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The Economist

Print section Print Rubric:  How the communist government keeps challengers off the ballot Print Headline:  Party tricks Print Fly Title:  Local elections in Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  A hated tax but a fair one Fly Title:  Party tricks Main image:  20171125_AMP502.jpg IF CUBA were a democracy, the municipal elections that start on November 26th would open a season of participatory politics, culminating in the choosing of a new president next February. This year more than 200 people, a record number, put themselves forward as “alternative” candidates for local office, contesting the hegemony of the Communist Party. The government put a quick stop to that. Local elections, held every two years, are Cuba’s most democratic. All Cubans older than 16, except felons and the mentally ill, can run for 12,515 council seats. The job of those who are ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  How the communist government keeps challengers off the ballot Print Headline:  Party tricks Print Fly Title:  Local elections in Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  A hated tax but a fair one Fly Title:  Party tricks Main image:  20171125_AMP502.jpg IF CUBA were a democracy, the municipal elections that start on November 26th would open a season of participatory politics, culminating in the choosing of a new president next February. This year more than 200 people, a record number, put themselves forward as “alternative” candidates for local office, contesting the hegemony of the Communist Party. The government put a quick stop to that. Local elections, held every two years, are Cuba’s most democratic. All Cubans older than 16, except felons and the mentally ill, can run for 12,515 council seats. The job of those who are ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The left needs a more democratic icon Print Headline:  Time to bury Che Guevara for good Print Fly Title:  Bello UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  China’s Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20171014_AMD002_0.jpg ON OCTOBER 9th 1967 the Bolivian army, with the CIA in attendance, shot Ernesto “Che” Guevara in cold blood, on the orders of Bolivia’s president. Thus ended his short-lived attempt to ignite a guerrilla war in the heart of the Andes. Fifty years on, Bolivia’s current president, Evo Morales, and several thousand activists assembled there this week to honour Guevara’s memory. In death Che, with his flowing hair and beret, has become one of the world’s favourite revolutionary icons. His fans span the globe. Youthful rebels wear T-shirts emblazoned with ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  An old profession is still going strong Print Headline:  Havana lector Print Fly Title:  Reading to Cuban cigar workers UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  China’s Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary Fly Title:  Havana lector Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20171014_amp503.jpg EVERY morning at 8:30 Gricel Valdés-Lombillo mounts a platform at the H. Upmann cigar factory and starts the first of her 30-minute shifts reading to an audience of 150 torcedores, or cigar rollers. Throughout the day she will divert them with snippets of news, horoscopes, recipes and, most important, dramatic readings of literature. In a career that began in 1992 she has read “The Count of Monte Cristo”, a longstanding favourite among torcedores, ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  An old profession is still going strong Print Headline:  Havana lector Print Fly Title:  Reading to Cuban cigar workers UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  China’s Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary Fly Title:  Havana lector Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20171014_amp503.jpg EVERY morning at 8:30 Gricel Valdés-Lombillo mounts a platform at the H. Upmann cigar factory and starts the first of her 30-minute shifts reading to an audience of 150 torcedores, or cigar rollers. Throughout the day she will divert them with snippets of news, horoscopes, recipes and, most important, dramatic readings of literature. In a career that began in 1992 she has read “The Count of Monte Cristo”, a longstanding favourite among torcedores, ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The left needs a more democratic icon Print Headline:  Time to bury Che Guevara for good Print Fly Title:  Bello UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  China’s Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20171014_AMD002_0.jpg ON OCTOBER 9th 1967 the Bolivian army, with the CIA in attendance, shot Ernesto “Che” Guevara in cold blood, on the orders of Bolivia’s president. Thus ended his short-lived attempt to ignite a guerrilla war in the heart of the Andes. Fifty years on, Bolivia’s current president, Evo Morales, and several thousand activists assembled there this week to honour Guevara’s memory. In death Che, with his flowing hair and beret, has become one of the world’s favourite revolutionary icons. His fans span the globe. Youthful rebels wear T-shirts emblazoned with ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The United States has many Latin American policies, and none Print Headline:  Deciphering Trump Print Fly Title:  Bello UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  It is not too late to stop the break-up of Spain Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20171007_AMD001_0.jpg IT IS a mystery that has baffled American and Cuban officials for months. Who and what was behind what the State Department calls the “attacks of an unknown nature” that inflicted hearing loss and headaches on 18 staff and four spouses from the United States’ embassy in Havana? With no sign of an answer, on September 29th the State Department announced that it was withdrawing all but emergency personnel from Havana. Noting that some of the “attacks” took place in hotels, it also advised Americans not to visit Cuba. This week it expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The United States has many Latin American policies, and none Print Headline:  Deciphering Trump Print Fly Title:  Bello UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  It is not too late to stop the break-up of Spain Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20171007_AMD001_0.jpg IT IS a mystery that has baffled American and Cuban officials for months. Who and what was behind what the State Department calls the “attacks of an unknown nature” that inflicted hearing loss and headaches on 18 staff and four spouses from the United States’ embassy in Havana? With no sign of an answer, on September 29th the State Department announced that it was withdrawing all but emergency personnel from Havana. Noting that some of the “attacks” took place in hotels, it also advised Americans not to visit Cuba. This week it expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from ... Continue reading
Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  It is not too late to stop the break-up of Spain Main image:  20171007_wwp003.jpg Catalonia voted overwhelmingly to secede from Spain. But the turnout for what the Spanish government called an illegal referendum was only 43%, since those opposed to the poll mostly stayed away. Hundreds of people were injured by riot police attempting to disrupt voting, causing outrage and further protests. Catalonia’s parliament may well now declare independence; Madrid could decide to impose direct rule on the region. See article. The lower house of parliament in France approved tough new anti-terrorism laws, making searches easier, among other measures, in the hope of ending a state of emergency that has lasted since the attack on Paris almost two years ago. The laws were passed two days after an Islamist stabbed two women to death in Marseille. Theresa May’s big speech to the Conservative Party didn’t go according to plan. It was the first big gathering of the party since a ... Continue reading
Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  It is not too late to stop the break-up of Spain Main image:  20171007_wwp003.jpg Catalonia voted overwhelmingly to secede from Spain. But the turnout for what the Spanish government called an illegal referendum was only 43%, since those opposed to the poll mostly stayed away. Hundreds of people were injured by riot police attempting to disrupt voting, causing outrage and further protests. Catalonia’s parliament may well now declare independence; Madrid could decide to impose direct rule on the region. See article. The lower house of parliament in France approved tough new anti-terrorism laws, making searches easier, among other measures, in the hope of ending a state of emergency that has lasted since the attack on Paris almost two years ago. The laws were passed two days after an Islamist stabbed two women to death in Marseille. Theresa May’s big speech to the Conservative Party didn’t go according to plan. It was the first big gathering of the party since a ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The communist regime can no longer rely on the generosity of its allies. It has no idea what to do Print Headline:  Slim pickings Print Fly Title:  Cuba’s economy UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The spotlight shifts from Germany to France Fly Title:  Slim pickings Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170930_AMP001_0.jpg GABRIEL and Leo have little in common. Gabriel makes 576 Cuban pesos ($23) a month as a maintenance man in a hospital. Leo runs a private company with revenues of $20,000 a month and 11 full-time employees. But both have cause for complaint. For Gabriel it is the meagre subsistence that his salary affords. In a dimly lit minimá (mini-mall) in Havana he shows what a ration book entitles one person to buy per month: it includes a small bag of ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The communist regime can no longer rely on the generosity of its allies. It has no idea what to do Print Headline:  Slim pickings Print Fly Title:  Cuba’s economy UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The spotlight shifts from Germany to France Fly Title:  Slim pickings Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170930_AMP001_0.jpg GABRIEL and Leo have little in common. Gabriel makes 576 Cuban pesos ($23) a month as a maintenance man in a hospital. Leo runs a private company with revenues of $20,000 a month and 11 full-time employees. But both have cause for complaint. For Gabriel it is the meagre subsistence that his salary affords. In a dimly lit minimá (mini-mall) in Havana he shows what a ration book entitles one person to buy per month: it includes a small bag of ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Donald Trump and Raúl Castro team up to punish Cuban entrepreneurs Print Headline:  Looking backwards Print Fly Title:  Cuba and the United States UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems Fly Title:  Looking backwards Main image:  20170624_AMP001_0.jpg IT WAS typical Trumpian pageantry. On a bunting-trimmed stage at the Manuel Artime theatre in Miami’s Little Havana neighbourhood, the president of the United States declared on June 16th that he was “cancelling” the “completely one-sided deal with Cuba” made by his predecessor, Barack Obama. There is much less to this than Donald Trump’s pugnacious rhetoric suggests. But the new policy will still hurt Cuba’s fledgling private sector, discourage economic reform and damage Uncle Sam’s prestige in Latin America. The deal ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Donald Trump and Raúl Castro team up to punish Cuban entrepreneurs Print Headline:  Looking backwards Print Fly Title:  Cuba and the United States UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems Fly Title:  Looking backwards Main image:  20170624_AMP001_0.jpg IT WAS typical Trumpian pageantry. On a bunting-trimmed stage at the Manuel Artime theatre in Miami’s Little Havana neighbourhood, the president of the United States declared on June 16th that he was “cancelling” the “completely one-sided deal with Cuba” made by his predecessor, Barack Obama. There is much less to this than Donald Trump’s pugnacious rhetoric suggests. But the new policy will still hurt Cuba’s fledgling private sector, discourage economic reform and damage Uncle Sam’s prestige in Latin America. The deal ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  A nuisance becomes a national treasure Print Headline:  It’s a wonderful weed Print Fly Title:  Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The middle has fallen out of British politics Fly Title:  Maraboom Location:  HAVANA Main image:  From bouquets to briquettes From bouquets to briquettes THE peskiest weed in Cuba sprouts a charming flower. Pink and wispy, with a bushy yellow tail, it looks like a cross between a Chinese lantern and a Muppet. Marabú, as Cubans call the leguminous tree, covers 2m hectares, about 18% of the country’s territory. It spread unchecked during the “special period” of the 1990s, when the Soviet Union stopped subsidising Cuba and farms fell into disuse. Uprooting it is time-consuming and labour-intensive. Recently, though, Cubans have ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  A nuisance becomes a national treasure Print Headline:  It’s a wonderful weed Print Fly Title:  Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The middle has fallen out of British politics Fly Title:  Maraboom Location:  HAVANA Main image:  From bouquets to briquettes From bouquets to briquettes THE peskiest weed in Cuba sprouts a charming flower. Pink and wispy, with a bushy yellow tail, it looks like a cross between a Chinese lantern and a Muppet. Marabú, as Cubans call the leguminous tree, covers 2m hectares, about 18% of the country’s territory. It spread unchecked during the “special period” of the 1990s, when the Soviet Union stopped subsidising Cuba and farms fell into disuse. Uprooting it is time-consuming and labour-intensive. Recently, though, Cubans have ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Why the used-car market behaves like the prime-property market Print Headline:  Cash for clunkers... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Latin America wakes up to its biggest headache Print Headline:  Venezuela is not an island Print Fly Title:  Bello UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The policy designed to make America great again Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20170513_AMD001_0.jpg YOU find them driving taxis in Buenos Aires, working as waiters in Panama or selling arepas (corn bread) in Madrid. The number of Venezuelans fleeing hunger, repression and crime in their ruptured country grows by the day. For years, Latin American governments kept quiet as first Hugo Chávez and then his successor, Nicolás Maduro, hollowed out Venezuela’s democracy. Now their economic bungling and Mr Maduro’s increasingly harsh rule are causing a humanitarian crisis that the region can no longer ignore. At last, it is not. Colombia and Brazil bear the brunt of the Venezuelan ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Why the used-car market behaves like the prime-property market Print Headline:  Cash for clunkers... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Latin America wakes up to its biggest headache Print Headline:  Venezuela is not an island Print Fly Title:  Bello UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The policy designed to make America great again Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20170513_AMD001_0.jpg YOU find them driving taxis in Buenos Aires, working as waiters in Panama or selling arepas (corn bread) in Madrid. The number of Venezuelans fleeing hunger, repression and crime in their ruptured country grows by the day. For years, Latin American governments kept quiet as first Hugo Chávez and then his successor, Nicolás Maduro, hollowed out Venezuela’s democracy. Now their economic bungling and Mr Maduro’s increasingly harsh rule are causing a humanitarian crisis that the region can no longer ignore. At last, it is not. Colombia and Brazil bear the brunt of the Venezuelan ... Continue reading
