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New US rules promise legal Cuba travel for many

<p style="text-align: justify;">By PETER ORSI, Associated Press Peter Orsi. HAVANA – The forbidden fruit of American travel is once again within reach. New rules issued by the Obama administration will allow Americans wide access to communist-led Cuba, already a mecca for tourists from other nations.Within months or even weeks, thousands of people from Seattle to Sarasota could be shaking their hips in tropical nightclubs and sampling the famous stogies, without having to sneak in through a third country and risk the Treasury Department's wrath. Read More

Prompting Cubans to Think and Talk

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA, May 20, 2011 (IPS) - "I talk to deal with problems. In Cuba, there is too much formal, repetitive discourse and not enough directed at people, with their anxieties and joys," said Manuel Calviño, the host and writer of a television programme that tries not to add to that deficit.Calviño, a psychologist, university professor and excellent communicator, uses his weekly Friday programme, "Vale la pena" ("It’s Worth It"), to provoke his viewers and make them think about issues that impact the individual, family and society. Read More

USF's hopes renewed by court's interest in Cuba ban

<p style="text-align: justify;">By LINDSAY PETERSON | The Tampa Tribune. May 18, 2011. Updated: May 20, 2011 - 11:07 AM. TAMPA. University research projects in a dozen disciplines came to a halt in Florida five years ago when the state Legislature passed what amounted to a ban on academic trips to Cuba.The state ban held even when the Obama administration announced in January it was relaxing federal rules on travel to Cuba.But Florida academic researchers allowed their hopes rise this week when they heard the U.S. Supreme Court had invited the administration to file a brief in a case challenging Florida's 2006 law. Read More

National Ballet of Cuba performing locally

<p style="text-align: justify;">The Downey Patriot. COSTA MESA – The National Ballet of Cuba will be at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa where they will present "The Magic of Dance" June 15-19."The Magic of Dance" is a collection of excerpts from classical ballet works of the 19th century, including "Swan Lake," "Giselle," "Coppelia," "The Sleeping Beauty," "Don Quixote," "The Nutcracker" and "Gottschalk Symphony." The compilation program is choreographed by Alicia Alonso, the company's founder.Formed in 1948, the company occupies a prominent place in Hispanic and international ballet culture. The tiny island of Cuba has produced one of the foremost schools of ballet, which has trained all of the company’s dancers. Read More

Cuban plans to lift remaining restriction against hiring non-relatives

<p style="text-align: justify;">The last requirements on hiring only relatives will be lifted, the Cuban government announces. By Juan O. Tamayo.elnuevoherald.com. The Cuban government has agreed to expand the types of private businesses allowed to hire non-family members as employees,in an apparent attempt to speed up the push to create new jobs for the 1.3 million public employees it plans to lay off.A report in the official Granma newspaper Tuesday said the Council of Ministers also reported that tax collections and the sugar harvest had improved, but hinted that high world oil and food prices will force the government to tighten its already cinched belt this year. Read More

Puerto Rico, Dominica and Cuba embrace their Taino Indian heritage

<p style="text-align: justify;">Taino heritage sites in Cuba. Many of the names of Cuba’s cities and towns, including Havana, are derived from Taino words. Cuba does not retain the extensive Native American genetic inheritance of Puerto Rico, but contains many outstanding archaeological sites. Cuba’s Native American heritage is very much a part of being “Cuban.” Since this enlightenment, the government of Cuba has restored several Taino villages completely as “living history” museums and tourist attractions. These projects include sites on the island of Guama, in the town of Guardalavaca and near the city of Santiago de Cuba.Cuba’s official Taino Museum is located in Baracoa.&nbsp; There are at least 50 Native American ruins and archaeological sites in the vicinity of Baracoa. Read More

SOUTH AFRICA: Cuba helps to train rural doctors

<p style="text-align: justify;">Sharon Dell. 15 May 2011. South Africa's high-profile programme involving the training of medical students in Cuba is part of an urgent national drive to increase the number of doctors being produced by the skills-short country. The government is also pushing universities to boost the number of home-grown medical graduates.One of the main drawcards of the Cuban system was its emphasis on primary health care and prevention in a country with a large rural population, according to national health department spokesman Fidel Hadebe. Read More

Drilling Offshore Cuba Will Be Safe, Cuban Official Says

<p style="text-align: justify;">May 13th, 2011. Cuba offered public assurances on Thursday about the safety of its plans to develop offshore oil fields in the face of U.S. concerns over the island’s ability to handle an oil spill.With Cuba set to begin large-scale oil exploration in its Gulf of Mexico waters later this year, some political leaders in Florida have urged U.S. President Barack Obama to find a way to halt the plan, saying they are worried about the possible environmental impact on the state from any accident.Cuban officials sought to highlight their regulatory precautions during an oil safety conference held in Trinidad and Tobago, offering an unusually public discussion outside of Cuba of its oil project. Read More

Barbados writer recognised for powerful literature

<p style="text-align: justify;">Barbados writer recognised for powerful literature – While George Lamming awarded in Havana; Derek Walcott wins in Trinidad. In less than one month in 2011, it appears that an unprecedented number of literary prizes were awarded to major Caribbean writers in their own region.On May 6, the distinguished author George Lamming was awarded the Caribbean Hibiscus Prize in Cuba, according to his HNP publisher. Read More

U.S. Cuba programs: the stuff of spies?

<p style="text-align: justify;">The U.S. government Cuba democracy programs are being revamped to address concerns from Congress, which have held up the $20 million budget.By Frances Robles.miamiherald.com. To the U.S. government aid workers who he suspected were secret agents, Cuban professor Raul Capote was “Pablo.” He went by “Daniel” with his Cuban government contacts, who were spies for sure. Read More

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