Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Odds and ends

  • Palabra Nueva reports that five of Cuba’s Catholic bishops visited prisons on Christmas and said Mass to prisoners.

  • Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul, says that if there’s a respectful dialogue between President Obama and her father, “all this is going to change.” CubaEncuentro has excerpts of her December 18 interview in Spanish with the Miami radio program La Noche se Mueve.

  • The Cuban phone monopoly ETECSA says that cell phone subscriptions are growing at an “unstoppable” pace, according to reports from ANSA and CubaEncuentro. There are 130,000 new subscribers (since when the reports don’t specify), and 110,000 of the accounts in the name of foreigners have been switched to Cuban nationals’ names. Since April, Cubans have been permitted to have cell phone accounts in their own names, and earlier this month activation fees were cut in half.

  • Cuban singer Pablo Milanes, interviewed in Spain, says he doesn’t “trust in any Cuban leader who is older than 75.” Cuban Colada translated excerpts here and links to the interview in Spanish.

  • A fire damaged the Havana shopping center La Puntilla yesterday; Granma’s story is here and El Nuevo Herald says it’s the third fire in a Cimex corporation property this year.

  • Cuba’s tourism ministry says 2008 was a record year for tourist visits. The Granma article (English) says hotel capacity is nearly four times that of 1990, progress is insufficient in substituting domestic products for imports, and there is “instability in relation to supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

1 comment:

David C said...

Phil, thks for posting the interview with pablo. he's getting extraordinarily frank in his old age. I have spoken to other high profile singers who share his views but have not dared to speak out yet.