Print section Print Headline:  Health-care spending UK Only Article:  standard article ... Continue reading
Print section Print Headline:  Health-care spending UK Only Article:  standard article ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  What the tourist industry reveals about the communist country Print Headline:  Stuck in the past Print Fly Title:  Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain’s brutal encounter with reality Fly Title:  Sun, sand and socialism Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170401_AMP002_1.jpg TOURISTS whizz along the Malecón, Havana’s grand seaside boulevard, in bright-red open-topped 1950s cars. Their selfie sticks wobble as they try to film themselves. They move fast, for there are no traffic jams. Cars are costly in Cuba ($50,000 for a low-range Chinese import) and most people are poor (a typical state employee makes $25 a month). So hardly anyone can afford wheels, except the tourists who hire them. And there are far fewer tourists than there ought to be. Few places ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  What the tourist industry reveals about the communist country Print Headline:  Stuck in the past Print Fly Title:  Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain’s brutal encounter with reality Fly Title:  Sun, sand and socialism Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170401_AMP002_1.jpg TOURISTS whizz along the Malecón, Havana’s grand seaside boulevard, in bright-red open-topped 1950s cars. Their selfie sticks wobble as they try to film themselves. They move fast, for there are no traffic jams. Cars are costly in Cuba ($50,000 for a low-range Chinese import) and most people are poor (a typical state employee makes $25 a month). So hardly anyone can afford wheels, except the tourists who hire them. And there are far fewer tourists than there ought to be. Few ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  As the island’s economy stalls, retirement has become notional Print Headline:  Hustling, cradle to grave Print Fly Title:  Cuban pensioners UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Amazon’s empire Fly Title:  Hustling, cradle to grave Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170325_amp501.jpg NORBERTO MESA, a 66-year-old grandfather, stands in the hot sun 11 hours a day, six days a week, guiding cars in and out of the parking spaces in front of a bustling farm stand. The 4,000 Cuban pesos ($170 at the official exchange rate) he earns each month in tips is more than ten times his monthly old-age pension of 340 pesos. Without it, the retired animal geneticist could not afford fruit and meat, or help his children, who work for low salaries, to feed his four ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  As the island’s economy stalls, retirement has become notional Print Headline:  Hustling, cradle to grave Print Fly Title:  Cuban pensioners UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Amazon’s empire Fly Title:  Hustling, cradle to grave Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170325_amp501.jpg NORBERTO MESA, a 66-year-old grandfather, stands in the hot sun 11 hours a day, six days a week, guiding cars in and out of the parking spaces in front of a bustling farm stand. The 4,000 Cuban pesos ($170 at the official exchange rate) he earns each month in tips is more than ten times his monthly old-age pension of 340 pesos. Without it, the retired animal geneticist could not afford fruit and meat, or help his children, who work for low salaries, to feed his four ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  On the communist island, app stores pay rent Print Headline:  Real virtuality Print Fly Title:  Technology in Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  An insurgent in the White House Fly Title:  Real virtuality Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170204_amp503.jpg CUBANS, like citizens of most countries in the digital age, are familiar with app stores. But theirs have actual doors, windows and counters. Los Doctores del Celular, a mobile-phone repair shop a few blocks from Havana’s Malecón seaside promenade, is one example. Inside, a Super Mario effigy, kitted out with lab coat and stethoscope, keeps vigil while technicians transfer apps to customers’ smartphones via USB cables attached to the shop’s computers. Although the United States’ embargo on Cuba makes it hard ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  On the communist island, app stores pay rent Print Headline:  Real virtuality Print Fly Title:  Technology in