Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Odds and ends

  • In 2005, amid a retrenchment in several areas of economic policy, Cuba’s state enterprises were required to get the approval of a Central Bank committee to spend more than $5,000 in hard currency. El Nuevo Herald covers a decision to double that amount (to 10,000 convertible pesos, about $10,800), and links to the April 14 Central Bank resolution that made it official. It’s a small step that would take on greater importance if it means that more steps to decentralize decisionmaking are on the way.

  • Blogger Yoani Sanchez won the prestigious Ortega y Gasset prize; the ceremony in Madrid is today, but the Cuban government won’t let her go pick it up.

  • Another report on changes in the USAID Cuba program, this one from the Los Angeles Times: there will be a new emphasis on competitive bidding and grants to Eastern European and Latin American groups. Also a hint that there may be a positive response to the Cuban American National Foundation’s call for prohibition on cash assistance to be dropped.

  • “It won’t be easy” for the Democratic challengers to Miami’s three GOP incumbents, reporter David Adams concludes in his St. Petersburg Times coverage. But it will be an interesting spectator sport.

  • President Bush spoke with three Cuban dissidents yesterday via a videoconference link to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. In this Reuters Spanish story based on dissidents’ account of the conversation, Martha Beatriz Roque is said to have asked for a change in regulations governing remittances from the United States. White House photo here.

  • 23 indicted for alien smuggling by a Key West grand jury, El Nuevo Herald reports.


Anonymous said...

I am pro-freedom in cuba, but Bush has NO RIGHT to discuss the internal policies of other countries.

Bush is red,neck cowboy diplomacy.

the only thing he has done for cuba is make it so I can't visit my old, sick mother-in law and father who live in havana. Thanks bush! my parents in havana thank you too! ? right, most average cubans, even the very anti-castro, despise bush.

theCardinal said...

I don't agree with much of W's Cuba policy but supporting dissidents is not wrong. The danger of course is that they could be tainted as foreign agents but if they feel comfortable speaking to the Prez, why not? What's wrong with bring publicity to their cause? It's not like anyone else outside of Vaclav Havel is knocking on their door and offering to help. These folks can't do it on their own, they need your standards the Lafayette would have stayed at home, von Steuben would have hung around Europe training mercenaries...freedom needs friends not talkers who applaud from the sidelines.

theCardinal said...

If you are so pro-freedom for Cuba then do something or if you miss your mother then go back and stay there. And please don't break out the violins...I know plenty of people there are still going via Mex or Jamaica. Get off your whiny butt and do something.