/ Continue reading
Reasons to be Incredulous / Fernando Damaso
Posted on November 3, 2013

When we talk among friends of the things we discuss in Cuba, some label
me incredulous. I will tell you the reason, and try to explain my
incredulity, in that they are too old (older than 54) listening to the
old and new storytellers telling the same stories. Of course I've ripped
the pages from many more calendars than they have.

They talk to me of some decentralization of power, of a little economic
autonomy in the state enterprises, the reduction of bureaucracy, control
of corruption, self-employment, flexibilizations and many other updates,
and it makes me smile. The authorities, as a rule, like to show the
carrot, but usually placed at an elusive height, adding many obstacles
as well. This tactic has been used many times and has not changed,
because so far they have been successful.

Some tell me now that the situation is the same, because everything has
become very complicated, and the more responsible citizens question and
demand something that didn't happen before. This, according to them, has
forced the authorities, even against their will, have to offer a little
more, and also they have to compromise on some economic and social
issues, never politics, because the update of that is never contemplated
in their calculations.

These realities make hope flourish in some of the youngest (those who
haven't opted to leave) but, unfortunately, they are only elements in
the struggle of the authorities to gain more time at the least cost
possible. It's good to remember that our authorities only know two
speeds, first and reverse, and that there are others to move forward.
When applying the first, and producing a slow movement, they are
frightened and immediately shift into reverse to return to the starting
point. So it has been before and is repeated now with the private shops,
the 3D movie rooms, bars and other businesses.

To expect serious changes and reforms that solve national problems, is
not a part of the approved Guidelines. I have said and repeated to the
old and new storytellers: Here there is no reform, there are only
updates of the same model to make it more prosperous and sustainable. A
word to the wise!

2 November 2013

Source: "Reasons to be Incredulous / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba"
- http://translatingcuba.com/reasons-to-be-incredulous-fernando-damaso/ Continue reading
Golpean al Premio Sájarov 2010 Guillermo Fariñas fue atacado por turbas castristas cuando caminaba hacia la 5ª Estación de Policía de Santa Clara, para denunciar la golpiza y arresto de varias Damas de Blanco. Jorge P. Martínez / martinoticias.com noviembre 03, 2013 El Premio Sájarov 2010 a la Libertad de Conciencia Guillermo Fariñas fue golpeado […] Continue reading
Publicado el domingo, 11.03.13 Miedo al 3D ALEJANDRO RÍOS En el comienzo no fue el verbo sino el latrocinio. Se crea el Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industrias Cinematográficos, más conocido por sus siglas ICAIC, y el séptimo arte se ideologiza y controla. El nuevo régimen se hace dueño absoluto de los medios de producción […] Continue reading
Havana, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuba?s attraction as tourist destination has increased with the arrival of over two million visitors in the first nine months of 2013. According to data Publisher by the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI ... Continue reading
CUBA turned tobacco enthusiasts and international observers heads when it filed its first ever complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against Australias tough tobacco plain-paper packaging Continue reading
John Lennon statue in Havana park. Photo: Rebeca When we talk among friends of the things we discuss in Cuba, some label me incredulous. I will tell you the reason, and try to explain my incredulity, in that they are … Continue reading Continue reading
Guillermo Fariñas fue atacado por paramilitares cuando caminaba hacia la 5ª Estación de Policía de Santa Clara, para denunciar la golpiza y arresto de varias Damas de Blanco. Continue reading
Cuba conjures up a number of images in most people's heads. To some, it's images of the Mariels coming to Miami in the early 1980s. To others, the word "Cuba" summons up daydreams of tropical beaches. Continue reading
Saturday, Senator of Grand Anse, Jean Maxime Roumer also Rector of the Community University Unoga, in the city of Jérémie (Southeast of Haiti) was present as a guest at the 2nd National Workshop "TecnoEduca Continue reading
Havana, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) The 31th Havana International Trade Fair (Fihav 2013) is to open at 11:00 local time today, expected to be atended by some 1,400 business people from 64 nations to promote Cuban trade relations with the World. The event, r... Continue reading