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Nyad: Today's swim shows 60s 'not too late' for goals

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Matt Sloane, CNN. August 7, 2011 10:07 p.m. EDT. Editor's note: CNN alone will be in the support boats with Diana Nyad on her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. (CNN) -- Diana Nyad's personal test has begun. At 7:45 p.m. ET she jumped into the water and began her 103-mile swim between Cuba and Florida."I'm almost 62 years old and I'm standing here at the prime of my life," she said as she walked toward the sea. "I think this is the prime. When one reaches this age, you still have a body that's strong but now you have a better mind." Read More

Restoring the Cuban City with a French Colonial Air

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Patricia Grogg. CIENFUEGOS, Cuba, Aug 5, 2011 (IPS) - The city of Cienfuegos, known in Cuba as the "Pearl of the South", is unique for its spotless cleanliness, the orderly grid pattern of its streets, its 19th century architecture and its air of "Grande Dame" elegance. Now its past splendours, ravaged by time or left to deteriorate because of economic difficulties, are being restored."If you see anyone throwing trash in the streets, you can be sure it's a stranger from out of town," a woman born and raised in Cienfuegos told IPS, with a touch of civic pride and ownership. Read More

In Cuba, free market proves easier said than done

<p style="text-align: justify;">PAUL HAVEN. Associated Press. August 3. HAVANA (AP) — Daily for the past five months, Yusdany Simpson has been at her street-side cafeteria under its gleaming white parasol, doing her part in Cuba's economic makeover by churning out mayonnaise sandwiches at 12 cents a pop.Not any more. The other day, she headed to a Labor Ministry office in a crumbling old Havana mansion to relinquish her business license and receive a letter freeing her of tax liability. With that, the 35-year-old single mother closed her door on the government's attempt to add a capitalist spark to its ailing economy. Read More

Cubans Set for Big Change: Right to Buy Homes

<p style="text-align: justify;">By DAMIEN CAVE.August 2, 2011. In Havana on Saturday, Cubans looked at notices for apartment exchanges. Cuba is about to legalize the sale of property. But when Cuba legalizes buying and selling by the end of the year — as the government promised again this week — José and many others expect a cascade of changes: higher prices, mass relocation, property taxes and a flood of money from Cubans in the United States and around the world. Read More

To Cuba and beyond

<p style="text-align: justify;">Editorial.By TBO.COM. Published: August 03, 2011. The direct charter flights from Tampa to Havana that are to begin in September could signal a thawing of U.S. relations toward Cuba. The popularity of the flights also could help airlines see Tampa as a natural gateway to Latin America. Joe Lopano, chief executive of Tampa International Airport, is right to want to land all the international flights that regional demand can support. Many local leaders think Tampa has been unfairly overlooked by airlines in favor of Miami and Orlando, and Lopano says research suggests that view. Read More

Lorne Gunter: Cuba needs a day at the mall

<p style="text-align: justify;">Lorne Gunter. Aug 2, 2011. Reuters. A new day in Havana. Since taking over from his brother Fidel as head of the Cuban government in 2008, Raul Castro has slowly nudged his socialist country towards freer markets and more personal liberties. Monday, he and the Cuban parliament took yet another step down that road. Read More

Cuba approves economic reform plan

<p style="text-align: justify;">The Cuban National Assembly has approved Communist Party proposals to overhaul the country's state-dominated economy and lift some restrictions on citizens' personal lives, according to state-run media. The plan, which includes more than 300 points, was first approved at a Communist Party congress in April and would end the socialist society built under Fidel Castro's leadership. Read More

Cuban lawmakers meet to consider economic changes

<p style="text-align: justify;">Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 11:36 a.m. MDT. By Peter Orsi, Associated Press. HAVANA, Cuba — Cuba's parliament began one of its business-packed twice-yearly sessions on Monday, a gathering that might enact some of the reforms that the government has promised in efforts to revive the stalled economy with a dose of private enterprise. General guidelines for the reforms were approved by the Communist Party at a summit in April, but there has been relatively little action since. The party is not a lawmaking body, so it is up to parliament to turn the recommendations into reality. Read More

Havana: Journey to once-forbidden land

<p style="text-align: justify;">July 31, 2011 - 12:52am. By K.C. SUMMERS. Special to The Washington Post. Like many Americans, Jamie and Kirsy Blietz were thrilled when the Obama administration eased travel restrictions to Cuba for U.S. citizens in January. So thrilled, in fact, that the suburban Washington couple decided that the formerly forbidden island would be the perfect setting for their 20th wedding anniversary celebration next June. No doubt it would. But amid all the hoopla about U.S. citizens now being able to travel to Cuba legally, it's important to keep one thing in mind: You can't just pop over for a visit the way you can to, say, Jamaica or the Bahamas. Read More

Cuba Encourages Capitalism While Marking the 58th Anniversary of the Start of Communism

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Steve Harrigan. Published July 29, Cuba marked its 58th anniversary of the start of the Communist Revolution this week, a key message from Vice President Jose Machado was that Cubans need to work harder. Machado, 81, who spoke for 25 minutes while President Raul Castro who attended the ceremony sat silent, blamed corruption and inertia for Cuba’s economic woes. In past years the holiday was marked by lengthy speeches from Fidel Castro lauding the revolution and attacking the U.S. government. Read More

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