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Daily Archives: April 11, 2014

La unidad Chrysler Group LLC de Fiat Chrysler Automobile asumirá un cargo de 130 millones de dólares durante el primer trimestre, porque cambió la forma en la que incorpora el tipo de cambio en Venezuela a su contabilidad, dijo la empresa el viernes en una nota a reguladores estadounidenses. Continue reading
MIAMI - An American contractor being held in a Cuban prison ended a hunger strike on Friday after his 92-year-old mother asked him to stop. Alan Gross, who was arrested by Cuban authorities in 2009 for Continue reading
La policía federal de Brasil registró las oficinas de la petrolera estatal Petrobras en Rio de Janeiro dentro de una investigación por supuesto lavado de dinero, dijeron a Reuters el viernes dos personas con conocimiento directo de la operación. Continue reading
Where will the first Apple store in Havana be? I wonder sometimes when I am fabulating about the future. I imagine it on the corner of Galiano and Reina, above those arches that could well support an enormous apple. Although … Continue reading Continue reading
The 50th anniversary of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is almost upon us, but the celebrations began this week at the Johnson presidential library. A speech by president Obama referenced "doors Continue reading

El estadounidense Alan Gross, quien cumple condena de prisión en Cuba, y se declaró en huelga de hambre el 3 de abril, suspendió esa medida de fuerza este viernes ante pedidos de su madre, informó su abogado en Washington, según AFP.

"Mi huelga de hambre queda suspendida a partir de hoy (viernes), dijo Gross en un comunicado dictado desde su cárcel en La Habana a su abogado Scott Gilbert, y que éste difundió.

Gross señaló que "otras protestas ocurrirán", sin especificar la fecha ni la modalidad de las mismas.

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Al igual que el inicio de la huelga, el abogado de Alan Gross, se encargó de informar del fin de esta; un pedido que hiciera la madre del detenido. Continue reading
El contratista estadounidense Alan Gross, condenado en Cuba por vender equipos de telecomunicaciones, ha puesto fin a la huelga de hambre que comenzó la semana pasada para forzar a Washington y a La Habana a llegar a un acuerdo que lleve a su liberación. Continue reading
ST. LOUIS Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, once heralded as the No. 1 recruit in the nation, has been kicked off the team. The move was announced Friday, a day after police in Columbia, Mo., Continue reading
El estadounidense Alan Gross, quien cumple condena de prisión en Cuba, y se declaró en huelga de hambre el 3 de abril, suspendió esa medida de fuerza este viernes ante pedidos de su madre, informó su abogado en Washington. Continue reading
En total son 12 los detenidos en Quito, nueve de ellos cubanos, que tenían retenidas a 72 mujeres según las autoridades. Continue reading

El escritor y comisario político Miguel Barnet dijo este viernes en La Habana, en la apertura del VIII Congreso de la Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, que "la UNEAC es el Moncada de la cultura", reportaron medios oficiales.

"Asaltamos los cuarteles de la ignominia, de la estulticia, de la mediocridad, del lacerante coloniaje cultural. Tenemos que ser consecuentes con ello", señaló Barnet, para quien en 1961 "comenzó un capítulo nunca antes transitado por los escritores y los artistas cubanos".

