March 31

FROM CUBA / Two dissidents charged with "crimes against the State" / Ernesto Roque

FROM CUBA / Arrested journalist brings total to 27 / Ernesto Roque

Thousands rally on Calle Ocho / The Miami Herald

Cuba News / Yahoo!

Socialist International calls for the release of civic and social leaders arrested in Cuba

External links

Cuban dissidents to be tried under repressive law / PRIMA News, Russia

Cuba, Ukraine discuss trade issues / Hoover's Online

Cuba crackdown / Union-Tribune Editorial

Dissidents in Cuba / Wayne S. Smith / NY Times

Crackdown in Cuba / A reminder that Castro is still a tyrant /

Cuban oil zone in Gulf of Mexico expected to yield more crude / Hoover's.Online

Watching History and Taking Notes / NY Times

March 28

FROM CUBA / Arrested dissident sentenced to six months / UPECI
The first dissident to be tried of the more than 70 arrested in the last week was sentenced to six months in jail for "disobedience" by the municipal tribunal in Jovellanos, Matanzas province.

FROM CUBA / Family evicted from abandoned clinic in Moa / APLO
Flérida Franco, 43, and her three sons, 17, 13, and 4, were evicted from an abandoned clinic where they had been living since June, 2002, when their house fell down during a rain storm.

Cuba's crackdown amid war likely to escape punishment / The Miami Herald
Despite worldwide condemnation of Cuba's recent crackdown on dissidents, Fidel Castro's government once again appears likely to escape any damaging consequences, according to a variety of policy analysts.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba, Ukraine discuss trade issues
-State-funded Cuban ballet company produces world class dancers
-Trinidad, Cuba come away with victories in Gold Cup qualifiers

First family visits for imprisoned journalists as European / RSF
The families of several of the independent journalists and dissidents arrested last week have been allowed to visit them since 24 March in various places of detention around the country.

External links

Cuban dissidents arrested in government crackdown / Education Week
The leader of a small group of independent Cuban teachers, who is also an open critic of President Fidel Castro, remained in jail this week after being arrested as part of a sweeping crackdown by the Cuban government against political opposition.

Armenia and Cuba sign intergovernmental /
Armenian and Cuban Foreign Ministers Vardan Oskanyan and Felipe Perez Roque signed today in Yerevan an intergovernmental agreement "On trade-economic cooperation between Armenia and Cuba".

Cuban dissidents to be tried under repressive law / PRIMA News, Russia
A famous Cuban dissident, leader of Assembly to promote the civil society Martha Beatriz Roque is to be charged under repressive Law 88. PRIMA correspondent in Havana Adolfo Fernandez is also to be charged under the same law.

Cuba to stage a show trial of dissidents / PRIMA News, Russia
On March 26, the family of PRIMA's correspondent Adolfo Fernandez was allowed to visit him in prison for 15 minutes. When asked about the nature of charges against him, a state security officer told them that Adolfo Fernandez who was arrested on March 20 "is under investigation in connection with a threat to the national security".

Sex conference in Cuba covers everything from implants to / The Dallas Morning News
Given Cubans' reputation for sensuality and the country's opposition to the U.S.-led attack on Iraq, it was only fitting that Havana hosted the 16th World Congress of Sexology earlier this month. The head of Cuba's sexologist delegation was Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of Raúl Castro.

A disturbing Cuban roundup / Orlando Sentinel, FL
With the world's attention riveted to war in Iraq, Cuban President Fidel Castro is back to his old tricks. A day before the first bombs hit Baghdad, Cuban authorities began rounding up dozens of dissidents who have dared to work for peaceful democratic change on the island. Now, about 80 people are in jail and facing long sentences.

Castro feels the heat / Palm Beach Post
Saddam Hussein's days are numbered, and Castro feels at least a twinge of negative empathy he would rather not sense. Regression is the only way an aging, increasingly irrelevant tyrant can feel better.

Can Latin America Sieze the Middle Ground in the U.S.-Cuba Conflict? / The Washington Post
With the eyes of the world turned to Iraq, Cuban leader Fidel Castro last week arrested dozens of dissidents on the island for conspiring against the Cuban Revolution with the "imperialist" enemy to the North.

Once There Was a Pipeline From Cuba to D.C. / The Washington Post
A left-handed first baseman, Becquer had a quick and level swing -- much to the liking of a man in the stands named Joe Cambria. Long before Major League Baseball became the world game it is today, Cambria had opened a pipeline to the Caribbean in general and Cuba in particular.

Capturing the Rhythm of a Nation / The Washington Post
Local photographers who went to the 2002 International Jazz Festival in Havana with the Latin American Folk Institute in December found it difficult to sit still and take pictures while music and dancing pulsated in the streets, jazz clubs, theaters and music houses of Cuba.

New York's Havana film festival marred by visa troubles / Hoover'
The Havana Film Festival, which began this week in New York, has been marred by the absence of a number of Cuban filmmakers who were unable to attend because of difficulties in securing visas.

Goebbels Lives in Havana / Myles Kantor /
National Socialist Germany's chief propagandist died in 1945, but the virulent spirit of Joseph Goebbels lives in Communist Cuba.

Fawning over Fidel /, MD
Fidel is blinded by the light of Fidel Castro. But this idolatrous documentary is revealing in spite of itself, as a set of political fans' notes.

March 27

FROM CUBA / Raid targets operators in informal economy / Grupo Decoro
In a series of raids starting March 20, Cuban authorities have been confiscating tons of products and equipment from operators in the informal economy in the area of Mariel, Pinar del Río province, northwest of Havana.

FROM CUBA / Evicted dissident threatens to camp out in front of Communist party headquarters / Grupo Decoro
Dissident Alfonso Mesa, who was recently evicted from his home along with his wife and 11-year-old son, threatened to pitch camp in front of Communist Party headquarters in Sagua la Grande unless the order to evict him is rescinded.

