Monday, August 19, 2013

Odds and ends

  • Juventud Rebelde: There are now 436,432 Cubans working in the small entrepreneurial sector, nine percent more than were working last November.  18 percent of that number are employees, mainly in food service and transportation businesses.

  • Reuters: 46,662 Cubans emigrated in 2012, the most since 1994.

  • In Havana Times, Emilio Morales of the Havana Consulting Group estimates the economic impact of the half-million U.S. visitors to Cuba each year.

  • In the Herald, columnist Fabiola Santiago writes that it is wrong for the United States to be granting larger numbers of visas for Cubans to visit or immigrate to the United States at a time when the Cuban government is engaged in misdeeds.  It’s hard to find a clearer argument in favor of punishing the people for their government’s actions.  Ugly.  She doesn’t mention ditching the sacrosanct Cuban Adjustment Act.

  • Buy a fake birth certif√≠cate for $10,000 or more, get yourself a bad sunburn, and present yourself as a Cuban – CNN on how non-Cubans fake Cuban citizenship to gain admission to the United States.

  • CNN: Alan Gross was examined by U.S. doctors who traveled to Havana last month.  Background from last fall here.

  • Internet monitor Renesys says that the Internet is getting faster in Cuba as satellite links are increasingly replaced by undersea cable connections.  (If you read the report, “latency” refers to speed of connection between a user in Cuba and a point outside Cuba; lower latency means higher speed.)

  • Reuters on slugger Jose Daniel Abreu of Cienfuegos, who left Cuba and seems headed to the big leagues.  More from USA Today.

  • This letter to the Economist from Stephen Purvis, the British businessman released from jail in Cuba, is well worth reading.  Note his observation that more are in jail than have been reported, and that there seems to be a particular risk for those who don’t come from Brazil, China, or Venezuela, i.e. those whose investments are not part of a government-to-government assistance program.

  • AP: Some munitions are turning up in the Panamanian search of the seized North Korean freighter.  Panama’s work is done, CNN reports, and UN offials are now examining the cargo.

  • Florida International University is digitizing interviews from its oral history project and has posted two about Operation Peter Pan: with Monsignor Brian Walsh and James Baker, director of an American school in Havana, both from 1997.

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