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View of El Fanguito, one of Havana’s slums Just across from Cordoba park, in the Havana neighborhood of La Vibora, is nestled a luxury cafe called Villa Hernandez.  It is a stunning mansion built in the early 20th century and … Continue reading Continue reading
El diario de la izquierda francesa denuncia en un editorial que "Maduro ha logrado una triple corona: despilfarro, corrupción y autoritarismo político" Continue reading
ST. LOUIS -- Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, once heralded as the No. 1 recruit in the nation out of high school, has been kicked off the team. The move was announced Friday, a day after Continue reading
WASHINGTON -- Democrats have spent months debating how to answer conservatives' attacks on President Barack Obama's health care law. Friends of an embattled Democratic senator now are fighting back by Continue reading
Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor jailed in Cuba, ended a week-long hunger strike on Friday while vowing to fast again if he is not released, according to a statement issued by representatives Continue reading
A Cuban trade mission, headed by Antonio Carricarte, first deputy minister of Foreign Investment and Trade, is in Argentina to boost bilateral economic and commercial relations and to meet with government Continue reading
The U.S. Senate ordered to review the Cuban ''Twitter'' and asked the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) to hand over all records about the Obama administration's secret Cuban twitter program Continue reading
A finales del 2013 la editorial Anagrama publicó Negra , la cuarta novela de la escritora y actriz cubana Wendy Guerra (La Habana, Cuba, 1970). La obra narrativa de Guerra ha sido considerada por algunos críticos entre las mejores de la actual narrativa latinoamericana y como tal, ha sido traducida a más de una docena de idiomas. En Cuba –el lugar donde reside y en el que nunca le habían publicado a pesar de haber ganado el premio Bruguera en el 2006 y haber sido nombrada Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la república francesa– acaba de publicar su novela Posar desnuda en La Habana. Diario Apócrifo de Anais , basado en la vida de la escritora Anais Nin. Continue reading

El Ministerio del Interior de Ecuador conunicó este viernes la desarticulación de una banca internacional que se dedicaba a la explotación sexual y al tráfico ilegal de emigrantes.

En el operativo, denominado "Medusa", la policía rescató a 72 mujeres —en su mayoría cubanas— que la banda obligaba a prostituirse para que pagaran su traslado a Estados Unidos, reportó el diario local El Universo.

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(CNN) - Alan Gross, the former American subcontractor who's spent four years imprisoned in Cuba, ended a hunger strike Friday that he launched last week in a bid to spur both the United States and Cuba Continue reading
El Gobierno de Cuba está estudiando las propuestas realizadas por 15 países --entre ellos España, Italia, Brasil, Rusia y China-- para invertir en la Zona Especial de Desarrollo de Mariel (ZEDM), el primer gran proyecto de la isla caribeña con capital extranjero. Continue reading
Washington (CNN) - Alan Gross, the former American subcontractor who's spent four years imprisoned in Cuba, ended a hunger strike Friday that he launched last week in a bid to spur both the United States Continue reading
Washington, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) The 15th edition of the Havana Film Festival in New York concludes today with awards in the categories of best film, director, screenplay and documentary. After ... Continue reading
Movie Review and Interview by Beau Behan: Cuban Fury (2014), Rated R, 98 min, comedyOpening Nationwide, April 11, 2014 The year is 1987, and 13-year-old Bruce Garrett is poised to clinch the title at Continue reading
With over 70 crafts and up to 20 workshops, the HandMade craft festival looks set to bring out the best of Wellington, discovers Catherine Smith. People can be so cruel about Wellington: the weather, Continue reading

El Tribunal Supremo ratificó la sentencia de privación de libertad para tres disidentes que sufrieron un acto de repudio organizado por el régimen el 14 de febrero pasado. Se les acusa de "desorden público, atentado, desacato y daños".

El sindicalista Vladimir Morera Bacallao, que se mantiene en huelga de hambre, deberá cumplir una sanción de ocho años de cárcel; Jorge Ramírez Calderón, cuatro años; y Nélida Lima Conde, tres de prisión domiciliaria.