FROM CUBA / Traitors? / Jose Manuel Caraballo
To call a traitor somebody who reveals the hidden and censor's truth, is a task of serviles, is crawling to the dictator, to the rulers's feet, specialy when the accused is empeled to answer back.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Resolution at top U.N. human rights body avoids condemning Cuba
-Wives of Cuban dissidents detained in crackdown visit husbands, say they are in good health
-EU condemns arrest of dissidents in Cuba
-Bush Condemns Cuba Crackdown
-Cuba Ballet Company Trains Elite Dancers
-Court: Cuban Boy's Kin Can't Sue Reno
-US sets free 11 Cubans who sought asylum after hijacking
-Hijacked Cuban DC-3 going on the auction block in Key West

Cuban hijack suspects get bond / The Miami Herald
A federal magistrate refused prosecutors' request Tuesday to deny bond to six Cuban men charged last week with using knives and a hatchet to hijack a Douglas DC-3 plane from Cuba to Key West.

Writers who stand against tyranny -- and suffer for it / Raul Rivero / The Miami Herald
There are some writers and artists who manage to be very happy in a totalitarian state: Foreigners in transit. Particularly those who take long and hurried strides because they no longer feel -- as poet Rubén Darío might have said tartly.

March 26

FROM CUBA / Independent medical dispensary shut down / UPECI
Cuban authorities last week shut down a medical dispensary operated in the town of Pedro Betancourt, Matanzas province, by the Alternative Option movement, one of several civil society initiatives targeted by the government in a series of raids.

FROM CUBA / Independent library opens despite repression / UPECI
An independent library opened in the town of Navajas, Matanzas province, even as the government shuts down similar initiatives of the civil society movement in Cuba.

FROM CUBA / Anti-government slogans in midst of repression / UPECI
An independent library opened in the town of Navajas, Matanzas province, even as the government shuts down similar initiatives of the civil society movement in Cuba.

FROM CUBA / Independent journalist complains about break-in / Cuba-Verdad
Independent journalist María Elena Rodríguez charges a break-in at her home last Friday was related to the wave of arrests and home searches carried out against other independent

The risk of dissent in Cuba / The Miami Herald
The number of Cuban dissidents arrested since last week is up to 95. Of those, two remain under house arrest and another 18 have been released. The word is that the dissidents will be charged under the ''gag'' law, which provides for up to 20-year prison terms.

Havana Remains Faithful to its Own Agenda / Yahoo!
The arrests of at least 75 anti-government activists in Cuba could cost the government a new condemnation of its human rights record in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and a setback in its dialogue with the European Union.]

Too close to Castro / Miriam Leiva / International Herald Tribune
Even without the latest roundup, however, there was more to Cuba than met the commissioner's eye. Nielson's hasty conclusions are perhaps due to a few days of flattery from his official hosts and to a vision of Cuba reduced to showcases reserved for foreigners.

External links

Robert Rivard: As Saddam's despotic rule nears an end, Cuba cracks down / San Antonio Express-News
In a time when all eyes are on Iraq, let me introduce you to a young Cuban journalist named Claudia Márquez Linares. We met in Havana in October when 40 editors from the American Society of Newspapers Editors traveled to Cuba for a firsthand look.

Using eroticism to peer into Cuba's politics / The Oregonian
Cuban American writer Nilo Cruz's play "Two Sisters and a Piano" looks at the issue of repression in Fidel Castro's Cuba through the prism of love and sex. Cruz's play, which has just opened at Artists Repertory Theatre, is about a Cuban poet, Maria Celia, who is based loosely on the real-life poet Maria Elena Cruz Varela.

Expos Acquire Livan Hernandez From Giants / NY Times
The Montreal Expos acquired Livan Hernandez from the San Francisco Giants on Monday night, uniting the former World Series MVP with his half brother, Orlando Hernandez.

Editorial: Castro up to his old tricks / San Antonio Express-News
While the United States and much of the world are focused on the U.S-led effort to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, closer to home another well-known tyrant is back to his old tricks.

March 25

FROM CUBA / Cuba: Between war and peace / Rafael Ferro Salas
Cuban government officials spare no effort in the search of pretexts to justify the sad reality that is lived out on the island. In the face of the armed conflict between the United States and Iraq, the Cuban discourse is now aimed at justifying the nation's own misfortunes with the foreign war.

Cuba News / The Miami Herald
-Rules changed on Cuba trips
-Despite an easing of arrests, Cuban dissidents still fearful

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba's Catholic Church Decries Crackdown
-Treasury Dept. Cracks Down on Cuba Travel
-Russian, Cuban foreign ministers meet, deplore Iraq war

External links

Using eroticism to peer into Cuba's politics / The Oregonian
Cuban American writer Nilo Cruz's play "Two Sisters and a Piano" looks at the issue of repression in Fidel Castro's Cuba through the prism of love and sex. Cruz's play, which has just opened at Artists Repertory Theatre, is about a Cuban poet, Maria Celia, who is based loosely on the real-life poet Maria Elena Cruz Varela.

Expos Acquire Livan Hernandez From Giants / NY Times
The Montreal Expos acquired Livan Hernandez from the San Francisco Giants on Monday night, uniting the former World Series MVP with his half brother, Orlando Hernandez.

