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New York, May 23 (RHC)-- In the United States, shareholder activists focused on climate issues are gaining traction in their push to have large energy companies and utilities take account of the impact rising global temperatures could have on their … Continue reading
Washington, May 23 (RHC)-- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stepped up security measures around the United States following the bombing attack at a pop concert in the UK.  The agency announced that it would take extra security measures in … Continue reading
… the most sought-after sights in Havana.  The large French doors invite … booking for hotels in Communist-run Cuba, hoping to capitalise on a … have already ventured into the Cuban market since the United States … . Americans previously had to reserve Cuban hotels principally through travel agencies … Continue reading
Why LinkedIn and Microsoft should take notice of this increasingly growing yet small innovative company called Connectwerks.Com SILICON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES , May 23, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Press Release Connectwerks.Com The … Continue reading
via @ngameztorres Havana has reacted strongly to a … the Republic of Cuba. A statement read on Cuban state television on … a review of Cuba policy. On several occasions, the Cuban government has … United States. Official notes from Havana are usually signed by “the … Continue reading
… booking for hotels in Communist-run Cuba, hoping to capitalize on a … have already ventured into the Cuban market since the United States … dampened US interest in the Cuban market. Analysts and corporate executives … still bans general tourism to Cuba, but former President Barack Obama … Continue reading
Expedia said on Tuesday it had started offering online booking for hotels in Communist-run Cuba, hoping to capitalize on a boom in tourism to the Caribbean island. Expedia joins a dozen US airlines and cruise operators that have already ventured into t... Continue reading
ENP selects CapStack West as their capital partner - they are a true next practice company NEWPORT BEACH, CA, UNITED STATES, May 23, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- CapStack West (http://www.capstackwest.com) the developer of a simplified, … Continue reading
… , where Cuba was the featured foreign country and about 150 Cuban artists … Cuba and the United States renewed diplomatic relations, the travel of Cuban … in Havana faced similar travel restrictions. During the Obama administration, Cuban diplomats … for a Free Cuba sent a letter to Cuban-American members of Congress … Continue reading
Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Cuban Independence Day

On Cuban Independence Day, I extend my warmest wishes to the Cuban
American community and the people of Cuba as our whole Nation joins you
in celebrating the anniversary of Cuban Independence.

Americans and Cubans share allegiance to the principles of
self-governance, dignity, and freedom. Today, we remember patriots like
José Martí, who devoted himself to making Cuba an economically
competitive and politically autonomous nation. He reminds us that cruel
despotism cannot extinguish the flame of freedom in the hearts of
Cubans, and that unjust persecution cannot tamper Cubans' dreams for
their children to live free from oppression. The Cuban people deserve a
government that peacefully upholds democratic values, economic
liberties, religious freedoms, and human rights, and my Administration
is committed to achieving that vision.

Today, we also honor the generations of Cuban Americans who have made
outstanding contributions to our country by sharing their culture and
talents. Cuban Americans have distinguished themselves in literature,
the arts, business, sports, the courts, Congress, and within my
Administration. We are especially thankful to the Cuban Americans who
serve in our military and who have sacrificed in defense of our freedom.

Melania and I send our best wishes on this important day in history for
the Americas. God bless the people of Cuba and our Cuban American
friends who call the United States home.

Source: Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Cuban Independence
Day | whitehouse.gov -
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/21/statement-president-donald-j-trump-cuban-independence-day Continue reading
Havana lashes out against Trump's May 20 message to the Cuban people
BY NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

Havana has reacted strongly to a statement issued by President Donald
Trump to the Cuban people over the weekend to mark the 115th anniversary
of the birth of the Republic of Cuba.

A statement read on Cuban state television on Saturday described Trump's
message as "controversial" and "ridiculous."

"...the Miami Herald on Saturday published a controversial and
ridiculous message from the ill-advised U.S. President Donald Trump to
the people of Cuba about May 20, a date that the United States considers
as the emergence of the Republic of Cuba, when we actually know that
what was born that day was a Yankee neo-colony, which lived until on
January 1, 1959," says the statement, referencing the date when Fidel
Castro seized control of the island.

The statement, which was also published on the Cuban TV website, is
signed only as "Official Note" and it is unclear whether it corresponds
to a change of position by the Cuban government, which had been careful
in its statements on the new U.S. president, who has ordered a review of
Cuba policy.

On several occasions, the Cuban government has offered to maintain a
dialogue with the United States.

Official notes from Havana are usually signed by "the Revolutionary
Government" or the governmental entity issuing it. Cuban Television
responds directly to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a
conservative bastion within the government of Raúl Castro.

The Cuban Embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.

The statement also references a wire story published in el Nuevo Herald
that focused on "Trump's slips in state affairs."

"Even within in the U.S. government there is knowledge of the
contradictory and clumsy pronouncements of the millionaire tycoon turned
president, on issues of politics, both exterior and interior," the
statement says.

On Sunday, state television continued to lash out with commentator
Oliver Zamora stating in the noon newscast:

"..Now we must really worry about the future of bilateral relations
after this letter from the president-magnate, because he can only
respond to two initial positions, or part of the cynicism, or at best
ignorance."

Trump's message, which triggered Havana's reaction, highlighted "that
cruel despotism cannot extinguish the flame of freedom in the hearts of
Cubans, and that unjust persecution cannot tamper Cubans' dreams for
their children to live free from oppression."