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There's not too many things that are funnier than heavyset individuals making fools of themselves by attempting to partake in various onscreen, physical activities. It worked for John Candy . It worked Continue reading
In short, yes: West Michigan could feel the impact of U.S. sanctions against Russia, particularly if sanctions targeting specific industries are imposed. Immediately following the Crimean vote to join Continue reading
As the National Day of Protected Areas approaches, this upcoming April 12th, the fact that Holguin preserves the ecological, historical and cultural values at 9.1 percent of its territory, including part Continue reading
With the goal of preserving rivers in the Cuban municipality of Moa, they have devised a program which would gradually put an end to polluting sources, which according to a study made in that jurisdiction, Continue reading
Cubans cheer on their favorite baseball teams with ear splitting conga drums. CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports. If your browser has Adobe Flash Player installed, click above to play. Otherwise, click Continue reading
11 de abril de 2014, 15:20 Havana, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) The main cultural Congress of Cuba ruled out today the eventual ''Arab spring'' a US project called ZunZuneo tried to implement in Cuba as a Continue reading
Jailed Contractor Is Ailing in Cuba Prison By JTA Published April 11, 2014. Alan Gross suspended his hunger strike after a week at the behest of his elderly mother. "Alan's mother asked him Continue reading
España, 11 de abril del 2014.- Con motivo del 22 aniversario del movimiento de solidaridad en Córdoba, el "Colectivo de Solidaridad con Cuba" de esa provincia viene realizando varias actividades en la Continue reading
An American who has been imprisoned in Cuba for more than four years after illegally setting up Internet access on the island has suspended his hunger strike after more than a week. Alan Gross said Continue reading
11 de abril de 2014, 14:57 Brasilia, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) The first doctor from the Mas Medicos Program in reaching the town of Santa Maria, Federal District of Brasilia, Brazil, Cuban Idania Santiesteban, Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The administrators of the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) are working closely with foreign investors on 15 project applications, the ZEDM chief executive said during a fair in Havana, according to official media. Ana Teresa Igarza didn’t specify the investors, but she said they hailed from Spain, Russia, Italy, China and Brazil, and [...] Continue reading
En las últimas semanas han expulsado al director, a varias enfermeras, a un recluta y a dos oficiales de la Contrainteligencia Militar Continue reading
Cuba Opens the Gates to Foreign Capital / Ivan Garcia
Posted on April 10, 2014

When a government's financial figures are in the red, everything takes
on new urgency. By now the formulas to address the problem are
well-known. Often new tax measures are imposed while bloated public
spending is slashed.

But if the goal is to attract American dollars, euros or other forms of
hard currency, then any reforms must tempt likely foreign investors and
Cuban exiles alike.

The situation is pressing. Venezuela, the spigot from which Cuba's oil
flows, is in a firestorm of criminal and political violence and economic
chaos. China is an ideological partner but only makes loans if it can
reap some benefit.

The Cuban government does not have a lot of room to maneuver. Its
solution has been to open things up a little but not completely. Except
in the areas of health, education and defense, Cuba is for sale.

The communist party's propaganda experts have been trying to sugarcoat
the message to its audience. In recent months government officials have
been working to attract foreign capital by offering investors a more
important role in the Cuban economy.

"Foreign financial resources would do more than provide a complementary
role to domestic investment initiatives and would play an important
role, even in areas such as agriculture, where foreign investment has
been rare," said Pedro San Jorge, Director of Economic Policy at the
Ministry for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, in January.

In an interview with the newspaper Granma on March 17, José Luis Toledo
Santander, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly
of People's Power for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, said the new law
"will also provide for a range of investments so that those who wish may
know the areas of interest in the country."

"This action will also be a breakthrough in terms of the paperwork
required to make an investment by creating a more streamlined process,"
the official added in response to a common complaint by business people
that the Cuban bureaucracy is too slow.

Toledo Santander said the new law "also includes incentives and tax
exemptions in certain circumstances, as well as an easing of customs
duties to encourage investment."

He stressed that "the process of foreign investment will be introduced
without the country relinquishing its sovereignty or its chosen social
and political system: socialism. This new law will allow foreign
investment to be better targeted so that it serves the best interests of
national development without concessions or setbacks."

On Saturday March 29 the national television news broadcast reported
sometime after 1 PM that the single-voice Cuban parliament had
unanimously passed a new foreign investment law without providing more
details

The new law provides for an exception to one passed in 1995 which
assigned foreign capital a "complimentary" role in Cuban state
investments. This meant that foreign investors could hold no more than a
50% stake in any joint venture.

