La Tienda de Cubanet

MARCH 2004

March 31

Changes in law restrict inheritance rights in Cuba

The changes provide that inheritors who are not directly related to the deceased have to solicit an opinion from the municipal housing authorities as to whether the house they have inherited should become the property of the community.

80 new bus inspectors will be deployed in Havana

Havana's city bus officials have announced that starting April 1, 80 new inspectors will take to the streets in order to stem losses due to pilfered revenue by bus crews.

Theft leaves beach-goers unprotected

A foreign tourist had his belongings stolen at an east Havana beach March 21 and police, who detained all lifeguards for questioning, left bathers at the beach unprotected for the rest of the afternoon.

Yahoo! News
• Mexican Businessman in Scandal Arrested
• Migrant Released From Hospital

The Miami Herald
• Cuba a bioweapons 'threat,' U.S. says
• Jose Maria Mijares
• Bacardi files suit to win brand battle

Haiti Nuncio Named for Cuba Post
John Paul II has appointed Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi the new apostolic nuncio in Cuba, three months after his first appointee to the post was slain before leaving Burundi.
Zenit .

External links

Washed-Up Body May Be Cuban Migrant
Authorities believe a body that washed ashore near St. Lucie may be one of several migrants missing from a group trying to reach the United States from Cuba on inner tubes.

Florida-to-Cuba cattle shipment upped
Naples-based J.P. Wright & Co. has reached an agreement with Alimport, Cuba's agency responsible for imports, to add 50 Florida cattle to its existing 250-head deal. This will be the first shipment of Florida cattle to Cuba in more than 40 years.
Naples Daily News, FL.

Fake cigars get rolled in Cuba case
Capitalism has its advantages, comrade. A federal judge in Manhattan yesterday said American trademark law protects Cuba's premium Cohiba brand of cigars and ordered a New York company to quit selling stogies under that name.
New York Post, NY.

Cuba remains 'terrorist threat' to U.S., administration official says
Repeating and strengthening previous allegations about Cuba's alleged weapons of mass destruction program, a Bush administration official Tuesday told Congress in written testimony that the island "remains a terrorist and (biological weapons) threat to the United States."
Biloxi Sun Herald, MS.

Ramapo College sending students to Cuba for arts study
If all goes as planned, Joshua Knoblick will spend a few weeks this spring attending theater performances in Havana, drinking mojitos on a Cuban beach and (legally) smoking a few Cuban cigars.
New Jersey Journal, NJ.

Chávez links with Cuba fuel US fight
Venezuelan opponents of Hugo Chávez think they have found a new ally in their struggle to oust the country's president - Florida's politically powerful Cuban-American community. Cuban-Americans have their own reason for disliking Mr Chávez: the 53,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil that flow to Cuba daily, which Cuba analysts call a "lifeline" for Mr Castro.
Financial Times, UK.

Mexico to Seek Extradition of Ahumada After Arrest in Cuba
Carlos Ahumada, an Argentine-born businessman with companies in Mexico, was arrested in Cuba at Mexico's request, as authorities seek his extradition on face fraud charges, the Mexican Attorney General's Office said. .

Cuba's Cigar Company Wins Order Blocking U.S. Cohiba
Cuba's state-run tobacco company won a U.S. court order blocking General Cigar Holdings Inc. from selling cigars in the U.S. under the Cohiba brand favored by Fidel Castro. .

March 29

Cuban police arrest three who filmed them beating a man in Havana's Central Park

Police arrested three who filmed them as they beat a young man in Havana's Central Park, and fined about 20 others who berated them as they beat their handcuffed victim.

Student knives another at technical school

William Vel, 16, was stabbed twice by Yosangri Matos, 15. Both were students at the "René Ramos Latour" technical school, and the fight took place near the school shortly after classes.

Government opponent expelled from Havana

Agents of the Department of State Security expelled Ada Kaly Márquez, a known anti-government activist, from Havana, putting her on a train to her native Guantánamo.
Ex-political prisoner threatened

Agents of the Department of State Security threatened ex-political prisoner Roberto Calimano with a 20-year prison sentence for associating with government opponents and independent journalists.

The Miami Herald
• 2 groups differ on Cuba but not on use of power
• Havana Club moves up the rum ranks
• Virgin Atlantic adds flights
• Hundreds rally against 'tyrants' Castro and Chávez
• State looks at tightening rules on travel to Cuba
• Dissidents' kin lament TV encounter
• 3 Cubans survive a deadly journey

Yahoo! News
• Survivors See Each For First Time Since High-Seas Voyage
• Cubans Recall Harrowing Voyage to Fla.

Examining Cuba's human-rights record
Cuba's representative last week unleashed a vituperative attack on diplomat Christine Chanet of France for meekly observing that Cuban human-rights activists were suffering from ''an unprecedented wave of oppression'' from the Castro government. This is a reference to the 75 activists who received obscene prison sentences last year for the crime of dissent.
The Miami Herald.

Cuban saved by Stanley resident
With the water off-limits Thursday due to high waves and heavy riptides, Michael Randazzo and his wife figured they'd just catch a few rays in sunny Fort Lauderdale. Instead, he helped a Cuban refugee catch an opportunity for a better life.
Finger Lakes Times, NY.

