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Cuban Economic News

Preparing for a business career in Cuba takes persistence  3/2/2017 Miami Herald: "One of the biggest challenges in running a private tech venture in Cuba is getting the spare parts to operate the repair operation. “We decided to buy old laptops, broken laptops so we could get the screws and hardware needed to make repairs,” Puente said. “We learned how to do maintenance on motherboards to extend their lives.”

La ONAT presentó 223 denuncias contra trabajadores privados en 2016  2/27/2017 Diario de Cuba: "La ONAT (Oficina Nacional de Administración Tributaria) presentó 223 denuncias contra trabajadores privados por evasión fiscal a lo largo de todo el país en el año 2016, 136 de ellas fruto de la labor conjunta desde junio pasado con la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR), según dio a conocer el semanario estatal Trabajadores. Las actividades por cuenta propia que principalmente evaden impuestos, de acuerdo con datos del Gobierno, son diferentes modalidades de venta de alimentos, transportación de carga y pasajeros, así como el arrendamiento de viviendas y habitaciones."

Cuba has ‘largest pool of untapped IT talent in the Americas’  2/27/2017 Miami Herald: "The people working in the Bacardí building probably also work for Cuban state enterprises, McIntire told el Nuevo Herald. “The government is fully aware that those are programmers working for foreign companies. They are in the stage of allowing it, but not promoting it,” he said."

Cuba y dos puertos de un estado en EEUU pactan convenios de colaboración  2/20/2017 Nuevo Herald: "El senador republicano por el estado sureño, William Thad Cochran, presidió la firma de los nuevos memorandos, rubricados por el director general de la Administración Nacional de Puertos de Cuba, Manuel Pérez, y representantes de Pascagoula, Mark McAndrews, y de Gulfport, Jonathan Daniels."

Frenan el trabajo por cuenta propia en Varadero  2/17/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "El directivo comentó que, desde el mes de agosto del año 2012 no se emitían nuevas licencias para ejercer labores no estatales en Varadero, y a partir del acuerdo y las disposiciones complementarias que entrarán en vigor 90 días posteriores a su publicación en la Gaceta Oficial (31/1/2017), se otorgarán nuevas licencias sólo en algunas actividades. Entre las modalidades que se incluyen en el documento figuran el asistente para el cuidado de niños, cuidador de enfermos, personas con discapacidad y ancianos, cuidador de baños públicos y taquillas, trabajador doméstico, repasador, tenedor de libros, y arrendamiento de viviendas, habitaciones y espacios."

In Cuba Most Small Businesses Are Still Illegal  2/17/2017 Havana Times: "Mairim is a chemical engineer and after having started up her job agency, she has studied legal and economic issues. “In fact, I’m taking a small business management course.” In spite of her interest and the tried-and-tested usefulness of her business venture, what she’s doing isn’t allowed. Like a kind of legal lifeline, she has taken out a license as a “Collector-payer” and wants to present a “new activity project” to include what she really does to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, “let’s see if they accept it.”"

Cuba: Gov. & Private Taxi Drivers Flex Muscles  2/16/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "A boss can have several cars (from 1 to even 20) and hire different drivers. They can sit at home, and pocket more than $1,000 USD every month per car while the driver will only earn around 250 USD per month, working 10 or 12 hours per day. [More than 10 times the average salary on the island]."

Carnival Corporation expandirá viajes de cruceros hacia Cuba  2/16/2017 Cubadebate: "La compañía norteamericana, Carnival Corporation, ha obtenido la aprobación para expandir los viajes de cruceros hacia Cuba y, con ello, Carnival Paradise podría convertirse en el navío de mayor capacidad en la historia que navegue de EEUU a La Habana. Las salidas desde el puerto de Tampa Bay a Cuba comenzarían en junio de 2017."

Transporte de pasajeros, ¿imposición o negociación?  2/16/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "Un patrón puede tener varios automóviles (desde 1 hasta 20) contratando diferentes choferes. El dueño, sentado en su casa, se embolsa más de U$D 1000 al mes por cada vehículo mientras que el chofer gana unos U$D 250 mensuales, trabajando 10 o 12 horas diarias. Entonces ni siquiera se puede hablar de boteros en general ni tratar a todos por igual. Hay que analizar cuanto les cuesta mantener sus vehículos, con 60 años de vida en el costillar, trabajando 12 horas al día. Cuanto gastan en piezas de repuesto, gomas o baterías."

Galería de arte naif próxima a abrir sus puertas en Santiago de Cuba  2/15/2017 TV Santiago: "En pleno centro histórico de esta ciudad se alista hoy la galería de arte naiff para acoger las obras de los pintores cubanos que cultivan esa vertiente, vital en el Oriente encabezados por el grupo Bayate."

CHINA PILES INTO CUBA AS VENEZUELA FADES AND TRUMP LOOMS  2/14/2017 Cuban Economy: "China’s growing presence gives its companies a head start over U.S. competitors in Cuba’s opening market. It could leave the island less exposed to the chance U.S. President Donald Trump will clamp down on travel to Cuba and tighten trade restrictions loosened by his predecessor Barack Obama. A deterioration in U.S.-China relations under Trump could also lead Beijing to dig in deeper in Cuba, some analysts say."

Taller comunitario generaliza experiencias desde las comunidades y los barrios santiagueros  2/14/2017 TV Santiago: "Un proyecto de integración provincial para el trabajo comunitario se desarrolló en la ciudad de Santiago de Cuba. El objetivo del evento fue generalizar experiencias y resultados, que contribuyen a potenciar a escala local y nacional estrategias del trabajo comunitario."

China piles into Cuba as Venezuela fades and Trump looms  2/14/2017 Reuters: "Cuban imports from China reached a record $1.9 billion in 2015, nearly 60 percent above the annual average of the previous decade, and were at $1.8 billion in 2016 as the flow of oil and cash slowed from Venezuela due to economic and political turmoil in the South American country. China's growing presence gives its companies a head start over U.S. competitors in Cuba's opening market. It could leave the island less exposed to the chance U.S. President Donald Trump will clamp down on travel to Cuba and tighten trade restrictions loosened by his predecessor Barack Obama."

Cuéntanos tus experiencias con los “boteros” en La Habana  2/13/2017 Cubadebate: "El 8 de febrero el gobierno de La Habana reiteró algunas disposiciones establecidas desde julio pasado para asignar precios máximos a 30 rutas. Los viajes desde el Parque del Curita hasta diferentes zonas de la ciudad tendrán nuevos costos específicos para diferentes puntos de los recorridos. Cubadebate te invita a que compartas tus experiencias sobre este particular."

Cuba: It Might Seem Stupid but…  2/9/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "The Cuban economy would be on the increase if half of the Revolution’s guardian angels – those who dedicate themselves to monitoring what is written on every blog – spent their time chasing corrupt and incompetent officials who steal and destroy the wealth that other Cuban people generate... During the debate that then kicked off on the blog, many people asked why names of corrupt and incompetent officials weren’t made public or why we weren’t informed of the dismissal of company leaders or those sectors affected, just like the blog La Joven Cuba was “reported” in the press, for example."

Gobierno de La Habana pone precios máximos a rutas de los “boteros”  2/8/2017 Cubadebate: "Los taxistas de La Habana, más conocidos por su popular apodo de “boteros“, desde hace varios meses cortan los recorridos para que los pasajeros paguen más. El tema se ha tratado varias veces en Cubadebate, al final de esta nota encontrará enlaces a trabajos anteriores al respecto."

Alabama Port Authority announces deal with Cuban counterpart  2/3/2017 AL.com: "Alabama's Port Authority announced that state and Cuban officials met Thursday in Tampa, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding described as the first Cuban ports agreement signed on U.S. soil since 1959. The five-year cooperative agreement is based on "a mutual interest in facilitating trade growth," according to the ASPA. The two agencies agreed to collaborate on "port and cargo marketing studies and strategies, engaging in promotion and exhibition activities, and sharing data to the mutual benefit of their respective seaports.""

Trump's Cuba Negotiator Has Ties to the Island Nation  1/27/2017 Cuba Journal: "Greenblatt himself traveled to Cuba between 2012 and 2013, Businessweek reported in July, to scout future investment potentials for Trump’s company."

Raúl Diago, de estrella mundial a empresario  1/24/2017 El Toque: "Catalogado como el mejor pasador del mundo del voleibol en los años 90, Raúl Diago perteneció a una generación que sacó muchos suspiros y más de una lágrima a la afición cubana. Luego de que salio "o lo sacaron" de la Federación Cubana de Voleibol, Diago ya había sentado las bases para su retiro. Y nos cuenta su historia."

Trump’s New Cuba Negotiator Fought For Stronger Cuba Ties  1/24/2017 BuzzFeed: "Until December, Jason Greenblatt served as a senior vice president at the Trump Organization and acted as the corporation’s chief legal officer. He was sworn in on Sunday as the White House’s “special representative for international negotiations.” Among that remit will be, according to CNN at the time the position was announced, “working on Israel-Palestinian peace process, the American relationship with Cuba and trade agreements.”

Stiglitz and the Cuban economy  12/26/2016 On Cuba: "For me, his time in the World Bank as chief economist perhaps was the most relevant, especially because it marked new tendencies in that organization and under his direction one of the most notable Development Reports of the 1990s was published, where an in-depth analysis was made of the role of knowledge in development and economic growth. Already by that time – we’re talking of 20 years ago – several Cuban economists had carried out works where the importance of that factor for Cuba’s economic development was demonstrated and also, as a leading factor of those researches, that Cuba had to promote economic policies that would make that advantage really effective."

Twin sisters make cigars to celebrate different shades of the AfroCuban diaspora  12/20/2016 Miami Herald: "According to the sisters, most of their business comes from black Americans. Tres Lindas Cubanas, which was named after a Cuban song and translates to three pretty Cuban girls, also serves as homage to the variety of shades of black women across the world and the complexion of the three blends of cigars available through their brand."

¿Quién le tiene miedo a la música en Cuba?  12/13/2016 Cuba Posible: "¿Cuáles piensas que son las mayores dificultades que enfrentan los creadores musicales en Cuba? La primera es la ausencia de un mercado nacional para la música. En ello influye que los discos y el aparato reproductor se comercializan en precios prohibitivos y en una moneda que no es con la que se le paga al ciudadano promedio. Por tanto, al músico cubano le resulta punto menos que imposible que sus discos sean comprados por el público o destinatario natural para el cual se hace esa creación sonora."

Who is afraid of Cuban music? A self-interview with JOAQUÍN BORGES-TRIANA  12/13/2016 Cuba Counterpoints: "What do you think are the main difficulties that music-makers face in Cuba? The first is the absence of a national market for music. This creates a situation where records and recording apparatuses are sold at prohibitive prices, and in a currency that is not the same as that which is paid to the average citizen. Therefore, it is almost impossible for a Cuban musician to have his/her records bought by the public or by the intended recipient for which the sonic creation is produced. In addition, there are too many musicians in relation to the State’s limited capacity to produce records."

