Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Odds and ends

Congratulations to Yoani Sanchez, author of the Generacion Y blog (Spanish and English versions linked at right), for winning the Ortega y Gasset prize last week.

Speaking of Generacion Y, a newsletter last week from the Center for Democracy in the Americas carried a comment from a reader with an idea why Yoani’s blog had severe access troubles: “because the ones who maintain that website changed the pages from .sthml to .php. If you type you get the ‘Not Found’ error message. If you type the same address but ending in index.php there is no problem ( This is why some people both in and outside of Cuba had problems while others didn’t.” Plausible?

Colombia plans to build a pilot ethanol plant in Cuba next year. It will be interesting to see if there will be furter decisions about ethanol on a larger scale. Raul Castro says Cuba needs more foreign investment; people who know this industry say it would be a winner for Cuba, and a shared-proceeds arrangement would attract foreign capital. Only problem is that Fidel Castro opposes it. Earlier discussion here.

At Penultimos Dias, a link to what purports to be a price list for items newly approved for sale to Cubans in state retail stores. Markup: 130 percent.

A new blog of Cuba photos from Ottawa photographer Patrick Doyle.

In Diario las Americas, economist Jorge Sanguinetty sees lots of significance in the recently published official survey of prices in the “informal” sector, discussed earlier here. He misses a few things – Pablo Alfonso did not break the story, the survey covers more than the black market, and this is not the first time that Cuba’s government has recognized the black market. But his speculation is interesting and he concludes that Cuba is on the verge of “a type of transition from an extreme form of totalitarianism toward another less suffocating form, but still totalitarian.” That’s progress, I guess.

[Photo of Yoani Sanchez on her balcony.]


Anonymous said...

Let us remember that Henry and val frist critized Yoani.

They basically called her a traitor and communist blogger from their AC condos in Miami (in english of course).

Anonymous said...

Yoani would be a Phil supporter and agree that he is working for Cuban freedom.

She would roll her eyes at the navietee (and kind of non-cosmopolitan) vibe of the red-neck cubans - val and babalu.