Semper Fidel
The controversy might lead viewers to conclude that while Stone has done a valuable job in Comandante in revealing Fidel, the man, he never comes close to capturing a greater quarry, the dictator, Fidel Castro.
The Globe and Mail. Canada.

External links

Venezuelans, Cubans demand democracy in their homelands at Miami march
Calling for greater international attention to the political crisis in their homeland, former Venezuelan opposition leaders Carlos Fernandez and Carlos Ortega marched together Saturday for the first time since both men fled their country.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Cuban Refugees' Boat For Sale On eBay
A unique item is up for auction on eBay: a boat used by Cuban refugees to try and reach the United States. The item, described as a "conversation piece," was posted on the popular Web site under the description: "Cuban Refugee Escape Boat - Authentic Collectible Vessel" by a seller in Margararitaville in the Florida Keys.

Herbie Hancock at jam session in Havana
Internationally-renowned jazz musician Herbie Hancock (Herbert Jeffrey) was seen jamming at the National Union of Cuban Artists and Writers (UNEAC) with Cuban musicians Chucho Valdés, Tata Guines and Pancho Quinto.

To Cuba With Love
On Thursday mornings, Jose Rangel hops in a van loaded with parcels and begins a five-hour trek to Miami, where the packages eventually will be stowed aboard an airplane bound for Cuba.
Tampa Tribune, FL.

United Nations ponders Net's future
Cuba's delegate, Juan Fernandez, was busy lobbying for help with the so-called interconnection problem. Mr. Fernandez, from Cuba's Ministry of Informatics and Communications, complained that it was unfair for poorer countries to have to pay such high Internet bills - currently, whoever connects pays for the traffic, and more Cubans browse American websites than the other way around.
Globe and Mail, Canada.

March 26

Cellular phones in Cuba to become available with monthly payments in pesos

The Cuban Telephone Company plans to offer cellular telephone service later this year with payments made in pesos rather than dollars, as has been the policy to date.

Water service interrupted in San Antonio de los Baños

Residents of San Antonio de los Baños had to make do without running water for over two days at the beginning of the month when the service was shut off for repairs to the almost 100-year-old aqueduct.

Medicines scarce in Cuban pharmacies

"We have free medical care, even if it isn't the best, but, what do we do if we don't have medicines, which are the ones that really cure us?" said Raúl García, summing up the predicament Cuban patients often face.
Two Cuban officials fired for corruption

At least two officials of the Urban Housing office in the Plaza municipality of Havana were fired after a probe by the police's Investigative Department revealed widespread corruption.
Cuban municipal services workers complain about conditions

Municipal service workers in Havana complain about the ongoing deterioration in their working conditions, which they say they cannot get remedied no matter how often they appeal to the various government dependencies.

Yahoo! News
• Cuba Says Prisoners Weren't Mistreated
• Three Cubans Pulled to Safety Off Florida
• Cuban Ministry Protests UNESCO Award
• Castro is slave of the people in "up close" documentary

The Miami Herald
• U.S. antidrug report gets Cuban backlash
• U.S. to bar Cubans who aided dissident 'show trials'
• Cuban defector pursues dream

Politicians support Cuba protests .
A well-guarded Senator Daniel Kroupa, left, was jailed in a cell on Wenceslas Square in a protest of Cuba's human rights policies.
The Prague Post.
Reporters Without Borders presents a public conference with Castro's daughter
While Cuba is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Quebecers and Canadians, Reporters Without Borders Canada wants to remind people that Cuba is also the world's biggest prison for journalists. At this date, 30 journalists are behind bars in Cuba, simply for doing their job: writing.
Canada Newswire.
Condemnation abounds for Cubans' jailing
Nobel laureates, including José Saramago and Dario Fo, and human rights groups around the world have condemned the Cuban government for the action and appealed for their release, but all 75 Cubans remain imprisoned in what dissident groups say was the most serious attack on the island's dissidents in recent memory.
The Washington Times.

External links

Cuba's Spring
The failure of the international community to hold Mr. Castro accountable for his crimes against some of Cuba's best writers, journalists and teachers means that that spring probably will not arrive this year. But even Mr. Castro, feebly clinging to his failed ideology at age 77, must know in his heart that it is coming.
The Washington Post..

Mr. Castro's Prisoners
Adolfo Fernández Saínz, 56, is a translator, journalist and democracy advocate in Cuba. His current address is a cell in Holguín prison, nearly 500 miles from his family, which is permitted a two-hour visit every three months. Mr. Fernández Saínz shares his cell with 47 common prisoners, one of whom beat him into unconsciousness in December.
The New York Times.

A "Cuban Spring"
The atrocious conditions under which these prisoners of conscience serve their sentences illustrate Fidel Castro's disregard for human rights. They are subjected to contaminated water, rancid food, poor hygiene, and little or no access to medical services. Prisoners tell of rat and insect infestation, beatings, infrequent access to light, sweltering and freezing temperatures, and solitary confinement.
VOA News.

Marco Doctor returns from volunteer experience in Cuba
Can you imagine a flying eye hospital? Try to picture a DC-10 outfitted with a classroom, operating room, recovery room, laser room, high tech audiovisual room, conference room and a communications center. Now picture this enormous airplane sitting on a tarmac in a developing country bustling with doctors, nurses and patients.
Marco Island Sun Times, FL.