A U.S.-Cuba Breach Presents an Opportunity for China  11/29/2016 WSJ: "While U.S. remittances total more than all Cuban exports, Beijing’s trade with island is growing fast "

Given the incentive, Cuba’s economy could boom  11/28/2016 The National, South Africa 

Cuba Ventures on Why an Incoming Trump Administration Will be Good for U.S.-Cuba Rapprochement  11/10/2016 Cuba Ventures: "Even the Trump-friendly corporate lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) has called for the normalization of U.S. trade relations with Cuba, which would be consistent with its free market agenda."

Nothing for Ordinary Cubans  11/4/2016 Havana Times: "The internet isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Plus, the 2 CUC (US $2.30) price tag for a 1 hour access card is still a great blow to the Cuban people’s economy. However, the problem isn’t only the government’s expensive price, but also the cruel initiative that resellers take. They take advantage of the fact there are very few ETECSA retail outlets and that employees there would rather sell them in bulk in exchange for getting a few cents extra for each card sold, since when these are sold directly to the general population, they don’t get a cut."

Invertir en Cuba: ¿Qué dicen los empresarios?  11/3/2016 Cubainformación: "¿Qué beneficios tiene invertir en Cuba? ¿Cómo ha sido este proceso para algunas de las empresas ya asentadas en la Isla? ¿Cuánto frena el bloqueo económico a los hombres de negocios que apuestan por la Mayor de las Antillas? Reconocidas firmas como Nestlé, Havana Club Internacional e Iberostar compartieron sus opiniones al respecto durante la clausura del primer Foro de Negocios celebrado en el marco de la 34 Feria Internacional de La Habana."

Cuba Shuts Itself Off to US Businesspeople  11/2/2016 Havana Times: "Cleber’s investment meant that the Cuban Government would have to take too many ideological risks, said John Kavulich, the director of the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. Accepting this project “would be seen as the country accepting the US’ current statutes, laws and policies. That it had given in,” said Kavulich according to Miami’s El Nuevo Herald. “They feel confident that with the existing subsidies, loans and debt restructuring, projects focusing on energy and the revenue from US visitors and visitors from other countries, the government will be able to remain firm in its resistance against any significant commercial and economic commitments with companies based in the US,” he added, according to the Miami newspaper."

AT&T Makes its Debut in Cuba with Roaming Wireless Service  10/26/2016 Nearshore Americas: "US telecom giant AT&T has begun offering roaming wireless services for its customers in Cuba after wrapping up an agreement for network interconnection with the island’s state-run telecom firm ETECSA. The carrier says its customers can now talk, text, and use data while visiting the communist island. Some US papers have described the move as AT&T’s second major step on its expansion in Latin America."

Persiguen cuentapropistas ilegales  10/2/2016 Cartas desde Cuba: "Según Raúl González Quintana, secretario del Consejo de Administración Provincial (CAP), “además de la imposición de 1500 pesos (CUP) de multa a quienes desempeñen cualquier actividad de forma ilícita, aplicaremos con fuerza el decomiso de los medios e instrumentos que utilizan para su labor. La ley es rigurosa en tal sentido. “Si el ciudadano emplea una bicicleta para comercializar algo, la puedo decomisar; si dispone del auto como taxi y carece de licencia operativa, igual queda estipulado el decomiso del vehículo; incluso, si arrienda su inmueble, existe la prerrogativa para abrir un proceso a través de la dirección de Vivienda y decomisarlo. Todo está bien claro en el Decreto Ley 315, en lo referente a aquellos que ejercen de modo ilegal”."

Fantasmas y amenazas de la revolución cubana  9/24/2016 Cartas desde Cuba: "Por su parte, militar por cuenta propia en el ejército del socialismo también tiene un costo. En La Joven Cuba hemos acompañado el proceso revolucionario, apoyándolo desde la crítica y la alternatividad. Pero algunos creen que todo aquello que no venga por la vía institucional, no rinda cuentas verticalmente, no entre en el sistema de trabajo centralizado y planificado, lo que no cumpla estos parámetros es una amenaza. Y así nos han tratado a menudo, sin mucho éxito gracias a las fuerzas revolucionarias dentro de las instituciones, en la estructura estatal."

Camila en el macrocosmos del micro mecenazgo  9/17/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Desde que comenzó a “crowfundiar” Camila Carballo no se va a dormir sin saber qué contenido agitará al día siguiente en las redes. Una foto vieja o nueva. Un amigo que encuentra en la calle. Una reflexión sobre caer y levantarse. Algo que lee de pasada en un libro o periódico que un fulano sostiene abierto bajo el sol en el camino de su apartamento semiderruido en el Vedado hasta la zona Wi-fi de 23 y L. Cualquier detalle ingenioso o sentimental puede abrirle paso hasta otro mecenas. Y otro mecenas. Y otro."

Red cubana de producción audiovisual nace este mes  9/13/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Como una red de servicios de producción audiovisual surge Encuadre, una plataforma que desde finales de este mes de septiembre reunirá a profesionales, organizaciones y empresas para intercambiar ideas y propuestas de trabajo. Bajo la máxima “Encuentra en Cuba todo lo que necesitas para hacer audiovisuales”, la iniciativa parece ser la primera de su tipo en el país."

Barbara’s Fashion an Afro-Cuban Led Project  9/10/2016 Havana Times: "The Barbara’s Fashion Project, led by Afro-descendant Cuban women entrepreneurs in Cojimar, Havana, advances in the first phase of its program, despite the precarious situation of its resources. The group is currently working on new designs with an eye towards a public fashion show in the future. We spoke with Terry Deyni Abreu, a lawyer and designer and the project’s director."

PayPal sanctions the word “Cuba”  9/7/2016 OnCuba: "But a year before PayPal had to pay 7.7 million dollars as part of an agreement with OFAC, the authority that indicated that for over several years up until 2013, the company had not adequately reflected the transactions so that the agency could detect people or entities subject to sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan."

AT&T and ETECSA will connect Cuba and the US for voice, text and data  8/22/2016 OnCuba: "AT&T and ETECSA have concluded negotiations and signed agreements direct connection for the exchange of international voice traffic between the USA and Cuba, as the Cuban company announced today in an institutional statement. The agreements provide for roaming voice, text and data services for AT&T customers traveling to Cuba; as well as providing telephone calls through direct connection between the two countries."

Moda y afrodescencia: Una iniciativa de emprendimiento en Cuba  8/21/2016 Negra Cubana: "Ya mucha gente en la isla no se cree el cuento del ajiaco, porque de sobra se sabe que ya servido el delicioso plato no todas las viandas han alcanzado el mismo grado de cocción. Es por eso que celebro las iniciativas donde se intenta destacar intencionalmente la cultura afrocubana, entendiendo por ello, en mi opinión, aquella que resalta nuestro vínculo con el continente madre."

Encuadre, una red social para el audiovisual cubano  8/19/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Encuadre, la única red cubana de producción audiovisual que se anuncia en el horizonte, planea comenzar con un producto mínimo viable. Pero aun así es una empresa ambiciosa. En abril, durante la Muestra Joven del ICAIC, sus cinco fundadores dijeron que el sitio web estaría online en julio, luego anunciaron dos plazos más, uno en agosto y otro en septiembre."

PayPal Froze My Account After I Bought A Cuban Cigar  8/18/2016 Forbes: "According to the new rules, U.S. citizens traveling abroad are allowed to consume Cuban goods. A tourist visiting Mexico City can buy a glass of Cuban rum or an expensive Cuban cigar and pay for the purchase with a major credit card such as MasterCard or Visa. Current restrictions place a $100 limit on Cuban cigars brought back to the U.S. by people visiting Cuba. The ban has been lifted on goods purchased and consumed by tourists traveling outside of the U.S.\r\n\r\nI’ve written about Amazon successfully entering Mexico’s e-commerce market. In a country with low credit card penetration PayPal has a chance to expand its business in Mexico’s e-commerce market.\r\n\r\nMy account, however, is still frozen. So, apparently, PayPal is still figuring out how to do business in Latin America when it comes to allowing users to purchase and enjoy Cuban goods."

IT Outsourcers, Get Ready for the Castro Dividend  8/17/2016 Nearshore Americas: "Yet, beyond the allure of Cuba’s shabby-chic hotels and the prospect of improving the island’s decrepit roads, there is an even greater prize for investors with vision: Cuba possesses immense STEM talent. Today, physicians, thousands of whom are sent abroad to friendly countries in exchange for foreign aid to Havana, are probably the most prominent part of this group, but this is only one segment. There are tens of thousands of IT professionals on the island."

Paypal halted a transaction because it contained the word "Cuba"  8/17/2016 BoIng Boing: "The lesson: don't use forbidden words when sending someone money via PayPal. Better yet, use Bitcoin instead."

How Much Is a Contract Worth in Cuba?  8/16/2016 Havana Times: "A small group of former state employees in the city of Artemisa, the capital of the western province that shares the same name, who became independent workers due to the new self-employment law laid out by the Cuban government, face a critical situation. They had signed a 10-year contract with the government’s Services Company in the city so they could develop their work and now they are being forced to leave their site and lose the small investments they made to improve it. The building no longer belongs to them they were told, “Because now it belongs to the government’s Retail Sales Enterprise (Comercio) and not the Services Company anymore.”"

Derecho e Informática, un puente a medio construir en Cuba  8/12/2016 IPS: "Para la presidenta de la no gubernamental Sociedad Cubana de Derecho e Informática, es vital potenciar un pensamiento en la población cubana que le “permita superar el estado de simple consumidor de tecnología para convertirse en creador de valores”."

What do Cuban entrepreneurs stand to win from closer US Cuba relations?  8/1/2016 Cuba Counterpoints: "At this point, even if the government facilitates direct relations between the self-employed and foreign businesses, it will remain to be seen how many independent entrepreneurs become actual company owners. Many of these entrepreneurs have been able to stay in business only because their ability to operate within the production and price-regulating features of the informal and underground economies (which are economies geared toward survival, focusing on short-term objectives and low-level investments)."

Cuentapropistas en el limbo jurídico  7/23/2016 Negra Cubana: "Ninguna de estas historias son ficticias, es la vida de gente común que camina por las calles de La Habana. Gente que trabaja en la más absoluta precariedad de sus derechos laborales y a quienes todos les llamamos “cuentapropistas”. Los suponemos en una vida de lujo pero en cambio viven una Cuba cada vez más intensa."

Cuba: the Government vs. its Emigres  7/9/2016 Havana Times: "However, Cuba isn’t a normal country because the government chooses instead to have a hostile relationship with its emigres – the opposite of what happens everywhere else in the world, including in the Dominican Republic – and prefers to overexploit them with exorbitant fees with its inefficient consulate services, or by buying in the most expensive half-empty stores in the world."

Cuba Warns of Dirty Money Investments from Abroad  7/7/2016 Havana Times: "The Cuban Interior Ministry (MININT) has under surveillance attempts by Cubans living abroad and foreign citizens who are introducing illicit funds in the country to invest in the private sector, in goods and property."

