October 2014
« Sep    

We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support in paying for servers. Thank you.

Cubaverdad on Twitter

Cuba Standard

Reviving a regional integration initiative that has lost steam since the death of Hugo Chávez, Cuba will host a summit of ALBA bloc leaders in Havana to coordinate efforts to fight Ebola, both in Africa and Latin America Continue reading
As the Cuban metals remain off-limits for the U.S. industrial consumer, this analysis is looking at the issue from a perspective of U.S. resource security Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Natural disasters and politics are, of course, unpredictable, but other aspects that shape an economy can be measured, trends can be laid out, and forecasts can be made — even in an economy notorious for its information deficit and the lack of clear signals. Welcome to the Cuba Standard Economic Trend Index, the first […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Natural disasters and politics are, of course, unpredictable, but other aspects that shape an economy can be measured, trends can be laid out, and forecasts can be made — even in an economy notorious for its information deficit and the lack of clear signals. Welcome to the Cuba Standard Economic Trend Index, the […] Continue reading
Regarding U.S. claims that are still unresolved, the easiest path seems to be the opening of direct negotiations between the two countries. That said, I would not hesitate, if I were advising a U.S. national to approach Cuban authorities directly, on an individual basis. Continue reading
One year after the beginning of Brazil's Mais Médicos program, Brazil said it will continue the contracting of doctors from the Cuban government. The program generates more than $500 million in revenues a year for Cuba. Continue reading
State biotech company Labiofam is beginning construction of the first facility for bio-plaguicides and bio-fertilizers in Villa Clara Continue reading
Apparently fearing sanctions-easing steps by the president, 17 members of the U.S. Congress, most of them Democrats, sent an open letter to Barack Obama, asking him to reaffirm his support for the U.S. embargo against Cuba Continue reading
The annual meeting of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) in Miami features a record number of presenters from Cuba Continue reading
Yunieski Gourriel sets a political precedent that challenges Major League Baseball's restrictive practice regarding Cuba Continue reading
Cuba's official media are closely following the creation of a new $100 billion development bank that may offer lower-cost lending alternatives outside the realm of Washington and Wall Street Continue reading
Cuba's religious stew; Praise be to Our Lady of Charity; The Black Virgin dressed in blue; The Pope comes to Cuba; The Jewish community in Cuba; The secrets of the saints; Alicia Leal; El Gato Tuerto; El Litoral Continue reading
The graft trial in a Havana provincial court against Cy Tokmakjian and two Canadian employees ended, and sentencing is pending Continue reading
By José M. Pallí, esq. The first time I was approached by someone eager to get my advice on what to do in order to be better prepared ­cuando llegue el momento — when the time comes — to re-claim those properties their family owned in Cuba at the dawn of the Cuban Revolution was in [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Bringing the number of large-scale solar parks on the island to 14, Cuba is building seven photovoltaic parks this year, official daily Granma reported. The seven new parks will add 8.15 megawatts to the island’s growing renewable-energy portfolio. Cuba is planning to increase the share of renewable energy from 4% today — most [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Shifting the emphasis of two long-time partners’ relations from politics to business, Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos during a two-day visit to Cuba toured the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM). Angola and Cuba, partners since the African country’s independence struggle in the 1970s, have cooperated mainly in healthcare, education, sports, fishing and [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Anticipating its return to Cuba next winter season, Calgary-based Cuba Cruise is offering a 25-day repositioning sailing from the eastern Mediterranean to Cuba in November. The 960-passenger M/V Louis Cristal will be leaving from Piraeus in Greece Nov. 28 and sail to Havana via Southern France, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Cienfuegos [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Confirming a long-term, gradual shift among Cuban Americans from exiles to immigrants and from isolation to engagement, the 2014 Florida International University survey shows Cubans who live in the United States continue to open up towards the island. “A large majority of the Cubans who recently migrated to the United States would welcome [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Hinting that yet another Cuban American business dynasty may be softening