Group Criticizes Cuba's Treatment of Journalists
The Inter American Press Association has accused Cuba of harassing of independent journalists and called for the release of 75 dissidents and journalists from its jails.

A transforming glimpse of Cuba
I looked up from the table in time to see a face pressed against the window of the hotel coffee shop. The man was in his 20s, his hands in the pockets of a dark-blue baseball warm-up jacket. His eyes ran quickly around the room, over the wicker chairs and tropical vegetation, stopping on the foreigners in twos and threes or, like me, alone.
Christian Science Monitor.

Southwest Florida Cuban-smuggling plot?
Customs agents swarmed a boat docked at Horton Park in Cape Coral on suspicions the vessel was being used to smuggle Cuban refugees into the United States. The boat had three engines, 15 gas cans, a stockpile of food and extra life vests - all things that stand out to investigators.

March 23

Anti-government graffiti a growing trend in Cuba

People dissatisfied with the government and willing to express it at night by painting anti-government slogans on walls have become a growing phenomenon, at least in the central Cuban provinces, in spite of similarly growing police activity to deter them.

Roundup of motorcyclists who allegedly carried paying passengers in Cuba

National police in the Palma Soriano in Santiago de Cuba province this week rounded up13 motorcyclists and gave them warnings for allegedly transporting paying passengers.

Cuban independent journalist forced out of father-in-law's home

Independent journalist Carlos Garcell Pérez says agents from State Security forced him to abandon his father-in-law's home where he had been living.
Newsdealers say sales of Cuban Party newspaper down considerably

Six newsdealers in Havana say sales of Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, have gone down considerably since the middle of February.
Number of foreign concerns doing business in Cuba down for 2003

For the first time in 15 years, the number of foreign business concerns operating in Cuba has diminished, from 403 at the end of 2002 to 342 at the end of 2003, according to the Minister for Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, Marta Lomas.

The Miami Herald
• Cuban growers hope tobacco production normalizes
• Kerry says Bush is soft on Chávez
• Advisor affirms Bush's Cuba policy
• U.S. bans anti-dissidents
• Bush Hispanics wary over Cuba
• A ''pure Havana'' Renaissance man is stoking up the Miami arts scene
• Reputed Miami mob boss pleads innocent

Yahoo! News
• IAPA criticizes Cuba's treatment of journalists
• Cubans have beef with chronic cattle shortage
• Oliver Stone glad Canada has guts to air his 'blogged' Castro documentary
• Ana Menendez's fondness for the poets Lorca and Neruda in Loving Che obvious

Condemn Castro regime's abuses
One year ago this week, Cuba's notorious secret police fanned out across the island to arrest dozens of Cuban citizens for the ''crime'' of thinking and acting independently. Some of the arrested had compiled information about human-rights abuses.
Colin Powell, The Miami Herald.
U.N. Human Rights Commission is a joke
The United Nations Human Rights Commission, which opened its annual session in Geneva, Switzerland, last week, has become such a joke -- thanks to members such as Cuba, China and, yes, the United States -- that it may be time to dissolve it and put an independent agency in its place.
Andres Oppenheimer, The Miami Herald.

Breaking the "Information Embargo"
Independent Libraries and a Democratic Transition in Cuba.
Duncan Currie, National Review Online.

Kerry, Cuba, and the truth
It comes as no surprise to learn that John Kerry, who hates to take one position on an issue when he can take two or three, has come down strongly in favor -- and strongly against -- US policy in Cuba.
Jeff Jacoby. The Boston Globe.

Castro's Latest Victim: Himself
As we mark one year since the brutal government crackdown on the peaceful opposition in Cuba, my mind goes back to the morning of March 18, 2003. I was at a meeting of dissident leaders; we were discussing the hostile tone of the previous day's "Mesa Redonda," a political TV talk show that the government uses to convey its point of view to the population.
Vladimiro Roca, The New York Times.

Cuba's dark places
Just over one year ago, Fidel Castro demonstrated to the world once again what his power in Cuba depends on: brutal repression. On March 18, 2003, Mr. Castro's security forces arrested as many as 75 dissidents, 27 of them journalists.
The Washington Times.
Bauer's Cuba deal draws fire
At issue is Bauer's recent trade mission to Cuba. There, Bauer and others signed an agreement with Fidel Castro's regime for the export of $10 million of S.C. agriculture products.
The, SC.
All roads from hell and back lead to Fidel
All the anniversaries and cosmic combinations have aligned into one bloody March and a political snakepit for President Bush.
Myriam Marquez, Orlando Sentinel.

March 18

Cuban political prisoners help common criminals who lack outside supporters

Political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez has denounced the situation of fellow prisoners, mainly common criminals, who do not have family members who can bring them food, clothing and medicine.

Home of Cuban dissident showered with rocks

The home of dissident Beatriz Pacheco Nuñez was showered with rocks while she was hosting a meeting of the opposition organization Plantados Hasta la Libertad y la Democracia en Cuba.

