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Ecuador buying up to $1.5bln of Cuban medicine

<p style="text-align: justify;">Giving Cuba’s pharmaceutical exports a major boost, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa pledged his country would buy up to $1.5 billion worth of Cuban-made medical drugs and vaccines this year. Ecuador’s move significantly expands the benefits Cuba gets from the ALBA trade and integration agreement, which had been largely restricted to Venezuelan-Cuban economic exchanges. In 2009, Ecuador became a member of ALBA, started in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba. Read More

Castro turns 85 quietly but still a force in Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">By PETER ORSI.Associated Press. HAVANA -- Fidel Castro marked his 85th birthday outside of the public spotlight Saturday, with little fanfare around the aging revolutionary icon who is rarely seen in public these days but still casts a long shadow over Cuban society.There were no announced celebrations of Castro's birthday, though the previous night two dozen musical acts from across Latin America held a concert in his honor. Read More

Getty offers photographic views of Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;"><br /> Though it's a small country compared to the United States, there's a lot of history that runs between the two nations, from the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine in 1898 to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 to the detention of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay today. Cuba, its people and culture have also been popularized by writers Ernest Hemmingway and José Martí; musicians Ry Cooder, Compay Segundo and Celia Cruz; and artist Wifredo Lam, along with many others. Read More

Harper can't ignore Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Peter McKenna, Ottawa Citizen August 12, 2011 8:09 AM. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits powerhouse Brazil and the tiny Central American country of Costa Rica - which shares a bilateral free trade agreement with us - he shies away from the less ideologically acceptable countries of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. But at a time when Harper claims to be pursuing an invigorated policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), he is ignoring Canada's natural advantages in Cuba - one of the region's most important countries. Needless to say, this doesn't make any foreign policy sense. Read More

For Cuba's new entrepreneurs, the tax man cometh

<p style="text-align: justify;">By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ , 08.12.11, 01:35 PM EDT. Associated Press. HAVANA -- In Cuba, the tax man has finally arrived. After five decades under Fidel and Raul Castro, the concept of a personal tax is practically unknown in a society where the government controls nearly the entire economy and salaries average about $20 a month. Quite the opposite, islanders have grown accustomed to the Communist government providing for them: food rations, universal education and health care, pensions, even free lunches. Read More

85th Birthday, Celebrations, Concert in Cuba, honoring Cuban Leader, Fidel Castro

<p style="text-align: justify;">MIAMI (CBS4)- Fidel Castro marks his 85th birthday Saturday, and celebrations are already underway in Cuba.A music concert Friday for the former Cuban leader, organized by the Guayasamin Foundation, will feature 22 artists from Cuba and seven countries, according to the Cuban News Agency.According to the publication, “the spirit of Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamin will permeate the event” held at the capital’s Karl Marx Theater. Guayasamin, a close friend of Castro, managed to convince Fidel to accept the celebration of his birthday back in 1988, the Agency reported. Read More

Cuba: let a hundred golf courses bloom

<p style="text-align: justify;">August 12, 2011 5:49 pm by Ron Buchanan. The developers of what will be the Cuban Revolution’s first private golf and residential complex are claiming a hole in one. Sceptics have long questioned the Cuban government’s reluctance to grant full property rights to foreigners who invest in real estate. But all these doubts have been quashed, said Chris Nicholas, managing director of Ottawa-based Standing Feather International, which is due to sign on a golf and residential development in eastern Cuba with the Cuban state company Palmares. Read More

Petrochemical Complex Poses Major Environmental Challenge

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Patricia Grogg. CIENFUEGOS, Cuba, Aug 10, 2011 (Tierramérica) - As it gears up for the creation of a major petrochemical complex of regional scope, this Cuban city faces the challenge of ensuring the sustainability of development that could compromise the health of the Bay of Cienfuegos, its main natural resource. Almost 85 percent of the river basins in the province of Cienfuegos empty into the marine ecosystem around which all of the industrial and urban development of the city of the same name is linked. Read More

Nyad Puts Early End to Cuba-to-Florida Swim

<p style="text-align: justify;">By DON VAN NATTA Jr.Published: August 9, 2011. At 12:45 a.m., Ms. Nyad was vomiting as she was pulled from the water onto a support boat, about midway through her estimated 60-hour swim. Winds had blown her at least 15 miles off course. “It was my decision to stop and nobody else’s,” Ms. Nyad said during a phone interview from a Key West marina. “I’m deeply grieved and disappointed, but I can hold my head up high. We pictured that moment of me crawling up on that Key West shore. We knew it was my year and my time, even at age 61. It was a fairy tale, but the fairy tale didn’t come true.” Read More

Time to get closer to Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">Last month Cuba and the United Kingdom signed a formal declaration to strengthen bilateral co-operation. The agreement champions "closer dialogue and economic, scientific, technical, educational, cultural and sporting links between the two countries" and highlights key areas for collaboration including environmental issues, biotechnology, trade and investment, regional security, child protection and disaster preparedness. The move should be welcomed as a positive step – not just by those supporting the Cuban people, but also by those looking to expand British trade relations in Latin America. Read More

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