The proportion was higher when it came to technology and retail
businesses but only because of a strong interest in these sectors on the
part of military autocrats. Between 1996 and 2003 roughly 400 firms in
the mining, hospitality, food, automotive and real estate sectors were
created in Cuba with foreign capital.

All were small-scale and supervised closely by authorities. Now it's a
choice of life or death. Fidel Castro's revolution generated many
promises and speeches, but these did nothing to foster the economic
development that the country needed.

Cuba imports everything from toothbrushes to ball-point pens. Large
areas of arable land are overrun with the invasive Marabou weed, and
produce little or nothing. In 2013 the government imported almost two
billion dollars worth of food.

Since 1959 government leaders have continuously promised ample harvests
of malanga, potatoes and oranges coffee as well as a glass of milk per
person per day, but the inefficient economic system hampers any such
nationial initiatives.

Finally the last trump card was played. It involved opening the gates by
luring foreign investors with generous tax exemptions. They included
Cubans living in the United States and Europe but not virulent
anti-Castro Cuban-Americans from Florida.

If they toned down their strident anti-Castro rhetoric, then perhaps
Alfonso Fanjul, Carlos Saladrigas and company might come under
consideration also.

Of course, it is not all clear sailing. The U.S. embargo presents a
powerful obstacle to any business venture on the island. And the Castro
brothers are not serious business partners.

On the contrary. They have changed or corrected course at whim in
response to shifting political dynamics. Of the roughly 400 foreign
firms that existed in 1998, only about 200 remained in operation as of
spring 2014.

Several foreign businessmen, including Canadians, have been threatened
with imprisonment while others, like Chilean Max Marambio*, have had
arrest warrants issued against them by Cuban prosecutors.

Raul Castro, who inherited power by decree from his brother Fidel in
2006, has tried to clean up government institutions and establish more
legal coherence, abolishing absurd laws that prevented the Cubans
renting hotel rooms, having mobile phones and selling their own homes
and cars.

In January 2013 a new emigration law was adopted that made it easier for
Cubans, including dissidents, to travel abroad. Internet access became
available, though at jaw-dropping prices, and Peugeot cars went on sale,
though priced as if they were Lamborghinis.

For many European and American politicians, Cuba is in the process of
becoming a modern nation whose past sins as well, as it's the lack of
democracy and freedom of expression, must be forgiven. Others say it's
just a ploy to buy time.

The average Cuba, whose morning coffee does not include milk, who has
only one hot meal a day and who wastes two hours a day commuting to and
from work on the inefficient public transport system, is not likely to
be impressed with the much hyped opportunities.

Those who open private restaurants or receive remittances from overseas
can weather the storm. Those who work for the state — in other words,
most people — are the ones having it the worst.

Although the regime may try to camouflage its new policies by resorting
to various ideological stunts, the person on the street realizes that
the new Cuban reality is nothing more than state capitalism painted over
in red.

For a wide segment of the Cuban population, the new investment law is a
distant echo. It is yet to be see if it bring them any benefits.

Ivan Garcia

*Translator's note: In 2010 Cuban prosecutors accused Marambio and his
firm, Río Zaza, of corruption. Marambio claimed the actions were
retribution on the part of Fidel and Raul Castro for his support for
Marco Enríquez-Ominami, a candidate in Chile's 2009 presidential
election. Marambio filed suit with the International Court of
Arbitration in Paris against his Cuban business partner, Coralsa, a
state-owned juice and dairy company. On July 17 the court found in favor
of Marambio and ordered Coralsa to pay over $17.5 million dollars in
damages "for refusing to cooperate in good faith" in the process of
liquidating Rio Zaza.

30 March 2014

Source: Cuba Opens the Gates to Foreign Capital / Ivan Garcia |
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-opens-the-gates-to-foreign-capital-ivan-garcia/ Continue reading
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WASHINGTON (JTA) - Alan Gross suspended his hunger strike after a week at the behest of his elderly mother. "Alan's mother asked him to stop the fast," Jill Zuckman, the spokeswoman of the family of Continue reading