Hospital in Cuba might be turned into health center for foreigners

The Miguel Enrique Hospital, built in the nineteenth century, might be turned into a medical center for foreigners in a move to bring hard currency to Cuba, sources say.
Cuban dissident union delegate injured by hit-and-run motorcyclist

Dissident union member Félix Rodríguez was injured Monday when hit by a motorcycle that fled the scene in Pinar del Río.
Cuban dissident journalist accused of insulting Fidel Castro

Aracelis Hernández Duarte, lawyer for jailed dissident journalist José Agramonte Leyva, says an additional charge of insulting Fidel Castro has been levied against her client.
Offer of conjugal visit outweighs participation in a political rally

Masiel Gutiérrez planned to participate in a rally for prisoners of conscience until she was advised of an unscheduled conjugal visit with her imprisoned husband, Rolando Jiménez Posada.

The Miami Herald
• Jailed Cuban dissidents' loved ones unite to speak for them
• Protests over jailed Cuban dissidents are today
• A year after crackdown, Cuban dissidents remain behind bars
• Bush aide disclaims 2 GOP lawmakers' remarks on Cuba
• Trial begins for four men accused in Castro plot
• Kerry's stance on Cuba attacked, defended
• Bush aide disclaims 2 GOP lawmakers' remarks on Cuba

Yahoo! News
• Cuban Dissidents' Wives Call for Release
• Early Release Unlikely for Cuba Dissidents
• Cuba slams criticism, defies UN rights forum
• US Treasury hits at Canadian agency promoting travel to Cuba
• Cuba slams criticism, defies UN rights forum
• U.S. Links Travel Company to Cuba
• US Treasury hits at Canadian agency promoting travel to Cuba

The struggle to defend political prisoners in Cuba
Thursday is a very sad day for me and for many other Cuban families. It marks a year since my husband, Manuel Vázquez Portal, and 74 others - opposition activists, independent journalists and librarians - were taken from their homes by agents of Fidel Castro's regime.
Yolanda Huerga Cedeño. IHT.

Amnesty International urges release of prisoners of conscience in Cuba on one-year anniversary of arrests
In a new 37-page report, Amnesty International details the current physical and mental state of 75 prisoners of conscience arrested during the March 2003 crackdown in Cuba.
Amnesty International.
Prominent U.S. and Latin American journalists call for release of imprisoned Cuban journalist
The Committee to Protect Journalists today sent more than 600 appeals-including more than 50 from some of the most renowned journalists in Latin America-to Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz calling for the release of jailed Cuban journalist Manuel Vázquez Portal, a recipient of CPJ's 2003 International Press Freedom Award, and the other 28 imprisoned Cuban journalists.
Committee to Protect Journalists.

Cuba, One Year after the Crackdown Human Rights Watch
Exactly one year ago, on March 18, 2003, the Cuban government launched a massive crackdown on peaceful dissidents, independent journalists, human rights defenders, and independent labor unionists, librarians, medical doctors, and teachers.
Human Rights Watch,

Remembering Cuba's imprisoned dissidents
Moral decency demands that the world be reminded of Cuba's political prisoners -- particularly the 75 dissidents arrested in an unprecedented crackdown that began a year ago today. Activities planned in more than 20 cities -- from Miami to Buenos Aires to Prague -- aim, commendably, to keep alive the memory of these unjustly imprisoned Cubans
The Miami Herald. .
Dissident proclaims 'Cuban Spring'
Oswaldo Paya, Cuba's most internationally celebrated opposition figure, yesterday proclaimed "Cuban Spring" in a letter released to mark the anniversary of a government crackdown on dissidents.
The Washington Times.

March 15

Strong police presence protects Round Table broadcasts in Cuba

Every afternoon, a strong police presence is deployed around the studios of the Cuban Radio TV Institute, where the nightly Round Table political program is taped.

Cuban travelers arrested for possession of food products
At six o'clock in the morning March 10 about 10 travelers getting off the bus from Pinar del Río were arrested by police when a search of their luggage revealed they were carrying cheese, fish, coffee and cockroach poison, among other products.

The Miami Herald
• Cuban dancers say defections painful but necessary
• Calusas may have fled to Cuba
• Kerry's stances on Cuba open to attack
• Miami shares nation's pain
• Hip-hop festival opens Friday

Delegation of Cuban exiles will travel to Brussels today to join Reporters Without Borders
M.A.R. POR CUBA announces that a delegation from the organization will be traveling to Brussels on Monday, March 15, 2004 to participate - together with other members of Cuban exile organizations and activists - in the Press Conference titled "Europe Says no to Repression in Cuba" organized by Reporters Without Borders.
M.A.R. Por Cuba.
Latin America in Crisis: Castro's Power Grows
Part one of NewsMax's special series on Latin America is written by Dr. Constantine C. Menges, an acclaimed expert on Latin America at the Hudson Institute in Washington.
Dr. Constantine C. Menges.

External links

Inside Cuba's jails
Excerpts from letters and testimonials from five of 75 dissidents serving time in Cuba's prisons. They were provided by the dissidents' wives to Staff Writer Vanessa Bauzá.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

75 political prisoners mark first year in Cuban jails
The acclaimed poet, Raul Rivero, walks 7,000 paces a day in his prison cell and seeks refuge "from the hours that fall as if from a dropper" by writing verses and letters on yellow legal pads.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

Cuba: No Es Fácil
As the small jet lands at Havana's José Martí airport, I half expect the pilot to get on the intercom and announce, "Welcome to Cuba. Please set your watches back 40 years."
Mike Walker / Hoover Digest.

