· Raul Castro attended a Hanukkah celebration at the synagogue in Vedado and made some remarks about the history of the Jewish people, the economic debates taking place in Cuba, and some grim events of a December 5 long ago when the anti-Batista fight had barely started. The Sunday evening newscast covered the event, AP reports. Granma story here.
· AP: Ernesto Cruz Leon, the Salvadoran convicted in Cuba for his participation in the 1997 hotel bombings, had his death sentence commuted by Cuba’s Supreme Court and replaced with a 30-year jail term. Another figure in those bombings, Luis Posada Carriles, is preparing to stand trial next month in El Paso on charges of immigration fraud, and the Herald reports that the prosecution is planning to use some evidence generated by Cuban authorities.
· Via Petroleumworld.com, a Cuban news report about a Cuba-Venezuela-Angola joint venture that will produce oil in Venezuela.
· Herald: USAID’s Cuba program rolls along.
· The State Department protests the year-long detention of USAID contractor Alan Gross, calling it a “major impediment to advancing the dialogue” with Havana and noting Secretary Clinton’s statement that Washington “would view favorably” his release. The spokesman said Gross had “traveled to Cuba to help connect members of the Jewish community in Havana with other Jewish communities throughout the world.”