Cuba UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  An insurgent in the White House Fly Title:  Real virtuality Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20170204_amp503.jpg CUBANS, like citizens of most countries in the digital age, are familiar with app stores. But theirs have actual doors, windows and counters. Los Doctores del Celular, a mobile-phone repair shop a few blocks from Havana’s Malecón seaside promenade, is one example. Inside, a Super Mario effigy, kitted out with lab coat and stethoscope, keeps vigil while technicians transfer apps to customers’ smartphones via USB cables attached to the shop’s computers. Although the United States’ embargo on Cuba makes it hard ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The end of wet foot, dry foot Print Headline:  Special no more Print Fly Title:  Cuban migrants UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The 45th president Fly Title:  Special no more Location:  HAVANA and MEXICO CITY Main image:  Floating to Florida is now futile Floating to Florida is now futile AMONG a group of young men gathered in a tin-roofed telephone-repair shop in Havana, the topic of conversation is how to leave Cuba. The easiest way, they now reckon, is to marry a European. That is because on January 12th, in one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama ended the 22-year-old “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which allowed Cubans who land on American soil to stay in the country; those caught at sea were sent home. That shuts off the main escape route for ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Special no more Location:  HAVANA and MEXICO CITY Main image:  20170121_blp901.jpg   AMONG a group of young men gathered in a tin-roofed telephone repair shop in Havana, the topic of conversation is how to leave Cuba. The easiest way, they now reckon, is to marry a European woman. That is because on January 12th, in one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama ended the 20-year-old “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which allowed Cubans who land on American soil to stay in the country; those caught at sea were sent home. That shuts off the main escape route for Cubans in search of a better life.  Mr Obama’s decision looks like an attempt to protect one of his few clear-cut foreign-policy successes: his agreement with Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, in December 2014 to restore diplomatic relations and loosen an economic embargo imposed on the island by the United States in 1960. Donald Trump, who will become the American president on January 20th, has said contradictory things about Mr Obama’s ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Podcast: The week ahead Byline:  Economist.com Main image:  20161203_mma905.jpg Rubric:  Our Bello columnist Michael Reid discusses Cuba's future under Raúl and the remaining Castros. Also on the show: Assad’s forces make a crucial advance in Aleppo. And do want your cheating spouse to come back? There’s an agency for that - in China. Published:  20161202 Source:  Online extra Enabled Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Podcast: The week ahead Byline:  Economist.com Main image:  20161203_mma905.jpg Rubric:  Our Bello columnist Michael Reid discusses Cuba's future under Raúl and the remaining Castros. Also on the show: Assad’s forces make a crucial advance in Aleppo. And do want your cheating spouse to come back? There’s an agency for that - in China. Published:  20161202 Source:  Online extra Enabled Continue reading
Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Why a strengthening dollar is bad for the world economy Main image:  20161203_WWP003_290.jpg Fidel Castro, who led a revolution in Cuba and ruled as a communist dictator for 47 years, died at the age of 90. He was an unyielding antagonist of the United States, which tried many times to assassinate him. In 1962 Mr Castro helped bring the world to the brink of nuclear war by inviting the Soviet Union to station missiles in Cuba. His brother, Raúl, formally replaced him as president in 2008, but he was the symbolic leader of the Latin American far left until his death. See article.  Colombia’s congress ratified a revised peace agreement with the FARC, an insurgent group with which the government has been at war for 52 years. Legislators opposed to the deal walked out before the vote. Colombians rejected the original agreement in a plebiscite in October. To avoid a second vote, President Juan Manuel Santos submitted the new deal to congress for ratification. A plane ... Continue reading
Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Why a strengthening dollar is bad for the world economy Main image:  20161203_WWP003_290.jpg Fidel Castro, who led a revolution in Cuba and ruled as a communist dictator for 47 years, died at the age of 90. He was an unyielding antagonist of the United States, which tried many times to assassinate him. In 1962 Mr Castro helped bring the world to the brink of nuclear war by inviting the Soviet Union to station missiles in Cuba. His brother, Raúl, formally replaced him as president in 2008, but he was the symbolic leader of the Latin American far left until his death. See article.  Colombia’s congress ratified a revised peace agreement with the FARC, an insurgent group with which the government has been at war for 52 years. Legislators opposed to the deal walked out before the vote. Colombians rejected the original agreement in a plebiscite in October. To avoid a second vote, President Juan Manuel Santos submitted the new deal to congress for ratification. A plane ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The transition to a better Cuba will not be easy. Donald Trump could make it harder Print Headline:  After Fidel Print Fly Title:  Latin America UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Why a strengthening dollar is bad for the world economy Fly Title:  After Fidel Main image:  20161203_LDP002.jpg FIDEL CASTRO was many things to many people (see article). As Cuba mourns him, his fans offer praise for how he stood up to the United States in the name of Cuban independence and provided world-class health care and education to poorer Cubans. But his achievements were outweighed by his drab legacy. Much of that human capital was wasted by his one-party system, police state and the stagnant, centrally planned economy. Cubans say Mr Castro was “like a father “ to them. They are right: he infantilised a nation. Anyone with initiative found ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  The transition to a better Cuba will not be easy. Donald Trump could make it harder Print Headline:  After Fidel Print Fly Title:  Latin America UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Why a strengthening dollar is bad for the world economy Fly Title:  After Fidel Main image:  20161203_LDP002.jpg FIDEL CASTRO was many things to many people (see article). As Cuba mourns him, his fans offer praise for how he stood up to the United States in the name of Cuban independence and provided world-class health care and education to poorer Cubans. But his achievements were outweighed by his drab legacy. Much of that human capital was wasted by his one-party system, police state and the stagnant, centrally planned economy. Cubans say Mr Castro was “like a father “ to them. They are right: he infantilised a nation. Anyone with initiative found ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Cuba after Fidel Castro Main image:  20161203_blp904.jpg ESTELLE has never been a supporter of Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution. The poverty, the restrictions on freedom, the false promises—she despises all of it. But when the 78-year-old accountant awoke on November 26th, switched on her radio and learned that the Maximum Leader of the revolution had died overnight, she cried. “Whatever you feel about Fidel, he was always there,” she explained. Estelle’s ambivalence is shared by many Cubans as they begin to get used to life without the man who dominated the country for more than half a century. “He was a good president”, said Yusi, a housewife in Old Havana, but “nobody’s perfect”. The government has banned all public music performances during the nine-day official mourning period, a directive that has enveloped Havana in gloom. A much-heralded concert starring Placido Domingo, an opera singer, has been cancelled. Nightclubs are closed. Unlike leaders of other successful communist revolutions, Mr Castro will not have an embalmed afterlife. The body of the former ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Cuba after Fidel Castro Main image:  20161203_blp904.jpg ESTELLE has never been a supporter of Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution. The poverty, the restrictions on freedom, the false promises—she despises all of it. But when the 78-year-old accountant awoke on November 26th, switched on her radio and learned that the Maximum Leader of the revolution had died overnight, she cried. “Whatever you feel about Fidel, he was always there,” she explained.   Estelle’s ambivalence is shared by many Cubans as they begin to get used to life without the man who dominated the country for more than half a century. “He was a good president”, said Yusi, a housewife in Old Havana, but “nobody’s perfect”.   The government has banned all public music performances during the nine-day official mourning period, a directive that has enveloped Havana in gloom. A much-heralded concert starring Placido Domingo, an opera singer, has been cancelled. Nightclubs are closed.   Unlike leaders of other successful communist revolutions, Mr Castro will not have an embalmed afterlife. The body ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  The death of a revolutionary icon Main image:  20161126_amp505.jpg THE statement was terse but its import was great. Late on the evening of November 25th in Havana, Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, announced that his elder brother, Fidel, “commander-in-chief of the Cuban revolution”, had died at the age of 90. Cubans woke up to the prospect of life without the man who dominated them and their country for more than half a century. In Miami, the dwindling hard core of anti-Castro exiles took to the streets of the district known as Little Havana in celebration. They had done so several times before over the past decade on rumours of his death. This