08/10/2001 - www.BGConsultants.net

By: Teo A. Babun, Jr.
Cuba-Caribbean Development Co., Ltd.
A Division of T. Babun Group, Inc.
All rights reserved
AUGUST, 2001
Power Outages Across the Country
Power outages are being experienced in various part of the country due to mooring complications
with the tanker carrying fuel for the Felton Electric Plant in Holguin Province. Presently we were
having problems with the mooring maneuvers of the tanker bringing fuel to the Lidio Ramon
Perez and Felton Plants. This is why both plants are off line and we have outages across the entire
country. The tanker already moored and it should begin pumping fuel to the electric plants in the
coming hours. This is happening because the Felton Electric Plant is the largest supplier of energy
in the country at this time. The Felton Plant provides 25 percent of the electricity generated in
the country. It yields 500 megawatts and usually operates at full capacity.
Casi un millón de toneladas en el semestre
EN el presente año se prevé en el país la extracción de aproximadamente 3,8 millones de
toneladas equivalentes de petróleo crudo más gas natural asociado. Significará un 18% de
crecimiento en comparación con los resultados del 2000 y el 40% del gasto de ese recurso en la
Isla. Existen planes de la industria del petróleo para lograr 6 millones de toneladas de petróleo
equivalente en el año 2005.
Havana Tunnel Re-Opens
Havana,- Vice President Carlos Lage inaugurated the reopening ceremony of the Havana Bay
Tunnel, which modernization works lasted 14 months. With over 40 years in operation, the tunnel
has new fire prevention,pumping, ventilation, lighting, and signaling systems, remodeled
entryways,and closed-circuit television, which had a cost of over $10 million. With this
investment, the city recovered a fundamental route for its life and development, for each day,
over 32,000 vehicles and a quarter of a million people circulate along the tunnel, said the also
secretary of the executive committee of Cuba's Council of Ministries. Over 800 Cuban workers
participated in rescuing the tunnel
Cuba calls Bush 'cruel,' appeals for jailed agents
By Andrew Cawthorne
HAVANA,(Reuters) - Cuba condemned U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday for waging an
"even more cruel and shameless" war against Havana than his predecessors in the past four
decades of hostility with the communist-run island. Bush came under fire several times in a
proclamation by the Caribbean nation's National Assembly calling for the release of five Cuban
agents jailed in Florida on spy-related charges.
Perez-Roque Reports Statistics
Radio Habana Cuba
Report by Victor Perez Galdos
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque has participated in a meeting of the Foreign
Relations Commission of the national parliament that discussed the island’s diplomatic efforts
this year. Perez Roque stated that Cuba currently holds diplomatic relations with 171 countries 2
and with two countries at the consular level. He said that Cuba maintains embassies in 111
countries and that in our country there are (93) missions of nations and international
organizations. The foreign minister said that Cuba maintains economic relations with (1,700)
firms or companies from 64 countries and signed more than 50 agreements to protect investments
and more than 400 joint enterprises. As for links of North Americans and Cubans residing in the
United States, he reported that despite US Government bans and pressures, Cuba was visited last
year by more than 77,000 US citizens and more than 120,000 Cuban-Americans. Perez Roque
added that during the first half this year 229 high-level delegations and even four heads of state
have visited Cuba.
Defiant travelers to Cuba paying a price
The Miami Herald
WASHINGTON -- U.S. citizens who defy restrictions on travel to Cuba increasingly are
returning stateside to find an unexpected souvenir: a letter from the feds demanding they pay
$7,500 or so in fines. The number of such penalty letters has spiked, and unsuspecting U.S.
travelers are yelping in surprise at the potential cost of their travels. From May 4 to July 30, a
division of the U.S. Treasury Department that monitors travel to Cuba sent out 443 letters seeking
average fines of $7,500 -- a sharp increase from the 74 letters mailed from Jan. 3 to May 3.