March 24

FROM CUBA / Search warrant / Claudia Márquez Linares / Grupo Decoro
Twelve State Security officers. Two of them armed. One with a search warrant authorizing them to look for "items constituting crimes." The man in charge called himself Captain Pepe. I met him in my bedroom, standing there, looking at me. I had to demand he leave the room so I could finish getting dressed. He told me to do so quickly, because he had orders to search.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba's Crackdown on Gov't. Critics Slows
-Press freedom group stresses threats to media in Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and around the world
-Cuba satisfied with US decision to prosecute men for hijacking
-Cuba's Castro Sends Signal With Crackdown
-16 Cubans on Hijacked Jet to Return Home
-Cuban Agents Round Up More Dissidents

Cuba News / The Miami Herald
-Passengers of hijacked plane return to Cuba
-Hijacked plane held for judgment against Cuba

Reaction to the arrests / Sweedish International Liberal Centre
-Liberal International president's reaction to the arrests
-Protest of 43 MPs from all the parties in the Swedish Parliament

U.S. Senate Announces Cuba Working Group / Cuba Policy Foundation
Ten Member, Bipartisan Group Will Examine U.S. Policies Toward Cuba, Calls Sanction Policy "Ineffective"

Seek alternatives to Cuba embargo / Jim Davis / The Miami Herald
Just 90 miles from Florida's shores lies a country with whom America's history, culture, economy and people are tightly intertwined. Yet our nations' diplomatic relationship remains severed.

External links

Bipartisan Senate group says end sanctions / The Washington Times
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators yesterday brushed aside global condemnation of Fidel Castro's latest crackdown on dissent and formed a group seeking an end to the 40-year-old American trade embargo of Cuba.

Cuba urged to end crackdown / BBC, UK
Criticism is mounting on Cuba's crackdown on the country's opposition - stealthily undertaken, some suggest, while the world's attention is fixed on Iraq.

Cuba detains more in sweep / The Dallas Morning News
The number of dissidents and journalists jailed here climbed to nearly 60 Thursday, the third day of the most intense crackdown Cuban authorities have carried out in years.

Cuba Arrests More Dissidents Amid Outcry / NY Tmes
Cuban authorities continued their islandwide roundup of dissidents, journalists and other opposition figures today, even as representatives of Latin American nations introduced a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Commission condemning the country's human rights record.

Arrests deal Cuban dissidents big setback / Sun-Sentinel, FL
Once almost invisible to the outside world, dissident leaders had stepped into the limelight recently, gaining access to high-profile foreign delegations, including visits from congressmen and European Union officials earlier this month.

Cuban Exiles Finding Spirit of Reconciliation / NY Times
Like thousands of other Cuban exiles here, Juan Cabrera left behind his family, job and home with the hope of someday returning to a democratic island. But unlike many who came before him, Mr. Cabrera, 30, says that the best way to achieve the dream is not by toppling Fidel Castro, starving his economy or keeping relations with Cuba in the deep freeze, where they have been for 40 years.

March 21

FROM CUBA / Arrested dissidents may top a hundred in Cuba / Ernesto Roque
he wave of home searches and arrests begun by the government Tuesday afternoon keeps growing, with some estimates placing the number of dissidents in custody at over a hundred.

FROM CUBA / Six more journalists arrested / Fara Armenteros / UPECI
Reports of the home searches are falling into a pattern. Groups of ten officers, wearing black vests and latex gloves thoroughly search every nook and cranny, confiscating mostly documents and equipment, such as tape recorders. The officers don't seem to be rushed for time.

FROM CUBA / Police increase pressure on people who don't hold government jobs / Grupo Decoro
A growing number of people here are complaining police are putting pressure on those who don't hold a government job, raising fears that the government is trying to revive the anti-Vagrancy laws that held sway in the 1970s.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba continues to prosecute crackdown while world focuses on war in Iraq
-Carter urges Cuba to free dissidents
-Cuba Expands Crackdown, Grabs Dissidents
-Cuban plane hijackers face 20 years in US prison

March 20

FROM CUBA / Over twenty dissidents arrested amid rising tensions in U.S. / UPECI
Cuban State Security officers fanned out across Havana starting at about 4 p.m. tuesday and arrested at least 20 dissidents, according to the latest reports, after searching their homes and confiscating books, papers, computers and cameras.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba's sweep of dissidents intensifies with at least 55 detained
-Cuba demands return of hijacked plane, hijackers, crew and passengers
-Cuba Continues Crackdown on Dissidents
-Cuba Says Will Put Dissidents on Trial
-U.S. Upset With Cuba's Dissident Arrests
-Tensions rise between Cuba and U.S. after dissident crackdown, new travel restrictions on American diplomats
-Passengers, crew of hijacked Cuban plane taken to Miami detention center; 6 suspects in jail

Arrested correspondent of PRIMA / PRIMA News
On the night of March 19-- 20 Cuban state security police arrested in Havana Adolfo Fernandez Saints, a correspondent of the Moscow-based PRIMA News Agency. After an eight-hour search at his home, he was taken to the state security headquarters on Villa Marista Street in the Cuban capital.

Cuba News / The Miami Herald
-35 Cuban dissidents arrested
-Men detained for Cuban hijacking wanted asylum, official said
-Cuban plane flown to U.S.; six arrested in hijacking
-Ferry may go to Cuba April 15

Forging Cuba's civic movement / Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat / The Miami Herald
Traditionally, two forms of struggle against the Castro regime have been posited: one, armed revolution; the other, dialogue and understanding.

External links

Online Journalists Jailed in Cuba / By Julia Scheeres / Wired News
The Cuban government has jailed 10 independent journalists -- most of whom publish articles on Internet news sites -- as part of a larger crackdown against political opposition on the island. Police went from house to house on Tuesday, rounding up the reporters and 24 political activists, according to the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders. Authorities confiscated the detainees' computer equipment, books and papers, the group said.

Cuba Arrests a Score of Dissidents Linked to a U.S. Diplomat / NY Times
The roundup on Tuesday, the biggest sweep of dissidents in recent years, mostly singled out independent journalists whose reports on politics and daily life have earned them the ire of Fidel Castro's government. A group of them had attended a journalism workshop last week at the home of James Cason, the chief American diplomat in Havana. Human rights advocates said the authorities also searched homes and confiscated fax machines, typewriters and even medicines.

