Despite restructuring some of these loans within the past 5 years, the time for Cuba to repay their debt is nigh, as a creditors group has begun to start the legal process to recover the debt. Continue reading
The Trump administration wants to create an “internet task force” to expand information access in Cuba, but not everyone is for the plan. Alan Gross was arrested and jailed in Cuba in the year 2009 for doing his job; he was a United States government contractor employed by USAID – the United States Agency for International Development.
Gross was held until his trial in March of 2011, when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Released in 2014, he has been a political activist and author ever since. Now, he is speaking out against the Trump administration’s plans for Cuba. Continue reading
Earlier this year, Raul Castro announced that he would be stepping down as president to give way to elections including the selection of a new president by a national assembly, and the man who is expected to take his place, Miguel Diaz-Canel, seems to be preparing to take over the reins of the Cuban government.
Known to keep a low profile and not be very outspoken, Diaz-Canel seems to be stepping up and speaking out to become a national figure during the elections expected to end with his taking over from Raul Castro next year.
Even with US-Cuba relations up in the air, business continues as usual. Despite the negative writing on the wall from a foreign policy standpoint, companies are continuing with their plans to do business with Cuba.
Cuba gave RIMCO, Caterpillar’s Puerto Rico-based dealer, permission to set up a Caterpillar warehouse and distribution center in Cuba’s Mariel Special Economic Development Zone, envisioned by the Cuban government as the island’s economic future. After a long process of campaigning and negotiations, Caterpillar Inc. is the first US company to locate in the Cuban economic zone.
Hurricane Irma charged through Cuba last weekend, demolishing buildings, uprooting trees, and leaving 10 dead in its wake. The Category 5 storm had winds as fast as 160 miles per hour when it made landfall in Cuba, making it the most powerful storm to reach the island since 1932.
The amount of damage to the country’s infrastructure and industry was devastating. In the aftermath, some people are mourning, many are rebuilding, and some are just enjoying the feeling of relief brought on by clear skies.
Yesterday, Cuba began a five-month transition period that is likely to end the Castro dynasty and make way for elections at the local, provincial, and national levels.
The first phase of the transition will take place during September, where small groups of Cubans will nominate municipal representatives at the local level.
In a surprise visit to Cuba, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro paid homage to the late Fidel Castro just after the 91st anniversary of his birth on August 13, 1926.
Maduro met with Cuban President Raul Castro for a visit to the cemetery in Santiago de Cuba and the mausoleums of both Fidel and national hero Jose Marti. The visit marks a continuation of strong relations between the two socialist countries, who remain regional ideological allies.
“Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail,” said Castro.
This was the first time he has commented on Trump’s June announcement of a rollback of some of the changes established by former President Barack Obama.
Recent remarks by Mariela Castro Espin suggest that the succession of Cuban leader Raúl Castro, who has publicly announced his retirement as president of the State and Ministers’ councils next year, may not be as clear as expected.
“Who do I want for the future of the country? I have no idea. In all [the candidates] I look at, I see virtues and defects, including in my father,” Mariela Castro said at the School of Communication in the University of Havana last Friday, The Miami Herald reports.
“The people have to decide. I do not have a preferred candidate but there are several people with qualities. I’m not going to say anything yet, I’m observing.”
Cuban President Raul Castro’s son, Colonel Alejandro Castro Espin, was Cuba’s official envoy for the secret negotiation process with the U.S. that led to the two countries’ bilateral relations in 2014, Cardinal Jamie Ortega has revealed.
Cuba watchers have long speculated that Castro Espin, 51, headed the secret meetings, but the confirmation by Ortega, who recently stepped down as archbishop of the Cuban Church, is the most official one to date.