Cuba, Venezuela Increasing Ties
The Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela – In recent months, dozens of Venezuelan officials and ruling party
leaders have visited Cuba to admire the achievements of Castro's revolution and sign trade and
consulting pacts. Hundreds of Venezuelan medical patients are being treated in Cuba, and more
than 200 Cuban doctors and nurses work in Venezuela. The same goes for 600 Cuban sports
specialists, whose labor underscores a ``synergy'' between Cuba and Chavez's government,
according to Cuban Ambassador German Sanchez Otero. The exchanges are part of a deal in
which Venezuela sells Cuba oil at preferential rates in exchange for Cuban advice in tourism,
sugar, health and other areas. Venezuela provides Cuba 53,000 barrels of oil a day - by some
estimates worth $500 million a year.
La Habana molesta por nombramientos de exiliados en EU
El Parlamento cubano denunció ayer el nombramiento de ``connotados'' militantes anticastristas
en ``posiciones claves'' de la administración del presidente George W. Bush, con el fin de
``asegurar la ejecución de su política anticubana'', según una declaración aprobada por los
legisladores. Al abrir su primera sesión anual, la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular aprobó la
declaración en que exige la libertad de cinco cubanos presos en Miami bajo cargos de espionaje y
denuncia la designación de ``sujetos de connotada trayectoria en la guerra contra Cuba'', en
``puestos claves'' del gobierno.
Bush: `Wet foot-dry foot' policy will stay in place
WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Friday that the controversial policy of the Clinton
administration to send Cubans rescued on the high seas back to Cuba remains in place. Bush was
expansive in discussing ways to keep pressure on the Cuban government -- from ``cranking up
TV Martí again, to try to blast our way through the shield, get the message of freedom there,'' to
upholding trade sanctions. But he was cautious on the subject of migration from Cuba when
asked about the ``wet foot-dry foot'' policy that mandates that Cubans found at sea be returned.
About 400 Cubans have been returned since Bush became president. This week an exception was
made for 20 Cubans rescued from a capsized boat 20 miles south of Key West. They were
allowed to enter the United States to help authorities investigate a migrant-smuggling operation.
The two men suspected of being the smugglers were also detained.
Dissidents Will March
Nueva Prensa Cubana
Tens of dissents will take part in a march organized by the Cuba Commission on Sunday 5
August at 1400 GMT in the main square in Guines Municipality, south of Havana. The dissents
plan to march from the town center to the Jose Marti Park in the same locality. The nongovernmental organization, Cuba Commission, organized the march to mark the events of 5
August 1994 when more than 30,000 people protested against the Castro regime and demanded
the island’s freedom. On that occasion, the protesters were repressed by paramilitary forces in
line with the government, these forces have since then effectively suffocated any other protests.
Cuba Free Press
La Habana.- La Crisis generalizada que padece la salud pública cubana se ha agravado en los
últimos meses, cuando centros hospitalarios debieron cerrar parte de sus instalaciones, por falta
de personal médico y para-médico. Fuentes del ramo indicaron que varios hospitales de la
Habana han reducido sus servicios y se vieron obligados acerrar varias de sus salas, por la falta de
personal de enfermería. En el caso del centro hospitalario Julio Trigo, uno de los mayores de la
provincia situado en Arroyo Naranjo, canceló más del 50% de sus instalaciones, incluyendo el
quirófano. Esta situación se mantendrá hasta finales de septiembre dijo el director del hospital.
También presentan igual situación los hospitales Calixto García y el pediátrico Aballí, situado en
El Vedado. Ambos suspendieron varias intervenciones quirúrgicas por no contar con el personal
requerido a la hora de proceder.