Trump also promised that he will work for Cubans on the island to have a
government that respects democracy and civil liberties.

During his campaign, Trump promised to change Cuba policy, and a State
Department official recently said that the United States would seek to
put more pressure on the Cuban government regarding its human rights
record. It was anticipated that an announcement about these changes
would come by Saturday, but it was postponed because of the president's
trip to the Middle East and because the Cuba policy review has not been
completed, a White House spokeswoman told el Nuevo Herald.

FOLLOW NORA GÁMEZ TORRES ON TWITTER: @NGAMEZTORRES

Source: Havana reacts to Trump's May 20 message to Cubans | Miami Herald
-
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article151952832.html Continue reading
Micro West Coast 2017: Addressing the current challenges in sterility assurance, environmental monitoring & RMM whilst evaluating the microbial trends CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO, UNITED STATES, May 22, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Returning with the … Continue reading
Offutt airman who spotted Soviet missiles in Cuba inducted into
Strategic Air Command Hall of Fame
May 22, 2017

Deep in the basement of the Strategic Air Command's headquarters at
Offutt Air Force Base, Airman 1st Class Michael Davis studied the
black-and-white film squares through a magnifying lens on that October
day in 1962.

Hunched over the light table, he noticed some cigar-shaped objects. He
knew they were out of the ordinary; though only 24, he had been studying
aerial reconnaissance photos like these, from a U-2 flight over Cuba,
for three years.

"Major, take a look at this," Davis told an officer. "I think you'd
better call the colonel."

The Cuban "cigars" were actually Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles
on the backs of transport trucks. The SAC commander, Gen. Thomas Power,
looked over the photos. The next day, the president was briefed. For the
next two weeks, the United States and the Soviet Union stood toe-to-toe
in what came to be known as the Cuban missile crisis.

Davis couldn't share his secret discovery, of course, but he was named
Offutt's "Airman of the Month" and received a three-day pass, he told
The World-Herald in a 2002 interview.

On Saturday, Davis received additional recognition when he was named to
the SAC Hall of Fame, one of four members of its second class of
inductees. The ceremony was held on Saturday — Armed Forces Day — at the
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum near Ashland.

The inductees were selected for their "significant impact in service to
SAC or to its mission," according to a press release from the museum.
Nominees were selected by a committee of six community leaders who are
knowledgeable about the military and about SAC history.

» Gen. Russell E. Dougherty, a World War II veteran who was SAC's eighth
commander, from 1974 to '77, described by the SAC Museum as a
"transformational leader" who "positively impacted the quality of life
for those serving in SAC." He died in 2007 at age 86 and is buried at
Arlington National Cemetery.

» Gen. Larry D. Welch, 82, who headed SAC in 1985 and 1986 before
stepping up to become Air Force chief of staff. He is credited by the
museum with raising SAC's readiness through "tough, realistic training,
modernization, and improving efficiency." In retirement, he continues to
serve on the Defense Policy Board and U.S. Strategic Command's Strategic
Advisory Board.

» Ed Wells, longtime chief engineer at Boeing Co., who was involved in
the design of aircraft from the B-17 to the 747, and was responsible for
designing or improving many SAC aircraft platforms, including the B-29
Superfortress, B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress. He died in 1986
at age 75.

The museum also inducted three supporters to its own Hall of Fame: Bruce
Rohde, Lee Seemann and Clarence Werner.

steve.liewer@owh.com, 402-444-1186

Source: Offutt airman who spotted Soviet missiles in Cuba inducted into
Strategic Air Command Hall of Fame | Military | omaha.com -
http://www.omaha.com/news/military/offutt-airman-who-spotted-soviet-missiles-in-cuba-inducted-into/article_4373afc9-7fa1-516f-ae6d-83da7cbd1af8.html Continue reading
Cuban diplomats have been traveling across the United States so frequently since President Donald Trump took office that the slogan of the Cuban Embassy in Washington could be “See America … Click to Continue » Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 21 May 2017 — This digital newspaper first saw the light just three years ago, on 21 May 2014. In this time the setbacks have been many, as have the gratifications from updating the site, providing a constant flow of information to our readers, and maintaining high quality standards of reporting in the … Continue reading "Readers Opine About ’14ymedio’ on its Third Anniversary" Continue reading
As Cubans await policy changes, Trump sends a message on Cuban
Independence Day
BY NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

On the 115th anniversary of the birth of the Republic of Cuba, President
Donald Trump on Saturday extended his "warmest wishes" to Cuban
Americans and promised that he will work for Cubans on the island to
have a government that respects democracy and civil liberties.

"Today, we remember patriots like José Martí, who devoted himself to
making Cuba an economically competitive and politically autonomous
nation," Trump said in a statement. "He reminds us that cruel despotism
cannot extinguish the flame of freedom in the hearts of Cubans, and that
unjust persecution cannot tamper Cubans' dreams for their children to
live free from oppression."

During his campaign, Trump promised to change Cuba policy, and a State
Department official recently said that the United States would seek to
put more pressure on the Cuban government regarding its human rights
record. It was anticipated that an announcement about these changes
would come by Saturday, but it was postponed because of the president's
trip to the Middle East and because the Cuba policy review has not been
completed, a White House spokeswoman told el Nuevo Herald.

In his statement, Trump also highlighted the "outstanding contributions"
of several generations of Cuban Americans to the United States.