Dissidents arrested, U.S. envoys targeted / The Washington Times.
The Cuban government has begun what State Department officials yesterday called the most significant repression of its political opposition in seven years. Dozens of Cuban opposition leaders have been arrested in the past few days. The campaign is also targeting senior U.S. diplomats, who are being singled out by name on nightly government television broadcasts and accused of illegal activities.

Cuba cracks down on dissidents / BBC, UK
Cuba's communist government says it has arrested dozens of dissidents who were in contact with the US representative in Havana.

Cuba rounds up dissidents / The Dallas Morning News
Cuban authorities began rounding up political dissidents and independent journalists Tuesday, describing them as "traitors" and accusing them of working with the United States to try to topple the socialist government.

Cuba, Mexico resume friendly relationship / The Dallas Morning News
Two years after it began, the diplomatic war between Cuba and Mexico is over, according to senior officials in both countries. The unannounced end of hostilities means a return to a century-old relationship considered among the most fraternal in the world.

March 19

Cuba News / The Miami Herald
-Cuba announces new restrictions on diplomats
-Carter 'disappointed' by Cuba's handling of Varela Project petition

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba Cracks Down on Dissidents, Diplomats
-A look at the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba
-Seven Cubans detained in Honduras on way to the United States

Free Prisoners of Conscience / The Miami Herald
Francisco Chaviano González's ''crime'' was to document rafters who disappeared or died trying to flee Cuba. Convicted of ''revealing State Security secrets'' in a kangaroo-court trial, he was handed a 15-year prison term. Having served nearly eight years of his sentence, he is eligible for parole and should be released.

March 18

FROM CUBA / Elaborate preparations mark Cuban girls' 15th Birthday / Claudia Márquez Linares
Some parents here are willing to go to considerable lengths, including risking jail time, to provide a proper 15th birthday party, or "quince," for their daughters.

FROM CUBA / Cuban mangroves endangered / Reinaldo Cosano Alén
The red mangrove, black mangrove, patabán and yana are the four species indigenous to Cuba of this so very important coastal plant, whose importance as a regulator of the environment is beginning to be recognized.

FROM CUBA / Manati, a ghost town / Reinaldo Cosano Alen
Manati, a sugar factory located in Las Tunas, one of the most oriental provinces of Cuba, is staring to look like a "ghost town".

FROM CUBA / Eviction / Rafael Ferro Salas
The woman entered the doctor's office at full tilt. Desperately, she searched with a look and saw Dr. Guillermo examining a pregnant patient. The doctor finished with the patient and showed her out with a smile.

Canseco gets 2 years' house arrest, probation and community service / The Miami Herald
After spending a month in jail, a contrite Jose Canseco apologized to a Miami-Dade circuit judge and prosecutors on Monday for treating the justice system with a cavalier attitude and violating probation on assault charges.

March 17

FROM CUBA / Power outages inconvenience Havana residents / UPECI
Since the end of last week, Havana has been subject to electric power cutbacks of over ten hours every day due to maintenance and repair work in three power generating plants around the island.

Ailing migrants quickly recover / The Miami Herald
The nine Cubans who reached American soil Thursday after claiming they had swallowed pills at sea were released from hospitals within hours and could soon gain their freedom, prompting concern that other migrants might try similar stunts.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba slams door in UN special representative's face
-Cuba limits travel of U.S. diplomats; U.S. reciprocates, officials say
-Cuba Won't Let Human Rights Monitor In
-EU Commissioner Backs Cuba in Trade Pact
-EU commissioner calls for Cuba's inclusion in aid and trade pact to help nurture democracy

Respect Human Rights / The Miami Herald
The United States, the European Union and other nations that believe in human rights should make every effort to rescue the United Nations Human Rights Commission from itself this year.

ALA takes action on librarian's health emergency / The Friends of Cuban Libraries
On March 14 the International Relations Committee of the American Library Association wrote a letter to Cuba's Foreign Minister regarding the situation of Leonardo Bruzón, who has been imprisoned without charge or trial since February 2002.

External links

Hunger strike begins in Cuba / Dallas Morning News
In all, about 500 members of the political opposition will fast in the coming weeks, refusing food for eight to 12 hours at a time, organizers said. Six, including three of Cuba's best-known dissidents, vowed to stop eating solid food entirely.

Cuba rejects U.N. rights monitor / Northern Light
Cuba has told the United Nations that if it tries to send the French magistrate named to promote and monitor measures to improve the communist regime's deficient human rights record, it will refuse her entry,

Brazil Petrobras said interested in Cuba oil exploration / Petroleum World
Brazil's oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), or Petrobras, is interested in resuming oil exploration and production activities in Cuba, a spokeswoman for the Cuban embassy in Brazil said Thursday.

Report: Charges to be brought against Chavez for oil to Cuba / Northern Light
A high-ranking Venezuelan prosecutor intends to charge President Hugo Chavez with damaging the public interest by providing cut-rate oil to the Cuba of his friend Fidel Castro, a Caracas daily reported Friday.

Conference will promote trade between S.C., Cuba / The State, SC
For the first time since the United States relaxed trade sanctions against Cuba two years ago, South Carolina is paying attention to the potential market that is less than 700 miles from our shores.

Ambassador Murdoch leads delegation to Cuba / Antigua Sun
Antigua & Barbuda's non-resident ambassador to Cuba Colin Murdoch left the island over the weekend at the head of a delegation from Antigua & Barbuda on an official visit to Cuba.

Normalizing Cuban relations / Harrison Daily Times
The first time I saw 2nd District U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's (Dem. Little Rock) picture all buddied-up with Fidel Castro in Havana and plastered all over the USA Today newspaper, I was shell-shocked.