U.S. "pleased" with WTO ruling in Cuba rum case
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. trade officials said on Monday they were "pleased" with a
World Trade Organization ruling in a case brought by the European Union involving trademark
rights for a major brand of Cuban rum. The ruling stemmed from a 1998 U.S. law aimed at
restricting the use of Cuban brand names in the United States for products originally made by
firms which were nationalized after Cuban leader Fidel Castro took power in 1959. The WTO
panel ruling on Monday confirmed the U.S. view that the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) does not require the United States or any other WTO
member "to recognize the confiscation decrees of other countries," the U.S. official said. Mark
Orr, vice president of North American affairs for Pernod Ricard, said the United States was
attempting to put the "best gloss" on a ruling that strikes at the heart of the so-called "Section
211" provision. The panel ruled WTO members must provide holders of intellectual property
rights, like trademarks, with "meaningful access to civil courts to defend their rights," Orr said.
Cuba confisca por 'enriquecimiento indebido' cientos de casas a nacionales y extranjeros
El País
Mauricio Vicent |
La Habana., Cientos de viviendas, dinero en efectivo, cuentas bancarias y otros bienes 'obtenidos
mediante enriquecimiento indebido' han sido confiscados en Cuba, según un informe de la
Fiscalía General de la República presentado ante el Parlamento y facilitado ayer a la prensa
internacional. El informe, que se refiere al trienio 1998-2000, habla de 347 viviendas, pero datos
avanzados por la prensa local (oficial) hablan de 1.400 sólo en el año 2000. En cualquier caso, la
medida pone de relieve el alcance de la batalla Según The Miami Herald, son muchos los
exiliados residentes en EE UU que han compradoilegalmente casas en La Habana, Varadero y
otros lugares de Cuba y las han puesto a nombre de sus familiares en la isla. Lo mismo han hecho
los extranjeros con novia o amigos en Cuba, esperando que 'las cosas cambien después de Castro'
para regularizar su situación y que sus propiedades se revaloricen. Además, está el caso de los
macetas o nuevos ricos cubanos residentes en la isla con acceso a dólares.
Cuba said to detain dissidents in new crackdown
HAVANA, (Reuters) - Cuban state security detained opposition activists over the weekend to
block protests planned to coincide with the seventh anniversary of a violent anti- government riot
in Havana, dissident sources said on Monday. Information was sketchy, but most of the
detentions appeared to be temporary measures to prevent various gatherings and a march planned
by the dissidents for Sunday, a local human rights' group said.
Aumenta el precio de la carne de res en el mercado ilegal de La Habana
Cuba Voz
Juan Carlos Linares
LA HABANA- Se cotiza a 40 pesos y más la libra de carne de res en el mercado ilegal de la
capital cubana. El precio del producto se disparó este mes a causa de la agudización de la crisis
económica en la isla, opinan analistas independientes. Al mismo tiempo, es evidente que las
cantidades de carne de res han disminuido en los comercios dolarizados, incluso se han dado
casos de tiendas de este tipo en los cuales no ha habido existencias del producto en determinados
momentos. Fuentes muy confiables vinculadas al ramo del turismo revelaron a Cuba Voz que
hasta en los hoteles exclusivos para extranjeros se siente la escasez de carne de res. Hace un par
de meses la carne de res se vendía en la bolsa negra o mercado ilegal al precio de 30 pesos la
libra. En Cuba 22 pesos equivale a un dólar, según la tasa de cambio fijada por el gobierno, y el
salario promedio mensual es de 249 pesos.
Cuba Economy Report
Granma International
According to Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez, the foreign economic relations are showing a ositive
trend. Despite the blockade, the economic war, and the price situation, the Cuban exports grew
10.7 percent during the first six months while our imports grew 0.7 percent compared to the same
period in 2000. This proves that the trend is toward the lowering of the foreign commercial
20 on CANF board resign
The Herald
Miami-At least 20 more board members of the Cuban American National Foundation publicly
resigned Tuesday, widening the internal breach in the anti-Castro organization and raising a new
dispute over control of millions of dollars in a fund reportedly created to fulfill the dying wishes
of CANF founder Jorge Mas Canosa.
Castro desafía a Washington con el tratado migratorio
El Nuevo Herald
En lo que parece ser la primera prueba de fuerza a la administración del presidente George W.