its approach to Cuba, Bacardi Ltd. leader Facundo Bacardi told Cigar Aficionado magazine in an interview that his family has differences over U.S. embargo policies. In the interview, which will appear in newsstands this week, the 47-year old chairman of the family-owned liquor [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The oil-rich United Arab Emirates will open an embassy in Havana, Kaleej Times reported. At a federal cabinet meeting in Dubai, the UAE government decided to open embassies in Cuba, Angola and Mozambique, as well as a general consulate in Toronto. Saudi Arabia and neighboring Qatar have had embassies in Havana since the 1990s; [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The municipality of Santiago de Cuba is renting unused and dilapidated commercial space in the heart of the historic center of the city to private merchants, the Sierra Maestra newspaper reported. The long-term leases — which apparently factor in the cost of renovations — are part of an urban renewal plan directed by [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The Damex shipyard in Santiago de Cuba, a joint venture with Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group NV, delivered a state-of-the-art patrol boat for Venezuela’s coast guard, Granma reported. The Stan Patrol 4207, baptized Teniente de Navío Fernando Gó­mez de Saa, is the first of two patrol boats ordered by the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela at [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The Obama administration designated Amb. Jeffrey DeLaurentis as new chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. He replaces John Caulfield, who has held the post since September 2011. DeLaurentis, who most recently was alternate U.S. representative for special political affairs before the United Nations, also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Sherritt International Corp. announced that the Cuban government extended an existing oil and gas production-sharing contract in the on-shore Puerto Escondido/Yumuri oil field by 10 years. The production-sharing agreement for the Puerto Escondido/Yumuri oil field will now sunset in March 2028. During the new 10-year term, Sherritt — currently Cuba’s only independent oil and gas [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The head of the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce is in Havana for a three-day visit, meeting with entrepreneurs, government officials, academics and religious leaders. This is Tom Donohue’s second visit after a trip in 1999, and it comes at a time of rising pressure on the U.S. government to ease its more [...] Continue reading
By José M. Pallí, Esq. The Cuban Interior Ministry (MININT) chose May 20, Cuba’s independence day, to publish Resolución No. 4/14, which lays out the procedure for foreign real estate owners to obtain a visa. Foreign individuals (personas naturales extranjeras) who want to invest in “owning” or renting houses in Cuba can obtain a special visa that [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Four Cuban invitees to the annual Latin American Studies Association conference did not receive visas from the U.S. Department of State, blocking them from attending the major academic conference in Chicago, May 21-24. They include Rafael Hernández , editor of Temas, a Cuban social science magazine, and Omar Everleny Pérez, the candid economist from the [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — A 30-member business delegation from Mexico led by Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal started a three-day visit to Cuba today with a tour of the new Special Economic Development Zone at Mariel. The Mexican businesspeople will also participate in a round of negotiations with Cuban Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca and Cuban executives, [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — The government published long-awaited regulations, granting temporary residence to foreigners who own or rent residential property in Cuba. Providing immigration status to potential home buyers in dozens of planned golf and marina luxury communities, Interior Ministry Resolution No. 4/2014, published in an extraordinary edition of the Gaceta Oficial on May 20, establishes a one-year, [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Cuban state company Quality Couriers International (QCI) and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Highway Project Management Unit signed an agreement for the Cubans to supervise construction of another segment of a major north-south highway in Vietnam. QCI agreed to supervise construction of an 87-kilometer (55 mile) stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Highway, a [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — State company Habagüanex is partnering with Gaviota S.A. to turn an early-20th century landmark building in Old Havana into a 246-room luxury hotel. The new hotel, going up in a gutted Manzana de Gómez, is located on the western margin of Old Havana, just east of the Paseo de Martí, across the Parque Central [...] Continue reading