"Cuban Americans have distinguished themselves in literature, the arts,
business, sports, the courts, Congress, and within my Administration. We
are especially thankful to the Cuban Americans who serve in our military
and who have sacrificed in defense of our freedom."

Follow Nora Gámez Torres on Twitter: @ngameztorres

Source: As Cubans await policy changes, Trump sends a message on Cuban
Independence Day | Miami Herald -
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article151733357.html Continue reading
Cuba, President Donald Trump on Saturday extended his “warmest wishes” to Cuban … hearts of Cubans, and that unjust persecution cannot tamper Cubans’ dreams for … several generations of Cuban Americans to the United States. “Cuban Americans have … Continue reading
… patient, with a trip to Cuba in December, NJ.com reported … United States to go to Cuba through Make-A-Wish since the travel … always wanted to go to Cuba to meet his grandparents. Her … is working on trips to Cuba for other children throughout the … Continue reading
Cuba: Forbidden Fruit / Iván García

Iván García, 11 May 2017 — Scarcely a block away from the majestic Grand
Hotel Manzana Kempinski, whose inauguration is expected next June 2nd,
next to the Payret cinema, a state-owned cafeteria sells an acidic and
insipid hamburger with bread for the equivalent of 50 centavos. Workers
in the neighbourhood and beggars who survive on asking foreigners for
change, form a small queue to buy the inedible hamburger.

The hotel, built by Kempinski, a company started in Berlin in 1897,
stands in the place of the old Manzana de Gómez, the first shopping mall
on the island, at Neptuno, San Rafael, Zulueta and Monserrate streets,
in the heart of Havana. Opened in 1910, throughout its history, the
Manzana de Gómez housed everything from offices, lawyers' chambers and
commercial consultants to businesses, cafes and restaurants and other
enterprises.

Very near to Manzana Kempinski, the first five star hotel there, will be
the Cuban parliament, still a work in progress, which will have as its
headquarters the old National Capitol, a smaller scale replica of the
Congress in Washington.

The splendid hotel, owned by Gaviota, a Cuban military corporation, and
managed by the Kepinski organisation, can boast of having the old Centro
Asturiano, now the home of the Fine Arts Museum's private collections,
the Havana Gran Teatro and the Inglaterra, Telégrafo, Plaza and Parque
Central hotels as neighbours.

Apart from the recently-built Parque Central Hotel, the other three
hotels are situated in 19th century or Republican era buildings, and are
among the most beautiful in the city. In the centre of these
architectural jewels we find Havana Park, presided over by the statue of
the national hero, José Martí.

In those four hotels, you will find shops selling exclusively in
convertible pesos (CUC), a strong currency created by Fidel Castro for
the purpose of buying high quality capitalist goods.

Incidentally, they pay their employees in the Cuban Pesos (CUP), or
national currency. In the tourism, telecoms and civil aviation sectors,
their employees only earn 10-35 CUC as commission.

The chavito, as the Cubans term the CUC, is a revolving door which
controls the territory between the socialist botch-ups, shortages and
third rate services and the good or excellent products invoiced by the
"class enemies", as the Marxist theory has it, which supports the olive
green bunch which has been governing the island since 1959.

21st century Cuba is an absurd puzzle. Those in charge talk about
defending the poor, go on about social justice and prosperous
sustainable socialism, but the working class and retired people are
worse off.

The regime is incapable of starting up stocked markets, putting up good
quality apartment blocks, reasonably priced hotels where a workman could
stay or even maintaining houses, streets and sidewalks in and around the
neighborhoods of the capital. But it invests a good part of the gross
domestic product in attracting foreign currency.

José, a private taxi driver, thinks that it's good to have millions of
tourists pouring millions of dollars into the state's cash register.
"But, the cash should then be reinvested in improving the country. From
the '80's on, the government has bet on tourism. And how much money has
come over all those years? And in which productive sectors has it been
invested?" asks the driver of a clapped-out Soviet-era Moskovitch.

Government officials should tell us. But they don't. In Cuba, supposedly
public money is managed in the utmost secrecy. Nobody knows where the
foreign currency earned by the state actually ends up and the officials
look uncomfortable when you ask them to explain about offshore
Panamanian or Swiss bank accounts.

In this social experiment, which brings together the worst of socialism
imported from the USSR with the most repugnant aspects of African style
capitalist monopoly, in the ruined streets of Havana, they allow Rapid
and Furious to be filmed, they tidy up the Paseo del Prado for a Chanel
parade or open a Qatar style hotel like the Manzana Kampinski, in an
area surrounded by filth, where there is no water and families have only
one meal a day to eat.

In a car dealer in Primelles on the corner of Via Blanca, in El Cerro,
they sell cars at insulting prices. The hoods of the cars are covered in
dust and a used car costs between $15-40,000. A Peugeot 508, at $300k,
is dearer than a Lamborghini.

For the authorities, the excessive prices are a "revolutionary tax", and
with this money they have said they will defray the cost of buying city
buses. It's a joke: they have hardly sold more than about forty
second-hand cars in three years and public transport goes from bad to worse.

For Danay, a secondary school teacher, it isn't the government opening
hotels and luxury shops that annoys her, "What pisses me off is that
everything is unreal. How can they sell stuff that no-one could afford
even if they worked for 500 years? Is it some kind of macabre joke, and
an insult to all Cuban workers?" Danay asks herself, while she hangs
around the shopping centre in the Hotel Kempinski.