Bush en relación con el tratado inmigratorio entre Cuba y Estados Unidos , el régimen de Fidel
Castro ha iniciado un proceso investigativo contra tres cubanos deportados la pasada semana a la
isla, tras un fallido intento de viajar a Estados Unidos. Luis Manuel Martínez, el patrón de la
embarcación, está detenido, sin derecho a fianza, en el Departamento Técnico de Investigaciones
de Ciego de Avila, en aparente violación del pacto migratorio entre Cuba y Estados Unidos. Sus
otros dos compañeros, Orelvis Bringas Alvarez y Jorge F. Martínez Barceló, fueron acusados el
lunes de complicidad en actos de piratería y salida ilegal del país.
Castro squanders funds on politics, dissidents charge
HAVANA, (Reuters) - A group of dissident economists blasted the government of President Fidel
Castro on Thursday for wasting funds on political propaganda while the country continued to
suffer from a decade-long economic crisis.
Cuba y Honduras se preparan para normalizar relaciones
Agence France Presse
Los cancilleres de Cuba y Honduras, Felipe Pérez Roque y Roberto Flores, respectivamente,
suscribieron ayer acuerdos comerciales que calificaron como ``un primer paso'' hacia la
normalización de las relaciones diplomáticas, interrumpidas desde 1961.
Sesiona en La Habana Congreso bancario latinoamericano
Félix López
Promover la figura del fideicomiso en el ámbito de la intermediación financiera es uno de los
propósitos del XI Congreso Latinoamericano que sobre esta actividad bancaria comenzó ayer en
el Hotel Nacional de esta capital, con la participación de 260 representantes de 15 países de la
región, y de funcionarios y directivos de la Federación Latinoamericana de Bancos (FELABAN).
En su inauguración, Francisco Soberón, ministro presidente del Banco Central de Cuba,
reconoció la importancia de esta actividad para el desarrollo de la banca y la economía cubana.
Castro Honored in Venezuela
The Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela- Cuban leader Fidel Castro was welcomed here Saturday with cheers and
waving flags for a weekend of birthday celebrations amid a spat between Venezuela and the
United States over American military offices in the capital. It was Castro's first foreign trip since
he fainted during a speech in June - setting the world to speculate about a post-Castro Cuba. The
visit came after Venezuela ordered the U.S. military mission to vacate rent-free offices in
Caracas. Venezuela said the mission, which had occupied the offices for 40 years, could relocate
in Caracas.
Treasury examines Havana jaunt by TV execs
WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department is asking questions of several prominent
entertainment moguls -- including the head of CBS Television and MTV's top executive -- about
a private trip they took to Havana last February that featured a private dinner with Fidel Castro.
The group reportedly included CBS top dog Leslie Moonves; MTV chief executive Tom Freston,
who controls 64 domestic and international channels; William Morris talent agent Jim Wiatt;
Vanity Fair magazine editor Graydon Carter; and independent producer Brad Grey, whose credits
include Scary Movie and the HBO hit The Sopranos. Why the executives went to Havana is not
clear. But if a report in The New York Post on Feb. 15 is to be believed, they stayed four days
and had a blast. President Bush announced on July 13 that he would crack down on illegal travel.
Those who violate federal regulations regarding travel to Cuba can face civil fines ``up to
$55,000 per violation,'' according to a Treasury Department publication on Cuba entitled: What
You Need to Know About the U.S. Embargo. The publication emphasizes that authorities may
ask questions following travel to Cuba. A source at the Treasury Department said the questioning
of the entertainment executives could not be construed as ``an investigation'' but rather a
clarification of their activities.
Top News from the Iowa Farm Bureau .
The American Farm Bureau has asked Congress to repeal several provisions in law that presently
limit trade with Cuba. “We believe it is imperative to repeal these onerous provisions that impede
our ability to make meaningful commercial sales of agricultural commodities to Cuba, said AFBF
President Bob Stallman. Stallman said farmers and ranchers want and deserve to be able to
compete in a market valued in excess of $6 billion.