Tracing Cuba's tarnished golden age
Colin Barraclough trawls the coast road from the Havana Yacht Club to Varadero in search of the hangouts and haunts of the island's worst and finest era -- the decadent, bloody years of Fulgencio Batista's rule.
The Globe and Mail, Canada.

ATRIP: Cuba travel ban disturbing
The Association of Travel-Related Industry Professionals, a Washington D.C.-based lobbying group, has criticized what it described as the government's decision to prohibit a group of professionals from traveling to Cuba.
South Florida Business Journal, FL.

Cuba Pledges to Support Kenya's Five Key Sectors
Kenya and Cuba have signed bilateral agreements in which the former will benefit in five key development areas. The agreements were the outcome of a high level meeting on co-operation between the two nations, which was held last week in Havana, Cuba.

Visitor to Cuba will pay fine
The Lawrence man who faced a $37,000 federal fine for violating the U.S. government's travel ban to Cuba said Wednesday he would settle the case for a $2,500 fine rather than challenge the allegations before an administrative law judge.
Lawrence Journal World, KS.

Next stop: Libya, but not Cuba
Late last year, Gadhafi agreed to give up his weapons of mass destruction and submit to inspections. On Feb. 26, as part of the deal, the State Department lifted its travel ban on Libya.
Palm Beach Post, FL.

For the love of lighting up
In a country that clings to communism, where American cars from the 1950s rattle past the faded façades of a bygone era, thank goodness Cuba still has the cigar.
The Globe and Mail.

Hasenkamp's mission: help others in Cuba
Jeanne Hasenkamp's bags are packed. On Friday, the Delphos resident and five others are leaving on a mission trip to Cuba. Hasenkamp will use her 32 years of teaching experience to help with the project aimed at improving the Christian ministry to the handicapped of Jovellanos, Cuba.
Kansas City Star, MO.

March 12

Parents denied permission to see imprisoned son in Cuba

The parents of imprisoned dissident Librado Linares García, who traveled from Havana to see their son for the first time in six months, were denied permission to do so on the grounds he was rejecting re-education efforts.

Imprisoned Cuban independent journalist hospitalized

Independent journalist Julio César Gálvez Rodríguez has been transferred to the prison ward of the Celestino Hernández Robau Hospital in Santa Clara suffering from high blood pressure and kidney stones.

Motorboat draws fire from the shore in Cuba

A white speedboat with two outboard motors came within 1,000 yards of the coast off Havana at noon March 3 before gunfire from the shore drove it off, according to eye witnesses.
Daughter of Cuban dissident injured in scuffle with state security agents

The 21-year-old daughter of Rosario Martín, vice-president of the Pro Social Justice Association, was injured in a scuffle with state security agents last week and briefly detained.
Reporters Without Borders ordered to pay 6,000 euros to Korda's heir over use of Che photo
Reporters Without Borders pointed out that it has repeatedly been the target of hostility from the Cuban authorities since the arrest of 75 dissidents in March 2003.
Reporters Without Borders.

The Miami Herald
• Poll: Hard line on Cuba endures
• Cuban spies' trial flawed, lawyers say
• Kin of terrorism acts in Cuba go to Panama for exile plot trial
• The king is dead; long live memories of the Cuba frita

External links

ATRIP: Cuba travel ban disturbing
The Association of Travel-Related Industry Professionals, a Washington D.C.-based lobbying group, has criticized what it described as the government's decision to prohibit a group of professionals from traveling to Cuba.
South Florida Business Journal, FL.

Cuba Pledges to Support Kenya's Five Key Sectors
Kenya and Cuba have signed bilateral agreements in which the former will benefit in five key development areas. The agreements were the outcome of a high level meeting on co-operation between the two nations, which was held last week in Havana, Cuba.

Visitor to Cuba will pay fine
The Lawrence man who faced a $37,000 federal fine for violating the U.S. government's travel ban to Cuba said Wednesday he would settle the case for a $2,500 fine rather than challenge the allegations before an administrative law judge.
Lawrence Journal World, KS.

Tracing Cuba's tarnished golden age
Colin Barraclough trawls the coast road from the Havana Yacht Club to Varadero in search of the hangouts and haunts of the island's worst and finest era -- the decadent, bloody years of Fulgencio Batista's rule.
The Globe and Mail, Canada.

March 10

Cuban doctors to work in Paraguay

Reportedly 25 doctors from the municipality of Plaza of the Revolution have been assigned to work in Paraguay. Their absence will be covered by sixth year medical students.

Cuban government Website hacked

Hackers recently entered a Cuban government Web site and posted a statement criticizing restrictions on access to the Internet by Cubans.

Violin stolen from Strauss' statue in Havana

Thieves took the bronze violin from the statue of Johann Strauss in the Havana park named after the Viennese musician, but were apprehended as they made their getaway along Línea Street.

Hair snipped from the heads of unsuspecting women

Reports are increasing of hair being cut from women's heads to supply a clandestine market in human hair.
President of Young People for Liberty threatened

State security agents last week picked up for questioning Lizan Viñas Estrada, president of Young People for Liberty, a dissident organization formed in December.

