Monday, November 28, 2011

Odds and ends

  • Prensa Latina, curious about the implementation of lineamientos 25-29 calling for creation of cooperatives, goes to Pinar del Rio to have a sit-down with the president of the Scientific Society of Cooperativism of the National Association of Economists of Cuba. The scoop: they’re working on it, developing a manual for cooperatives and model accounting systems, rules for governance, etc. The expansion of cooperatives could have an impact, he says, in “food service, transportation, construction of housing materials, artists, artisans, fishing, marketing and sales of agriculture products,” and other areas.

  • Sorry, Home Depot – Brazilian retailer TendTudo will soon establish a presence in Cuba, serving the growing market for tools and construction materials. “The idea is to start small and go accompanying the changes in the Cuban market,” an executive told Reuters.

  • Herald: Cuban pilots who took part in the Bay of Pigs attempted invasion and were further recruited by the CIA to fly combat missions in the Congo will be honored next month for their service.

  • AP on Cuba’s plan to restructure its postal service. More from CubaStandard.

  • Sun-Times: Direct Chicago-Havana flights have begun; once weekly, will be twice weekly come January.

1 comment:

Antonio said...

On the home repair front, I am glad this is happening; I wish it had happened sooner. Maybe then Havana would not lead the world in collapsed buildings.

Any talk of home improvement in Cuba always reminds me of one story that my tia in the Havana neighbourhood of Marianao told me a few years ago. Buildings were falling into disrepair, but since the government had a strangle hold on materials, tools, licensing etc. things were happening very slowly. So one time her local CDR handed out a bag of cement to all the people who had been seeking repairs to their homes. Just a bag of cement, no sand, gravel, tools or anything else. Needless to say, almost everyone she knew sold their bags of cement, used the cash for their everyday basic needs, and prayed that their house would survive the next storm.

The Miami Herald needs a lesson in Swahili. Makasi means scissors in Swahili, not powerful and strong.

On the Bay of Pigs, that news is noteworthy. For a long time, the US govt. as a whole denied full acknowledgement of any responsibilities related to that fiasco. For one, the JFK and Robert Kennedy were privately glad that most of the bodies of the few Americans that died in the invasion were never recovered. I believe 5 US citizens were killed, and all were members of the Alabama National Guard who flew B-26 bombers from Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua. Thomas “Pete” Ray was the only member of the Alabama National Guard whose body was recovered in Cuba. JFK denied any US citizen involvement, LBJ and Nixon continued the denial, and it was not until Jimmy Carter was president that the body of Pete Ray was returned to the US in 1979. His daughter Janet Ray in had been jerked around by her government, as Castro who used her father’s body for propaganda purposes for over 18 years. Apparently Castro had once threatened to deposit the dead pilot’s body at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Peter posted a review on a new book a few months ago. The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro and America’s doomed invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs (Pub. 2011). It is worth a read if anyone is interested in this subject.