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HAVANA, Jan. 7th  (Reuters)  Jose Ramon Fernandez Alvarez, who commanded Cuban forces under the leadership of Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs, repelling an exile invasion supported by the United States, died on Sunday at 95.

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HAVANA, Jan.2th (Reuters)  On the 60th anniversary of Cuba’s revolution, ruling Communist Party leader Raul Castro blasted the Trump administration for returning to an outdated path of confrontation with the island nation and of intervening in Latin America.

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president-obama-attends-tampa-bay-devil-rays-v-cuban-national-team-baseball-game-in-havanaHAVANA, April 19th On Monday, Cuban’s top leaders and officials have criticized the squeaking inefficiency of the state-controlled economy. They also took note of the vibrant private sector as potential source of US subversion.

According to News Journal Online, the Cuban government comments illustrated the commotion it is facing as it tries to modernize and maintain control of things now thatit’s in a new era with Washington. The Cuban Communist Party has ended the third day of its twice-a-decade congress with vote for a 114- member Central Committee. The vote turned to select the 15- member Political Bureau. The vote, just like Congress, was open only to 1,000 delegates, 280 selected guests and state journalists.

ABC News reported that Cuban President and First Party Secretary, Raul Castro, opened the meeting with evaluation of the state reforms he introduced after taking over in 2008. Castro blamed the ‘obsolete mentality’ and ‘attitude of inertia’ for the state’s failure to impose reforms meant to increase productivity.

To follow, Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel also repeated the criticism of the bureaucracy in his speech. He added that ‘lack of confidence in the future’ is the consequence of what Castro said. Diaz-Canel added that “Along with other deficiencies, there’s a lack of readiness, high standards and control, and little foresight or initiative from sectors and bureaucrats in charge of making these goals a reality.”

However, Yahoo published that state media focuses more on the need to protect Cuba’s socialist system from global capitalism and US influence in particular. It is notable that US President Barack Obama visited Havana, the first in over 90 years, and the move was interpreted as an attempt to seduce ordinary Cubans into abandoning the country’s socialist views.

Even Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez went to say that the visit of Obama is ‘an attack on the foundation of the history, culture and symbols of Cuba.’ Meanwhile, Rene Gonzales, former intelligence agent held in US and resolved by détente with Washington, said there should be consideration on the political reform in Cuba.
Read more at http://www.lawyerherald.com/articles/43087/20160419/cuban-leaders-criticize-ways-bureaucracy-private-sector.htm#UfyGtQSy5QRL3YX7.99

 

HAVANA, July 31  , 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As the United States and Cuba move toward normal relations for the first time in more than 54 years, a remarkable documentary film profiles a unique collection of people who are pushing the boundaries and “Reinventing Cuba.”

The one hour documentary film, “Reinventing Cuba,” goes beyond the stereotypes – beyond cigars and salsa, beyond mojitos and Malecón, beyond antique American cars and decaying architecture to reveal an extraordinary nation eager to embrace change.

Correspondent Gerry Hadden – a long time Cuba watcher – takes viewers on a personal journey. He meets little league sluggers defying the odds and dreaming of the majors; doctors and medical researchers saving lives; hustlers finding ways around limited internet connections; artists and designers at the height of creativity; and black marketeers selling a vital entertainment and information device called “the package.”

Cut off from America by decades of hostility, living in conditions of scarcity and political restrictions, the Cubans emerge here as a people making something out of nothing with whatever is at hand.

Hadden portrays vibrant, hopeful, and resourceful characters facing enormous challenges in today’s Cuba.  He reveals an often overlooked, burgeoning, middle class that is at the forefront of what will likely be Cuba’s future as it moves into a new era.

“Reinventing Cuba” has its first airing Sunday August 9th, a few days before John Kerry becomes the first U-S Secretary of State to visitHavana in 60 years.

The documentary is directed by Humberto Duran; filmed by Amando Guerra and Josep Alfero.  It is produced by the North American production center of China Central Television.  Executive Producers are Ma Jing, Mei Yan and Guo Chun.

“Reinventing Cuba” can be seen August 9th at 7pm US eastern time, nationally on Dish Network Channel 279 and on the ‘CCTV News’ channels in New York, Washington  D.C., and Los Angeles.

 

havana-live-raul-castroHAVANA,  July  16  (Reuters) – Cuba is prepared to break with the contentious past and peacefully coexist with the United States, Cuban President Raul Castro said on Wednesday as the two former adversaries are set to restore diplomatic ties.

“We are talking about forging a new kind of relationship between both states, different from our entire common history,” Castro, 84, told the Cuban National Assembly, according to official media.

Cuba and the United States will re-establish diplomatic relations on Monday after a 54-year break and reopen embassies in each other’s capitals.

The United States and Cuba began secret negotiations on restoring ties in mid-2013, leading to the historic announcement on Dec. 17, 2014, when Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama said they had swapped prisoners and would seek to normalize relations.

The previous deep freeze in U.S.-Cuba ties dated to Jan. 1, 1959, when rebels led by brothers Fidel and Raul Castro toppled the U.S.-backed government of Fulgencio Batista. The Castros halted the longtime U.S.-friendly business climate in Cuba and drew ever closer to the Soviet Union.

That led to a troubled history including a failed U.S.-organized invasion of Cuba by a force of exiles in 1961 and a thrust to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 over Soviet missiles stationed in Cuba.

With diplomatic ties restored, the two countries separated by 90 miles (145 km) of sea will now begin the more difficult and lengthy task of normalizing overall relations.

“The revolutionary government is willing to advance toward the normalization of relations, convinced that both countries can cooperate and coexist in a civilized, mutually beneficial way, while contributing to peace, security, stability and development,” Castro said.

Since taking over as president for his ailing brother in 2008, Raul Castro, the longtime defense minister, has proven less bellicose toward America than his brother, now 88 and retired.

Castro said completely normal relations with the United States would be impossible as long as Washington maintains its economic embargo against the island.

“We hope that (Obama) continues to use his executive authority to dismantle this policy,” Castro said.

Obama, a Democrat, has eased parts of the U.S. embargo but would need the Republican-controlled Congress to lift it completely.

Castro also said normalization would require the return to Cuban sovereignty of the U.S. naval base at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, although American officials have said Guantanamo is not a topic of discussion in talks with Cuba.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-castro-sees-cuba-us-breaking-with-past-coexisting-in-peace-2015-7#ixzz3g4MP8cx6