The Miami Herald
• Hijackers' attorneys seeking a delay
• Cuban opposition members launch anti-death penalty campaign
• I still speak my mind, Cuban artist contends

Yahoo! News
• 30 Haitians Seek Refuge in Cuba
• Cuban Spies Set to Appeal 2001 Sentences

Prisioner Antúnez declined procedure in medical evaluation
The political prisoner Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (Antúnez) refused a testicular varicose vein surgery as prescribed in a medical evaluation performed by prison doctors.
Information Bridge Cuba Miami.
Blind lawyer describes tortures from prision
I am Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, 39 years old, a blind Cuban lawyer and president of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights, imprisoned since March 2, 2002 without a trial.
Coalition of Cuban-American Women.
I add my voice to support Cuban dissidents
The era of Fidel Castro, the planet's longest-serving dictator, is coming to an end. His oppressive, totalitarian regime remains in power, but its gloomy, hopeless reality is representative of the past.
Martin Palous. The Miami Herald.
Cuba Makes for a Bad Example
Let us hope Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Ssekandi frowned upon the recent postulations of Cuban vice president, Mr Esteban Lazo, to the effect that his country is a democracy.

External links

Researchers Say U.S. Barred Them From Cuba
The United States government stopped a group of about 70 American medical school professors, doctors and other scientists from attending an international symposium on coma and death in Cuba this week, several doctors said yesterday.
The New York Times.

70 scientists banned from Cuba conference
A group of about 70 U.S. doctors and researchers say they have been stopped from visiting an international symposium in Cuba. The scientists said they only got a few days notice that their trip had been canceled, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The Washington Times.

Retired nurse to help out in Cuba
Retired nurse Pauline Dabydeen has flown almost 4500 miles to Cuba to join the world's only flying eye hospital.
Evening Times, UK.

Arts community protests Bush curbs on Cuban artists' visas
The Bush administration's efforts to take a tougher stance against the Cuban government has hit what some in the arts community are calling the wrong target: cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba.
The Kansas City Star.

March 8

Cuban elementary schools to resume the teaching of English

Third- to sixth-grade students in Cuba will soon start taking English in schools, according to a government announcement. This will be the first time in many years that English is widely taught in the island's schools.
HAVANA, Fara Armenteros

Cuban journalists and activists still awaiting trial after two years in prison

Six activists and two independent journalists are still in prison awaiting trial two years after staging a public, peaceful protest to protest the beating of another journalist.
NUEVA GERONA, Carlos Serpa Maceira

Customer service practically nonexistent for Cubans

A typical cafeteria run by the government gastronomic chain sports peeling paint on the walls, dirty floors and tables, and few offerings of dubious quality.

The Miami Herald
• Spies will challenge their convictions
• Lawmakers say Cuba spied
• Anti-Castro exile sings from the heart
• Cuban singer denied visa
• Her Cuban heritage leaps off the pages
• 50 years later, terrorist attack remembered

Yahoo! News
• El Duque Agrees to Return to Yankees
• Give Me Your Hand (Dame la Mano)

Castro must be deposed, democracy restored
The No. 1 policy objective of the Cuban dictatorship is obtaining U.S. mass tourism and the billions of dollars it would generate for the dictatorship.
Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The Miami Herald.

Embargo hurts U.S. economy, Cubans
One afternoon in 1984, I was offered a look through a telescope aimed at Miami. I was in the multistory building in Havana that President Dwight Eisenhower built as a U.S. embassy. Eisenhower broke diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961, and the building remained nearly empty.
John B. Quigley. The Miami Herald.

Venezuela: The Next Cuba
There is no doubt that Chavez - with Fidel Castro's help -- is creating a Cuban-style socialist state in Venezuela. Scholar Maxwell Cameron calls it the world's first "slow-motion constitutional coup."
Paul Crespo. .

External links

Cuban nickel boost crucial: Sherritt CEO
The head of Sherritt International says the company needs to "make something happen" in the next six months to get expansion of its Cuban nickel project underway or it will miss a chance to take advantage of the recent strength in nickel prices.
Toronto Star, Canada.

Cuba trade memorandum positioning Texas better
Today's limits on trade between the United States and Cuba do not mean that a lot of trade with that island nation won't materialize once Fidel Castro is gone from power.
Houston Chronicle, TX.

Professor to study Hemingway home in Cuba
The Cuban Government is allowing a Penn State professor to look at famed writer Ernest Hemingway like no one has before.
Penn State Digital, PA.

Cuba talks business
From May 3 to 6, tour operators, travel agents, airline representatives, hoteliers, entrepreneurs and experts in tourism will participate in Cuba 2004. .

Out of nowhere: Adrian Hernandez
Once the hot new face in New York Yankees camp, "El Duquecito" is fighting for his baseball life on the opposite end of the game's spectrum. No matter. This guy has been through some tough stuff already.

Cuban artists kept out of U.S.
The Bush administration's efforts to take a tougher stance against the Cuban government has hit what some in South Florida's arts community are calling the wrong target: cultural exchanges between the United States and Cuba.
Sun-Sentinel, FL.

In Haiti, Cuban doctors stayed when no one else would
Patients are grateful for aid, but critics say clinics help fund Castro..
Tracey Eaton / The Dallas Morning News.

