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Cell phones and the cost of living in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Kate Dries | Jul. 14, 2011. When I first came to Cuba in 1995, cell phone service was so scarce that, after a meeting in which an official had flashed a cell phone from the podium, I turned to Abel Prieto, then the president of the writer’s union, and asked if he had one too. “Oh, no,” he said, “I’m not high enough to be part of the celucracia.” Read More

Obama standing firm on eased travel

<p style="text-align: justify;">In a statement to Congress, President Barack Obama said he would veto a House appropriations bill if it includes, among others, a measure inserted by anti-Castro representatives that would revert eased family travel and remittance rules introduced by Obama in 2009. With this Statement of Administration Policy, which provides Congress with the White House’s views on the House appropriations bill, H.R. 2434, Obama raises his Cuba policy of moderate steps towards detente to a higher-priority level. Read More

Letters: The Siren Call of Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">July 15, 2011. Too the Editor: Re the July 10 Practical Traveler column (“New Ways to Visit Cuba, Legally”): For years, my architect husband has yearned to visit Cuba for its artistic heritage. As a playwright, I’d like to go to experience firsthand the Cuban ethos. We have no interest in tourist traps or in political machinations. As travelers who like to create our own agenda, the thought of visiting lock-step with a gaggle of folks on a tour program makes us cringe. Read More

Finance player increases stake in Leisure Canada

<p style="text-align: justify;">Dundee Corp., a company controlled by Toronto financier Ned Goodman, nearly doubled its stake in resort builder Leisure Canada Inc. from 12.32 percent to 23.12 percent.Goodman became chairman of Leisure Canada last year, taking over from company founder Walter Berukoff. Vancouver-based Leisure Canada is planning to build a luxury hotel in the Monte Barreto neighborhood of Havana and a golf and marina resort at Jibacoa, east of Havana.The Monte Barreto project in western Havana and Jibacoa have long been in the making. Planning for the 716-room hotel in Havana is complete. Read More

Arturo O'Farrill And The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra On JazzSet

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Becca Pulliam on Thursday, July 14, 2011. "After years of trying, finally getting [to Newport] was special," the driven and accomplished bandleader/pianist Arturo O'Farrill says as he thinks back on this sweltering set from August 2010. O'Farrill is at the center of a dynasty between his father, composer Chico O'Farrill (1921-2001), and his son Adam, on trumpet here today. Zack, a younger son, plays drums, while Arturo's wife, Alison Deane, is a classical pianist and professor at City College in New York. Read More

Cuba moves to boost sugar production

<p style="text-align: justify;">Published July 15, 2011. EFE. Havana –&nbsp; Cuba seeks to stimulate sugarcane production by doubling the price paid to farmers and by renegotiating their debts, the official AIN news agency said, citing a top official. The Cuban government "is investing to provide farmers with the necessary funds" despite the Communist-ruled island's current financial straits, Sugar Minister Orlando Celso Garcia said at a meeting with growers in the eastern province of Camaguey. The sector is currently trying to modernize its operations with new technologies, more efficient management systems and even foreign investment through the creation of mixed companies. Read More

BVU student performing Medical Missionary work in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">He is performing missionary work through Caribbean Medical Transport, delivering medical equipment to different facilities in need and exploring medical care in urban and rural settings. Miguel will have the opportunity to meet with two well-known Cuban physicians, Dr. Gilberto Fleites in Havana and Dr. Roger Garcia in Guantanamo. His trip is supported in part by a J. Leslie Rollins Fellowship from BVU. Read More

The influence of Cuban medical internationalism

<p style="text-align: justify;">Katelynn Northam - July 15, 2011. Cuba is a small island nation perhaps best known among Canadians for being a great vacation destination. It cannot be said to be a rich country – which is perhaps why it’s so surprising that Cuba finds itself exporting more medical assistance to developing countries than all the world’s industrialized countries combined. Read More

President-Elect Humala Visits Venezuela

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Estela McCollin.09:18 Caracas, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) President-elect Ollanta Humala arrived in Venezuela on Friday to meet with President Hugo Chavez. President Chavez himself announced Humala's arrival on the Venezolana de Television network, and expected to meet with him at midday."I receive him with my heart and soul, I welcome him and send greetings to his people," he added. Read More

Chavez 'to receive cancer treatment in Brazil'

<p style="text-align: justify;">(AFP) BRASILIA — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will undergo new treatment for cancer in Brazil after his June operation in Cuba, Brazil's official news agency reported Friday. Chavez spoke with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to work out details of the treatment that will take place at a Sao Paulo hospital, reported Agencia Brasil, which did not indicate its sources. Rousseff's office declined to comment on the report. Read More