time it was real. Fidel’s death will be marked by nine days of official mourning in Cuba and by recognition around the world of his extraordinary achievement in turning his small country into a pocket superpower that defied the United States for decades. Many others will hope that Cuban communism will die with Fidel. For all its achievements in health care and education, it has impoverished the island and deprived generations of ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  The death of a revolutionary icon Main image:  20161126_amp505.jpg THE statement was terse but its import was great. In the early hours of November 26th in Havana, Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, announced that his elder brother, Fidel, “commander-in-chief- of the Cuban revolution”, had died at the age of 90. Cubans woke up to the prospect of life without the man who dominated them and their country for more than half a century. In Miami, the dwindling hard core of anti-Castro exiles took to the streets of the district known as Little Havana in celebration. They had done so several times before over the past decade on rumours of his death. This time it was real.   Fidel’s death will be marked by nine days of official mourning in Cuba and by recognition around the world of his extraordinary achievement in turning his small country into a pocket superpower that defied the United States for decades. Many others will hope that Cuban communism will die with Fidel. For all its achievements in health care and education, it has impoverished the island and deprived ... Continue reading
Print section Print Rubric:  Cuba’s communist leader, who outlasted ten presidents of the United States, has died at the age of 90 Print Headline:  The will to power Print Fly Title:  Fidel Castro UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Why a strengthening dollar is bad for the world economy Fly Title:  The will to power Main image:  20161203_fbp001_0.jpg TO MEET Fidel Castro was to notice, first of all, his sheer physical presence. He was tall, erect and had a high, domed forehead that made him look naturally imperious. He was strong: as a youth he was awarded a prize as the best all-round sportsman in Cuba. He was brave to the point of recklessness: as a boy, he once rode a bicycle straight into a wall to prove his mettle. And he was determined, convinced of his own rightness, intolerant of contradiction and immune to compromise. These characteristics he ... Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  The will to power Main image:  20161126_amp503.jpg TO MEET Fidel Castro was to notice, first of all, his sheer physical presence. He was tall, erect and had a high, domed forehead that made him look naturally imperious. He was strong: as a youth he was awarded a prize as the best all-round sportsman in Cuba. He was brave to the point of recklessness; as a boy, he once rode a bicycle straight into a wall to prove his mettle. And he was determined, absolutely convinced of his own rightness, intolerant of contradiction and immune to compromise. These characteristics he had inherited from his father, a Spanish migrant who brought with him to Cuba the innate stubbornness of the gallego and who became a prosperous landowner. The son, who was born illegitimate in Birán, in rural eastern Cuba, in 1926, added a prodigious ambition for power. Even the Jesuits who taught him saw danger coming in the big, headstrong boy, whose country slang from the cane fields of Oriente marked him out among his urban classmates. The Cuban revolution as it turned out—though not as many of its ... Continue reading
Main image:  FIDEL CASTRO has died, aged 90. He ruled Cuba for 47 years, ceding power to his brother Raúl in 2006 before officially resigning in 2008. Revered on the anti-imperialist left, the Communist revolutionary survived numerous American assassination attempts and ten presidents. His rule was notable for world-class health care and education, political repression—and marathon speeches, including a record four hours 29 minutes at the UN.Further readingObituary: The life and times of Fidel CastroThe transition to a post-communist Cuba will now begin in earnestThe mood in Havana 20161126 08:58:08 Comment Expiry Date:  Sun, 2016-12-11 Continue reading
Main image:  FIDEL CASTRO has died, aged 90. He ruled Cuba for 47 years, ceding power to his brother Raúl in 2006 before officially resigning in 2008. Revered on the anti-imperialist left, the Communist revolutionary survived numerous American assassination attempts and ten presidents. His rule was notable for world-class health care and education, political repression—and marathon speeches, including a record four hours 29 minutes at the UN.Further readingObituary: The life and times of Fidel CastroThe transition to a post-communist Cuba will now begin in earnestThe mood in Havana 20161126 08:58:08 Comment Expiry Date:  Sun, 2016-12-11 Continue reading
Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Tasting menu Main image:  20161022_mma905_107.jpg Rubric:  This week: Bhutan’s surprising success, experiments in automated consumption and why clowning is on the rise in Cuba Published:  20161024 Source:  Online extra Enabled Continue reading