Aumentan las visitas de los militares chinos
El Nuevo Herald
El coronel general del ejército chino Yuan Shoufang finalizará hoy ``una fraternal y fructífera
visita'' a Cuba, informó ayer la prensa local, menos de cuatro semanas después de que otra
delegación militar del país asiático recorriera la isla.
Brazilian President to Meet Cuba's Castro in Venezuela Today
Sao Paulo
Folha de Sao Paulo President Fernando Henrique Cardoso will today meet with Cuban leader
Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Santa Elena de Uairen, Venezuela.
Cardoso will depart from Brasilia today at 0900 (1200 GMT) and arrive in Venezuela at 1145
(1645 GMT). In Santa Elena de Uairen he will dedicate an electricity transmission line for
Roraima State.
Youths Refuse To Join Communist Party Ranks
Nueva Prensa Cubana
Pinar del Rio youth refuse to join the ranks of the party. More than 300 members of the Union of
Young Communists [UJC] that have reached the cut-off age and were submitted by the political
organization to join the party's ranks in Pinar del Rio Province, expressed in recent days their
refusal to continue their
membership. . According to some sources, the reasons correspond with the disappointment and
lack of incentives faced by the Cuban youth, in addition to the limitations, lack of freedom, and
strong bias among the members of this political organization.
Russia: Ministers refuse to confirm closure of electronic center in Cuba
ITAR-TASS in English
Russian officials fail to confirm reports on closure of electronic centre (Lourdes)in Cuba. Deputy
Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov and Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov declined to confirm media
reports alleging that Moscow plans to close down the Russian electronic centre in Lurdes, a
suburb of Havana, Cuba, before December 2001.
Arrest of IRA men in Colombia highlights alleged Cuban connection
By Patrick Goodenough.
CNSNews.com, London Bureau Chief.
London (CNSNews.com) - As more information emerges about three Irish militants arrested in
Colombia, the leading unionist party in Northern Ireland has called on Washington to take "stern
steps" in the face of alleged terrorism and narcotics collaboration between the IRA and anti-U.S.
Marxist terrorists in Latin America. Security sources say that one of the men - a Spanish-speaker
who has been living in Cuba for several years arranged an official trip to Havana next month for
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
Llegan al millón de toneladas petroleros del Centro
CARDENAS.—Sin hacer concesiones en el orden de la eficiencia, el colectivo de la Empresa de
Perforación y Extracción de Petróleo del Centro (EPEP-C) acaba de completar el millón de
toneladas de crudo, cifra que alcanza por séptimo año consecutivo y siempre con un ritmo de
producción ascendente. Marcos Aguilera, director de esa importante entidad, aseguró a Granma
que es muy revelador en ese sentido el coeficiente de explotación de los pozos, por encima del 97
por ciento. Señaló con satisfacción el hecho de que todo el volumen de hidrocarburo extraído en
lo que va de año ha sido trasegado por el oleoducto Cárdenas-Matanzas, con el consiguiente
ahorro por concepto de transportación y la garantía de protección del medio ambiente.
U.S. tourists to Cuba undaunted by risk of fines
By Isabel Garcia-Zarza
HAVANA, (Reuters) - The U.S. government confirmed this week it was pursuing "illegal"
American visitors to the communist-run Caribbean island -- whose numbers have ballooned in
recent years -- with renewed zeal in search of fines reported at an average $7,500. The Treasury
Department said 443 demands for fines to suspected returning embargo-busting tourists were
issued from May to July, compared with 74 in the previous four months.
Sen. Calls for Cuba Travel Ban Halt
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A Democratic senator urged the Bush administration Friday to stop its
stepped-up enforcement of the travel ban to Cuba until Congress decides whether to change the
law. Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that
funds the Treasury Department, which enforces the embargo.