Florida bank issues first US credit card for use in Cuba  6/23/2016 AP: "A small Florida bank will issue the first U.S. credit card intended for use in Cuba and make it easier for Americans to travel and work on an island largely cut off from the U.S. financial system, the bank announced Tuesday. Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank said its Mastercard, available Wednesday, will let U.S. travelers charge purchases at state-run businesses and a handful of private ones, mostly high-end private restaurants equipped with point-of-sale devices. Until now, Americans have generally had to bring cash to Cuba and change it either at state institutions that impose a 10 percent penalty on the dollar or in informal exchanges with locals. “This is going to be huge for American companies trying to do business down here,” Stonegate president David Seleski said. The card’s utility will be limited for the moment, however. Cuba is preventing cardholders from using them for cash advances. And while the bank says there are 10,000 point-of-sale devices across the island, cashiers in state-owned stores often say they are out of service."

Nestle Helps Cuba Skirt the US Embargo  6/22/2016 Havana Times: "In conclusions made from this deal, the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council values the fact that the Obama administration is focussing on creating trade opportunities rather than directly or immediately influencing this activity with Cuba’s independent farmers. This focus is founded on the belief that in the last 190 days of Obama’s presidency, a bilateral trade agreement is on the horizon, even when it isn’t the kind of involvement for State companies that the Cuban government and its institutions want, may be seen as preferable than not having one at all."

Cuba Oriental aspira a convertirse en alternativa a La Habana y Varadero  6/22/2016 Nuevo Herald 

First U.S. managed hotel begins operating in Cuba  6/1/2016 Periodico 26: "Havana's newly named Four Points by Sheraton, the first U.S. managed hotel on the island in over 50 years, began operating June 29, under the administration of the Starwood chain, in association with Cuban state enterprise Gaviota."

Sesionó Foro de Negocios Cuba y Missouri  5/30/2016 Juventud Rebelde: "A las 48 horas del anunció de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos del 17 de diciembre de 2014, aseguró el Gobernador Nixon, reunió a su gabinete para analizar como podían dirigirse en ese camino, y confesó que quiso ser el primer estado en llegar a Cuba, que es una oportunidad para rancheros y granjeros de Missouri, especialmente para los productores de arroz, soya, carne de res, maíz, algodón, fertilizantes, biocombustibles y nutrientes."

17 Things You Need to Know Before Doing Business in Cuba  5/30/2016 Entrepreneur 

Cuba legalises small and medium private businesses  5/25/2016 BBC: "The government currently allows self-employment in several hundred job categories from restaurant owners to hairdressers. The Cuban economy has been stimulated by many of these becoming small businesses and employing other workers. The latest reforms were published in a 32-page document detailing the party's plan for economic development, and approved by Congress."

Cuba Is Seeing Increasing Work Protests  5/25/2016 Havana Times: "The recent bici-taxi protest in Plaza de la Revolución managed to get annulled dozens of fines, which had been sensationalized to appear as economic crimes. In October 2015, mail delivery workers in Banes, Holguin refused to work, finally getting their demands met against administrative arbitrariness. Other complaints haven’t been so successful, but one thing’s for sure, a crack has been opened in the Communist party’s trade union wall."

Aduana de Cuba informa sobre la entrada y salida de dinero al país  5/25/2016 Habana Linda: "Estas medidas permiten entrar al país un total de 5000 dólares máximos, pero debes declararlo ante los funcionarios de la Aduana General de la República. Los ciudadanos cubanos domiciliados en el país y los ciudadanos extranjeros residentes permanentes en Cuba pueden exportar e importar a su salida o entrada al país, sumas que no excedan los dos mil pesos cubanos 2000 pesos cubanos."

Cuba Moves to Legalize Small- and Medium-Size Businesses  5/24/2016 WSJ: "Cuba’s government said it would move to legalize thousands of small- and medium-size businesses that have sprung up in recent years, a step that could encourage more entrepreneurship in the hemisphere’s lone communist country."

Cuba to legalize small and medium-sized private businesses  5/24/2016 AP: "Cuban business owners and economic experts said they were hopeful the reform would allow private firms to import wholesale supplies and export products to other countries for the first time, removing a major obstacle to private business growth. "This is a tremendously important step," said Alfonso Valentin Larrea Barroso, director-general of Scenius, a cooperatively run economic consulting firm in Havana. "They're creating, legally speaking, the non-state sector of the economy. They're making that sector official.""

Una Cuba inclusiva siempre será más fuerte  5/20/2016 Chiringa de Cuba: "Para nadie es un secreto que Washington está apartándose lentamente de sus antiguos socios de la disidencia y apostando por los cuentapropistas, cooperativistas y empresarios cubanos, nacidos al amparo de las reformas encabezadas por el Presidente Raúl Castro. Las ventajas de estos sobre la disidencia tradicional son enormes, están integrados en la sociedad, sus compatriotas los consideran personas de éxito, poseen recursos financieros propios por lo que no hay que mantenerlos y el agua en la que nadan es la economía de mercado."

"Poner Internet en Cuba no es un problema tecnológico, si no una decisión política de sus líderes"  5/11/2016 Cibercuba: "He estado, participado y visto de primera mano las discusiones en la Habana con el Ministro de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, y con la empresa principal (ETECSA). Conozco del interés que poseen en desarrollar la infraestructura de las telecomunicaciones en toda la isla. Su personal técnico, y las compañías como tal, comprenden perfectamente los beneficios económicos que esto pudiera aportarles, pero, tomar tal decisión no les corresponde a ellos, si no a los líderes políticos del país. Son ellos quienes tienen la última palabra en cuanto al cómo y cuan rápido estos cambios puedan implementarse en el país. Obviamente el gobierno cubano debería aprovechar el momento actual, en que Cuba es tema de interés mundial."

EE.UU. insta a Cuba a conectarse a Internet mientras dura el interés por la isla  5/11/2016 Ads305: "Tres compañías de telefonía móvil de Estados Unidos han firmado acuerdos con Cuba. Verizon, Sprint y T-Mobile ofrecen a sus clientes la posibilidad de realizar y recibir llamadas en la red de ETECSA con sus propios teléfonos móviles a través del “roaming” o servicio de itinerancia directo, pero hasta el momento ninguna de las compañías estadounidenses puede suministrar estos servicios a los cubanos que viven en la isla."

Grand Ambitions: Cuban Coders Looking to Energize a Nascent Startup Scene With First Regular Meetups  5/6/2016 Huff Post: "But an ambitious group of young Cuban programmers wants to change that and is trying to energize the island’s technology entrepreneurs by organizing its first tech meetup. Alex Medina, a 35-year-old coder from Camaguey, and a group of friends have started the Merchise Startup Circle and hope to hold the first meeting later this month in Havana. The ultimate goal, according to Medina, is to garner enough interest for regular, monthly meetings on the island."

Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba?  4/27/2016 Common Dreams: "Although most continue to employ conventional agricultural methods, and Cuba continues to import more than half of its food, around a quarter of the country’s farmers have nonetheless succeeded in supplying some 65 percent of national agricultural output using agroecological practices. These achievements, however, could come under threat with the expected resumption of U.S.-Cuban trade relations."

Cuban Gov. to Allow Citizens to Travel by Sea  4/22/2016 Havana Times: "The Castro government announced today it was lifting the longstanding prohibition on anyone born in Cuba from traveling by sea. The measure will allow Cubans to hire out on merchant ships and travel on cruisers. The change takes effect on April 26th."

Renowned Cuban Pro-Reform Economist Fired as Chill  4/21/2016 AP: "Reached by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Perez confirmed his dismissal by center director Humberto Blanco for having unauthorized conversations with foreign institutions and informing "North American representatives" about the internal procedures of the university. The dismissal letter described Perez, 56, as "irresponsible" and "negligent" for continuing to engage in unauthorized activity after warnings from his superiors. It also accused him of receiving unauthorized payments for a study of the South Korean economy and said he was barred from returning to work for at least four years."

Barbadian beer joins Cuban imports to relieve local demand  4/15/2016 Adelante: "Barbados´ Bank Breweries Limited will soon begin exporting nearly one million boxes of beer to Cuba, where the local demand has surpassed production capacity following the increase of tourism and private businesses."

Sector privado en Cuba, cinco años después  4/4/2016 Cuba a Contraluz: "Una primera dificultad tiene que ver con el acceso a las materias primas y el aprovisionamiento en general. Salvo para productos del agro, no existe un mercado mayorista para los pequeños emprendedores. Y las consecuencias son harto evidentes: altos precios de la oferta, desabastecimiento en la red de tiendas, repunte del mercado negro… Aunque las autoridades han reconocido el problema, la solución se perfila a mediano o largo plazo, pues las compraventas al por mayor requieren desarrollar la industria y la agricultura nacionales, y disponer de recursos financieros que permitan importar más. Las dos cosas llevan tiempo. Por otra parte, el comercio exterior cubano se encuentra centralizado en un grupo de empresas estatales, y los emprendedores no tienen licencias para exportar ni importar. De acuerdo con un informe publicado a mediados de 2015 por el Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social, 504 613 personas, el 27% de la fuerza laboral, se encontraban entonces afiliadas a los nuevos emprendimientos."

Encuentro propone diseminar en Cuba computadora de 35 dólares  4/2/2016 IPS: "En el segundo islote más grande del archipiélago cubano, Isla de la Juventud, un grupo de 25 personas integrado por artistas, informáticos, emprendedores y realizadores,acampó durante tres días para compartir experiencias sobre nuevas tecnologías y desarrollo de las ciencias humanísticas. Las oportunidades para Cuba que ofrece la computadora Raspberry Pi, con un costo de solo 35 dólares en el mercado internacional, fueron valoradas por las y los participantes de THATCamp 2016, que en su segunda edición viajó a Nueva Gerona, la capital de ese municipio especial."

17 Things You Need to Know Before Doing Business in Cuba  3/30/2016 Entrepreneur: "In advance of our AngelSummit Americas, we sat down with Cuba Emprende Chairman John McIntire and Ramphis Castro, a VC at ScienceVest and co-organizer of Startup Weekend Cuba, plus several Cuban founders to uncover what we need to know."

Sector portuario de Estados Unidos ve potencial de Cuba como centro de carga regional  3/30/2016 Cuba a contraluz: "Ejecutivos del sector logístico de Estados Unidos que recorrieron instalaciones portuarias de Cuba en días recientes han señalado que el país caribeño tiene potencial para convertirse en un hub o centro de carga para la región, aun cuando hay retos por superar en el área de la infraestructura."

OFAC Further Amends the Cuban Assets Control Regulations Regarding Travel and Financial Transactions  3/28/2016 Lexology: "The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to further implement elements of the policy announced by the President on December 17, 2014 to engage and empower the Cuban people. These additional changes were published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2016."

