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First Americans in Cuba under easier U.S. travel rules

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Jeff Franks. HAVANA (Reuters) - The first group of Americans to tour Cuba under new, more liberal U.S. travel regulations have been greeted by hugs, handshakes and a welcoming Cuban government, according to a trip organizer. The 30 travelers are pioneers in a new era of "people-to-people" exchanges the Obama administration approved in January to "enhance the free flow of information" to Cubans and over the objections of those who favor a hardline against the communist government. Read More

Hugo Chavez Says His Cancer is "Not Serious"

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Caitlin Bronson on August 17, 2011 5:59 AM. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has “never felt healthier” after returning from Cuba, where he underwent a second round of chemotherapy to treat his cancer. According to the Daily Telegraph, Chavez is unsure whether he will need a third round of treatment or a second round of radiation. “I could stand here talking for five hours,” he boasted to journalists at the presidential palace, where he returned Saturday. “I’m doing very well. In fact, I’ve never been better. Read More

Protests in the US against Banning of Trips to Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 16 (acn) Thousands of letters, e-mails and faxes are arriving to the White House, coming from organizations and Cubans living in the United States, requesting the cancellation of a proposal against trips to Cuba. The amendment presented by anti-Cuban congressman Mario Diaz-Balart to the Bill of Allocations of the House of Representatives, is condemned in letters, e-mails and telephone calls, the Prensa Latina news agency reported. Read More

Cuban Jose Fernandez signs with the Florida Marlins

<p style="text-align: justify;">August 16 2011. The Florida Marlins have made Fernandez's dream come true, the young Cuban baseball player arrived in the United States in 2008. The Marlins and Jose Fernandez closed a deal for 2 millions dollars. Last Monday was the day in which the agreement was signed between the two sides and Fernandez is already a player of the Marlins, even though close friends think Fernandez could have reached a better deal. However, the balance is much more than what nouvelle players are being paid as an average deal in the big leagues. We wish him great luck to this young Cuban baseball player. Read More

American Crocodile: Summer Attraction

<p style="text-align: justify;">2011.08.16 - 16:29:03 / The American Crocodile facility, located in the protected area of Sabanalamar in western Pinar del Rio province attracts Cuban families that visit the beaches of the southern coast this summer. The installation which belongs to the Flora and Fauna Office offers guided tours by specialists that explain the characteristics of the reptile in danger of extinction and whose reproduction is carried out in captivity. Read More

New Documents on Bay of Pigs Invasion Revealed

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 15 (acn) New secret documents, recently released, describe how an operator of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) shot, by mistake, against his own pilots, during the Bay of Pigs invasion on April, 1961. According to these archives, the main official of the sinister US organization on board of one of the mercenary brigade's transport boats shot 75mm. recoilless rifles and 55mm. machine guns against the aircrafts, and hit one of them. Read More

Use of ALBA trade currency rising

<p style="text-align: justify;">Seventy-seven companies from ALBA member countries have used the Sucre compensation system for $144 million worth of trade transactions during the first half of this year, a Venezuelan central bank official announced. This makes it likely that the goal of $300 million will be reached by the end of this year, Central Bank Vice President Eudomar Tovar said. The total volume of Sucre-based transactions in the second half of 2010 was $40 million; only six companies participated during that half year. Read More

Early impact of the ALBA-1 undersea cable?

<p style="text-align: justify;">Earlier today, someone in Cuba posted this comment on my blog on the Cuban Internet &lt;;: Hi, just a bit of speculation, last weekend I noticed a huge improvement on the quality of telephone communication to Cuba. The usual 5-10 seconds latency seems to be reduced to 1-2 seconds. Is it possible that the alba cable is already being used? If you or those you know are in Cuba, have you noticed any change in telephone or Internet performance? Larry Read More

German businesses suing PayPal over Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">Potentially putting a big U.S. Internet company in a tight spot, at least 10 German businesses selling Cuban products online are planning to sue PayPal Europe, after the Luxembourg-based subsidiary of eBay Corp. had suspended some accounts, German Website reports.In the 1990s, the European Union instituted a law that puts penalties on companies that apply U.S. embargo laws in Europe. Read More

Writer Isabel Allende Cancels Chile Tour, Backs Students

<p style="text-align: justify;">By: Ana Luisa Brown. Santiago de Chile, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) Unequal opportunities is the main issue behind student demands, affirmed writer Isabel Allende, who declined a national tour organized by Chilean Education Ministry. "The alternative of a free education with quality is a basic demand, and profit is part of the neoliberal system, which no longer works," the celebrated novelist told La Tercera newspaper. Read More