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In Cuba, Yes, but Only With a Purpose

<p style="text-align: justify;">By VICTORIA BURNETT. July 8, 2011. LINDA SLEZAK stood over a bed of delicate bean plants, tearing out tiny weeds and mounding loose, rust-colored earth around the stems.Jose Goitia for The New York Times. Maritza Miranda, a Cuban, tells tourists of her experiences. A hot June sun glared over the Arroyo Arenas organic vegetable garden at the edge of Havana where Ms. Slezak, a 68-year-old retired social worker from Long Island, and 16 other Americans were visiting as part of a “food sovereignty” progra.&nbsp; Read More

Drill, Cuba, Drill

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Andres Cala. Jul. 07, 2011. A brand new, top of the line, Italian owned and Chinese-made semisubmersible rig is on its way to Cuba to start drilling several exploratory wells this year once hurricane season is over. Its target are deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico just a few dozen miles from Florida that could hold proven oil reserves believed to be at least as big as Oman’s and perhaps comparable to those of Brazil. The latter are massive. Read More

Cuba's International Brand Havana Club Rum Co-Produces Film

<p style="text-align: justify;">Cuba's International Brand Havana Club Rum Co-Produces Film. Pernod Ricard-Owned Drink Uses City's Lively Cultural Scene in Its Marketing. By: Emma Hall Bio. Published: July 07, 2011. As one of Cuba's very, very few international brands, Pernod Ricard-owned Havana Club rum uses Cuba itself as a marketing tool. Capitalizing on Havana's lively, sultry cultural scene, the company is co-financing a feature film called "Seven Days in Havana" to be screened in cinemas around the world next summer.The film, created with M&amp;C Saatchi, Paris, is a contemporary portrait of Cuba's capital city, with a different director for each of the seven days. One director, for instance, is Oscar-winning actor Benicio del Toro. Read More

Health Care in Cuba and America

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Stephen Lendman. Tuesday Jul 5th, 2011 12:57 AM. Under Article 50 of Cuba's Constitution: "Everyone has the right to health protection and care. The state guarantees this right: -- by providing free medical and hospital care by means of the installations of the rural medical service network, polyclinics, hospitals, preventative and specialized treatment centers;-- by providing free dental care; -- by promoting the health publicity campaigns, health education, regular medical examinations, general vaccination and other measures to prevent the outbreak of disease. All the population cooperates in these activities and plans through the social and mass organizations." Read More

Cuba can cope without Chávez

<p style="text-align: justify;">I have just returned from a visit to Cuba where the main talking point of the day is understandably, given the doubts over the health of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chávez, whether or not Cuba would able to survive if Venezuela were to suddenly disappear as its main ally. Since the announcement of the serious illness that is affecting the Venezuelan leader, there has been little else talked about in bars, cafes and dinner parties across the island. Read More

Cuba To Invest US$200 Million To Revive Citrus Industry

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA, July 5 (Bernama) -- Cuba will invest US$200 million in the Caribbean island's ailing citrus industry to increase citrus production and re-establish it as an exporter of the tropical fruit, a top official said Monday.Luis Alberto Torres, technical director of the state-run Fruit Business Group (BFG), told China's Xinhua news agency in an interview that the programme is part of Cuban leader Raul Castro's wide-ranging reform which seeks to "upgrade" the Cuban economy, including special strategies to encourage domestic food production. Read More

Fidel Castro wishes Chavez well in 1st essay in a month

<p style="text-align: justify;">By PETER ORSI. Associated Press. HAVANA -- Fidel Castro ended a more than monthlong silence to laud President Hugo Chavez's recovery from surgery in Cuba, saying he was confident the Venezuelan leader will win his battle against cancer. In an essay published late Sunday, Castro said his country has a "close and indestructible friendship" with Chavez. "Let's give him the strongest support and confidence," the former Cuban leader wrote. Read More

Cuban Art in Malaysia

<p style="text-align: justify;">Bernama MediaBernama – Mon, Jul 4, 2011. MELAKA, July 4 (Bernama) -- Cuba is a republic in the Caribbean, known for producing high-quality cigars. Less known is its unique culture that is an amalgamation of African, Spanish and North American influences.The observant can, however, find such elements in its food, music and art.The Cuban Embassy in Malaysia gives Malaysians a taste of the unique blend of its culture through Casa Cuba, an exhibition gallery in Bukit Peringgit,here. Read More

Chavez returns to Venezuela from Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">IAN JAMES - Associated Press. CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return to Venezuela from Cuba before dawn Monday, saying he is feeling better as he recovers from surgery that removed a cancerous tumor.State television showed the video of Chavez arriving about 2 a.m. local time (2:30 EDT; 0630 GMT). The station didn't air the video until a little after five hours later. Read More

In Cuba, black market thriving

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA - Want some paprika-infused chorizo sausage? How about a bit of buffalo mozzarella? Or maybe you just need more cooking oil this month, or a homemade soft drink you can afford on paltry wages. Perhaps you are looking for something more precious, such as an imported air conditioner or some hand-rolled cigars at a fraction of the official price. In a Marxist country where virtually all economic activity is regulated, and where supermarkets and ration shops run out of such basics as sugar, eggs and toilet paper, you can get nearly anything on Cuba's thriving black market - if you have a "friend," or the right telephone number. Read More

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