Iran, Cuba review expansion of mutual ties / IranMania News
Visiting Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Guerra Menchero conferred here Sunday with First Vice Speaker Behzad Nabavi on issues of mutual interest, IRNA reported.

'Limping loony' sends Canadians to Cuba /
While Cuba remains off-limits to most leisure travelers under U.S. law, it has rolled out a refurbished welcome mat to tourists over the past 10 years, and a growing number of Canadians are picking Cuba over destinations in the United States, a trend that worries some Florida officials.

'Khrushchev': The First De-Stalinist / Leon Aron / New York Times
He brutally crushed the Hungarian revolution -- yet he opened the gates of the gulag for millions, and authorized the publication of Solzhenitsyn's ''One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.'' He built the Berlin Wall and put nuclear-tipped missiles into Cuba -- yet he ordered deep unilateral cuts in Soviet conventional forces and initiated the first detente with the United States.

Like That, Contreras Ends Talk of Slump / New York Times
Contreras had several reasons to feel optimistic about his chances for marked improvement today. He benefited from a productive bullpen session on Wednesday with Stottlemyre; he heard on Thursday that his 80-year-old father, Florentino, was being released from a Cuban hospital after a stroke; and Manager Joe Torre declared that he had made the Yankees' opening day roster.

Father of Yankees Cuban pitcher Contreras is released from hospital /

The father of New York Yankees pitcher Jose Contreras was released from a Cuban hospital Thursday. Florentino Contreras, 80, had a stroke Saturday, five days after requiring surgery to clear an intestinal obstruction.

Film on Elián says media portrayed exiles as 'raving lunatics' / Sun-Sentinel, FL
Elián González is back in the spotlight, this time the focus of a documentary by a filmmaker who thinks Cuban-Americans who wanted the Cuban castaway to remain in the United States were portrayed as raving lunatics by the media. Covering Cuba 3: Elián is Cuban-born artist and filmmaker Agustin Blazquez's latest effort at presenting views of Cuban-Americans who lobbied for Elián to stay.

In Cuba, rich in adoration /
Stevenson waved me inside. He had a few chores to take care of. Out back was his 480-pound pig, Malu. Stevenson filled a trough with feed and water. "She'll have another litter or two," the champ said. "And then ..." He slid his index finger across his throat.

The Conga Room and Andy Garcia host honorary event for Cuban music sensation Cachao / Hoover's Online
Actor Andy Garcia hosted and performed at a star-studded event at Los Angeles hotspot The Conga Room last night to honor renowned Cuban musician Cachao on his musical achievements.

March 14

FROM CUBA / Independent journalists' homes attacked / Grupo Decoro
The homes of two independent journalists were stoned Saturday night in Güines, a town south of Havana. The sequential timing of the incidents suggested to some that the same person or persons were involved.

No EU Aid For Cuba / The Miami Herald
The European Union got it right last year when it rebuffed suggestions that Cuba be invited to participate in an EU aid pact with poor African, Caribbean and Pacific nations. The pact, know as the Cotonou agreement, sets conditions regarding human rights and democracy. Cuba's totalitarian dictatorship didn't respect those conditions then, nor does it now.

Cuba News / The Miami Herald
-Former Cuban intelligence officer arrested in Dade
-Sickly rafters brought ashore

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Group Sues U.S. Over Elian Gonzalez Raid
-Cuba Protests About Treatment of Spies

March 13

FROM CUBA / Fishermen fined in Nuevitas / APLA
For the last two weeks authorities have been imposing fines on anyone caught with either fish of fishing gear in Nuevitas, on the north coast of Cuba.

FROM CUBA / Street vendors chased from school / Grupo Decoro
he peddlers, mostly women who are otherwise unemployed, sell guava and coconut pastries at two pesos each, French fries at five pesos the bag, or a confection similar to a doughnut at one peso each.

FROM CUBA / Havana's lifeguards complain of poor working conditions / Reinaldo Cosano Alén
Lifeguards who patrol the 15-mile stretch of beaches east of Havana complain of working conditions they say renders them ineffective.

FROM CUBA / Fire in armed forces warehouse / Cuba-Verdad
A serious fire broke out Sunday in a warehouse belonging to the Cuban armed forces in Managua, a town 20 miles south of Havana.

FROM CUBA / U.S. TV and radio signals received off Cuban coast / APLA
Surprised residents of Turiguanó island, off the northern Cuban coast near Morón, found themselves able to receive TV and radio signals from the U. S. last week, according to Nilo Gutiérrez, a local correspondent for APLA.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Government opponents ask European Union not to include Cuba in agreement
-Cuban bishops complain about exclusion from convent inauguration
-Family of American executed in Cuba seeks $600 million in damages
-Cuban Man Gets 10 Years for Hijacking

Damages sought in dad's death / The Miami Herald
The regime executed Anderson, 41, on April 19, 1961 -- two days after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Under Cuban law, such an offense usually carried a maximum of nine years in prison, the suit says.

External links

Dissidents lobby EU against Cuba / BBC, UK
Leading Cuban dissidents have urged the European Union not to sign a trade and aid agreement with their country.

Hunger strike begins in Cuba / The Dallas Morning News
Dissidents across Cuba began an unprecedented hunger strike and fasting campaign Tuesday, demanding the release of hundreds of political prisoners.

Conference will promote trade between S.C., Cuba / The, SC
For the first time since the United States relaxed trade sanctions against Cuba two years ago, South Carolina is paying attention to the potential market that is less than 700 miles from our shores.

