Fall 2007 Havana Journal Update
Posted: 13 October 2007 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Fidel Castro: Since Fidel Castro appeared on Cuban television on September 21 the rumors of his death have been quiet and I don’t expect rumors to flair up again for the rest of the year. Especially since he just called into Hugo Chavez’s radio show (see the Fidel Castro Health Watch for more details.

Now, the Cuban government can get away without any more appearances by Fidel Castro for the rest of the year.  Raul will continue to talk about economic and political reforms but so far his actions have been slow in coming and have had little impact on the lives of the Cuban people. If he has learned anything from his older brother it’s always “more talk and less action”.

Fidel Castro may continue to write his Reflections (or have them written for him) and we have started a dedicated page for a Fidel Castro Health Watch. We have also started a Cuban Government Watch to monitor any interesting developments under Raul Castro. 

Oswaldo Paya: We have come out in support of Oswaldo Paya’s Christian Liberation Movement back in March and are happy to promote his new documentary titled Cuba Libre: El Mayor Deseo. His organization has sent us a number of DVDs and we have eight left to give away. They are free and we are paying for shipping so just ask if you want one. We ask that you share it with at least one person.

Havana Journal Cuba Forum: Regarding the Havana Journal, we have restructured and expanded our Cuba Forum with several sub-forums under the Business, Culture, Politics, Travel and Cuban American sections. There is also a Havana Journal Information section for updates, advertising information, etc.

We have also started a Cane Forum to cover the new CBS tv show with Jimmy Smits. It’s on CBS on Thursday nights and kind of like Dallas meets the Sopranos set in Miami.

I’m happy to report that our redesigned Cuba Forum now shows up at #9 in a Google search for the term Cuba forum and Cuba forums. Please come by and read some of the interesting posts and feel free to post your own questions, experiences, opinions, suggestions, etc. You will have to be a logged in member to post.

Havana Journal Media Network: We are proud to officially announce the creation of the Havana Journal Media Network. This is a major expansion of Havana Journal Inc (a Massachusetts corporation) and we have actively been developing it since early this year. We have now created 37 sites each with its own unique content and business model. In order to further develop it, we have embarked on raising an Angel round of funding.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Havana Journal Advertising: You have probably seen our “Your Advertisement Here” graphic. Developing, maintaining and expanding our sites takes many hours each week. Even though we are very passionate about all things Cuba, passion doesn’t pay the bills as they say. In order to cover costs, we have proactively began to solicit advertisers and posted our advertising rates. I can assure you that any direct advertisers we accept will be seen as an asset to the information we offer here. Regarding Google AdSense advertisers that show up on our sites, we have little control over what advertisers show up in their advertising blocks.

Havana Journal Behind the Scenes: On August 24 the rumors of Fidel Castro’s death reached a fever pitch and we covered it from every angle. That was our highest traffic day ever at just over 3000 unique visitors.

We had a little server glitch a few weeks back that erased some of our design upgrades and some content. Everything has been restored and we have realized that we need to improve our hosting and security features so we will be investing some time and money in the near future to continue to prepare the Havana Journal for post-Castro post-Embargo traffic and use.

Havana Journal Visitors: We have noticed some very interesting posts in the past several months from a number of members. These posts are extremely pro-Castro and come from members who are allegedly from European companies. Judging by their quantity and quality of comments they are related in some way. My theory is that these members are part of an orchestrated attempt by the Cuban government to post positive comments about Fidel Castro and the Cuban government in general. It is widely known that there is an orchestrated effort by the Cuban government to have agents posing as tourists who post glowing reviews of overrated Cuban hotels to the Cuba travel related forums. So, I do not find it odd that this same type of operation is directed to the Havana Journal for political comments.

As our regular readers know, we welcome a wide variety of comments here since it makes for interesting political discussion but it is amazing sometimes to read some of the Cuban government propaganda and anti-US comments.

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