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Cuba congress embraces, refines Raul Castro reforms

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Jeff Franks Jeff Franks. HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba's Communist Party congress suggested refinements to President Raul Castro's wide-ranging national reforms in weekend meetings, but generally embraces his overhaul of the ailing Cuban economy, state-run media reported on Monday.The 1,000 delegates met in five separate commissions on Sunday where they backed Castro's proposals to slash government jobs, cut the universal monthly food ration, encourage more private initiative and take other steps to boost productivity while maintaining central planning. Read More

Cuba Education Tour's New Website: A Diary of an American Service Dog in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">This new website offers the first-ever the story of an American service dog visiting Cuba. It is told by his traveling companion Davis Hawn. Mr. Hawn, a grad student at Bergin University of Canine Studies, and his service dog Booster, joined a Cuba Education Tour in March 2011. They remained on the island for an extra three weeks to conduct research, meet the people and make new friends.Booster went to Cuba with me as part of my Bergin University Master's degree program in Canine Life Sciences. My thesis is titled Project Fidelity. Its focus is to introduce Cubans to the value of assistance and therapy dogs (which are uncommon in Cuba). Read More

Co-ops to expand beyond agriculture

<p style="text-align: justify;">Five commissions discussed a 311-point economic reform package during the 6th Congress of the Communist Party Sunday at the Conventions Palace in Havana.The first commission, in charge of the organization of the overall economy, emphasized the necessity to promote foreign joint ventures and cooperatives. Privately-owned cooperatives, which have existed in agriculture since the 1990s, will expand into “a variety of activities,” a summary on the Communist Party Website said. Read More

Hurricane season 'could ease' Cuba's drought

<p style="text-align: justify;">Over 100,000 residents of Havana were without running water this past week as Cuba faces its worst drought in 50 years. Last Modified: 17 Apr 2011 19:53. Cuba is facing its worst drought in 50 years [EPA] Over 100,000 residents of Havana were without running water this past week as Cuba faces its worst drought in 50 years. Read More

Grandparents Sing through Frank Fernandez

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Marta Sánchez. El canto de mis abuelos (My Grandparent’s Song), the title of the most recent album by Frank Fernandez, allows the pianist, among the best in the world, to show himself just as he is.“For the first time I give free rein to everything motivating me,” maintains Fernandez, a composer of every type of theme, who with the present compilation renders tribute to African and Spanish ancestors in Cuba Read More

Cuban Communist Party Receives Worldwide Congratulations for its Congress

<p style="text-align: justify;">2011.04.17 - 12:07:14 / HAVANA, Cuba. - Communist parties from all over the world have sent congratulation messages to their Cuban counterpart (PCC) on the occasion of its Sixth Congress, underway at Havana’s Convention Center.The Chinese Communist Party (PCCh) sent a message congratulating the Cuban communists and the people in general. It adds that under the leadership of the PCC, the Cuban people works hard to develop the national economy and to improve the population’s life standards, and have gained international support for this reason. Read More

Arias triumphs after referee stops fight

<p style="text-align: justify;">Boxer defeats Fields for Wisconsin Golden Gloves title. By Gary D’Amato of the Journal Sentinel. April 17, 2011. Donald Fields said he wasn't hurt, but referee Angel Villarreal had seen enough. Twice given standing eight-counts in the first round, Fields was taking more punishment to the body from Luis "Cuba" Arias when Villarreal waved off the 165-pound final in the Wisconsin Golden Gloves boxing tournament Saturday night. Read More

“Old Havana, City in Motion” Meeting

<p style="text-align: justify;">"Old Havana: City in Motion” running from April 13 to 17 with the attendance of some 22 foreign groups and choreographers from about 15 countries and 35 national groups from 8 provinces of the country. This Festival, turned into a meeting of the arts overall because of their intermingling with other artistic expressions proposes every morning lectures, master classes and workshops, and announces passacaglias and presentations by guest artists, whereas every night will close at El Jardín “Las Carolinas” (Las Carolinas Garden), headquarters of the Danza-Teatro Retazos (Retazos Dance Theater). Read More

Cuba explores for oil as U.S. watches

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Lesley on Sun, Apr. 17, 2011. Less than 75 miles off the Florida Keys, Cuba’s plan to explore for oil and gas in waters even deeper than BP’s Deepwater Horizon well has U.S. officials on alert.U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acknowledged this past week that Cuba’s oil and gas explorations are an “issue of concern.’’ “We’re watching it closely,” Salazar said. “Obviously, because it’s located 60 miles off the coast of Florida… it’s an issue that we’re monitoring carefully." The presidential commission that investigated last year’s BP spill recommended that Cuba and the United States. talk about oil drilling. Read More

Cubans welcome Castro call to limit leaders' terms

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Jeff Franks and Rosa Tania Valdes. HAVANA. Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:15pm EDT. HAVANA (Reuters) - Cubans mostly welcomed President Raul Castro's call at a Communist Party congress this weekend to limit the terms of island leaders, saying on Sunday it would bring new blood to the government the Castros and their aging colleagues have ruled for 52 years.The 79-year-old president told 1,000 delegates at the start of the four-day congress on Saturday that limiting high political and state positions to two five-year terms would help "guarantee the systematic rejuvenation" of leadership. Read More