Private Entrepreneurship & Cuba’s Credit Policy  3/28/2016 Havana Times: "The banking reforms meant that three state banks (BANDES, BPA, and Banco Metropolitano) could issue microloans to fund the starting capital of microenterprises in Cuba. Loan offerings varied from CUP1000-5000 (US$40-200) and the interest rates were very low, ranging up to 4.25% for short term loans. Despite the reforms, very few short-term loans have been awarded to private enterprises despite attractive interest rates. However, before analyzing the shortcomings, a deeper look at the reasons why the new credit policies were introduced in the first place is necessary."

What Obama’s Historic Visit to Cuba Really Means for U.S. Businesses  3/23/2016 Fortune: "In what would certainly be a big breakthrough for the Cuban people, Obama told ABC News on Sunday that Google “has a deal to start setting up more WIFI and broadband access on the island.” Google ( GOOG -0.67% ) sounded less certain. In a Spanish-language blog post on Monday, the company announced it is bringing Google Cardboard and Chromebooks to a Havana museum, where visitors can connect to a government-owned Internet carrier, and said it is “also exploring additional possibilities to increase and improve access to the Internet, but these are first steps.” "

Cubans are online and hustling despite restrictions and censorship  3/23/2016 Huck Magazine: "Despite tight controls, the internet has been essential in allowing Zenaida’s small business to thrive. The web has created a platform for her to target international tourists through sites like Airbnb, and with a connection in the house she could beat the competition by responding faster than her competitors. The constant access also meant she could with a Dutch website designer to make herself a site – with the capability of taking bookings and advance payments online, a significant achievement given U.S. restrictions on banking to Cuba complicate these types of transaction."

The economic impact of changes in U.S.-Cuba relations  3/23/2016 On Cuba: "Some time ago, the sustained affirmation that the blockade was the largest external obstacle to the country’s development was sometimes questioned by different sectors inside and outside of Cuba. However, what has happened since 17 December 2014 seems to show the weight of that argument."

Bitcoin Friendly Stripe To Allow Cuban Nationals To Incorporate U.S. Businesses & Open U.S. Bank Accounts  3/21/2016 Crypto Coins News: "Stripe, a San Francisco, Calif.-based mobile payments startup that allows merchants to accept bitcoin, has announced that its Stripe Atlas service will be available to businesses in Cuba in conjunction with President Obama’s trip to Havana this week. Stripe users, including Atlas, can accept bitcoin along with credit cards, Android Pay, Alipay and 135 currencies. Stripe Atlas will allow Cubans to establish online businesses."

Stripe to allow Cuban nationals to set up a U.S. business entity, bank account, and more  3/18/2016 Business Wire: "The basic infrastructure for starting an internet business in Cuba is nearly nonexistent. The country's internet penetration is among the lowest in the world, with less than 4% of the population online today. In addition, the financial rails aren't in place to transact with markets outside of Cuba. Hardly anyone has a credit card, so Cubans can't pay -- or more importantly, get paid -- for things available online to billions of people around the world. Despite these challenges in their local market, more than 70% of Cubans surveyed recently said they wanted to start their own business. Stripe Atlas will now allow entrepreneurs to set up an online business and expand beyond Cuban borders to sell to customers anywhere in the world."

EEUU permitirá más viajes y operaciones con dólares a Cuba  3/15/2016 CaféFuerte: "El paquete de medidas, que entrará en vigor este miércoles, amplía la capacidad de los estadounidenses de viajar a Cuba, impulsa los intercambios comerciales y reduce las barreras para que los cubanos realicen operaciones bancarias y financieras en dólares, incluyendo a bancos que desde terceros países pueden transferir dinero a cuentas en entidades estadounidenses a nombre de cubanos residentes en la isla."

Secretary of Commerce Pritzker and U.S. Entrepreneurs to Accompany Obama to Cuba  3/15/2016 Radio Cadena Agramonte: "Pritzker will come to Cuba with a group of business persons, like Arne Sorenson, executive president of the Marriott International hotel chain, as well as Ursula Burns, executive president of Xerox. Also part of the delegation will be executives of the companies AT & T, of telecommunications, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which are interested in learning, in situ, more about business opportunities on the island, points out the press release. Pritzker, who will make her second trip to Cuba in less than six months, toured in October the Mariel Special Development Zone, and held meetings with trade officials in Cuba and exchanges with Cuban producers."

Obama administration loosens Cuba rules in advance of historic visit  3/15/2016 USA Today: "The Obama administration announced a new round of measures chipping away at the decades-long sanctions against Cuba Tuesday, encouraging more person-to-person educational travel and allowing Cuban nationals to get jobs in the United States or to open U.S. bank accounts. The rules could allow Cuban athletes and entertainers — including baseball players — to get jobs in the United States without having to defect from Cuba, officials said."

Why You Should Invest in Cuba -- And How to Do It  3/12/2016 The Street: "Cuba checks several boxes for investors: relatively large population, healthy and educated people, a growing economy, and a low public debt level. There's also an investment catalyst: a better relationship with the United States which should unlock more capital flows."

A Letter from PW on the Cuba Book Embargo  3/10/2016 Pubishers Weekly: "As Zuleica Romay Guerra, president of the Cuban Book Institute, observed during one of the panels organized as part of the mission, the Cuban people have not been able to read American authors for more than 50 years. American readers, meanwhile, have been denied access to the works of Cuban writers."

U.S., Cuban Publishing Executives Vow Closer Cooperation  2/19/2016 Pubishers Weekly: "Commenting on the ability of the two countries to work together, Zuleica Romay Guerra, president of the Cuban Book Institute, observed, “We made a lot of progress. We’ve shown we can climb over or circumvent barriers so that they no longer separate us.”

During Panels, Realities of Cuban Publishing Market Laid Bare  2/16/2016 Publishers Weekly: "Digging deeper into the Cuban publishing scene, Zuleica Romay Guerra, president of the Book Institute of the Cuban Ministry of culture, said the longstanding trade embargo with the U.S. has made it costly to be in the book business in Cuba. That Cuban publishers are also working within a state-run model--with set budgets--only complicates things further."

Obama OK's First Factory In Cuba In 57 Years  2/15/2016 ero Hedge: "Berenthal is Cuban-born, so to a certain extent, this is a story about an entrepreneur that wants to give back to his birthplace and that's certainly understandable. That said, Clemmons is from Alabama and you can bet the headline “Alabama Man To Build Tractor Plant In Cuba Thanks To Obama-Castro Reconciliation” won’t go over well with Donald Trump voters. The next question is this: how long before John Deere decides that making tractors in Cuba or Mexico might be a whole lot cheaper than building them in America's heartland?"

Feds approve first U.S. factory in Cuba  2/15/2016 USA Today: "Cleber LLC, an Alabama-based company that builds tractors for small farms, was notified by the Treasury Department that it could open a facility in Cuba. Co-founder Saul Berenthal said the company's attorney was in Havana on Monday to start the lengthy process of finalizing the agreement with the Cuban government and hopes to start production by early 2017... The company will make a small, red tractor it calls the "Oggún" in homage to the Afro-Cuban Santeria spirit of metal work."

Cuba’s Tech and Startup Scenes – on the Verge of Connection  2/3/2016 Cuba Journal: "A little known facet of Cuban society is that they are believed to be the best-educated in Latin America, with the island nation graduating more than 4,000 IT engineers annually. Education, aspiration, a changing political and economic landscape."

Se otorgan millones de pesos por créditos en Las Tunas  2/2/2016 Tiempo 21: "El Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA) en la provincia de Las Tunas otorgó una cifra record superior a los 138 millones de pesos para créditos bancarios en el año 2015, para financiar más de siete mil familias con el objetivo de invertir en materiales de la construcción fundamentalmente."

La economía de Cuba ingresa al cuarto quinquenio del siglo XXI  2/1/2016 Cuban Studies 

New U.S. rules allow infrastructure projects, movie shoots in Cuba  1/26/2016 Reuters: "The United States approved a wider range of commerce with Cuba on Tuesday, making it easier for U.S. companies to film movies, finance exports and do business with the Communist government on public infrastructure projects."

The Future is Coming: Observations and Reflections on Cuba  1/16/2016 The Dialog 

Cuba’s Street Vendors: The Last Link in the Supply Chain  1/13/2016 Havana Times: "“You calculate a difference and add a small percentage on top. We don’t make as much of a profit as people think, it’s a tiny profit, but it’s enough to live on.” This is clear to me, but there’s the widespread, almost official, view that, at some point in the delivery chain, “scoundrels” are profiting from people’s urgent needs. David makes a pause, as though about to reveal a great truth. “Look, the real problem with prices has to do with production shortages, it all stems from that.”"

El salario en Cuba: los falsos paradigmas y la terca realidad  1/11/2016 Cuba Posible: "En particular, es necesario mejorar la distribución primaria del ingreso nacional, incrementando la parte de este que se distribuye como salario. Los mecanismos de redistribución –por la vía del gasto social– pudieran suplementar el proceso mediante una repartición secundaria del ingreso por la vía de componentes de la política fiscal, como son los impuestos y el gasto social, pero la distribución primaria, fundamentalmente en lo referente al salario, es crucial. Si se instaurase en Cuba un modelo económico capaz de crear y de mantener “trabajo decente”(2), aquel que es productivo y que va acompañado de un ingreso digno, las demás piezas del rompecabezas económico, social y político de Cuba caerían más fácilmente en su lugar."

A new Cuban revolution and the stark divide between rich and poor  1/9/2016 Globe & Mail: "Stephanie Nolen reports from a country in transition: ‘I didn’t go to Cuba planning to report on inequality. But it kept coming up, a source of comment and concern. Not many people study inequality in a place where, in theory, the political system has eradicated it’ "

Puerto de Virginia se conecta con Cuba  1/7/2016 Progreso Semanal: "La Autoridad Portuaria de Virginia se convertirá en el primer operador portuario de Estados Unidos en firmar un acuerdo de cooperación con su homóloga cubana, en un esfuerzo por aumentar el comercio y establecer un servicio directo con Cuba, dijo el gobernador de Virginia el lunes."

Who Will Speak for Black Cubans on the Lack of Economic Opportunity?  12/23/2015 The Root:  by DeWayne Wickham - "In 2010 Morales was kicked out of the Communist Party after writing an article in which he said Cuba was threatened more by corrupt government officials than by the country’s relatively small number of dissidents. A year later, he was reinstated. Now he leads a national commission that pushes the highest levels of Cuba’s government to address this nation’s race problems."

¡INDIGNANTE! Policía golpea a vendedora ambulante cubana  12/18/2015 Yusnaby Post: "La cuentapropista y miembro de la opositora Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) explicó que “la agente de la PNR me ordenó que tenía que retirarme de mi lugar de venta porque yo estaba vendiendo productos no autorizados. Le demostré que mi licencia respaldaba la venta de todos los artículos que yo ofertaba; pero ella me dijo que no discutiera y que cumpliera la orden”. Fernández Guzmán refiere que “apenas Rebeca comenzó su protesta, la agente de la PNR arremetió contra ella con una violencia absolutamente injustificada, donde se apreciaba un odio inconcebible contra una mujer respetuosa y pacífica, que escasamente pesa 39 kilogramos y tiene casi 50 años de edad. ¡Es una vergüenza!”."