By Domingo Amuchastegui Cuba’s reforms and changes, aiming at a complete redesign of its rigid, state-controlled socialist experience, has come to a point of no return. There’s no turning back, and the Achilles Heel of this present stage is the effort to put an end to the two-tier currency system, with all its distortions in finance, [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Joining a Russian-led effort, Cuba hosted a two-day meeting of the International Investment Bank (IIB). Surging amid the conflict in Ukraine, the IIB is an apparent attempt by Russia to revive some of the influence the Soviet Union enjoyed in Eastern Europe and elsewhere during Cold War times. IIB intends to be a “modern [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Continuing French efforts to revive trade and investment ties with Cuba, the two governments amended on May 6 in Havana a short-term credit line agreement backed by French export guarantee agency Coface. The new credit line extends a previous one through November 2015. Guaranteeing Cuban purchases of up to euro 90 million ($125 million) [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Aided by the promise of rising nickel prices, the besieged management of Sherritt International Corp. emerged victorious from a proxy battle started by activist investor Clarke Inc. The Canadian nickel mining and energy conglomerate — Cuba’s largest private investor — announced Tuesday that shareholders elected all nine of its nominees to the board [...] Continue reading
By Richard Feinberg Among investors focused on Cuban markets, private bars and clubs are the new big thing. Within the last 18 months, enterprising Cuban investors have spiced up an already vibrating Havana night life by opening a variety of chic watering holes. By all accounts, many investors are achieving their primary goal: rapid returns on [...] Continue reading
By Vito Echevarría and Johannes Werner In a bow to the destination Cuba, the Brazilian Association of Travel Agents (ABAV) held its five-day annual meeting at the brand new Meliá Marina Hotel in Varadero May 2-7. ABAV represents 3,500 travel agents in Brazil. A delegation of 70 Brazilian travel agents and writers landed in Havana on Cubana [...] Continue reading
By José Manuel Pallí, Esq. If you were to compare the Cuban foreign investment law (CFIL), and I mean the one still in force (that is the old one, Ley 77/95, which will be superseded by the new one this summer), with its many equivalents in other parts of the developing world, you may well conclude that [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Inc., a company that operates from Buenos Aires, agreed to pay a $2.8 million fine to the U.S. government for selling travel services to Cuba without authorization from Washington, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced. According to OFAC, Decolar provided flight and hotel reservations to 17,836 [...] Continue reading
By José Manuel Pallí, Esq. Perhaps the most important question raised by Cuba’s new approach to foreign investment in real estate is the one related to the nature of the rights a foreign investor who develops real estate in Cuba — and those who purchase the residential units from the developer — can acquire over the [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs visited is beginning a two-day visit to Cuba today, Cuba’s foreign ministry reported. Luis Campos Ferreira will meet with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca, as well as the ministers of industry and energy. Portugal is seeking to “create space for a deepening [...] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Havana April 20 to prepare with Cuban officials for a visit by President Xi Jinping, as part of a planned Latin America tour by the Chinese president. Cuba was Wang’s first stop of a Latin America tour that takes him to Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. The last visit [...] Continue reading
By Isaac Eger Pasha Jackson prides himself on punctuality, so when he arrived 20 minutes late to the interview, he asked for forgiveness. “I got held up by some heavy Cuban stuff,” Jackson, 31, said. The former NFL player, who still looks like a world-class athlete, is in his fifth and penultimate year of studies at the [...] Continue reading
By Domingo Amuchastegui At a March 6 press conference, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez announced Cuba’s acceptance of a European Union (EU) proposal to start negotiations aimed at establishing a political dialogue and mutual cooperation. This came almost a month after the EU’s High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Lady Catherine Ashton, made the proposal [...] Continue reading
By Doreen Hemlock As Cuba opens its market to private business and foreign investment, proponents of socially responsible enterprise are boosting their links with the island, offering assistance to build a new kind of hybrid economy that considers workers, the community and the environment in its developments. As part of those links, a group from the [...] Continue reading