In the wide reinforced concrete passageways, what you normally see there
is amazing. With his girl friend embracing him, Ronald, a university
student, smiles sarcastically as he looks in a jewelry shop window at
some emeralds going for more than 24k convertible pesos. "In another
shop, a Canon camera costs 7,500 CUC. It's mad." And he adds:

"In other countries they sell expensive items, but they also have items
for more affordable prices. Who the hell could buy that in Cuba, my
friend? Apart from those people (in the government), the Cuban major
league baseball players who get paid millions of dollars, and the people
who have emigrated and earn lots of money in the United States. I don't
think tourists are going to buy things they can get more cheaply in
their own countries. If at any time I had any doubts about the essential
truth about this government, I can see it here: we are living in a
divided society. Capitalism for the people up there, and socialism and
poverty for us lot down here".

Security guards dressed in grey uniforms, with earphones in their ears
and surly-looking faces, have a go at anyone taking photos or connecting
to the internet via wifi. People complain "If they don't let you take
photos or connect to the internet, then they are not letting Cubans come
in", says an irritated woman.

In the middle of the ground floor of what is now the Hotel Kempinski,
which used to be the Manzana de Gómez mall, in 1965 a bronze effigy of
Julio Antonio Mella, the student leaders and founder of the first
Communist party in 1925, was unveiled. The sculpture has disappeared
from there.

"In the middle of all this luxurious capitalism, there is no place for
Mella's statue", comments a man looking at the window displays with his
granddaughter. Or probably the government felt embarrassed by it.

Iván García

Note: About the Mella bust, in an article entitled Not forgotten or
dead, published 6th May in the Juventud Rebelde magazine, the journalist
Ciro Bianchi Ross wrote: "I have often asked myself what was the point
of the Mella bust which they put in the middle of the Manzana de Gómez
mall and then removed seven years ago, before the old building started
to be transformed into a luxury hotel, and which seems to bother people
now. Mella had nothing in common with that building. The Manzana de
Gómez had no connection with his life or his political journey. Apart
from the fact that from an artistic point of view it didn't look like
anything".

Translated by GH

Source: Cuba: Forbidden Fruit / Iván García – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-forbidden-fruit-ivn-garca/ Continue reading
Make-A-Wish Sends 11-Year-Old to Cuba to Visit Grandparents
Make-A-Wish New Jersey has surprised an 11-year-old lymphoma patient
with a trip to Cuba.
May 20, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Make-A-Wish New Jersey has surprised an
11-year-old lymphoma patient with a trip to Cuba.

NJ.com (http://bit.ly/2rAevh7 ) reports Tyler Machado thought he was
heading to the doctor's office Friday morning. But he instead was
greeted with a red carpet leading to a stretch limousine.

Tyler is the first child from the United States to go to Cuba through
Make-A-Wish since the travel ban was lifted under the Obama administration.

Tyler's mother says her son is a "family person" who has always wanted
to go to Cuba to meet his grandparents. Her son said he was happy before
heading out on his six-day trip.

The communications director for Make-A-Wish says the foundation is
working on trips to Cuba for other children throughout the U.S.

Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

Source: Make-A-Wish Sends 11-Year-Old to Cuba to Visit Grandparents |
New Jersey News | US News -
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-jersey/articles/2017-05-20/make-a-wish-sends-11-year-old-to-cuba Continue reading
Private credit for Cuba on table
Bill would ease agriculture trade
By Frank E. Lockwood

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he wants to
remove barriers to trade with Cuba, telling a House committee this week:
"If our folks grow it, I want to sell it."

Current U.S. law prevents American farmers from extending credit to
Cuban purchasers. U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, a Jonesboro Republican who
represents much of eastern Arkansas, has introduced legislation that
would remove the restrictions on private loans.

This week, Crawford lobbied for the bill on Capitol Hill and at the
White House.

During a meeting of the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday,
Crawford asked Perdue to back H.R. 525, the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act.

"I think that's something I would be supportive of if folks around the
world need private credit to buy our products, and I'm all for that,"
Perdue told Crawford and the other committee members. "I probably would
have some personal concern if we were doing public credit to the nation
of Cuba."

Crawford, who represents the nation's top rice-producing district, said
he shared that view. "That is strictly a private transaction with no
taxpayer public backstop and I think that is important to note," he replied.

Supporters of U.S.-Cuban trade welcomed the statement from a member of
President Donald Trump's cabinet.

One day later, Crawford and three of H.R. 525's co-sponsors met with
White House officials who are helping to craft the Trump
administration's Cuba policy.

"It was a high-level meeting," Crawford said in an interview Friday,
calling it a "very positive" discussion.

"I can't speak for the administration, but I get the sense that there is
a feeling there that this vestige of the Cold War needs to go away and
we need to play an active role in shaping the future of Cuba," he said.

Prior to the Cuban revolution, the U.S. was a major supplier of rice to
the island. But the trade ended after the rise of Cuban dictator Fidel
Castro and the nation's embrace of communism.

With a U.S. trade embargo in place, Havana turned to other nations for
rice imports.

Restrictions on the sale of medication and agricultural products were
rolled back in 2000, and by 2004 U.S. rice sales had climbed to $64
million. The exports ended, however, after the U.S. government barred
farmers from extending credit to Cuban purchasers.

