Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Odds and ends

  • In an interview, Miami-Dade Democratic party chairman Joe Garcia gives his views on the Cuban-American community and some of the possibilities in Cuba and in U.S. policy.

  • Preparations are proceeding for elections to local assemblies in Cuba, to be held October 21. I have seen no word on the next step, which is to set the date for the provincial assemblies and the National Assembly. To remain in office, Fidel Castro must be re-elected to the National Assembly; Article 74 of Cuba’s constitution provides that the National Assembly “elects, from among its deputies, the Council of State,” [emphasis mine] which includes the President of the Council of State who is, “at the same time, the head of state and head of government.” In other words, if he doesn’t run, he effectively resigns.

  • For an example of the public diplomacy impact of Cuba’s medical programs, see this Nicaraguan newspaper report on the arrival of 59 Nicaraguans graduated from Cuba’s Latin American Medical school, the fourth group of Nicaraguans to graduate in eight years. The new graduates will spend their “servicio social,” the sixth year of their medical education, in communities in Nicaragua’s sparsely populated Atlantic coast, working alongside 40 Cuban doctors who are already working there.

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