Rehberg to organize trade delegation to Cuba / Montana Forum
Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., plans to organize a Montana trade delegation to Cuba to sell state farm goods to the communist government. "I'll get on the phone starting tomorrow," Rehberg said Tuesday, after returning to Washington from a five-day trip to the island with other lawmakers

Cuba increases metals exports / Hoover's Online
Cuba's steel and metal-extraction industry in 2002 reported exports totaling $81.5 million, 33 percent more that the previous year, according to official data.

Profiles in REAL Courage / Humberto Fontova /
Disdain for Communism and dictatorships of any sort were the guideposts of the young rebel's benevolent crusade. Matthews reported how Castro's very lips curled when mentioning these vile authoritarian concepts, so alien to his core beliefs, so contrary to his nature.

Hernández Counsels Contreras / NY Times
Orlando Hernández was one of the Yankees' best postseason pitchers and one of their biggest enigmas. Although they traded him to Montreal last January, Hernández is still helping the Yankees.s

March 11

FROM CUBA / Eight U. S. Representatives meet with Cuban dissidents / Miriam Leiva
The Representatives met with Cuban dissidents Vladimiro Roca, Héctor Palacio, Víctor Rolando Arroyo, Osvaldo Alfonso, Gisela Delgado Sablón, Oscar Espinosa, and Miriam Leiva.

FROM CUBA / The sound of silence / Rafael Ferro Salas
Now he can speak with the wind and he explains it to his wife on her visiting days to the prison, the few times they grant him visits in his condition as a political prisoner.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-American lawmakers propose a town hall meeting with U.S. Congress members in Cuba
-EU Opens New Office in Cuba
-Cuba wins support for bid to join EU trade pact; European bloc to open Havana office
-AP Corrects Cuba Church Story

A Gutsy Mother: The Elian case in reverse /
There have been many Elian cases in reverse, where parents have been able to defect and the Cuban regime refuses to let their children go, so they remain hostage in Cuba. Cuba often uses this hostage-holding technique to prevent relatives abroad from talking publicly about the horrible violations of human rights in Cuba or other secrets they know about the regime.

Leonardo Bruzón Avila transferred to Military Hospital in Havana / Information Bridge Cuba Miami
Alcira Avila Fabré, mother of Bruzón Avila told Ríos that right now her son is worst than when he was in prison for his weight is not more than 70 pounds, and he cannot walk at all.

External links

8 vow to have U.S.-style meeting in Cuba / Dallas Morning News
Mr. Flake and others said U.S. authorities pay no attention to this group [Cubans who visit their country] even as they harass and level fines against Americans who go to the island. "It's blatantly discriminatory. We exclude one ethnic group from any scrutiny or penalty," said Phil Peters, a former State Department official who organized the congressional visit.

Spanish Disposition / The New York Times
''He's a maniac,'' says Julian Schnabel, who cast Bardem in ''Before Night Falls'' when Benicio Del Toro pulled out of the project. ''But like all great actors, he has this gift of becoming this other character. He dives profoundly into finding out what he needs to learn in order to become that person".

Cuba: Vice-President Lage calls for more discipline, control in tourism sector / Hoover's Online
Cuban Vice-President Carlos Lage today brought to a close the annual assessment meeting for the tourism sector by calling for greater management discipline and control. Lage said the nation's primary economic activity must be the most disciplined, controlled and demanding sector of the economy. He added that everything must be regulated properly.

Compensation sought from Cuba for businessman's execution / Houston Chronicle
After nearly 42 years of waiting, the family of an executed American businessman may finally receive compensation from Cuba for his death. The family's claim stemming from the torture and death of Howard Anderson is one of many such claims dating back to the revolution of the late 1950s. Anderson was convicted of aiding counterrevolutionaries.

Cuba, Fidel and me / Telegraph, UK
He flourishes an extremely thin gold and platinum Swiss chronograph. "He said, 'Nice watch - can I try it on?' I said, of course, Senor Presidente. So he put his watch in his pocket and wore mine for the rest of the party. He showed it off to a group of nurses who had been invited. They were asking him about his health, which everyone always talks about. 'Don't worry - I'm strong,' he said. 'I take a lot of vitamins: A, B, B12, D. And plenty of Viagra.' "

A Ghostly Leading Lady Surfaces in Off-Bway Musical, Havana Under the Sea /
Written by Abilio Estévez and translated and adapted in English by Caridad Svich, Havana Under the Sea stars Doreen Montalvo and Meme Solís. Montalvo plays, among other characters, the central role of Cecilia, the ghost of an aristocratic lady condemned to wander for eternity among the sunken ruins of Havana.

Cuban Asylum Seeker Tries to Sneak Back /
A Cuban immigrant whose application for asylum in Namibia was thrown out has been arrested after he sneaked back into the country. Pedro Osvaldo Ortegas Suarez was quietly released by Namibian immigration authorities a week ago following an appeal by Amnesty International not to deport him back to Cuba.

March 10

FROM CUBA / Anti-government graffiti now in english / UPECI
Anti-government graffiti in the Pinar del Río town of Manuel Lazo is a common occurrence, but to find them in English, as townspeople did this past week, is a novelty.

FROM CUBA / Fast boat in container nabbed by police / Cuba-Verdad
Residents of the Capri neighborhood were startled Tuesday morning at finding a 42-foot long trailer-truck containing a fast boat parked in front of the police's Ninth station.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-EU official travels to Cuba to open European Union office
-Largest delegation ever of U.S. lawmakers arrives in Cuba
-Fidel Castro makes unusual appearance at blessing of religious convent
-U.S. Protests Castro's Diplomat Criticism

25 and counting / The Miami Herald
The smells hit you first. A mixture of roast pork, onions, cheese arepas and tobacco wafts through the air as you amble up the street, passing block after block of people hawking food and T-shirts and sodas and water and beaded necklaces in the colors of every Latin American country.