Since fiscal 2009, Cuba has opted not to buy any U.S. rice. Most of its
rice imports are from Vietnam and Brazil.

The country is buying U.S. chicken, however. The U.S. is "the lead
supplier" of poultry -- mostly frozen chicken leg quarters -- according
to the United States International Trade Commission. Easing the
restrictions could lead to modest growth for U.S. chicken exports, the
agency said.

If the trade barriers on rice are removed, the two states that would
benefit most are Arkansas and Louisiana, the trade commission stated in
its March 2016 analysis.

After more than a half-century of economic sanctions, it's clear that
the economic embargo isn't working, Crawford said.

"I think it's just time to take a different look, take a different
approach," he said.

Crawford said he's hopeful that his legislation, which has 38
co-sponsors, will advance.

It helps to have Perdue's backing, Crawford said.

"He's an influential voice in the Cabinet so I think we're very well
positioned to get the kind of support we need from the administration to
move forward," he said.

Similar legislation, on the Senate side, has the backing of Arkansas'
U.S. Sen. John Boozman.

The Republican from Rogers is an original co-sponsor of the Agricultural
Export Expansion Act of 2017, which also would allow U.S. businesses to
extend credit to Cuban purchasers of agricultural commodities.

James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, said Perdue's statements give
Crawford's bill "a big boost" and "should make this move a lot quicker
through Congress.

"We're sort of at a breakthrough moment for this legislation," he said.

Speaking to the Economic Equality Caucus Conference in Washington on
Thursday, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said supporters of trade with
Cuba appear to have the momentum.

Although he opposes efforts to relax the restrictions, "You are winning
the argument and I'm losing it and I'm losing it gracefully," he told
the audience. "I think I see the handwriting on the wall."

Business on 05/20/2017

Source: Private credit for Cuba on table -
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/may/20/private-credit-for-cuba-on-table-201705/?f=business Continue reading
… patient with a trip to Cuba. NJ.com (http:/… United States to go to Cuba through Make-A-Wish since the travel … always wanted to go to Cuba to meet his grandparents. Her … is working on trips to Cuba for other children throughout the … Continue reading
… meet his great grandparents in Cuba. Yesterday morning, he and his … always wanted to go to Cuba even before this happened,… United States to go to Cuba through Make-A-Wish since the travel … to set up trips to Cuba for other children from around … Continue reading
… patient with a trip to Cuba. NJ.com (http:/… United States to go to Cuba through Make-A-Wish since the travel … always wanted to go to Cuba to meet his grandparents. Her … is working on trips to Cuba for other children throughout the … Continue reading
Iván García, 11 May 2017 — Scarcely a block away from the majestic Grand Hotel Manzana Kempinski, whose inauguration is expected next June 2nd, next to the Payret cinema, a state-owned cafeteria sells an acidic and insipid hamburger with bread for the equivalent of 50 centavos. Workers in the neighbourhood and beggars who survive on asking … Continue reading "Cuba: Forbidden Fruit / Iván García" Continue reading
On May 17th, James Leitner set off on his 3200+ mile Walk Across America to raise awareness and money for the global water crisis. PRINCETON, NJ, UNITED STATES, May 19, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, James Leitner from … Continue reading
… meet his great grandparents in Cuba. Friday morning, he and his … always wanted to go to Cuba even before this happened,… United States to go to Cuba through Make-a-Wish since the travel … to set up trips to Cuba for other children from around … Continue reading
CHANDLER, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES, May 19, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- TurbineAero has been named the recipient of the 2017 Top Shop Award for Best APU Overhaul and Repair from The145.com. The purpose of the Top Shop Award is to recognize repair … Continue reading
The Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, Scholar, and Racial Justice Activist Named EDS’s New Dean CAMBRIDGE, MA, UNITED STATES, May 19, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) and Union Theological Seminary today announced that they have … Continue reading
Cuban Professionals Are Afraid In Venezuela

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 18 May 2017 — Seen from the Venezuelan
opposition as an army of occupation and from the Venezuelan government
as soldiers of socialism, tens of thousands of Cuban professionals live
a situation that is complicated day after day in convulsive
Venezuela. The Cuban government has asked them to stay "until the last
moment," but misery, fear and violence are overwhelming athletes,
doctors and engineers.

"We are not soldiers and we did not come to Venezuela to put a rifle on
our shoulders," says a Cuban doctor from the state of Anzoátegui who
asked for anonymity for fear of reprisals.

According to the physician, who has been working for two years in the
country, Havana has asked them to remain "with honor until the last
moment," in a clear allusion to the possible fall of the Venezuelan
government.

"We are working under a lot of pressure because the Medical Mission is
adept at continuing to insist that services not be closed and that we
maintain our position here in spite of everything," he adds.

In Venezuela there are about 28,000 health workers and thousands of
others who are sports instructors, engineers, agricultural technicians
and even electricians. The model of paying for Cuban professional
services through the export of oil to Cuba has never been clearly
exposed by the Venezuelan government.

According to Nicolás Maduro, since Chavez came to power, more than
250 billion dollars have been invested in the so-called "missions." The
former Minister of Economy of the Island, José Luis Rodríguez, published
last April that Cuba received 11.5 billion dollars a year in payment for
professional services rendered abroad, most of which comes from
Venezuela. Other sources consider, however, that this is a very inflated
number, although Havana's profits are undoubtedly very high.

