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Cuban Prima Ballerina Viengsay Valdes Performs in Russia

<p style="text-align: justify;"> HAVANA, Cuba. -Prima ballerina Viengsay Valdes was invited to dance on Friday as the guest of honor of the 11th International Ballet Festival of the Mariinsky Theater, to give in Saint Petersburg a Cuban brushstroke to the piece Carmen.On the previous occasion, in 2009, I danced Don Quixote, and my debut in the role of Carmen -one of my favorites, now in the Russian version- will be on Sunday., the famous Cuban dancer told the Prensa Latina news agency. Carmen has not been performed in Cuba for almost 10 years now, not even by Cuban artists, so dancing this ballet in the centennial of the Mariinski Theater, with a live orchestra, will be very exiting for me, she stated. Read More

Another International Prize for Cuba’s Heberprot-P

<p style="text-align: justify;"> HAVANA, Cuba. -The Cuban product Heberprot-P received the prize to the Best Young Inventor during the recently concluded 39th edition of the International Exhibition of Inventions held in Geneva, Switzerland, after winning scarcely a month ago the Gold Medal given by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).Maria de los Angeles Sanchez, director of the Cuban Office for Patent Rights, said that over 1,000 inventions in all branches of science and technology, coming from some 45 nations, were presented during the event, considered to be one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world, the Granma newspaper reported on Friday. Read More

Venezuela's Chavez: Reforms not sign Cuba model failing

<p style="text-align: justify;">Agence France-Presse. CARACAS - Venezuela President Hugo Chavez called the recent economic reforms in close ally Cuba "refreshing" and denied they were proof that its Communist economic model had failed."It's a process that has just begun, a stage, as (Cuba President) Raul (Castro) has described it, or refreshing, as I have said ... We will see the results," he told state TV in a telephone interview late Thursday. Read More

Critical look at new travel regulations

<p style="text-align: justify;">Pro-Cuba-travel activist John McAuliff seems not overly impressed by the new guidelines issued by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.McAuliff, executive director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, said in an e-mail to Cuban Colada that, although "the language for general licenses [...] marks an important step forward for student and religious travel [...] the language for specific licenses raises all the predicted problems of cumbersome bureaucracy, wasting time on fine tuning the rights of Americans for political purposes and diverting resources from more serious tasks." Read More

An end to classic cars rumbling across Cuba?

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Shasta Darlington, CNN. April 22, 2011 -- Updated 2111 GMT (0511 HKT) Havana, Cuba (CNN)&nbsp;&nbsp; They rumble down city boulevards and country roads across Cuba: 1950s Fords, Buicks and Pontiacs, some in mint condition, others on the verge of collapse.But a new law regulating property ownership in Cuba could change that.At the recent four-day summit of the country's Communist Party, President Raul Castro announced that the legal framework allowing people to buy and sell cars and homes was in the "final stages." What will this mean to the average Cuban? Read More

Singer Argelia Fragoso: Worldwide Cuban Music Boom

<p style="text-align: justify;">Havana, Apr 22 (Prensa Latina) The interest in Cuban music has grown in recent years on the international scene, Cuban singer Argelia Fragoso, who lived for years in Spain, told Prensa Latina.&nbsp; It is a tangible reality, not only because of the presence of Cuban musicians abroad, but also in the interest of artists from other regions in learning about our music, Fragoso said."We have had great musicians who have taken to these audiences the endless wealth of our cultural heritage," she said. Read More

Cuba grants jailed militant early release

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA (AFP) – An anti-Castro Cuban militant jailed for his role in an armed operation against the communist government in 1996 has been released, activists said Friday.Efrain Rivas, 50, was released Thursday after serving 15 years of a 20-year term for "activities against state security" and "terrorism," said the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation. Read More

Youth, Love and Sex – Fewer Constraints

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Ivet González. HAVANA, Apr 22, 2011 (IPS) - Cuba's young people today feel they have more freedom to navigate the waters of romantic feelings in an uncomplicated way.With disarming candour, 20-year-old Laura Torres tells IPS that "a girl does not necessarily have to fall in love with every guy." A glassworks employee, Torres adds, "Nowadays you have more choices than before, and relationships can work out better." Read More

China to support Cuba’s economic reforms

<p style="text-align: justify;">In a major symbolic gesture of support, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to support Cuba on its path of economic reform.China is Cuba’s second-largest economic partner and has provided billions of dollars in low-interest loans.In a message to former President Fidel Castro — published by Cuba’s official media on Thursday — Hu expressed his satisfaction about the 311-point reform package the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba approved this week. Read More

Cruises to Cuba coming?

<p style="text-align: justify;">Written by Shawn Dake Shipping News Apr 21, 2011. United Caribbean Lines is a company without ships that isn’t anywhere near starting service yet, but has come up with an interesting concept.&nbsp; They plan to use converted Danish ferries for service from Tampa, Florida to Havana, Cuba, with a possible secondary service to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.&nbsp;&nbsp; The overnight voyages would take 18 hours each way.&nbsp; Should Cuba open up to U.S. tourism this line could be riding in on the first wave.&nbsp; Perennial cruise executive, Bruce Nierenberg is the man behind this latest venture. Read More