Clandestina: A way of creating “99% Cuban design”  12/1/2015 On Cuba: "In February of 2015, when the store and design studio Clandestina opened its doors a few blocks from the Capitolio, Idania del Río and Leire Fernández had set out to create a design boutique right in the middle of Old Havana, with San Sebastian, New York and Paris as references."

Startup Weekend Havana, oportunidad para el emprendimiento en Cuba  11/10/2015 On Cuba: "Al primer Startup Weekend Havana llegaron jóvenes emprendedores de La Habana, algunos desarrolladores, especialistas en marketing, programadores, diseñadores, todos con la idea de aportar y vivir un momento único y naciente en Cuba. Desde el viernes en la tarde el Hotel Panorama fue espacio de consultas, de intercambio y sala de trabajo de los ocho equipos seleccionados para presentar un proyecto final de startups."

Startup Weekend Havana, opportunity for entrepreneurship in Cuba  11/9/2015 On Cuba: "At the first Startup Weekend Havana came young entrepreneurs from Havana, some developers, marketing specialists, programmers, designers, all with the idea of ??contributing and living a unique and nascent moment in Cuba. From Friday afternoon the Panorama Hotel was a space of consultation, exchange and work room of the eight teams selected to present a final project of startups."

Cuban foreign investment portfolio: more than 200 projects and nearly nine billion dollars  10/28/2015 Cuba Contemporanea: "It includes projects linked with the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, agricultural food, construction and renewable energy, among others, which are found in all provinces and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, said the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo Jorge, in the meeting, in which President Raúl Castro participated."

Viajeros de Estados Unidos impulsan turismo en Cuba  9/13/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "Ni los cálculos más optimistas luego del restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas entre Washington y La Habana, anunciado el 17 de diciembre pasado por los presidentes Barack Obama y Raúl Castro, permitían pensar en tan voraz apetito de viajeros norteamericanos por la Isla. Sorprendente es poco. Según cifras confiables facilitadas a Excelencias News Cuba por el profesor de la Facultad de Turismo de la Universidad de La Habana, José Luis Perelló-Cabrera, del 1 de enero al 2 de septiembre llegaron a Cuba 100 703 ciudadanos de Estados Unidos."

El 31% de los jóvenes en Cuba trabaja en el sector no estatal  9/8/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "El 31 por ciento de los jóvenes empleados en Cuba, más de 1.5 millones, trabajaba en el sector no estatal y el resto, un 76 por ciento, desempeñaba ocupaciones laborales estatales al cierre de 2014, según datos oficiales."

Cuba: Avalancha de turistas no se detiene  9/6/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "La avalancha de turistas no para. Al cierre del pasado mes, el crecimiento en la llegada de visitantes internacionales registraba un 17 por ciento por encima de enero-julio de 2014. Dicho de otra manera, en los pasados siete meses estuvieron por aquí 318 423 personas más que en iguales días del año anterior."

Otorgarán créditos a trabajadores por cuenta propia sin pedir garantías  9/6/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "Sin necesidad de presentar garantía, los cuentapropistas podrán solicitar hasta 10 000 pesos en crédito, nuevo producto aprobado por el Banco Popular de Aho­rro (BPA) para incentivar el uso del financiamiento externo en el creciente sector económico."

Influyente compañía de lobby estadounidense pone los ojos en Cuba  9/4/2015 Cuba Contemporanea: "Akin Gump, la mayor firma de lobby en Washington en términos de ingresos, está lanzando un nuevo servicio dedicado a asesorar a sus clientes en torno a las nuevas políticas y regulaciones relacionadas con el reciente mejoramiento de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba."

Looking for where to advertise or buy something in Cuba?  9/4/2015 Havana Times: "Over the last decade, classified ads have been the pioneers in the rebirth of publicity in Cuba. The increasing number of websites dedicated to classifieds or “Lists” of offers and demands in dozens of service and product categories is advertising’s most popular appearance. For now we’re going to have a look at the most popular sites, describing each one of them and their establishment, in the cases where dates are given, objectives and other details."

Algunas observaciones al Informe de Stratfor “Cuba, un potencial de prosperidad"  8/6/2015 Misceláneas de Cuba: "La importancia de Cuba para Estados Unidos es básicamente la que tiene para los dos millones de ciudadanos de Estados Unidos de origen cubano. Poco más."

In Cuba, a Potential for Prosperity  8/5/2015 Stratfor: "Thanks to the diplomatic thaw, the Cuban tourism sector is on the rise. Tourist traffic to the island is up 15 percent compared with the same period last year, with around 1.7 million people visiting in the first five months of 2015. Moreover, each of the first five months has seen a double-digit increase in visitors — many of whom are coming from the United States. For May that number jumped 21 percent. Perhaps not coincidentally, Cuba's economic performance in the first half of 2015 registered a growth of 4.7 percent, which shows a reversal of the downward trend between 2013 and 2014. Now Cuba's economy is projected to grow 4 percent this year, largely driven by the construction and agriculture sectors. That is almost four times its growth rate in 2014, the fastest climb Cuba has seen since 2008."

Relaunching Direct Foreign Investment in Cuba  8/1/2015 OnCuba: One promising initiative has been the Mariel Special Development Zone, for generating exports and replacing imports; transferring cutting-edge technology, know-how, and abilities related to business management; creating jobs and developing infrastructure for contributing to economic progress; creating a logistics system that will facilitate high levels of efficiency in the import, export and production processes; stimulating the formation of national and foreign companies; and, logically, articulating these companies with the rest of the economy."

Florida and the end of the embargo  8/1/2015 OnCuba: "In any case, some sectors of Florida’s economy would benefit immediately if the embargo were lifted—the transport industry, for example. Just imagine if Cuba were to enter the dynamic of the international market, based on Florida ports and interaction with the Mariel Development Zone. Three major maritime ports exist in Florida: Miami, the most important point for commerce between Latin America and the United States; Tampa, the Gulf of Mexico port closest to western Cuba; and Jacksonville, one of Europe’s ports of entry to the United States. Most analysts agree that Cuban tobacco and rum could occupy a fundamental place in U.S. consumption; we could also suppose that Florida companies would distribute those products. Recently there was talk of ferries operating between Florida and Cuba, and in conditions of normal relations, they would be a very effective mode of transport between the two coasts."

Wi-Fi technology with big acceptance in Camagüey  7/30/2015 Adelante: "The opening of two points for Internet navigation by means of Wi-Fi in this city, and the reduction of the quota per hour of 4.50 cuc to 2.00 cuc, has had big success among the Camagüeyans."

IMO in Cuba: Shortening Distances Between Relatives  7/30/2015 OnCuba: "According to Antonio Aja, researcher at the University of Havana’s Center for Demographic Studies (CEDEM), one out of every three Cubans has a relative living abroad. The installation of Wi-Fi areas across Cuba (35 in total so far) therefore becomes doubly important. Photo: Eric Yanes On the one hand, it broadens Internet access on the island, even though the cost is still too high: two CUC ($2.25 USD) for an hour, charged a population whose average monthly salary is a little over 20 CUC."

Stonegate Bank-Cuba Agreement will reduce transaction costs  7/25/2015 OnCuba: "In the difficult art of coming to an understanding with Cuban institutions, a couple of elements have worked in Stonegate Banks’s favour. The most important is probably the bank’s step forward in responding to a request of the Department of State in early 2015, when they were looking for a bank willing to provide services to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, at a time when that diplomatic mission was sort of “untouchable”, financially speaking, in U.S. territory."

Bloqueo entorpece reincorporación de Cuba a instituciones financieras internacionales, asegura exsecretario de comercio  7/16/2015 Cubadebate: "El exsecretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Carlos Gutiérrez, reconoció que el bloqueo a Cuba entorpece el apoyo que la Casa Blanca pudiera dar a su reincorporación a organismos crediticios internacionales. En declaraciones citadas hoy por Progreso semanal y otras publicaciones, el exfuncionario señala que la isla deberá iniciar un proceso de reinserción en los principales organismos económicos multilaterales como el Banco Mundial (BM), el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) o el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)."

Una iniciativa plástica  7/12/2015 Granma: "Llueva, truene o relampaguee, los socios de la cooperativa no agropecuaria La Esperanza necesitan disponer cada mes de ocho toneladas de dese­chos plásticos en sus almacenes, una ecuación muy simple que han venido aquilatando de manera metódica a lo largo de un año de vida como asociación."

Turismo de cruceros se dispara en Cuba tras deshielo con EEUU  7/9/2015 El Universal: "El turismo de cruceros registró un fuerte repunte en 2015 en Cuba, tras el anuncio del deshielo diplomático con Estados Unidos, llegando a 174 visitas de buques y más de 62.000 pasajeros entre enero y mayo, informó este jueves el Ministerio de Transporte… En todo 2014, un buen año en comparación con los anteriores, se registraron 139 escalas con 37.519 pasajeros, según el Ministerio, que destacó que cruceros de una naviera italiana comenzarán a llegar a Cuba."

Commodity leaders explore Cuba grain market  7/9/2015 Iowa Farmer Today: "Nine farmer leaders and staff members from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the North Dakota Barley Council (NDBC) traveled to Cuba this past month to see opportunities for expanding U.S. coarse grain exports if trade is fully normalized with the island nation."

Western Union Breaks U.S. TV Ads Filmed in Cuba  7/9/2015 Ad Age: "Western Union is pushing money transfers to Cuba in a new series of TV spots produced on the island, which was recently opened to U.S. travel and business. The two Spanish-language ads are among the first to be filmed in Cuba by an American-based company since the 1962 U.S. embargo."

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/18/2015 Negra Cubana: "Nos interesa estimular el emprendimiento en las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, para promover la creación de pequeñas empresas y la realización de trabajo por cuenta propia, dentro del marco legal existente en el país, teniendo en cuenta la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera. Intentaremos gestionar recursos motivando a personas y entidades afines, interesados en efectuar préstamos a bajos intereses para estas actividades económicas y/o en forma de donaciones."

“Ave Fenix”: supporting entrepreneurship in Cuba  6/18/2015 OnCuba: "We want to encourage entrepreneurship in the black and mixed blood people in Cuba to promote small business creation and implementation of self-employment within the existing legal framework in the country, taking into account the new Foreign Investment Law. We are trying to manage resources to motivate people and related entities interested in making low-interest loans to these economic activities and / or in the form of grants."

¿Quién está detrás de Engage Cuba?  6/17/2015 El Mundo: "Se presenta como un grupo de presión sin partido que promueve el fin del embargo económico a la isla comunista. Pero detrás de 'Engage Cuba' se encuentran poderosos intereses económico y financieros cuyo único objetivo es ampliar sus negocios. Al grupo lo respaldan empresas gigantes, como la agroindustrial Cargill, la distribuidora de productos para el hogar Procter&Gamble y la constructora de maquinaria pesada Caterpillar, y al frente está el abogado y cabildero James Williams, quien, al mismo tiempo, es director del 'súper' Comité de Acción Política 'New Cuba'."