Time is running out to rescue Venezuela
Since winning a presidential election in 1998, Castro's Venezuelan protege, President Hugo Chavez, has pursued precisely what the Russian researchers in Santiago described: the methodical consolidation of absolute authority under the guise of "democracy."
The Wall Street Journal.

Cuban couple defies odds in lottery of a lifetime
All the guests wanted a piece of the wedding cake. You could hardly blame them. It was a delicious, elegant, three-tiered confection, covered with fluffy white icing, shot through with tendrils of raspberry mousse.
Go Erie, PA.

Hundreds of Thousands March in Venezuela
Blowing whistles and chanting, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans marched through Caracas on Saturday to protest the rejection of a petition aimed at recalling President Hugo Chavez.
The Dallas Morning News.

Our man in Havana breathes in high life with Fidel
The Bakelite tinkles. It is a trunk call from Lyons in Cuba, where he is on assignment at the sixth Havana Cigar Festival. Sadly, his hopes of chugging on a cohiba with Fidel Castro came to nought, but he happily settled for the next best thing in the form of his son, Fidel Jnr, at the Floridita Churchill dinner in the Hotel Nacional on Havana's Malecon.
Cornell Daily Sun, NY.

Memories of Cuba bittersweet for Plano resident
Leaving his family behind in Cuba wasn't easy for Bert Gonzalez. But he had no choice. "I was planning to be a rebel and if that had happened, I would be dead by now," Gonzalez says.
Plano Star Courier, TX.

March 5

Diseased swine destroyed in central Cuba

Agricultural health officials have been destroying diseased swine in the area of Cabaiguán, in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spíritus since mid February.

Cuba independent journalist barred from literary presentation: It's only for Revolutionaries

An official of the Association for the Promotion and Development of Literature barred independent journalist Adela Soto from a literary presentation at the Central Library in Pinar del Río February 22, telling her the event was "only for Revolutionaries."

Earning their daily bread

When it comes to making ends meet, Cubans have had to be resourceful in recent years, engaging in traditional occupations as well as in some unsuspected ones, to cope with prices at present day levels with official salaries that are stuck at 1959 levels.
Jailed dissident will get no more library books for "counterrevolutionary underlining"

Imprisoned dissident Rolando Jiménez will not get any more books from the municipal library in the Isle of Youth capital of Nueva Gerona for highlighting the description of a dictator in a work of fiction, said his wife.

Yahoo! News
• Texas Port Looks to Future Cuba Travel
• Commission resolution to indict Castro passes
• School's alumni keep tradition alive

External links

Contradictory Cuba JCCGW trip finds contrasts among Jews of island
Grinding poverty and a proud demeanor, lack of freedom and freedom from prejudice, dwindling numbers and burgeoning Jewish life -- a recent mission to Cuba found enough counterpoint for a Latin dance band.
Washington Jewish Week.

March 3

Artemisa gets ready for the coming war

Since Cuban strategists have concluded that the "imminent" attack by U.S. will come ashore on the north coast of Havana province, authorities have begun preparing by taking inventory of the housing in Artemisa, a town just south of Mariel, in order to determine where to take the refugees from the combat zone.

The dispatch of doctors to Venezuela causes shortage in medical services in Cuba

A woman suffering from back pains says she could not be attended at a Havana clinic because the three doctors usually on duty had been sent to Venezuela.

Cuban independent journalist moved from isolation cell after three months

Independent journalist Normando Hérnández González was moved from an isolation cell after more than three months, his wife reports. Hérnandez was sentenced to a 25-year sentence last April following a government crackdown on dissidents.
Spanish embassy opens its library to Cubans

The decision by the embassy was considered by Cubans to be a response to an order by the Cuban government last September to turn over operation of the Spanish Cultural Center in Havana to Cuban officials.
Mother of political prisoner to begin a hunger strike
The mother of the the political prisoner Luis Campos Corrales announced she will start a hunger strike next week, in front of the prison, if the authorities at the Aguica prison persist in retaining her son in a punishment cell.
Information Bridge Cuba Miami.
The Miami Herald
• Some South Florida Hispanics unhappy with Cuba policy
• Founded in Cuba, school celebrates 150th year
Cuban entrepreneurs test small steps in capitalism
They pay some of the world's highest taxes, they endure mountains of red tape and they regularly tangle with government inspectors. Such difficult conditions have caused the number of cuentapropistas - or workers on their own account, as these Cuban capitalists are called - to drop from 209,000 in 1996 to 149,990 today.
By Tracey Eaton / The Dallas Morning News.

External links

SA and Cuba strike deal on labour issues
The governments of South Africa and Cuba have signed an agreement of co-operation regarding employment, social security and occupational safety. The agreement involves exchanging information and experiences on technology that impact on employment and social programmes.
SABCnews, SA.

Dancers fleeing Cuba make mark on ballet worldwide
After nearly half a century of defections, including 20 in 2003, Cuban dancers and teachers are exerting a powerful influence on American and world dance that brings to mind the profound impact Russian dancers brought to the West as their defections mounted in the dusk of the Soviet empire.
The Seattle Times.

