Friday, March 8, 2013

Odds and ends

  • The gist of the State Department’s latest annual drug enforcement report (pdf) as regards Cuba: “Cuba’s intensive security presence and bilateral interdiction efforts have effectively reduced the available supply of narcotics on the island and prevented traffickers from establishing a foothold.”

  • Who do you send to lead the delegation to Venezuela’s state funeral a few days after its government accuses you of injecting the late President with a substance that caused cancer?  A Congressman and ex-Congressman. (New York Times)  Like Vladimir Ilyich, the body will be embalmed and on public view “for eternity.”  (Reuters)

  • In the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday, Cuba shut out Japan for eight innings and defeated the two-time champs 6-3.  A good blog writeup here, and Granma says it’s a win to savor.  After a loss yesterday to the Netherlands, Cuba faces an elimination game Saturday against Taiwan.  Update: Cuba plastered Taiwan 14-0, the game ending in the seventh inning by the mercy rule.  To be one of the four teams that advances to the final round that begins March 17 in San Francisco, Cuba needs to win Monday when it plays the loser of Sunday’s Japan-Netherlands game.

  • Two Spaniards, both Partido Popular activists, tell El Nuevo Herald cloak-and-dagger tales of their 2007 visit to Oswaldo Paya, saying that Paya tried to go unnoticed when riding in their car by putting on a baseball cap and sunglasses.  Please.

  • In Cubaencuentro, a very critical essay on Oswaldo Paya’s effectiveness as a dissident.

  • Vietnam News Agency: A Vietnamese delegation visited Cuba and agreed with Cuban officials “to create favourable conditions for cooperation between Vietnam’s Viettel Telecoms Corporation and Etecsa, the Telecommunications Company of Cuba, targeting the goal of turning Viettel into Etecsa’s partner in upgrading the telecoms infrastructure in Cuba.”  Also: “The hosts spoke highly of Vietnam’s recent social-economic development achievements, saying that the doi moi (renewal process) is a good example for Cuba.”

  • Spain’s foreign minister says he has no evidence supporting Partido Popular activist Angel Carromero’s version of the crash that killed Oswaldo Paya (El Pais).

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