Major U.S. companies support new group that will lobby to lift sanctions against Cuba  6/16/2015 Miami Herald: "Cargill, Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, and other major U.S. companies have thrown their support behind Engage Cuba, a bipartisan coalition that formally began operating out of the nation’s capital this week and will focus on lobbying Congress to lift restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba."

Google testing the waters in Cuba  6/13/2015 Politico: "The visit coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of a thaw in relations with Cuba, including the loosening of sanctions that, said Obama, “have denied Cubans access to technology.” Those who have paid close attention to Cuba since the thaw describe an exuberance over the quick flowering of technology tempered in short order by the realization that the island of 11 million lacks the networks, both land-based and wireless, needed to support modern devices. Without those networks, many technologies are little more than paperweights."

Cuba’s Web Entrepreneurs Search for U.S. Clients, and Reliable Wi-Fi  6/10/2015 NYT: "And ever since the United States in February authorized Americans to import goods and services from Cuban entrepreneurs for the first time in half a century, they have their eyes on America as well."

How will financial ties with Cuba change now that it’s off the terrorism list?  5/30/2015 PBS: "CARLA ROBBINS: It means more than anything else, that U.S. banks can have relations with Cuban banks, which will make it much easier to follow through on the easing of financial relations that Obama is promoting, and the Cubans said it was the biggest precondition for reestablishing direct diplomatic relations and opening the embassies."

What we know about Cuba’s economy  5/28/2015 Pew Research: "According to a survey conducted in March and published in The Washington Post, 79% of Cubans said they were dissatisfied with the country’s economic system; 70% said they wanted to start their own business. Nearly two-thirds of Cubans (64%) said normalizing relations with the U.S. would change the economic system, though only 37% thought the political system would change. With so much change in the air, we decided to work our way as best we could through the data difficulties to put together a primer on what we know, and don’t know, about the Cuban economy."

Cuba - Figuring Out Pieces Of The Puzzle  5/27/2015 ZeroHedge: "One way that the standard of living of Cubans is being reduced because of Cuba’s financial problems is by cutbacks in the types of goods being subsidized. Also the quantities and prices are being affected, but the average wage of $20 month remains unchanged."

Cuban First Vice President Says Use of Modern Technologies is Crucial for the Country  5/23/2015 Adelante: "He referred to the urgent automation of production processes to achieve the rational use of available labor, bearing in mind the progressive aging of the Cuban population."

Lo que acordaron los franceses y cubanos  5/14/2015 Havana Times: "Francia quiere intensificar sus intercambios comerciales con la isla, que en 2014 se cifraron en 180 millones de euros, algo inferior a la del año anterior y alejada de los flujos que mantiene con otros socios europeos como España, Holanda o Italia. Jean-Francois Lepy, director comercial de Soufflet, corporación líder francesa en la exportación de granos, dijo que su empresa ha estado 30 años establecida en Cuba. Los principales ejecutivos del grupo Pernod-Ricard, comercializador de los rones Havana Club con ventas que aumentan cada año y son del orden de cuatro millones de cajas, también dieron cuenta de sus éxitos en este mercado. Por otra parte, el grupo Accor anunció la construcción de un nuevo hotel de lujo en la Isla y la aerolínea Air France dijo tener la intención de aumentar sus actuales 14 vuelos semanales."

Diplomats, business people flood Cuba amid warmer US ties  5/10/2015 AP: "Top diplomats from Japan, the European Union, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia have visited the island in recent months in bids to stake out or maintain ties with an island that suddenly looks like a brighter economic prospect amid warming U.S.-Cuba relations. On Sunday night, Francois Hollande becomes the first French president to ever visit communist Cuba, bringing along five ministers and two dozen business people, including the heads of Pernod-Ricard, Cuba's partner in exporting Havana Club rum, and grain exporter Soufflet."

Engage Cuba Advocates Normal U.S.-Cuba Relations  4/27/2015 OnCuba: "James Williams will be president of Engage Cuba, an advocacy group that will be launched in May to get as many votes as possible in Congress in favour of normalizing relations with Cuba. The organization has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “a group of heavy-hitting political operatives” who are “setting up a new campaign to press Congress to repeal the long-standing trade and travel embargo with Cuba.”"

Las barras y las estrellas aparecen por toda Cuba  4/24/2015 El Financiero: "Muchos cubanos se emocionan con los potenciales beneficios económicos y sociales que podrían traer las renovadas relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba”, dijo Marc D. Perry, un antropólogo en la Universidad de Tulane, quien estudia las tendencias sociales cubanas. “Se trata del actual y popular 'zeitgeist’ de Cuba, por así decirlo, y estas expresiones culturales lo reflejan”."

The Americans are coming: Cuba prepares for an invasion of art dealers  4/13/2015 Independent: “Most of us are expecting that for the Biennial there will be an explosion of American collectors coming to buy,” explains Mario González. “It should be a stampede.”

The Price of State Classifieds in Cuba  4/10/2015 Havana Times: "We could conclude that a normal ad could easily cost between 10 and 20 CUC, that is to say, the monthly wages of a regular Cuban worker. That is the offer made by AIN, which, in addition to operating this juicy business, will also sell a printed version of the magazine at 3 Cuban pesos."

Biofarmacéutica y servicios médicos en Cuba: motor de exportaciones y desarrollo  4/5/2015 Cuba a Contraluz: "Una industria que lideran el grupo empresarial BioCubaFarma* y la empresa Servicios Médicos Cubanos (SMC), que aporta anualmente unos 6000 millones de dólares a la economía cubana y -tan importante como eso- ensaya y genera constantemente novedosos y efectivos medicamentos en campos de impacto creciente como el cáncer o las enfermedades infecciosas, tiene sin dudas que despertar el interés -económico, científico, social y humano- a nivel internacional."

Opportunity Knocks at Cuba's Door  4/3/2015 #CubaNow: "Following last month’s news that direct calls between the U.S. and Cuba would resume for the first time in years, another entry into the Cuban marketplace stands to boost Cuban entrepreneurs in a major way. Airbnb, a U.S.-based website that allows people to rent their homes, announced this week that they would be expanding into Cuba. As we write in today’s blog post, this move is bigger than you might think: “One of the other more positive effects is the increased demand this will create for expanding Internet service in Cuba. While some might have initially scoffed at the idea of a streaming service like Netflix expanding to the Island, services like these will better allow Americans to engage with the Cuban people while building pressure for the kinds of investments that will bring Cuba into the 21st century."

Fox News Latino: How a Hashtag Helped Thaw U.S.-Cuba Relations  3/25/2015 #CubaNow: "At LabMiami, a technology business incubator located in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood, Ric Herrero wages a national campaign using traditional and social media that has played a significant role in thawing frosty relations between the United States and Cuba. As executive director of #CubaNow, Herrero is the public face of an organization backed by prominent Cuban-American businessmen in Miami who want to end the embargo…"

Blacks in Cuba are poised to make gains  3/7/2015 Miami Herald: "Black Cubans, who by all measurable accounts have borne the brunt of the damage wreaked by the regime, are well positioned to finally savor their rightful — and so far elusive — share. By essentially heaping misery and squalor on the entire population and thus somewhat “leveling the playing field,” the Cuban Revolution has given Cubans of color, for the first time, the ability to compete academically, culturally and socially with their white compatriots. It is not an accident that a good percentage of the most prominent dissidents in the island are people of color."

Inaugurarán nuevas salas de acceso público a Internet en Santiago de Cuba  2/28/2015 Sierra Maestra: "Cinco salas para el acceso al servicio público a Internet y la creación de cuentas de correo electrónico internacional (nauta), serán puestas a disposición de la población santiaguera a partir de hoy por la Dirección Provincial de los Joven Club de Computación y Electrónica, de conjunto con la División Territorial de ETECSA. Según información ofrecida por directivos de la empresa de Telecomunicaciones, las nuevas salas se ubican en los municipios de San Luis, Contramaestre, Mella, Guamá y II Frente."

Cuba’s Tech Start-up Sector: ‘People Are Hungry to Work’  2/24/2015 Wharton: "Even in university, when he finally had access to the Internet, Pimienta, now 27, was limited to 20 megabytes per month of data — a small fraction of what fits on a thumb drive today. Yet, in 2013 when PayPal hosted its first-ever global hackathon competition in San Jose, Calif., with a $100,000 purse, Pimienta and two partners placed third for developing a peer-to-peer lending app called LoanPal."

CUBAN ENTREPRENEURS CAN SELL EVERYTHING FROM SHOES TO SOAP IN THE UNITED STATES  2/23/2015 The Cuban Economy: "The State Department says its new rules will encourage private Cuban entrepreneurs to develop products for export. While all live animals and animal products are prohibited, raw hides, skins, leather, furs, saddlery and harnesses, handbags, and travel goods are allowed. So are paper products, plastics and rubber articles, ceramics, glass and glassware, articles of stone, plaster and cement; footwear, hats, umbrellas, toys and games, artificial flowers and feathers. Independent entrepreneurs who make soap, cosmetics, candles, waxes and polishes, perfume or photographic or cinematographic goods are also in the clear. Jewelry makers, including those who work with pearls and precious and semiprecious stones, also got a green light as did producers of cutlery and tools."

The Cuban economy and Obama’s new policy  2/12/2015 OnCuba: "Even without eliminating the embargo, the announced measures could begin to gradually benefit the Cuban economy. Some effects will be more direct and tangible and will be appreciable in tendencies of tourism, remittances and goods and services that arrive in Cuba from the United States, while other effects will be more indirect, depending on what kind of signal is sent to the international economic and financial community and the restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations."

Conexion Miami / Florida farming fears Cuba  2/10/2015 Progreso Weekly: "“Forty-nine state farm bureaus support the lifting of the embargo, but Florida does not,” William Messina, University of Florida agricultural economist, told The Palm Beach Post. The explanation: Florida has a lot to lose if Cuba begins sending fruits, vegetables and sugar here where the same crops are grown. Cuba and Florida have similar subtropical climates and both produce sugar cane, fruit and winter vegetables. Goes to show you… We’re of the belief that a little competition is good."

Russian diplomat in Cuba for talks on investment projects  2/8/2015 Progreso Weekly: "Among the projects discussed were the construction of four power plants with a total output of 800 megawatts, improvements to the José Martí iron-and-steel works in Havana, and the participation of the Russian oil giant Zarubezhneft in the offshore exploration for crude. The commission will meet again in April in Kazan, Tatarstan, to discuss those projects further, the Russian visitor said."

AmEx plans to begin activities in Cuba  1/27/2015 Progreso Weekly: "Last week MasterCard announced that it would allow its cardholders to use the credit card in Cuba. This as a result of President Obama’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with the island after more than 50 years of animosity. The latest economic giant to jump into the fray is American Express which said it could begin operations in Cuba. No specifics as to dates, etc. were offered."

