Monday, February 14, 2011

Odds and ends

  • Subsidized retail sale of refined white and brown sugar will be gradually phased out, according to an announcement in the Gaceta Oficial reported in state media. White sugar, at a “liberated” price of 8 pesos, will cost about half the U.S. retail price. Juventud Rebelde’s story asserts that the open sale of sugar is a “necessary and awaited decision, above all for the good development of the small enterprise sector.” BBC story here.

  • Following last Friday’s announcement, political prisoners Hector Maseda and Angel Moya were released from prison and on Sunday attended mass at Havana’s Santa Rita church, where the Damas de Blanco congregate weekly. They will continue their opposition activity, El Pais reported. “The government has the power but law, morality, and ethics are on our side,” Moya said. Numerous press reports (e.g. this report from Radio Free Europe) have indicated that one or both wanted to be the last to be released from prison, and that Maseda wanted to reject parole (licencia extrapenal) and insist on having his conviction vacated , but the government did not oblige on either score and released them now.

  • AP: Slow going in state sector layoffs.

  • Juventud Rebelde takes a short look back at the Bay of Pigs, centered around the account of two Cubans who were part of the invading force. It ends with this quote from one, Mario Cabello: “I have no regrets nor will I…When I was taken prisoner I suffered a very strong emotional shock. I recovered with time, but from that moment there appeared in me a very strong conviction. Cuba cannot confide in any foreign power. I still maintain that today.”

  • El Nuevo Herald reports that former Alimport chief Pedro Alvarez is in Tampa – actually, that a Tampa lawyer wrote his Congresswoman making that claim. Following all the talk about Alvarez last month, we still lack a first-person account.

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