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Dispatches from Cuba: Little to buy for American tourists in Havana

<p style="text-align: justify;">Creager is with the group of the first American tourists on a new “people-to-people” cultural tour that started August 11. Except for a brief window 2000-2003, it is the first time in 50 years the average American can travel to Cuba. HAVANA -- Someone please tell my family that my gift to them will be photos, postcards and the smell of Cohiba smoke on my clothes.That’s because the hardest part for American tourists here in Havana is the shopping – or more accurately, the lack of shopping. Read More

Sumbe, New Cuban Film on Angola Epic

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Ileana Ferrer Fonte.A new film about the Cuban presence in the war in Angola, this time focused on the battle carried out by teachers, construction workers and doctors in Sumbe, will premier Thursday in the capital´s Charles Chaplin movie theater.Directed by filmmaker Eduardo Moya, the film is the second part of a trilogy begun in 2008 with the film Kangamba, by Rogelio Paris, which closes with the battle in Cuito Cuanavale (1987-1988). Read More

Cuba transgender wedding shows shifting attitudes

<p style="text-align: justify;">AP.By PETER ORSI. HAVANA (AP) — A gay man and a woman whose sex-change operation was paid for by the state tied the knot Saturday in a first-of-its-kind wedding for Cuba, a sign of how much the country's attitude toward sexuality has changed since gays and transsexuals suffered persecution in the early years after the revolution.Bride Wendy Iriepa, 37, arrived at a Havana wedding hall in the afternoon in a vintage Ford convertible and a full white wedding gown, flowers in her hair and holding a rainbow flag. Neighborhood residents came out of their homes to gawk at the wedding party and the journalists mobbing the car. Read More

Colombian FARC Willing to Talk with Gov´t

<p style="text-align: justify;">Bogota, Aug 14 (Prensa Latina) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)&nbsp; reaffirmed its political will to take the necessary steps toward an eventual peace process that will end the internal armed conflict. In a message signed by the FARC National Secretariat and addressed to participants in a national peace conference, the guerrilla group maintained its willingness to explore the path to dialogue with the government. Read More

Singer Pablo Milanes urges more freedom in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">Miami's Spanish language El Nuevo Herald newspaper published an interview on Sunday with the 68-year-old two-time Grammy award winner, whose melodic and evocative ballads are well known in Latin America and internationally.Milanes' planned August 27 concert in Miami, a bastion of anti-communist Cuban exiles in the United States, has touched off a storm of discord between those who criticize him as a stooge of the communist government in Havana and many fans and supporters who defend his right to perform in Miami. Read More

Ecuador to Prioritize Cuban Medicine Imports

<p style="text-align: justify;">By:Fany Rodríguez.Quito, Aug 14 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador will prioritize imports of medicine from Cuba, which sells internationally renowned products, over those offered by transnational corporations, President Rafael Correa announced. During his weekly Saturday radio and TV address, Correa said the Public Health Ministry would invest 1.3 billion USD in medicine, prioritizing domestic suppliers, and followed by Cuban imports. Read More

Shanghai shipyard delivers bulk cargo ship

<p style="text-align: justify;">As a first of an undisclosed number of vessels to come, a Shanghai shipyard delivered a bulk grains carrier to Cuban officials. The 35,000-ton Abdala was built under an agreement between Chinese state company China National Machinery Import &amp; Export Corporation (CMC) and Cuba’s Empresa Importadora General del Transporte (EIGT) that will boost the tonnage of Cuba’s merchant marine.Employees of Cuban state company Acemex supervised the construction of the ship. Read More

Chavez flies home after cancer treatment in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">(AFP) HAVANA — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has flown back to Venezuela after receiving chemotherapy treatment in Cuba for his cancer, Juventud Rebelde newspaper reported Sunday.Cuban President Raul Castro accompanied his Venezuelan counterpart to the airport late Saturday to see him off, the report said. Read More