"We are afraid every day about what could happens to us. Sometimes they
throw stones at us at the CDI [Centro de Diagnóstico Integral, doctor's
offices] or they yell all kinds of insults at us. Every day there are
demonstrations in front of the medical unit and nobody protects us,"
explains the doctor.

"So far they only attack us with words. They shout at us to get out of
here, that they do not want to see themselves like us and other
atrocities," he adds.

The doctor, however, assures that those who work in the missions also do
not want to be in that situation, but they are forced by the Cuban
Government, that exerts pressure through diverse mechanisms.

"If we leave, we lose the frozen accounts maintained for us in Cuba.
Also, if you leave the mission you are frowned upon in the health system
and you have no possibility of being promoted," he explains.

The Cuban government deposits $200 a month in a frozen account that at
the end of the three years the mission lasts in Venezuela, totals
$7,200. If the professional maintained "proper conduct and did their
duty," they can withdraw that money upon their return to the island. If
they return before the established period or their participation in the
mission is revoked (among other reasons for attempting to escape) they
lose all that money.

In Cuba 250 dollars a month are deposited that can be withdrawn when the
professional on the mission visits the Island once a year. Meanwhile, in
Venezuela, they receive 27,000 bolivars, less than 10 dollars a month.

In the case of health technicians, Cuba pays them 180 dollars in a
current account and another 180 dollars a month in an account frozen
until the end of the mission.

A Cuban radiologist who is in the Venezuelan state of Zulia explains
that for months they have no "Mercal," a bag of food delivered by the
Government of Venezuela.

"We live in overcrowded conditions with several colleagues and we do not
even have potable water," he adds.

"Thanks to some patients we can eat, but they are having a very bad
time. We are repeating something like the Special Period that we
experienced in Cuba," he says.

Although he fears for his life because of the situation in the country,
he says he is determined not to return to the island. "We have to endure
until the end. It is not fair to lose everything after so much
sacrifice," he says.

Following the outbreak of the protests in Venezuela, Cuban aid workers
have been directed not to leave their homes and have experienced reduced
communications with their families in Cuba.

"The internet is very bad, you can not even communicate. We have been
forbidden to go out after six o'clock in the afternoon, as if we were
slave labor, and on television they broadcast news that has nothing to
do with what we are living through," he explains.

Julio César Alfonso, president of Solidarity Without Borders, a
Miami-based nonprofit organization that helps Cuban health personnel
integrate into the US system, says the exodus of professionals has
increased in recent weeks.

"Even without the US Medical Professional Parole Program, which allowed
doctors to obtain refuge in the United States, they continue to escape
because of the situation in Venezuela," said the physician.

Alfonso added that his organization is lobbying to re-establish the
Parole Program, eliminated by former President Barack Obama in January,
and allowing more than 8,000 Cuban professionals to enter the United States.

Eddy Gómez is an critical care doctor who worked in the state of Cojedes
in western Venezuela. He decided to escape because he was afraid of the
difficult conditions in which he was forced to work.

"We had to work in dirty places, without air conditioning, exposed to
the fact that even the patients insulted us because we nothing to treat
them with," recalls the doctor who now lives in Bogota and acts as
spokesperson for dozens of other professionals who escaped medical missions.

"After the end of Medical Parole program people have continued to escape
and come to Colombia. There are more than 50 professionals who left
Venezuela after President Obama's decision to eliminate it. We hope that
Trump will admit doctors again," says Gómez.

To escape Venezuela, the Cubans have to pay the coyotes about $650 to
take them to Colombia. The path, full of dangers, includes a bribe to
Venezuela's Bolivarian National Guard that protects the borders, and to
whom they must be careful not to show their official passports issued to
them by the Cuban government because they would immediately be deported
to the Island.

"There are many Cubans who have died violently in Venezuela, but the
Cuban government does not tell the truth to their families, nor does it
pay them compensation," explains the doctor.

"We left Cuba looking for a better life, but in Venezuela we discovered
a real hell."

Source: Cuban Professionals Are Afraid In Venezuela – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/cuban-professionals-are-afraid-in-venezuela/ Continue reading
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Premium Market Research Report on "Commercial Antennas-Global Market Outlook (2016-2022)" is available on Orbis Research. DALLAS, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, May 19, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- According to Stratistics MRC, the Global … Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 18 May 2017 — Seen from the Venezuelan opposition as an army of occupation and from the Venezuelan government as soldiers of socialism, tens of thousands of Cuban professionals live a situation that is complicated day after day in convulsive Venezuela. The Cuban government has asked them to stay “until the last … Continue reading "Cuban Professionals Are Afraid In Venezuela" Continue reading
1980 — Rene Lima-Marin leaves Cuba as a toddler with his … Cubans who reach the United States to remain in the country. Cubans were also protected from deportation to Cuba because of … of relations with Cuba. Cuba agrees to consider taking back Cubans slated for … Continue reading
Trump will not announce highly anticipated changes in Cuba policy
BY NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

After much anticipation that an announcement on Cuba policy changes
would be made no later than Saturday, President Donald Trump — in the
midst of various political crises — has not decided what to do,
officials said.

The White House had considered holding an event May 20 to commemorate
the 115th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban Republic, but Trump will
begin an international trip on Friday and the review of the policy
toward the island has not concluded, a spokeswoman told el Nuevo Herald.

