Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Odds and ends

  • AP: Following the Boston bombings, Cuba issued a statement of condolences that rejects “all acts of terrorism.”  Statement here.

  • With the coming departure of the Songa Mercur rig for Vietnam, University of Texas energy expert Jorge Pinon tells the Sun-Sentinel that Cuba’s deep-water oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico is “for all practical purposes, over.”  Earlier this month, Cuba held a conference on heavy oil and horizontal drilling (where a well is sunk onshore and bends a few kilometers horizontally to reach near-offshore deposits), a sign that there’s a continuing focus on getting more out of deposits that have been producing for decades (Xinhua).

  • In Foreign Policy, American University Professor William Leogrande looks back at years of lobbying by Cuba hard-liners and compares them to those who wielded the “Who lost China?” card in the 1950’s.

  • El Pais has a Havana travel guide.

  • An Australian researcher records Cubans singing songs of their African ancestors and finds the village in Sierra Leone from which their ancestors were taken as slaves.  A remarkable story in the Atlantic.

  • Our friend Mauricio gets on his high horse to slam Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa for citing a 1998 intelligence community report that found that Cuba’s military capability to be “residual” and “defensive.”  The report is discredited, he argues, because it was drafted by Ana Belen Montes, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s top Cuba analyst who was later found to be a Cuban agent and is now in prison.  But who’s naïve here?  Mauricio would have us believe that the entire intelligence community, which had access to the same information as Montes, was hoodwinked by her.  And if the report was so slanted, why was it never revised by President Bush and his people in the seven years they were in office since her arrest?

  • Ana Alliegro, the associate of former Rep. David Rivera who vanished last fall when she was due to appear for an FBI interview regarding Rivera’s campaign finance shenanigans, is found by Miami New Times to be running a hair salon in Granada, Nicaragua under a new name, Ana Sola.

  • A reader asks if there’s a way to clean up spelling errors in comments once they are published here.  Sorry, there isn’t. 

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