Monday, December 21, 2009

Odds and ends

  • AP: Two new vice presidents of the Council of State were named: Minister of Communications Ramiro Valdes and Comptroller General Gladys Bejerano, who took office last August after a 589-0 confirmation vote in the National Assembly.
  • Sun-Sentinel: Florida Senator George LeMieux announced last week that he will no longer block the nomination of Tom Shannon as Ambassador to Brazil, and he released a letter (pdf) from the State Department that comments on Cuba policy. He told AFP (Spanish story here) that with regard to the detained USAID contractor, “I hope he returns as soon as possible but we can’t negotiate with terrorists.”
  • Herald: Allegations of torture in Cuban prisons, met by a Cuban spokesman’s contention that treatment of prisoners in the United States is “similar or worse.”
  • Cigar Aficionado: In the Cohiba trademark fight between General Cigar and the Cuban company Cubatabaco, Cubatabaco wins the latest round in federal court.
  • “Let’s bring down the wall” – dissident economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe argues that the United States should end all Cuba travel restrictions. “No one expects the that arrival of foreigners can change a totalitarian government,” he writes. Only the Cuban people can do that. However, tourism opens a window to ideas…”

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