External links

Saddam's tough to persuade. Cuba tried / The Washington Post
In the fall of 1990, Alcibíades Hidalgo was part of a high-level Cuban diplomatic delegation sent by Fidel Castro to Baghdad on the eve of the Persian Gulf War to try to persuade Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait.

Cardinal's missive evokes a hero to all / Sun-Sentinel, Florida
Communists claim him for his anti-colonial fervor, and dissidents claim him as an inspiration for political reform. But Father Felix Varela was first and foremost a man of the church, Cardinal Jaime Ortega reminded Cubans in his most recent pastoral letter.

No thaw in Cuba relations / The Dallas Morning News
U.S.-Cuba relations, mostly bad over the last 44 years, have hit a nasty low. Cuban President Fidel Castro says America's top diplomat in Havana is a bully and provocateur who must be swilling alcohol at meetings with dissidents, because otherwise his behavior wouldn't be so strange.

Dissidents organize in Cuba / Sun-Sentinel, Florida
Dissidents have created more than 100 small "citizens' committees" in cities and remote towns like this across Cuba to continue gathering signatures for the Varela Project.

Sherritt moving ahead in Cuba / The Toronto Star, Canada
Sherritt International Corp. will spend $110 million to develop its oil and gas holdings in Cuba this year while it negotiates with the government over the way the business is taxed, the resource company said yesterday.

Cuban kids theater to perform in Bay Area / Oakland Tribune
Troupe says it will donate half of proceeds to California children.

Yankees react to Contreras's slump with caring / NY Times
The unforeseen circumstance is the illness of Florentino Contreras, Contreras's 80-year-old father, who was admitted to a hospital in Cuba last week. José Contreras said his sister informed him Saturday that Florentino had had a stroke. José Contreras cannot see his father and has no assurance he will be able to speak to him directly.

March 7

FROM CUBA / Supply of non-rationed goods in government stores drops / Grupo Decoro
he government stores began as an alternative to Cubans who lack the needed currency for purchases in dollar stores. But with the years the supply has declined to the point of some stores closing for lack of merchandise on their shelves

FROM CUBA / Fundamental Rights Charter survey results announced / Cuba-Verdad
A total of 35,209 Cubans were consulted during a five-month survey of viewpoints concerning the Cuban Fundamental Rights Charter.

FROM CUBA / New publication from the opposition in Cuba / Grupo Decoro
'Río Arriba' 'Upstream' is edited by members of the independent civil society in the province of Havana. The editorial board consists of Miguel Galban, director; Jose U. Izquierdo, news editor; and Jose Orta, advisor.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Castro Re-Elected to 6th Term in Cuba
-Cuba Wins Support to Join EU Trade Pact

Protest at hotel wrecks meeting by advocates of talks with Cuba / The Miami Herald
A news conference intended to boost support for a meeting in Havana next month between Cuban government officials and exiles turned into a parking-lot protest against the hotel management Thursday, which unexpectedly kicked participants off the premises.

March 6

FROM CUBA / Wife of dissident threatened / APLO
The wife of pacifist dissident Angel Ramon Evans Rodríguez was told by state security agents to force her husband to leave their home if she did not want to face reprisals.

FROM CUBA / Workers refuse to work overtime / Grupo Decoro
Workers at the Planta Mecanica metal plant in Santa Clara are refusing to work overtime on the grounds the company did not pay them for previous work they had agreed to carry out.

Amnesty International weighs in on Cuban hunger strike / The Miami Herald
Amnesty International has issued an ''urgent action'' notice calling on human rights activists from around the world to send appeals to Fidel Castro and other the Cuban government officials to provide immediate medical attention and the unconditional release of an imprisoned opponent on a prolonged a hunger strike.

New Cuban parliament convenes, expected to re-elect Fidel Castro / Yahoo!
Cuba's newly chosen parliament convened for the first time Thursday and was expected to re-elect Fidel Castro, the world's longest ruling head of government. Cuba's state-controlled media has not specifically mentioned the re-election of Castro during Thursday's National Assembly meeting, but this week has said that the Council of State will be elected during the gathering.

Q & A with Cuba's President Fidel Castro / Vancouver Sun
An interview with Castro as he stops on British Colombia on his way to Cuba.

Davis says Cuba trip differed from Greco's / Tampa Bay Online
Tampa politician Jim Davis ignored four decades of political convention and alienated some constituents this week by becoming the first Florida congressman to openly visit Cuba since Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.

Emerson making third trek to Cuba / St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mrs. Emerson has been a leader in seeking increased trade with Cuba. She wants American producers, particularly farmers in her southeast Missouri district, to be allowed to sell more food to Cuba.

External links

Cuban-style B & Bs / The Globe and Mail, Canada
Private casas particulares offer clean, basic rooms, home cooking and a refreshing intimacy in this Communist nation

Tight regulations slash number of U.S. visas / The Washington Times
The most significant drop came from Cuba more than 18,000 visas were issued in the year prior to the legislation versus 7,000 for the year following.

'No idea' how Iraq war will affect Cuba: Castro / The Globe and Mail, Canada
Looking slightly frail, Cuban President Fidel Castro held an impromptu press conference near Vancouver airport yesterday telling reporters that he has "no idea" how a war in Iraq will affect the U.S. embargo on his country.

Mexico spied on Cuba for U.S / Palm Beach Interactive
Another Texan, Lyndon Johnson, was in the White House. And a key enemy close to home was newly communist Cuba, not Iraq. Nearly 40 years ago, in a historic parallel to the diplomatic wrangling over Iraq, the United States and its neighbor Mexico seemed at irreconcilable odds over Cuba, a country that presented a nuclear threat during the harrowing 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

A Cuban game to remember / The Globe and Mail, Canada
When Robert Everett-Green attends a baseball game in Havana's open-sky, old-fashioned ballpark, he gets a slice of real Cuban life -- and a little more than he bargained for.