Beyond the Rhetoric: What the U.S. Can Learn from Ole Cuba  1/12/2015 Thy Black Man: "Cuba has some of the best civil engineers and construction managers in the world. I have witnessed some of their projects being built on every continent of the world. Their work is excellent, affordable and reliable. It would be great if many of our Black businesses would joint venture with them and take on projects around the world as they do. There is nothing we could not build. As our new relationship builds, such activity can become a reality. This would build Black business capacity in this nation and create jobs by the millions. Yes, Cuba could greatly help us to get around the racial adversity that we face in this current economy."

The US-Cuba agreement in five major economic issues  12/27/2014 OnCuba: "Part of Obama´s reforms will allow US telecommunications firms to start working with Cuba to expand its communications infrastructure, which will help Cuban economy and will set the basis for financial transactions more sophisticated in the future."

Rosita: Una mujer con el emprendimiento en los genes  12/23/2014 Negra Cubana: "Si las circunstancias históricas, políticas e ideológicas (la revolución marxista-leninista, la caída del campo socialista), si la situación económica (mejoramiento durante épocas, empeoramiento en otras), o el nivel de instrucción (que se mantiene elevado desde 1959) no consiguen justificar completamente la persistencia de desigualdades raciales en Cuba, ¿dónde hallar explicaciones a este fenómeno? "

Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on re-establishing U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

Transcript: Obama’s remarks on U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

Se acabó el bloqueo contra Cuba  12/17/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Con declaraciones de Raúl Castro y Barack Obama comienza hoy una nueva era en las relaciones entre Cuba y EE.UU. El cambio ha comenzado con un gesto humanitario que podría indicar el sentido de las políticas entre ambos países en los próximos meses. Alan Gross ya está en EE.UU., los tres cubanos, Gerardo, Ramón y Antonio, ya están en Cuba. Todavía queda un camino por recorrer en el Congreso para dar marcha atrás a leyes y normas que han impedido durante más de 50 años unas relaciones entre Cuba y EE.UU. constructivas para ambos pueblos, pero el camino ya ha sido señalado por los dos gobiernos. Estamos asistiendo al comienzo del fin del bloqueo contra Cuba."

Obama Announces New US Approach on Cuba  12/17/2014 Havana Times: "Remittance levels will be raised from $500 to $2,000 per quarter for general donative remittances to Cuban nationals (except to certain officials of the government or the Communist party); and donative remittances for humanitarian projects, support for the Cuban people, and support for the development of private businesses in Cuba will no longer require a specific license. Remittance forwarders will no longer require a specific license."

GRADUAL AVANCE DE LA TELEVISIÓN DIGITAL EN CUBA  12/16/2014 UNEAC: "La Televisión Digital en la Isla avanza con paso firme hacia el objetivo final de lograr que, para e 2021, se produzca el Apagón Analógico. De esta manera el Instituto de Investigaciones y Desarrollo de Telecomunicaciones (LACETEL) dio a conocer los planes y proyectos que para 2015 se prevén implementar en aras de lograr una mejor optimización de esa señal en todo el país."

US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling: The Oil Coup  12/16/2014 CounterPunch 

Los ajustes económicos del Gobierno agravan la marginación de negros y mestizos, advierten activistas  12/15/2014 Diario de Cuba: "Los negros y mestizos cubanos han quedado marginados en las reformas económicas puestas en marcha por el Gobierno de Raúl Castro y su situación en un eventual escenario de transición podría ser, una vez más, la menos favorecida. Estas fueron dos de las alertas lanzadas por los participantes en la cuarta edición del "Foro Raza y Cubanidad. Cuba, pasado, presente y futuro", auspiciado por el independiente Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial (CIR) y celebrado en La Habana entre el 11 y el 13 de diciembre."

The digitalization of society, a priority for Cuba  12/15/2014 Granma: "Efforts to advance Cuba’s connectivity have been directed toward the development of telecommunications infrastructure capacity, with the purpose of strengthening social connectivity, and developing automated operations in strategic sectors. The trial balloon has been the opening of 154 Public Navigation Centers, distributed throughout the nation."

The sad story of Cuban transportation  11/24/2014 OnCuba: "There are few sectors in Cuba that have accumulated so much inefficiency for many years as the public transportation. Things didn’t work well even in the time of plenty, when Soviet aid was counted by billions and oil was paid with sugar. Even the humor reflects this. Before Cuba entered the crisis of the 90s already a banner showed the painting of a Cuban bus packed with scenes of Guernica, Pablo Picasso´s painting representing chaos in a Basque village after the bombing of Nazi aviation."

OnCuba presented its communication platform in FIHAV2014  11/8/2014 OnCuba: "The richness of Cuban culture, events that mark the history of the country, the economic, the daily life and traditions, are topics of interest for OnCuba that continues to put its eyes on Cubans. More than just magazines, OnCuba is a communication platform that functions as a sort of bridge between the so-called two shores. During the afternoon yesterday in FIHAV 2014, in the Business Round Room at Expocuba Fairground, the presentation of the communication platform and exhibition of projects and updated statistics from its president Hugo Cancio, took place."

Cuba unveils foreign-investment portfolio  11/7/2014 Progreso Weekly: "The big news at the 2014 Havana International Fair was the launching of the Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign Investment. During the process of approval of Law 118 [on Foreign Investment], the authorities stressed the pertinence of that document, explaining that in the past any foreign businessman could come and tell us what he wanted, without a well-defined counterproposal. The principal benefit of the Portfolio is that it indicates a truly proactive stance on the part of Cuba, indicating clearly where and how investments should be directed."

Corruption and its Weeding Out  11/6/2014 OnCuba: "The Comptroller’s Office is making a huge effort, but it is pitted against a silent army of corrupt and/or inept officials united by common financial interests. They protect and rescue one another as they are “busted.” This is why the Comptroller’s Office complains that some of the inept officials who are dismissed reappear six months later as managers in just another company. Their mutual aid network reaches far back in history, having emerged as a means of skirting regulations against nepotism. Official X cannot give his son or wife a good job where they work, so official Y gives them a good position in his place of work. In exchange, X repays Y by hooking up his relatives and friends with jobs where one can get one’s hand on hard currency, trips and gasoline."

Cuban Medical Services presents seven lines of business at FIHAV  11/6/2014 OnCuba: "The Distributor of Cuban Medical Services Company (SMC by its Spanish acronym) gave an updated account of its operations during the past year during FIHAV 2014 event where it is participating for the fourth consecutive year. The seven lines of business that give prestige to the company responsible for the promotion of health services in Cuba in the world were exposed by Dr. Exposito Lliliam Jimenez, president of the organization. The doctor explained that the business portfolio is based on sustained success for decades of the Cuban health system as a result of principles and values of humanity, solidarity and a fundamental concern for having the highest ethical and scientific standards for workers, who constitute the fundamental bulwark of Cuban medicine."

Cuba: Emprendedoras rurales intercambian saberes  11/5/2014 Semlac: "Desde cómo organizar un negocio hasta trucos para la artesanía, la siembra de hortalizas, cría de animales y cultivo de plantas exóticas compartieron mujeres emprendedoras durante la "Jornada Internacional de Economía Rural y Derechos Económicos de las Mujeres", celebrada en el hotel Panorama, en La Habana, del 27 al 29 de octubre."

Asian De-Dollarization Explodes: South Korean Renminbi Deposits Surge 55-Fold In A Year  10/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "According to data from South Korean banks, the proportion of foreign currency deposits held in renminbi was 0.4% at the end of 2012. That number reached 13.7% at the end of last year, while at the end of July this year the renminbi accounted for 25.9% of all foreign currency deposits in South Korea. That’s an incredible, exponential increase."

Trabajo comunitario cubano se abre al enfoque de derechos  10/7/2014 IPS: "Los llamados "llega y pon", observados al menos en Holguín, Santiago de Cuba y Matanzas, son la expresión más dura de la persistencia y crecimiento de la pobreza en Cuba, que califica de "con amparo" porque el gobierno socialista garantiza acceso gratuito a la salud y educación junto a otras asistencias sociales."

As the Dollar Fades, Russia and Other BRICs Benefit  10/3/2014 Russia Insider: "An article in The Financial Times recently quoted Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore, an emerging markets investment manager, as saying: “I’ll eat my hat if the renminbi isn’t the strongest currency on the planet over the next 10 years.” Indeed, as the renminbi strengthens, Brics will be the one to gain - and Russia will most certainly be one of the big winners of dropping the dollar and adopting the rouble or the renminbi as its trade currency."

Cooperative Farm in Camagüey, the First in Cuba to Deliver 1 m. Liters of Milk in 2014  10/2/2014 Radio Cadena Agramonte: "Small farmers at the “Niceto Pérez” Credit and Service Cooperative (CCS) farm near the village of Camalote, in northern Camagüey, were the first in Cuba who delivered one million liters of raw milk to the industry in 2014, a figure that they have reached for eight consecutive years."

Modern cruise terminal will be built in Cienfuegos  9/28/2014 OnCuba: "The Ministry of Transportation will invest in a modern cruise terminal at the port of Cienfuegos, which is thought of as “something big, something at world level,” announced José Enrique Gonzalez, an officer at the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) in the Pearl of the South. In August, more than 30 luxury ships had called at the ports of the center and south of Cuba, which means the largest number of cruise ship arrivals since the start of this type of tourism on the island in 1996."

Cuba approves 498 non-agricultural cooperatives in the last year  9/20/2014 Fox News Latino: "The Cuban government approved 498 non-agricultural cooperatives since the first 124 were created a year ago as a new model of economic enterprise, Cabinet secretary Homero Acosta said. Of the 498 approved, 283 are now in business, chiefly in the sectors of restaurants and related services, Acosta said Friday in the closing speech of an international congress of attorneys held in Havana, according to a report by the official AIN news agency."

Cuentapropistas Refuse to be Deterred  9/17/2014 #CubaNow: "On Monday, an EFE article told the story of how gyms, bars, mobile phone repair shops, real estate, gift stores, photo studios and party organizers are sprouting up as independent small family businesses throughout the island. The article explains that the entrepreneurs behind these businesses are refusing to be deterred by the constraints and arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Cuban regime on ‘cuentapropistas.’ Not only that, but niche businesses like promotions, mobile phone apps, and IT support are all growing to provide services to this sector. As I argued in my op-ed for Diario De Cuba last week, while Castro’s government continues to find ways to tighten its own embargo over the Cuban people, we should be doing everything we can to expand the flow of contacts and resources from the American private sector to all driven and hard-working entrepreneurs, not just those with family abroad."

UK Hints At Next Reserve Currency, To Issue Chinese Yuan-Denominated Bond  9/15/2014 Zero Hedge: "As The USA attempts to corral its allies in a 'broad coalition', an increasing number of people - including domestic economic policy advisors - are shifting away from the USD as primary reserve currency. However, the move by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced Friday, is likely the most notable yet in the world's de-dollarization. As Xinhua reports, the British government intend to be the first nation (ex-China) to issue Renminbi denominated bond and to use the proceeds to finance the government's reserves of foreign currency."

