Friday, September 23, 2011

Odds and ends

  • A great project: Jazz at Lincoln Center bassist Carlos Henriquez organized a wind instrument donation for Cuban music students and went to Havana with $250,000 worth of instruments.  He was joined by four string instrument repairmen.  (AP, Granma)
  • Mauricio Vicent, the long-serving Havana correspondent for El Pais, is often accused (unfairly, I think) of bias in favor of the Cuban government.  That government had a different idea (unfairly, I think) and yanked his press credential, allowing him to remain in Cuba but not to write (AP).  El Pais slams the decision in an editorial, as does the Committee to Protect Journalists.
  • AFP: There are more than 300 private gyms operating in Havana, officials told state media.  I describe two here and here.
  • This article in Granma points out the value of cooperatives, which have operated in Cuban agriculture for 50 years.  A sub-headline singles out food service as a sector that could benefit most from from the application of the cooperative model.  But before we start seeing neighborhood cafeterias and restaurants converted into cooperatives, there’s an obstacle.  The article points out that Cuba’s constitution limits cooperatives to the farm sector.
  • The Damas de Blanco, founded as a group of women protesting on behalf of jailed family members, will now become a political organization standing up for human rights and democratic change, leader Laura Pollan told Radio Marti.  Meanwhile, AP’s Andrea Rodriguez assesses the “crossroads” at which the Damas and other dissidents stand, and their challenges in connecting with the public.
  • Juventud Rebelde explains how smart phone payments can make cash, coin, and credit card obsolete.

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