Havana conference to draw Cubans from afar /, FL
After an eight-year hiatus, a delegation of Cubans from around the world will return to the island for the third "Nation and Emigration" conference, a meeting participants hope will strengthen ties between Cubans on the island and those living abroad.

Farewell To 'The Hawk' / East Side Boxing
In a career lasting 15 years and 143 professional fights, Cuban born Kid Gavilan was never stopped and was floored just three times. Born Gerardo Mauras, on 6 January 1926, the man who became known as 'The Hawk', fought in what many consider boxing's golden era. His

In Cuba, Stevenson's still champ / San Jose Mercury News, CA
He was Fidel Castro's towering champion, a pugilist who took home three Olympic gold medals, dismantling American boxers along the way.

Commissioner to visit Cuba / IRNA
Poul Nielson, European Commissioner in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid, will pay an official visit to Cuba from 10 to 14 March. On the occasion of his first visit to Cuba, Nielson will officially inaugurate the new EU Delegation office in Havana, said a Commission statement in Brussels Thursday.

March 5

FROM CUBA / Jailed independent journalist beaten / CPIC
Brizuela Yera explained the beating was a result of him having in his possession a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a report on Cuba prepared by the French organization Journalists Without Borders.

FROM CUBA / The cure is worse... / Rafael Ferro Salas
There's a new scare for the Cuban population. One more drop in its cup of miseries. The authorities are struggling against drugs in a crazed race in every corner of the island. Police raids are carried out at all hours in the streets of the cities.

FROM CUBA / Independent journalists schedule ethics workshop / CPI
Some 60 of the more than 100 Independent Journalists in Cuba will hold a workshop March 14 on journalism ethics.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-Cuba Delivers Sentences to Drug Dealers
-Cuban opposition group conducts human rights poll on island

March 4

Cuban seizure of American book shipment proves pen still mightier than sword / Association of American Publishers
"The enduring power of the written word, especially in the form of books, was demonstrated once again in a news story today from Havana," according to Pat Schroeder, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers.

Fla. is high on Cuban food chain / The Miami Herald
Florida companies ranked second, behind Illinois-based companies, last year in the overall value of U.S. agricultural products sold to Cuba, a leading source of information on U.S.-Cuba trade said Monday.

Cuba's Cardinal speaks out / The Miami Herald
Cuba's Catholic Church is joining the growing ranks of those losing their fear. A powerful pastoral letter released last week sends a clear message to Cuba's totalitarian government and its people: Cubans must have their God-given freedoms and hope for a better future.

External links

Illinois leads nation in farm exports to Cuba / Chicago Sun-Times
Illinois companies ranked first in overall value of U.S. agricultural products sold to communist-run Cuba last year, trade statistics show.

Contreras' father taken to hospital /
The father of New York Yankees' pitcher Jose Contreras was taken to a Cuban hospital with stomach pains early Monday.

Cuban Cardinal Ortega Defends Autonomy of Church /
Havana's archbishop published a letter defending the autonomy and independence of the Church in Cuba, while inviting the faithful to abandon mediocrity and to build a viable future.

March 3

FROM CUBA / Raids and rumors spread In Cuba / Oscar Mario González
By now it is common knowledge that the anti-drug campaign begun by the government in mid-January has come to mean daily house searches that seem directed to stamp out the myriad economic improvisations of Cubans trying to eke out a living behind the government's back.

Attacks on police grow with crackdown on drugs, illegal business / Yahoo!
Amid a crackdown on drug trafficking and other illegal businesses in Cuba, communist authorities on Monday acknowledged a recent rise in attacks on police agents and reminded citizens of the severe penalties for such assaults.

Cuba News / Yahoo!
-U.S. Congressmen Meet With Cuba's Paya
-United States becomes Cuba's No. 1 source of imported food
-Castro Reflects on Cuban Missile Crisis
-Family Demands Release of Cuban Dissident
-Castro Offers to Mediate N. Korea Crisis
-Cuban cigar aficionados celebrate tobacco-inspired high fashion

'There is no homeland without virtue' / The Miami Herald
These are excerpts from ''There is no homeland without virtue,'' the pastoral letter by Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, released on Feb. 24, the 150th anniversary of Father Félix Varela's death.

Miami cleric asks exiles' support for Cuba's reform-minded bishop / The Miami Herald
Monsignor Agustín Román, auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami, urged Cuban exiles Friday to promote the pastoral letter on social and economic reform issued this week by Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, archbishop of Havana.

External links

In Cuba: Books, sí; for dissidents? No! / The Dallas Morning News
Calling it an issue of national sovereignty, the Cuban government has blocked a shipment of more than 5,000 books sent by the U.S. government to the island's growing network of independent libraries.

Hatch Comes Back As an American / The Washington Post
The last time she had competed, in 1997, she was known by her maiden name, Annia Potuondo. And the last time she competed it was for another country: Cuba.

Castro observes new China / Sun-Sentinel, Florida
In the early 1960s, with Cuba's revolution still in its infancy and the Sino-Soviet rivalry collapsing into an open feud, Fidel Castro made a strategic decision to align with Moscow as his chief benefactor and ideological ally.

Travel firms hurt by U.S. clampdown on Cuba / The Globe and Mail, Canada
A U.S. crackdown on American residents who violate their country's ban on travel to Cuba is causing headaches for the Canadian tour companies who send them there.

Fear and provocation in Havana / The Washington Times
While American servicemen continue to be placed in harm's way to protect America, members of Congress, governors, academics and business folks are sometimes hosted by the Cuban leader, who has welcomed the murderers of American police officers.

Cuban children's troupe to perform / SignOn San Diego
State Sen. Dede Alpert has fond memories of the children's theater troupe she watched perform in Cuba last year when she visited the island on a legislative tour. Now residents of San Diego will be able to see the children's group.


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