Cuban Politburo Member 'WarmlyReceives' Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister
Comrade Jose RamonBalaguer, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba
[CPC] and director of theCPC Commission for External Relations, warmly received Deputy
Foreign Minister NguyenDinh Bin on the afternoon of 15 August. The Vietnamese foreign
minister wasin Cuba on an official visit at the invitation of the Cuban Ministry of ForeignAffairs.
Cuban General Tomassevich Dies
The Associated Press
HAVANA - Gen. Raul Menendez Tomassevich, who fought with Fidel Castro's rebels in the late
1950s and went on to become a top military leader, died Friday. Cuban state media reported his
death. His exact age was not given, but he was in his early 80s.
Misión de la Unión Europea busca aliviar fricciones con La Habana
Una misión de la Unión Europea, encabezada por el ministro de Relaciones Extranjeras de
Bélgica, Louis Michel, comenzará el miércoles una visita a Cuba para impulsar las relaciones
diplomáticas con la isla, informó un portavoz del ministerio belga. Las relaciones entre Cuba y la
Unión Europea se enfriaron drásticamente el año pasado, después de que varias naciones
miembros del bloque continental apoyaron ante la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la ONU
una resolución que criticó a Cuba.
Canciller venezolano inicia visita oficial el jueves. Recorrerá el centro habilitado en Cuba
para atender a un grupo de enfermos de Venezuela
Agence France Presse
El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Venezuela, Luis Alfonso Dávila, realizará una visita
oficial de tres días a Cuba a partir del jueves próximo, informó ayer la Cancillería local.
Según el programa oficial, Dávila sostendrá conversaciones oficiales con su homólogo cubano,
Felipe Pérez Roque, en la mañana del viernes, para después encontrarse con el presidente de
Parlamento, Ricardo Alarcón.
EU envoy seeks to improve "frozen" ties with Cuba
By Andrew Cawthorne
HAVANA- A European Union mission headed by Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel began
a visit to Cuba on Wednesday aimed at repairing relations hurt by EU criticism of the
communist-run island's human rights' record. "At the moment, relations are frozen, but I think
there is an important goodwill to improve those relations and build a new climate between the
union and Cuba," Michel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters on
arrival. The visit comes after Cuba-EU relations hit rock-bottom last year when Havana angrily
canceled the visit of an EU "troika" of ministers and withdrew its candidacy for a multilateral
trade and aid pact between the European bloc and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
group of nations.
Cuba welcomes poor U.S. students to medical school
By Nelson Acosta
HAVANA- Cuba on Wednesday welcomed 26 more U.S. students from underprivileged
backgrounds to begin studying medicine for free at a special school in Havana set up by President
Fidel Castro's government. The new arrivals brought to 38 the number of U.S. students who will
study alongside nearly 5,000 mainly young Latin Americans who have also won scholarships to
take degrees at Havana's recently opened Latin American School of Medical Sciences. The 26
new students, whose hometowns ranged from New York to Los Angeles, were joined on arrival
by the Rev. Lucius Walker, a prominent campaigner against the Washington's embargo on Cuba
who heads the U.S. Pastors for Peace organization.
Rebel Chief Discusses IRA Suspects
The Associated Press
BOGOTA, Colombia - A Colombian rebel commander said Wednesday that three suspected Irish
Republican Army members were in his guerrilla group's stronghold to ``exchange opinions,'' not
to teach terror tactics. The comments came as Colombian authorities transferred Niall Connolly,
Martin McCauley and James Monaghan under heavy guard from a military police base to the
maximum security wing of the La Modelo federal penitentiary in the capital, Bogota.
Cuban state paper accuses U.S. of attacking bees
HAVANA- Not content with conventional conflict tactics like sanctions and a 1961 CIA-backed
invasion, the United States has resorted to attacking Cuba's bees, according to the ruling
Communist Party's weekly newspaper. The state-run newspaper Granma Internacional accused
Washington of waging a "biological war against Cuba" that was probably to blame for a disease
that has destroyed 16,000 beehives causing $2 million in lost honey output since 1996.
