Thursday, May 5, 2011

Odds and ends

  • Granma: Former food industries minister Alejandro Roca is sentenced to 15 years on corruption charges. Chilean businessman Max Marambio, who ran the Cuban fruit juice business, was tried and convicted in absentia and got 20 years.

  • Cuba’s tourism ministry held a trade fair where minister Manuel Marrero said Cuba received 2.5 million visitors last year (4.2 percent growth over 2009), and said arrivals are up 3.5 percent in the first four months of 2011. The minister, in the land of $90/day small rental cars with threadbare tires, pronounced: “Cuba will never consider the reduction of prices as a solution to the fluctuation between the high and the low seasons, because that will damage Cuba’s image as a tourist destination.” La Jornada reports that Mexican investors are interested in participating in some of the 19 golf course projects that Cuba would like to develop. Other coverage from EFE, Xinhua, and the Cuban News Agency.

  • Americas Quarterly has Cuban economist Omar Everleny Perez on the reforms and their likely results.

  • Blogger Ted Henken, just back from Cuba where he interviewed bloggers from across the ideological spectrum, posts a long note in Spanish about his trip that ended with security officers telling him it would be his last visit to Cuba.

  • As part of his ongoing reporting project on U.S. government democracy programs in Cuba, Tracey Eaton posts video interviews of a series of dissidents who comment on U.S. assistance.

  • Algo es algo: Cuba’s sugar harvest, barely over a million tons, grew six percent over 2010 (Reuters).

  • Fidel Castro writes a commentary in Granma criticizing the killing of Osama bin Laden as an extrajudicial assassination. Cuban Colada translates excerpts.

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