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Raul Castro, Machado elected top Cuba party chiefs

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba's ruling Communist Party elected President Raul Castro and First Vice President Jose Machado Ventura to lead the country's highest political body on Tuesday, choosing party veterans to oversee a new economic course for the Caribbean nation.The choice of Castro, 79, who replaces his older brother Fidel Castro as First Secretary of the ruling party's Central Committee, was expected. Read More

Cuban 6th Party Congress Concludes

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Ileana Ferrer Fonte.Havana, Apr 19 (Prensa Latina) The 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) concludes Tuesday in this capital after three days of debates in which delegates focused on the updating of the country´s economic model.New Cuban Political Bureau to Be Elected Tuesday Participants in the meeting which started on Saturday, April 16, discussed and approved the event´s Central Report, presented by the second secretary of the party, Raul Castro, at the opening session. Read More

Cuba approves economic changes at party summit

<p style="text-align: justify;">Tuesday, April 19, 2011. HAVANA. Cubans hoped to get details Tuesday of the sweeping economic changes and new leadership choices their government approved in closed-door meetings as the Communist Party held its last day of talks, to be concluded with a closing speech by President Raul Castro.Delegates approved about 300 economic proposals in a unanimous vote Monday _ including a measure that apparently recommends legalizing the buying and selling of private property. Read More

Cuba OKs economic shifts, to elect new party chief

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA (AFP) – Cuba's Communist Party has approved a flurry of measures meant to keep its centrally planned economy from collapse but without any broad embrace of market-oriented economic change.The changes inject a modicum of the free market into the island's economy ahead of a vote Tuesday expected to officially relieve 84-year-old Fidel Castro of his position as party head after more than four decades. Read More

Cuban Communist Party begins voting on leadership

<p style="text-align: justify;">Monday, 04.18.11.Results to be announced Tuesday at the end of Communist Party Congress.By Juan O. Tamayo. A crucial meeting of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party began voting Monday on its key agenda items — a new leadership for a party ruled by Fidel Castro since its founding in 1965, and a shift toward private enterprise for the island’s Soviet-styled economy.The official Prensa Latina news agency distributed a photograph of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro casting a ballot marked “Candidacy for Central Committee membership.” A circle marked “Vote for All” was checked, indicating he did not pick and chose among the candidates. Read More

Exclusive: Jewish group visits Alan Gross in Cuban jail

<p style="text-align: justify;">Posted by Portia Siegelbaum.April 18, 2011 1:27 PM. HAVANA - American contractor Alan Gross, serving a 15-year sentence for sedition, was allowed a visit Monday morning by leaders of Cuba's Jewish community.President Adela Dworin of the Jewish Community of Cuba says they delivered traditional Passover food to a "visibly emotional" Gross, who Dworin describes as being in "a good physical state." Read More

Cuba calls agricultural leasing program a big success

<p style="text-align: justify;">April 18, 2011. EFE. Havana –&nbsp; A program launched in 2008 with the aim of expanding agricultural production has seen 63 percent of Cuba's idle farmland and pasture leased to more than 143,000 individuals and cooperatives, exceeding "all expectations," a top official said Monday.The director of the National Center for Control of the Land, Pedro Olivera, told a press conference in Havana that already 922,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) have been turned over.Around 70 percent of those who have taken out leases had no previous experience in agriculture, he said. Read More

Cuba: Int'l Golf Tournaments Began on Sunday in Varadero

<p style="text-align: justify;">ACN. Apr 18, 2011 10:55 AM. More than 65 foreign players are participating in the Montecristo Golf Cup and the Esencia 2011 Cup that began on Sunday and will run through Saturday, April 23rd, in the Cuban seaside resort of Varadero, in the western province of Matanzas, a little over 140 kilometers east of Havana.Varadero Golf Club is the largest golf field in Cuba.According to Milagro Diaz, an executive at the Varadero Golf Club, both tournaments are sponsored by the Palmares S.A. and the Esencia S.A. corporations.&nbsp; Varadero will also host the First Ana Gabriela Guevara Tournament on October 13-17 with the participation of the Mexican former athletics Olympic star after whom the event has been named. Read More

Festival of Celt Music and Traditions in Havana

<p style="text-align: justify;">ACN. Monday, 18 April 2011 06:55. HAVANA.- The Second Annual Festival of Celt Music and Traditions began on Friday in Havana and will run through April 24th with the participation of artists from Ireland, Canada and the Spanish regions of Galicia and Asturias.The event is sponsored by the Havana City Historian's Office and the Canadian-Irish CeltFest Society. Its program includes concerts, workshops and exhibitions, as well as parades and performances by dancers and bagpipers in plazas and streets of Old Havana. Read More

Cuba's Communist Party begins vote for new leaders

<p style="text-align: justify;">The Canadian Press.By The Associated Press.HAVANA - Cuba's Communist Party has begun the process of electing new leaders in a vote that is likely to formally name Raul Castro first secretary in place of his brother. All eyes are on the selection of the No. 2 position, which could go to a younger leader.An official photograph taken by state media from inside the spacious convention hall where the party congress is taking place shows Raul placing his vote inside a ballot box. Read More