No viajará a la Habana el canciller español
L a ausencia de Piqué sería una protesta ante Castro
Agence France Presse
El ministro español de Asuntos Exteriores, Josep Piqué, no formará parte de a Troika comunitaria
que viajará mañana a La Habana para explorar la posibilidad de un mayor acercamiento entre
Cuba y la Unión Europea (UE), informaron ayer fuentes diplomáticas. Se trata de una ``troika
informal exploratoria'', que estará encabezada por el ministro belga de Relaciones Exteriores,
Louis Michel, cuyo país ocupa la presidencia de turno de la UE, y en la que España estará
representada por el Director General de Iberoamérica, Alberto Camero, informó ayer un portavoz
oficial del ministerio español de Asuntos Exteriores. Este portavoz no hizo referencia a la
información publicada ayer por el diario conservador madrileño La Razón, según el cual la
ausencia de Joseph Piqué en esta delegación es una forma de protesta por ``la negativa de
Castro a fomentar la democracia''.
Exiles collect petition asking US to indict Castro
MIAMI- Cuban exile groups have collected 105,000 signatures on a petition asking the U.S.
government to indict Cuban President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro on murder charges
over the shooting down of two planes crewed by exiles in 1996, officials of the groups said
Palestinian Legislative Leader Visits Cuba
Havana Granma
Jose Ramon Fernandez, vice president of the Council of Ministers, yesterday received Ahmad
Quray, aka Abu-Ala, president of the Palestinian Legislative Assembly. During the meeting,
which took place in a friendly and fraternal atmosphere, Abu-Ala expressed the gratitude of the
Palestinian leadership and people for the solidarity and support that the Cuban Revolution has
always extended to the Palestinian cause.
EU mission meets Castro, dissidents in Cuba
HAVANA- A European Union mission led by Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel spent 6-1/2
hours with President Fidel Castro until the early hours on Friday in a bid to improve ties soured
over EU criticism of Cuba on human rights.
Media Group Protests to Cuba
Associated Press
PARIS- An international media advocacy group said Friday it has protested to Cuba about the
police questioning of three reporters who work outside the government media. Paris-based
Reporters Without Borders said it sent a letter to Cuban Interior Minister Gen. Abelardo Colome
Ibarra, asking him to ``put an end to the state's pressure on journalists.'' Jesus Joel Diaz
Hernandez and Carlos Brizuela Yera, who work for non-state news agencies, were questioned for
eight hours on Wednesday, the group's director Robert Menard said in a statement.
Cuba adopts two-track foreign investment policy
By Marc Frank
HAVANA - After 12 years of opening itself to foreign capital investment, communist-run Cuba
has become more selective in forming joint ventures, while making it easier and cheaper to invest
in other ways. Lomas explained that while the total number of joint venture companies formed in
2000 increased by only 18 to 392 in all, compared with an average annual increase of 42 in the
previous five years, the value of those new partnerships last year was twice the value of those
formed in 1999. She said that by 2001 investors had signed agreements valued at over $5 billion
with the government of President Fidel Castro -- perhaps the best-known living critic of
capitalism -- of which about 50 percent of the cash had actually arrived in the country. Officials
say 60 percent of the companies in joint ventures with Cuba were from Spain, Canada, Italy, and
As with joint ventures, the government says the cooperative production agreements' objectives
are to obtain capital, new technology and know-how, substitute imports and gain access to
markets. The investor avoids lengthy Foreign Investment Ministry approval, simply by signing
two documents with a state-run company and its ministry. For example, the investor sells on
credit raw material, technology, and know-how to its Cuban partner in exchange for a fixed sum
per product produced, or purchases the finished product outright for export. In all cases the
investor does not pay the high labor cost charged by state-run labor agencies and mandated by
Cuba's 1995 Foreign Investment Law. Beause the producing company remains 100 percent
Cuban, the investor pays no taxes.
