Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Odds and ends

  • The last prisoner in Cuba facing the death penalty had his sentence commuted and a new 30-year sentence imposed. The prisoner is a Cuban-American who was convicted of killing a man after landing in Cuba in an armed raid in 1974, AP reports. Granma’s story refers to a 2008 Council of State decision that commuted other death sentences.

  • An Italian newspaper reports that Telecom Italia “is preparing to say goodbye to Cuba” by selling its 27 percent share of telecom monopoly Etecsa. (H/t Penultimos Dias.)

  • Why is it “updating” of the economic model and not “reform” in Cuba’s official parlance? Juventud Rebelde interviews a many-titled economist whose answer centers around a bonsai tree analogy. My hunch is simpler, and political: “Updating” better fits the argument that the economic model is basically good and just needs to change with the times. “Reform,” on the other hand, could lead to questions about why these changes didn’t come years ago. Just a hunch.

  • EFE: Spain’s new foreign minister believes that “the international community should be aware that the best we can do for the island is to support that process of reform through dialogue and greater opening toward Cuba.” In a nice touch, she spoke quietly so as not to wake the Obama Administration.

  • Someone should tell the CIA that there is NOTHING FUNNY about the leaking of classified material, even if from the State Department. The Agency created WTF, a Wikileaks Task Force.

  • Dow Jones: Angola’s state oil company bought exploration rights in two offshore blocks north of Pinar del Rio.

  • Nice comrades: “The governments of Cuba and China have renegotiated Havana’s debt to Beijing, which will also extend new credit to the island at no interest.” (EFE)

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