Friday, November 7, 2008

Odds and ends

  • Brazil’s Petrobras acquired rights to explore for oil in waters off Cuba’s north coast between Havana and Varadero (see bloc N37 in the map here). “I don't understand why it took so long to sign this agreement,” Brazil’s President said in this AP report. Cuba recently announced a doubling of estimated reserves – but whether or not prospective investors find those estimates credible, surely they see that Cuba is behind on payments to two Canadian companies already producing oil. Last summer, Pebercan announced that Cuba was $37 million in arrears, and Sherritt just announced that Cuba is $392 million behind in payments.

  • A Granma article ridicules an election-night event hosted by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana – reportedly, there was balloting, the Cuban guests voted 64% for McCain, and the satellite television cut out after McCain’s concession, and before the Obama speech. Rui Ferreira has a report from the scene (desserts were “frugal,” it says), click here and scroll down to November 5.

  • The Sun-Sentinel on Cuba’s high cell phone rates – including per-minute charges for incoming calls. I understand that a monopoly charges what it pleases, but does the Cuban phone company really believe that they maximize profit at these prices?

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