Venezuelan minister seeks better ties with U.S.
WASHINGTON, - Venezuelan Foreign Minister Luis Alfonso Davila said on Monday his
country wants closer ties to the United States, but he opened his visit to Washington with a
scathing attack on foreign and economic policies supported by the United States. Davila also
criticized the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba's Communist government, to which
Venezuela has drawn close since President Hugo Chavez, a former military officer, was elected in
Cuba to end circulation of U.S. coins
By Marc Frank
HAVANA - In what some analysts believe may be a first step toward eliminating the U.S. dollar
from circulation in Cuba, the Cuban Central Bank said on Tuesday that American coins would no
longer be accepted from Oct. 15. Central Bank President Francisco Soberon said recently the
government was working toward ending circulation of the dollar, but added the move was not
imminent in the short term. Economic analysts said Tuesday's announcement may represent a
tentative start in a longer process.
Bush Urged on Drug Efforts With Cuba
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Anti-Castro sentiment is preventing the United States from helping Cuba
combat drug traffikers' increasing use of the Caribbean island as a transit point for cocaine and
marijuana, former White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey said Tuesday. McCaffrey
said the Bush administration should ask a reluctant Congress to approve sharing intelligence on
drug operations and develop targeted training programs with the Cuban government.
Fidel Castro Heads to Africa
The Associated Press
HAVANA - Fidel Castro left Cuba on Wednesday for the ancestral motherland of a majority of
people in this heavily black Caribbean nation, winging to Africa for a global racism conference.
A heavily symbolic trip, Castro is traveling from a country where most of its 11 million citizens
have some African ancestry to the continent where thousands of Cuban troops died helping free
black nations from white colonialism. Although there was no official confirmation of Castro's trip
in Havana, the United Nations has confirmed that the Cuban leader will speak Sept. 1, the
second day of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
Reciben a Castro con salmón en Brasil
El Nuevo Herald
RIO DE JANEIRO -Camino de Africa, el gobernante cubano Fidel Castro arribó ayer a Brasil
para pasar la noche en una lujosa suite presidencial con vista a la playa de Copacabana. El menú
consistía de salmón con ensalada.
U.N. anti-racism conference kicks off under cloud
By Richard Waddington
N, South Africa- To the beat of Zulu drums, the United Nations opens a conference against
racism on Friday, but organisers' hopes that it will prove a landmark could be dashed by rows
over Israel and slavery. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is due to open the eightday gathering together with South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, whose "rainbow
nation" is held up as an example to follow after its overthrow of apartheid. Cuban President Fidel
Castro, who never misses a chance to score political points against the United States, and a
number of African heads of state will be attending.
La Habana no prohibirá la tenencia de dólares
El Nuevo Herald
Associated Press
LA HABANA -En Cuba jamás se prohibirá de nuevo la circulación del dólar, afirmó este
jueves el presidente del Banco Central, Francisco Soberón. ``Incluso en el momento en que
circule la moneda nuestra, siempre se ermitirá la tenencia de dólares'', aseguró el funcionario.
Coffee crop seen rising more than 20 percent
By Marc Frank
HAVANA - Coffee picking began in Cuba's mountains this week, with the industry forecasting a
partial recovery from a disastrous 2000-01 crop of 12-15 million kg, state-run media and industry
sources said. Initial estimates forecast output up more than 20 percent from the 2000-01 crop, but
still around 10 percent below 1999-2000 production which was around 18-22.5 million kg of
semi-processed beans, the sources said.
FBI snares two alleged members of Cuba spy ring
By Brian Bandell
MIAMI - A U.S. grand jury has indicted a husband and wife as alleged members of a Cuban spy
ring that attempted to infiltrate the Southern Command, the U.S. military headquarters for Latin
America, U.S. authorities said on Friday. George and Marisol Gari were charged in a three-count
indictment with spying for the Cuban government and faced a maximum penalty of 15 years in
prison if convicted.