"The issue of Cuba is extremely complex, and the president does not want
to rush it," said the spokeswoman. "Besides, he won't be here on May 20."

The Trump administration is carrying out a review of Cuba policy that
involves several federal agencies and is being coordinated by the
National Security Council.

Rumors of an imminent announcement circulated around Capitol Hill and
even crossed the Florida Straits to the island, although Havana seems
less anxious than before, when Trump's presidential victory and strong
statements raised questions about the so-called "thaw" in diplomatic
relations initiated by former President Barack Obama in 2014.

"Havana is confident that not much will happen," said a businessman
close to the Cuban government.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a drastic change
would not make much sense because the Cuban communist government would
quickly adjust to a policy of confrontation with its historical enemy,
the United States, and because the island is in the throes of a
significant transition — the expected retirement of Cuban leader Raúl
Castro, 86, in February.

"Raúl Castro has nine months left [in office] and you are going to come
out with a new policy to readjust later? What message will that send to
[Cuba's] new president?"

However, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere,
Francisco Palmieri, said last week that Trump's revised Cuba policy
would have "important differences" with the one implemented by Obama and
currently in effect.

"One of the areas that will be a high priority is to ensure that Cuba
makes further substantive progress toward greater respect for human
rights in the country," Palmieri said during a press conference in
Washington, D.C.

That kind of pressure could take the form of more public criticism, for
example in the United Nations, where U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has
already included Cuba among countries where "human rights are widely
disregarded."

But beyond public statements and gestures, "I'm not sure what else they
can do," said a former Obama administration official who was involved
with the diplomatic shift toward Cuba and asked not to be named.

Several other sources with knowledge of the revision options agreed that
changes to the presidential directive issued by Obama in October 2016 —
or its elimination — could be one of the first measures announced by Trump.

However, even the elimination of the directive would be a "largely
symbolic" move, said the former Obama official. Obama's directive, she
said, "clearly set out unambiguously what United States policy was," in
this case a policy of engagement. "To revoke it will not have concrete
consequences as would changes in regulations."

Almost all of Obama's policy is based on new regulations or changes to
existing ones through executive orders. While they could easily be
reversed by the new president, it would require a legal study that would
take more time. And a return to the pre-Obama policy would adversely
affect U.S. companies that have established businesses in Cuba.

The review already has reached the level of deputy and undersecretaries
of the various agencies involved, said another former Obama official,
who also asked not to be named, adding that "the option that is winning
for now is to seek elements within Obama's directive [to eliminate] and
impose symbolic changes."

This would allow the Trump administration, "to gain time to see what
they will do in the long run."

But even if the final recommendations from government agencies end up
being conservative and suggest that Trump should not make drastic
changes at the moment, the administration must present them in a way
that satisfies the pressure from Cuban-American Florida Republicans
Marco Rubio and Mario Díaz-Balart, who have been most visibly involved
in designing a new Cuba policy.

Just days after Trump's electoral victory last year, Díaz-Balart
predicted that a "dramatic" shift in policy toward the island would
ensue. He now says he is "more certain than ever that the president and
vice president's policy on Cuba, which has been announced on numerous
occasions ... will be enforced in a very short time."

Díaz-Balart declined to comment on a memorandum attributed to his office
in which he proposes to eliminate all the measures taken by Obama since
December 2014, in essence to reverse the "thaw." But he said that the
magnitude of the upcoming changes would be such that the "Bay of Pigs
heroes will not feel betrayed and will be very pleased that the
president has fulfilled his commitment and will not make a policy to
appease the regime."

Rubio told el Nuevo Herald in April that he was "sure that President
Trump is going to treat Cuba as the dictatorship that it is." Most
recently, he wrote on his Twitter account that he was still "confident"
that Trump would keep his promise to make changes in Cuba policy.

Follow Nora Gámez Torres in Twitter: 305-376-2169, @ngameztorres

Source: President Trump remains mum on Cuba policy changes | Miami
Herald -
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article151099482.html Continue reading
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Washington, May 16 (RHC)-- In the United States, more lawmakers on Capitol Hill are calling on President Donald Trump to surrender any recordings of former FBI head James Comey.   In a highly unusual move, Trump last week appeared to suggest on Twitter … Continue reading
El Sexto' Will Stay In The US But Will Continue To Fight Against
Arbitrary Detentions In Cuba

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 15 May 2017 — The artist Danilo
Maldonado, known as 'El Sexto' (The Sixth), announced his desire to
reside in the United States, although he will remain attentive to what
happens in Cuba to be able to denounce the arbitrary detentions.

Maldonado, whose girlfriend, Alexandra Martinez, is a US citizen,
declined to respond to a request from 14ymedio to confirm his decision
to remain in the United States. For her part, Martinez said that the
artist was not going to give statements on the matter.

El Sexto recently concluded the exhibition Angels and Demons in San
Francisco, where he staged a three-day performance in which he was
enclosed in a replica of the punishment cell in Havana's Combinado del
Este prison where he was held.

In 2014 he tried to stage a performance titled "Animal Farm," in which
he intended to release two pigs with the names Fidel and Raul painted on
their sides. Although he never managed to stage the performance, it cost
him 10 months in Valle Grande prison, on the outskirts of Havana.

