Friday, February 5, 2010

Odds and ends

  • Import substitution marches ahead: A factory in Ciego de Avila is doubling its toothbrush output to 11 million this year.

  • Former Polish President Lech Walesa came to Miami to raise money for the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba and for his own foundation. Earlier, he was in Illinois endorsing a losing candidate in the GOP Senate primary. In Miami, he spoke about his conviction that change is coming to Cuba, and about the importance of values in foreign policy, according to these reports from AP and the Herald. Neither these nor other reports say what he recommended that governments actually do with regard to Cuba policy. I guess you had to be there.

  • Make your own joke: Ramiro Valdes, former interior minister and now a Cuban Vice President and Minister of Information Technology and Communications, arrived in Caracas to lead a special group working on Venezuela’s electricity woes. Opposition parties are getting “fired up,” Reuters reports.

  • Radio Marti: The State Department confirms that migration talks will take place in Havana February 19.

  • From the Havana Note, more on Cuba’s medical efforts in Haiti.

  • If you’re tired of your usual vacation, you can go to North Korea at any time, “not just during the Arirang Mass Games in August and September,” according to the tour operator that offers the service. North Korea is not on the United States’ list of “state sponsors of terror,” but even when it was on that list, it was on the list of Nice Communist Countries to which Americans are permitted to travel.

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