Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
Below are some of the headlines and text from the November issue of CubaNews. I strongly suggest that anyone with a serious eye towards Cuba should subscribe to this fine publication. (This is not a paid advertisement.)
Obama victory could mean substantial changes in Washington’s Cuba policy
Senator Barack Obama’s likely presidential victory will bring about quick and substantial improvements in U.S.-Cuba policy, but a permanent thaw in relations — and an end to the embargo — isn’t imminent, say analysts.
Cuba may have 20 billion barrels of oil but cash crunch threatens investment
Does Cuba really have more petroleum reserves than Angola, Qatar or even Brazil? Well, yes — if you believe the latest claim by state-run oil entity Cubapetroleo (Cupet).
Tourism thrives despite hurricanes, financial meltdown
Fewer tourists are booking cruises to Jamaica. In the Bahamas, sales at dutyfree shops along Nassau’s picturesque Bay Street are flat.
Who’s in, who’s out in Cuba’s latest political reshuffling
Key changes have taken place within Cuba’s Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) since Raúl Castro was named president on Feb. 24, 2008, and chose Deputy First Minister and Army Corps Gen. (ACG) Julio Casas Regueiro to succeed him as Cuba’s minister of defense. Previously, Casas was deputy minister of MINFAR in charge of economic activities and a key player in the promotion of perfeccionamiento empresarial.
Cuba’s leptospirosis scare
When hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit Cuba with devastating force in late August and early September, Cuban authorities rushed to prevent any epidemic outbreak in the affected areas. A prompt response to the threat — along with efforts by Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) — have so far averted a major catastrophe.
CANF’s Francisco ‘Pepe’ Hernández talks to CubaNews
Regardless of who wins the White House on Nov. 4, Francisco “Pepe” Hernández insists that Washington’s policy toward Cuba must change. Since 1991, Hernández has been president of the Cuban American National Foundation, a Miami-based exile group that has between 20,000 and 25,000 members and operates on a $1.5 million annual budget. In an interview Oct. 6 with CubaNews, the retired economist and businessman said it’s time to “do away with all these absurd restrictions of the Bush administration” concerning Cuban-American travel and remittances.
Ike slashes nickel output as prices take a nosedive
The price bonanza enjoyed by Cuba’s nickel industry in the past two years seems to be coming to an end, as the world economic slowdown and financial panic sends a chill throughout the global commodities markets. Today’s nickel sells only for one-fourth of the price recorded in the spring and summer of 2007, when it peaked above $50,000 per ton amid fears of a permanent shortage, and strong world demand.
Dubious Havana Times goes online
Cuba now has an online English-language publication: The Havana Times. Under the motto “open-minded writing from Cuba,” the new online service claims it’ll seek to “avoid the black-and-white stereotyped reporting” from and about the island.
‘Peak Oil’ praises Cuba as model to follow
Alow-budget documentary produced by an Ohio-based nonprofit group aims to teach Americans how to make do with scarce petroleum supplies. “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,” was put together by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, a nonprofit group that promotes lowenergy alternatives to the current U.S. fossil fuel-based, industrialized way of living.
Harlistas keep their prized machines humming along by Tracey Eaton
Sergio Morales says his wife, Miriam, isn’t the jealous type. And that’s a good thing because there’s another “woman” in his life: His beloved 1946 Harley-Davidson. He has kept the battered red motorcycle running for more than three decades with little more than sweat, ingenuity and homemade spare parts. “I take pride in keeping her alive,” he said. Morales, 58, is the dean of Cuba’s intrepid motorcycle mechanics. And he and other Harley riders go to great lengths to maintain their vintage machines despite the decades-long U.S. ban on trade with the socialist regime.
Subscribers will also enjoy a great number and variety of smaller articles regarding Cuban politics, business and culture along with book reviews of Tastes Like Cuba and The Regulation of Foreign Investment in Cuba by Berger Young. Lastly there is a Cuba related list of upcoming international events.
Have a look at CubaNews