The artist has been arrested three times for political reasons

In the dark hours of the morning after the announcement of the death of
Fidel Castro, Danilo wrote "He left" on one of the walls of the Habana
Libre Hotel, which cost him another 55 days in prison.

"This can not be a one-day protest, right now this is happening in many
countries, even our neighbors, and we have to report it," Maldonado told
EFE in reference to repressive actions against dissidents and human
rights activists.

During the 36 hours of the performance in San Francisco,
titled Amnesty, El Sexto remained without food in solidarity with the
Cuban political prisoners Eduardo Cardet and Julio Ferrer, among
others. The artist also dedicated his hunger strike to Leopoldo López
and the other Venezuelan political prisoners.

Maldonado took the pseudonym El Sexto (The Sixth), with which he signed
his graffiti on the streets of Havana, as an ironic response to the
Cuban government's campaign for the return of the so-called "Cuban
Five," five spies who were then in prison in the United States.

In 2015, Danilo Maldonado, 34, received the Vaclav Havel Prize for
Creative Dissent, awarded to activists "who engage in creative dissent,
exhibiting courage and creativity to challenge injustice and live in truth."

Source: 'El Sexto' Will Stay In The US But Will Continue To Fight
Against Arbitrary Detentions In Cuba – Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/el-sexto-will-stay-in-the-us-but-will-continue-to-fight-against-arbitrary-detentions-in-cuba/ Continue reading
Obama Ordered The U.S. Intelligence Community To Share Intel With Cuba
In the waning days of his administration, President Barack Obama ordered
the U.S. intelligence community to share information with communist Cuba.
MAY 16, 2017 By Sean Davis

Just a month before the 2016 election, President Barack Obama signed a
policy directive ordering the U.S. intelligence community to share
sensitive U.S. intelligence with Cuba's communist government, despite
the fact that one of the top U.S. intelligence official had branded Cuba
as one of America's biggest espionage threats. The presidential policy
directive, which was issued as part of the Obama administration's
efforts to normalize U.S. relations with the Castro regime, required the
Office of the Director of National Intelligence to "exchange information
on mutual threats with Cuban counterparts."

"The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) will support
broader United States Government efforts to normalize relations with
Cuba, with Intelligence Community elements working to find opportunities
for engagement on areas of common interest through which we could
exchange information on mutual threats with Cuban counterparts," the
Obama directive stated.


The Obama administration put some flesh on the bones of the October 2016
directive by signing a January 2017 law enforcement agreement with Cuba
officially committing the U.S. to sharing sensitive intelligence with
the island nation's communist regime.

"The memorandum signed Monday commits the U.S. and Cuba to sharing
information, carrying out joint investigations and possibly stationing
law-enforcement officials in each other's countries," the Associated
Press (AP) reported just days before Obama left office. The AP report
characterized the agreement as a "pledge to share intelligence with
Cuban state security."

USA Today noted that Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security
adviser, was physically present at the signing ceremony for the
U.S.-Cuba intelligence-sharing agreement on January 16, 2017.

While the Obama administration's plan to share U.S. intelligence with
Cuban spies was immediately opposed by a handful of Republican members
of Congress, the intel sharing agreement received scant attention from
most mainstream U.S. media sources.

In its primary report announcing the initial Obama administration policy
directive last October, for example, the New York Times did not even
mention the controversial intelligence-sharing agreement with Castro's
government. That report ran on the front page of the newspaper the
morning after the Obama directive was issued.

Several lawmakers noted at the time that the intelligence-sharing deal
with Cuba could result in the communist regime sending U.S. intelligence
to Iran.

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, testified
to Congress just months before Obama inked his deal with Cuba that the
Castro regime represented one of the top global espionage threats
against the U.S.

"Targeting and collection of US political, military, economic, and
technical information by foreign intelligence services continues
unabated," Clapper said in prepared remarks before the Senate Armed
Services Committee in February of 2016. "Russia and China pose the
greatest threat, followed by Iran and Cuba on a lesser scale."

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American member of Congress,
characterized the Obama administration's deal with Cuba as "reckless,
dangerous, and contrary to U.S. national security interests."

Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.

Source: Obama Forced U.S. To Share Intelligence With Castro's Regime In
Cuba -
https://thefederalist.com/2017/05/16/obama-ordered-u-s-intelligence-community-share-intel-cuba/ Continue reading
To collectors of 20th-century electronic devices, the ultimate prize is an Apple-1, but it takes deep pockets to score one, as our report reveals. NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, May 16, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- NEW YORK – The allure of … Continue reading
14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 15 May 2017 — The artist Danilo Maldonado, known as ‘El Sexto’ (The Sixth), announced his desire to reside in the United States, although he will remain attentive to what happens in Cuba to be able to denounce the arbitrary detentions. Maldonado, whose girlfriend, Alexandra Martinez, is a US citizen, declined to respond … Continue reading "‘El Sexto’ Will Stay In The US But Will Continue To Fight Against Arbitrary Detentions In Cuba" Continue reading
14ymedio, Havana, 14 May 2017 – This Sunday Cuban State Security prevented Yoandy Izquierdo, a member of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC), from boarding a flight to Sweden to participate in the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF). The car in which the activist was traveling to José Martí International Airport was intercepted by the police, according to … Continue reading "State Security Prevents Yoandy Izquierdo From Boarding A Flight For Sweden" Continue reading