Health of Pitchers Is Already an Issue
The Yankees, accustomed to having an abundance of choices for their starting rotation, received their first sobering reminder Monday that this season might be different. José Contreras, projected as the fourth starter, had to be scratched from Tuesday's opening intrasquad game because of a tight lower back.
The New York Times.

SA profiting from the Cuba link
South Africa stands to benefit in terms of job creation and tourism growth from panels of Cuban labour experts who will be visiting the country this year..

Exploring Havana
Havana intrigues Americans. With President George W. Bush's threat to veto the relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba favored by both the House of Representatives and Senate, the mystery surrounding the forbidden fruit of American tourism increases.
Cornell Saily Sun, NY.

March 1

Police take census of prostitutes and homosexuals in Havana

Police started the census after a visible increase in their presence in the town. They are now patrolling in groups of threes and fours.

Three hold up payroll clerk in Havana outskirts

Three masked persons held up the payroll clerk for the privately-owned ornamentals nursery La Begonia as she left home in the early hours yesterday, taking almost 20,000 pesos.

Cuban political prisoner said to weigh only 90 pounds

The daughter of political prisoner Guido Sigler Amaya says her father's health has deteriorated to the point where he only weighs 90 pounds
Cuban independent journalists says he's target of harassment

Juan Carlos Garcell, director of the Prensa Libre Oriental news agency, says he and one of his associates have been recently harassed because of their impendent journalism.
Street chronicles: Virtual prices

They say the Cuban is a rebel by nature. One might now ask: Where is the Cuban's rebelliousness throughout these forty-five years? Someone also said, "the Cuban applauds afterwards with the same force with which he protests."

Yahoo! News
• Wife defends UNESCO prize winner, Cuban dissident Raul Rivero
• Forbes estimates Cuban President Fidel Castro worth 150 million dollars
• Bush seeks to place more restrictions on vessels in Cuban waters
• U.S. Coast Guard Returns 36 Cubans
• Cuban scientist slams US barring of scientific articles from countries under embargo
• US says human rights get worse in China, Cuba, Iran and Myanmar
• 'Havana's' hot-cha-cha
• 'Leslie Leads U.S. Women Over Cuba
• 10 Cuban Migrants Make It To Shore In Key West
• Repsol YPF to explore for oil in Cuba, Equatorial Guinea

The Miami Herald
• 'Truckonauts' await U.S. ruling
• New rule restricts American boaters from sailing to island
• Visa rule to end for visits by expatriates
• In Havana, hundreds roll in for cigar festival

U.S. and Cuba cooperate on many issues
Despite high-decibel rhetoric between them, U.S. and Cuban governments cooperate over many issues to serve the public interest of both countries and the political interests of their presidents.
The Miami Herald.

External links

Firm, officials admit illegal sales to Cuba
Almost two years after they were convicted and then granted a new trial, a Bala Cynwyd company and two of its officials pleaded guilty yesterday to violating the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba.
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA.

'Magic City' no longer dominated by Cubans
"While doing research for this book, we found it was hard to get research money for (a study on) Miami," Max Castro said. "The image was that the only thing in Miami is Cubans and cocaine..
The University of South Florida Oracle, FL.

Trading with the enemy?
It was Friday the 13th when Bob Augelli got a letter from Bush administration officials informing him he had less than two weeks -- until today -- to agree to pay them $10,100 or face the consequences.
Lawrence Journal World, KS.

Canadian receives fine, probation in Cuba embargo trial
The long-running case of a Canadian businessman charged with violating the U.S. embargo against Cuba came to an end Friday with a fine and a sentence of a year's probation.
CBC News, Canada.

Cuba Offers to Train MMD Members
Cuba has offered to give members of the MMD scholarships in politics and help them learn from its schools on the Cuban revolutionary government., Africa.

Kenya, Cuba Sign Sugar Pact
Kenya and Cuba have signed a two-year technical agreement to revamp the ailing sugar industry. Planning minister Anyang' Nyong'o made the announcment on arrival from a one week tour of Cuba., Africa.

Cuban Rhythms
When we arrived at the Telégrafo, across from Havana's central park, I didn't expect our accommodations to look like an Ian Schrager boutique hotel, styled with an art deco mosaic on a wall in the bar, arched ceilings and a silver couch in the lobby.
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA.

Churchill Honored at Cuban Festival
Winston Churchill, frequently remembered puffing on a cigar, was honored this week at Cuba's annual cigar festival. Jenny Churchill, great-granddaughter of the late British prime minister, smoked a cigar herself Wednesday night during a dinner in his honor.
Newsday, NY.
Cuban-Americans true to mother tongue
No one has to convince Josefina Alvarez it's a good idea to know two languages -- or three or four, for that matter.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, FL.
General News: Cuban Group Not Impressed With Bush Restrictions On Travel
Joe Garcia is executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation. He says the move will have little practical effect and is mostly aimed at courting Cuban voters in Florida.
The Globe and Mail, Canada.
Probation, $10,000 fine for trading with Cuba
The long-running case of Canadian businessman James Sabzali, charged with violating the U.S. embargo against Cuba, came to a quiet close yesterday as he was sentenced to a year's probation in exchange for pleading guilty to a single charge of ''smuggling'' several thousand dollars worth of supplies destined for the island.
The Globe and Mail, Canada.

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