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Cuba: U.S. embargo causes $1 trillion in losses

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Portia Siegelbaum.September 14, 2011 1:50 PM. Cuba blames the U.S. embargo for nearly a trillion dollars in losses to the island's economy since it was imposed by President Kennedy in 1962. Vice Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno said that at current prices a conservative estimate of economic damages to the island up until December 2010 would be more than $104 billion. However, he added, if you take into consideration the extreme devaluation of the dollar against the price of gold on the international financial market during 2010, they would add up to nearly a trillion dollars. Read More

Richardson says won't see jailed American in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">AP. By PAUL HAVEN. HAVANA (AP) — Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday that he would leave Cuba after exhausting all possible avenues to try to win the release of a U.S. government subcontractor sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against the state. Richardson, who previously vowed to remain on the island until he at least got to see jailed Maryland native Alan Gross, said he changed his mind after meetings with the Cuban government and other influential groups failed to yield any results. He said he would leave Wednesday. Read More

Cuba: Standoff at Havana church as dangerous as Waco

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Portia Siegelbaum . A top Cuban church official told CBS News the situation created by a Pentecostal pastor who has barricaded himself along with an unspecified number of followers in his former Havana church is "as dangerous as Waco," the 1993 FBI siege and assault on the "Branch Davidian" sect in Texas. The Cuban government on Sunday issued a statement on what it called "the unusual situation" in the Pentecostal Church in Centro Habana. The statement said more than 60 people, including 19 children and four pregnant women, were voluntarily locked in the building on a "spiritual retreat." Read More

Cuba travel set to take off as flight options expand

<p style="text-align: justify;">Sunday, 09.11.11. Mimi Whitefield. MiamiHerald.com. Miami is no longer the only show in town when it comes to Cuba travel. Charter firms have been authorized to offer service from airports around the country, including Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Vivian Mannerud has been in the business of arranging air charters to Cuba long enough to have seen it all — from the passengers who wear several hats on their heads to avoid extra baggage fees to the woman who stuffed sausages in her curlers. The grease running down her face was a giveaway. Read More

While Cuba exists, Bola de Nieve will exist

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Susana Méndez.&nbsp; CUBARTE | 11 de Septiembre 2011. A wide program of cultural and artistic actions will take place to celebrate the Hundred years of Ignacio Villa, Bola de Nieve. The program has been designed by the Association of of Cuban Artists and Writers (UNEAC, after its initials in Spanish). Therefore, it was held a meeting with the press, chaired over by the president of the institution Miguel Barnet. In the meeting were also present Guido López Gavilán, president of the music section of UNEAC, Nisia Agüero, famous cultural promoter, Heriberto Feraudy representative of the Aponte Commission and the pianist Nelson Camacho, who for many years have played the music of Ignacio Villa. Read More

Extraordinary Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">Visit is no ordinary island vacation to Caribbean nation. BY ELLEN CREAGER. Detroit Free Press. Sunday, September 11, 2011. Editor's Note: In August, travel writer Ellen Creager toured with the first American tourists to visit Cuba legally under a new program. Here's her trip to Havana: HAVANA, Cuba -- The mojitos were in our hands, and we could see the shimmering blue of the Caribbean.But this was no ordinary island vacation. Television cameras whirred as a group of Americans checked into Havana's stately Hotel Nacional, as history was being made -- by us. Read More

Fidel Castro speaks in Venezuelan TV interview

<p style="text-align: justify;">The Associated Press. CARACAS, Venezuela — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro jokingly dismissed rumors that he might be sick in an interview aired on Venezuelan state television. Audio of the interview, which took place in Cuba, was broadcast late Friday along with photos of the 85-year-old Castro. Castro seemed upbeat as he responded to rumors that he might be ill or near death saying, "You don't say! Well, they haven't told me anything." Read More

Oil discovery in Cuba gets US notice

<p style="text-align: justify;">The US is watching closely as Cuba prepares to exploit deep-water reserves.Nick MiroffSeptember 10, 2011 08:25. HAVANA, Cuba — Somewhere between here and China, a hulking, hungry oil rig dubbed “Scarabeo 9” is making its way across the oceans, preparing to put a very controversial hole deep in the Gulf of Mexico. To nervous Floridians, even its name suggests “scare,” or “scar.” It will puncture the sea floor in Cuban-controlled waters just 60 miles off the Florida Keys, not far from a protected coastline where offshore drilling is banned under U.S. law. Read More

Photos show Fidel Castro alive

<p style="text-align: justify;">Havana: Photographs of a frail but apparently well Fidel Castro were posted on a Cuban government website on Thursday, following recent rumors that the 85-year-old former president was gravely ill or had died. Castro, who had been out of sight for two months, was shown in what looked to be his Havana home chatting with Venezuelan state television commentator Mario Silva, who said he had come to Cuba to put to rest false reports about Castro's health. Read More

U.S. urged to cooperate with Cuba on offshore oil

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA (Reuters) - The United States must work with its ideological foe Cuba on joint safety plans as the communist island readies to begin exploration of its still-untapped Gulf of Mexico oil fields, the co-chief of the U.S. BP oil spill investigation said on Wednesday. William Reilly told reporters the United States should make its expertise and equipment available in case of an accident when a Chinese-made rig begins drilling for oil later this year in Cuban waters about 60 miles from the Florida Keys. Read More

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