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Food imports put Cuban reforms at risk

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA, July 28 (UPI) -- High food imports are putting Cuban economic reforms at risk because of the drain they pose on foreign exchange resources.The government sounded warnings about rising food commodities import bills after it emerged that while Vietnam, the lead exporter, saw earnings rise from rice sales to Cuba, Havana's&nbsp; state trade sector wasn't too pleased about the situation.Cuban President Raul Castro has been exhorting Cubans to become self-reliant and has laid off of tens of thousands of government employees to cut state spending and signal his readiness to accept a gradual shift toward a market-oriented economy. Read More

Cuban Tourism: A Single Strategy of Stability and Growth

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Roberto F. Campos. lunes, 25 de julio de 2011.08:53. Havana (PL) The development of the Cuban tourist industry is a focus of attention for the government on the island, and its impressive growth was recently reiterated by Carmen Casals, director of communications of the Ministry of Tourism.During a meeting with communicators from six Latin American countries at Havana´s José Martí International Institute of Journalism, the expert predicted a promising future for this sector. Read More

José Martí Revolution Square is becoming 50 years old

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Angel Rodríguez. 07/26/2011. The idea of building a square to pay tribute to our national hero, Jose Marti, goes back to 1935. However, it was only in the beginning of the 40’s that people started to work in its conception and was defined where would it placed: the Catalanes Hill.The project was taken to competition and was won by the sculptor Juan Jose Sucre and the architect Aquiles Maza, who had finished in the third place. The government of Fulgencio Batista ordered the public employees to give to working days and was held a postage stamp emission with obliged contribution, with which were collected millions of pesos, a good part of them, however, were misappropriate. Read More

Castro Offers a Wave at Cuban Fete, but, Again, No Speech

<p style="text-align: justify;">By DAMIEN CAVE.July 26, 2011. CIEGO DE ÁVILA, Cuba — For the second year in a row, Raúl Castro left the rhetoric to his vice president.Mr. Castro waved to the crowd gathered here on Tuesday in the countryside for the annual rite of a revolutionary holiday. But as was the case last year, the actual message — calling on Cubans to work harder and accelerate economic reforms — came from a party stalwart who fought at his side during the rebellion. Read More

Chavez sings, optimistic after 1st week of chemo

<p style="text-align: justify;">By JORGE RUEDA. Associated Press. CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sang and recited a poem in honor of independence hero Simon Bolivar on Sunday, appearing upbeat and energetic after his first week of chemotherapy in Cuba. Chavez said in a televised speech that he is optimistic he will survive cancer, but added that risks remain and that he is under strict orders from his doctors to limit his agenda. After returning to Caracas on Saturday night, Chavez said thorough tests have found no signs that any cancer cells have reappeared. Read More

A Cuban housing market? Govt is lifting a taboo

<p style="text-align: justify;">AP. By PETER ORSI - Associated Press. HAVANA (AP) — Each morning before the sun rises too high, Cubans gather at a shaded corner in central Havana, mingling as though at a cocktail party. The icebreaker is always the same: "What are you offering?" This is Cuba's informal real-estate bazaar, where a chronic housing shortage brings everyone from newlyweds to retirees together to strike deals that often involve thousands of dollars in under-the-table payments. They're breaking not just the law but communist doctrine by trading and profiting in property, and now their government is about to get in on the action. Read More

Gustavo Kourí Flores

<p style="text-align: justify;">Leader of tropical medicine in Cuba. Born in Havana, Cuba, on Jan 11, 1936, he died in Havana on May 5, 2011, aged 75 years. Gustavo Kourí Flores will be remembered for developing biomedical research in his native Cuba and encouraging a generation of investigators and practitioners in tropical medicine. “He was an educator of men and women of science, but never lost sight of the practical aspects of surveillance, prevention, and control of infectious diseases in countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America”, said Eric Martínez, a researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kourí (IPK) in Havana, Cuba, and a consultant to the Pan-American Health Organization in Brazil. Read More

Cuba nurses East Timor to health and gives Australia a medical lesson

<p style="text-align: justify;">July 23, 2011.What do Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, and Richard Marles, the parliamentary secretary for Pacific island affairs in the Gillard government, have in common? Answer: both are visiting Havana, Cuba, at the moment for reasons of a medical nature. The leader of the Bolivarian revolution is getting follow-up cancer treatment in a Cuban hospital, courtesy of his friend and guiding light, Fidel Castro.Julia Gillard's junior minister is there to talk about linking up the health assistance programs of Cuba and Australia in the small countries of our region, including East Timor and the Pacific island states. Read More

Cuba takes measures to relieve housing crisis

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Juan Carlos Salazar Jul 22, 2011, 12:31 GMT.&nbsp; Havana - Georgina Emma Brizuela, who lives in the Havana neighbourhood of San Miguel del Padron, decided two years ago to become the legal owner of her home. In July 2009, she embarked on a lengthy administrative battle, which the Cuban press describes as 'a real nightmare,' and is now about to throw in the towel.She took a lawyers, wrote several letters and had meetings with a string off officials but never managed to get through the bureaucracy. Read More

Socialist civil society can contribute much to Cuba’s culture

<p style="text-align: justify;">Pedro de la Hoz. A meeting of representatives from cultural foundations and associations convened by the Nicolás Guillén Foundation, to commemorate its first two decades, demonstrated the undeniable contributions – and above all, the undeveloped potential – of these entities, which are part of Cuba’s socialist civil society.Emphasizing this last concept is important. As part of tendentious manipulations disseminated by enemies of the Revolution, some communications media have echoed the presumed existence of a civil society which lies outside of the country’s legal margins, and which is counterpoised to popular values and aspirations. Read More

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