Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Obama hails ‘new chapter’ in US-Cuba ties

BBC — US President Barack Obama has hailed a “new chapter” in US relations with Cuba, announcing moves to normalise diplomatic and economic ties. Mr Obama said the plans represented the “most significant changes in US policy towards Cuba in 50 years”. The US is looking to open an embassy… read more »

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

ALBA Countries Gather in Cuba on 10th Anniversary

Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press — The left-leaning regional economic and diplomatic bloc known as ALBA marked its 10th anniversary Sunday amid pressures made by tumbling oil prices on petroleum-producing countries such as top ALBA member Venezuela. Presidents Nicolas Maduro, of Venezuela; Daniel Ortega, of Nicaragua; and Evo Morales, of Bolivia joined Raul… read more »

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

‘US embargo delayed’ Cuban Ebola team’s pay

Al Jazeera – Cuba had to cover food and lodging expenses for dozens of its doctors fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone after the US embargo delayed payments from the World Health Organisation, according to an official at the UN agency. Jose Luis Di Fabio, the health agency’s representative for Cuba, told the Associated Press… read more »

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Fidel Castro awarded China’s Confucius Peace Prize

Associated Press — Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is this year’s winner of China’s Confucius Peace Prize, portrayed by organizers as an alternative to the Nobel Prize, which they see as biased against China. The committee that sponsors the prize praised 88-year-old Castro for “contributions to peace” — in stark… read more »

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

USAID op undermines Cuba’s hip-hop protest scene

Desmond Butler, Michael Weissenstein, Laura Wides-Munoz, and Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press — In early 2009, a U.S. government contractor sent a Serbian music promoter to Cuba with these covert marching orders: Recruit one of Havana’s most notorious rappers to spark a youth movement against the government. In communist Cuba, it… read more »

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

El Salvador president to Cuba for checkup after falling ill in Mexico

EFE – Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren traveled to Cuba for “his periodic medical checkup” after suffering health problems on Monday in Mexico, the Salvadoran government said Wednesday. “Sanchez Ceren, after suffering a slight decompensation in his health, which we will report in good time, on the recommendation of his medical… read more »

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Cuba to continue renewing passports in U.S. despite banking issue

EFE – The Cuban Interests Section in Washington announced Wednesday a three-month extension of passport-renewal services in the United States, which have been hampered by the mission’s lack of a local bank. Cuba’s diplomatic mission said that while it “continues searching for a solution” to the banking issue, through March 31,… read more »

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

U.S. hints that it won’t oppose Cuban participation in Summit of the Americas

Jim Wyss, Miami Herald – In an apparent reversal of decades-long policy, Washington will not stand in the way of Cuban participation in the next Summit of the Americas, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Wednesday. In a speech marking the 20th anniversary of the first summit in Miami, Kerry… read more »

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

EU-Cuba talks delayed by dispute over cultural event

Robin Emmott and Daniel Trotta, Reuters — Cuba has delayed negotiations towards an accord with the European Union aimed at opening up the Communist-ruled island, citing a dispute over an EU cultural event in Washington, people close to the matter said on Tuesday. The third round of talks, due to… read more »

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Guantanamo prisoners start new lives in Uruguay

Leonardo Haberkorn and Ben Fox, The Associated Press — Six men who were locked away for more than 12 years on the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay spent Monday in the seclusion of a military hospital in Uruguay’s capital, speaking to family by phone, getting medical check-ups and preparing… read more »