Cuba's Women Entrepreneurs Are On The Rise  8/29/2014 #CubaNow: "Cuba’s private entrepreneurs, or “cuentapropistas”, are focused on solving everyday problems. An impressive 29% of small businesses in the Island are run or operated by women who are transforming their own lives and their local communities. When compared to the 37% of businesses run by women worldwide, this emerging sector shows how entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly important part of the Cuban reality today--one President Obama and Congress should allow all Americans to support."

In Cuba, entrepreneurial spirits sparkle  8/28/2014 USA Today 

"The Financial System Is Vulnerable," NYFed Asks "Could The Dollar Lose Its Reserve Status?"  8/20/2014 Zero Hedge: "When a tin-foil-hat-wearing blog full of digital dickweeds suggest the dollar's reserve currency status is at best diminishing, it is fobbed off as yet another conspiracy theory (yet to be proved conspiracy fact) too horrible to imagine for the status quo huggers. But when the VP of Research at the New York Fed asks "Could the dollar lose its status as the key international currency for international trade and international financial transactions," and further is unable to say why not, it is perhaps worth considering the principal contributing factors she warns of."

The Gold Market: An Analysis Of Recent Geopolitical, Economic And Banking Events  8/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "As Egon von Greyerz states in a new article, the manipulators (Western commercial banks and governments) have almost no physical gold left, and they are desperately trying to kill this bullish sentiment in the markets in order to keep investors from flocking to physical gold and silver, which would make demand explode, at a time when there’s no available physical gold at these artificially-low prices and, thus, no physical gold to insure the convertibility of millions of paper contracts owned by thousands of investors in physical gold. These last two attacks, at the most illiquid times of the day, constitute new evidence of blatant manipulation. GATA (Gold Anti Trust Action Committee) will gladly add these two new episodes to its long list of proofs it has been gathering for over a decade. And, without a doubt, BAFIN (German financial regulation organism) must have closely watched the price action on Monday and Tuesday. BAFIN has turned out, these last few months, to be the sole regulation agency paying attention to the price manipulation (certainly due to the United States’ refusal to repatriate even a small portion of their gold reserves), since its director stated that the gold market manipulation was much more important than LIBOR’s."

This Is How Putin's Advisor Sees The Ukraine Crisis Playing Out  8/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "To further insulate its economy, Russia should abandon the use of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, according to Glazyev. Russia, which international reserves are the world’s fifth-biggest, needs to diversify its holdings to include China’s yuan, India’s rupee and Brazil’s real. “If a country aspires to reserve status for its currency, it should behave properly, and that isn’t the case today,” Glazyev said. And this is how Putin sees the world. De-escalation? Good luck."

When The Money Runs Out... So Does The Empire  8/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "Empires are not the result of conscious thought; they happen when a group is large enough and powerful enough to impose itself on others. But empires are expensive. They are typically financed by theft and forced tribute. The imperial power conquers… steals… and then requires that its subjects pay “taxes” so that it can protect them. The US never got the hang of it. It conquers. But it loses money on each conquest. How does it sustain itself? With debt. It doesn’t take tribute from the rest of the world; it borrows from it. As far as we know, no other empire has ever tried to finance itself by borrowing. But it is a special kind of debt. The US borrows in its own currency – which it can print as it chooses. If the burden of repayment is too high, in theory, the Fed can just print more dollars to satisfy its obligations."

Russia’s food czar goes shopping in South America  8/7/2014 Progresso Weekly: "Ambassador Tettamanti, who assumed his post in March, told Dankvert that Argentina is ready to begin supplying Russia immediately, without waiting for the ICT summit. Dankvert also met Thursday with Ambassador Aníbal Cabral Segalerba of Uruguay, who expressed his government’s willingness to supply animal and vegetable food products to Russia in exchange for agricultural technology and equipment. Dankvert outlined Russia’s needs as Uruguayan beef, pork, lamb, seafood, dairy products, citrus fruits and vegetables. The export of live cattle was also mentioned.Segalerba informed Dankvert that Uruguay’s minister of Agriculture, Tabaré Aguerre Lombardo, will visit Moscow in September, at which time a formal agreement on cooperation may be finalized. Next on Dankvert’s list of visitors was Ecuadorean Ambassador Patricio Alberto Chávez Zavala, with whom Dankvert discussed increased exports of seafood, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and flowers. Dankvert said that the direct delivery of flowers, bypassing European middlemen, is of particular interest to him."

De-Dollarization Continues: Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns  8/4/2014 Zero Hedge 

G-20 Revolt? France Gets "Positive Reception" To Challenge US Bank Fines  8/3/2014 Zero Hedge 

Institutional Changes of Cuba’s Economic Social Reforms  8/1/2014 Brookings: "Overall, Mesa-Lago concludes that institutional reforms in Cuba are advancing in a positive direction, albeit slowly. The most important of these so far has been the establishment of microcredit, bank accounts and wholesale markets for the non-state sector, and the sale of homes and establishment of inheritance rights for usufructuaries and home owners. However, key structural changes and components are still missing: integral price reform, elimination of monetary duality, a realistic exchange rate and bank system restructuring."

Resoluciones de la Aduana - Las medidas no quieren decir que las personas no puedan importar  7/18/2014 Granma: "Incomprensivas; alejadas de la realidad cubana; injustas, porque abarcan a infractores y a quienes no lo son; demasiado administrativas, por lo cual favorecerían al germen de la corrupción; incluso no acordes con algunas de las medidas implementadas en la actualización del modelo económico, como por ejemplo, el desarrollo de los trabajadores por cuenta propia."

Cuba hails Russia's economic support  7/13/2014 Zambia Post: "Receiving his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for official talks at the Palace of the Revolution on Friday evening, President Castro said before Cuba ended up contracting the now cancelled US$35.2 billion debt, the communist island nation survived on financial support from the Soviet Union. He said the US$35.2 billion debt was an accumulation of loans from Moscow during the first 40 years after the triumph of the Revolution "without which the Cuban Revolution could not have survived."

Putin hails Cuba's "strategic" importance for Russia  7/12/2014 EFE: "Castro and Putin also presided over the signing of a package of 10 agreements and memoranda to expand bilateral cooperation, including accords on oil exploration signed by Russian state oil company Rosneft and Cuban counterpart Cupet. Putin later traveled Friday to Nicaragua for a previously unannounced visit, meeting in that Central American country with President Daniel Ortega."

Russia: Hoping Cuba Can Help Spur Trade with Latin America  7/10/2014 EurasiaNet 

The new realities of running a business in Cuba  7/2/2014 CSM: "“The Cuban government is afraid of losing subsidies from Venezuela and they are … turning to cooperatives to help fill the gap the state can’t provide,” says Christopher Sabatini, the senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas. “Decentralizing the economy will allow the government to earn money from taxes [from cooperatives], inject productivity into the lumbering, inefficient government, and sop up some of the thousands of employees that were recently let go by the state,” Mr. Sabatini says."

Cuba authorizes Internet access for emerging private companies  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "The Cuban government has authorized the state telecom company to provide Internet access to the country’s budding private cooperatives, the Cuban News Agency reported Friday. Communications Minister Maimir Mesa Ramos instructed Etecsa to start the service on June 29, according to the news agency. Internet access will be provided via modems and only to the cooperative’s location, to avoid service being transferred to third parties."

Entrepreneurs at World Oil Congress Interested in Cuban Opportunities  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "Cuban deputy minister of Energy and Mining, Ruben Cid, said in Moscow that many Russian companies, which attended the 21st World Oil Congress, are interested in doing business with Cuba."

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/22/2014 OnCuba: "La situación actual de una parte importante de las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, precisa concebir e implementar medidas económicas capaces de empoderar a las familias, como vía para la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas. El apoyo a la creación de fuentes de empleo podría ser una medida efectiva para estimular tales procesos. En el contexto de la consolidación del trabajo por cuenta propia en Cuba, y teniendo en cuenta la reciente aprobación de la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera, la creación de proyectos de financiación figura como una vía concreta de ayuda al emprendimiento."

Cuba building seven more solar parks  6/19/2014 Cuba Standard 

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/18/2014 OnCuba: "La situación actual de una parte importante de las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, precisa concebir e implementar medidas económicas capaces de empoderar a las familias, como vía para la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas. El apoyo a la creación de fuentes de empleo podría ser una medida efectiva para estimular tales procesos."

Bacardi chairman: Family split about embargo  6/16/2014 Cuba Standard: "Hinting that yet another Cuban American business dynasty may be softening its approach to Cuba, Bacardi Ltd. leader Facundo Bacardi told Cigar Aficionado magazine in an interview that his family has differences over U.S. embargo policies."

Executive of French Bank Forced to Retirement due to US's Anti-Cuba Policy  6/13/2014 ACN: "A top executive of France's BNP Paribas Bank has seen himself forced into retirement amidst a dispute involving a 10 billion dollar fine that Washington intends to impose on the financial institution in an extraterritorial action for having violated US sanctions against Cuba, Sudan and Iran. The French bank announced that Operations Chief Georges Chodron de Courcel will retire in September. "

Cuba Food Industry Cooperatives Feel Betrayed  6/6/2014 Havana Times 

We wish to support this vital and growing private sector in Cuba  5/30/2014 OnCuba: "Mr. Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, is visiting Cuba for the second time. The organization that runs entirely autonomous and independent of the U.S. government represents 3 million businesses of the most diverse sectors."

Rusia en la búsqueda de petróleo cubano  5/28/2014 OnCuba 

Cuba’s Cooperatives “Without Papers”  5/20/2014 Havana Times 

Hundreds of Cooperative Make their Way in Cuban Economy  5/19/2014 CAN 

U.S. academics say Cuban reforms not going well  5/10/2014 Miami Herald: "But while up to 485,000 Cubans are reported to be licensed to work in low value-added jobs such as tailors and seamstresses, there are many constraints, Gonzalez-Corzo told the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS). An “onerous tax system” piles “taxes upon taxes upon taxes” that make it difficult for the new micro-enterprises and “confiscate the limited prosperity that people are generating,” he said. There’s a shortage of appropriate retail space needed for the new businesses, property rights remain largely unclear and government inspectors often look for bribes, the professor added. The cooperative sector is not doing as well as projected by the government, Gonzalez-Corzo said. And the average bank loan approved under a micro-credit program designed to help the private sector stands at about $55."

Mientras Washington lo piensa, Bruselas negocia con Cuba  5/5/2014 IPS Cuba: "España encabeza el intercambio comercial europeo con La Habana, con más de 1.156 millones de dólares en 2012. Sin embargo, fue justamente un gobierno conservador español, el de José María Aznar (1996-2004), el artífice de la llamada Posición Común que la UE adoptó en 1996 y que constituye para Cuba una injerencia en sus asuntos internos. Este tema no estuvo sobre la mesa en esta primera ronda de pláticas. A una pregunta de IPS, Leffler, de nacionalidad sueca, también aclaró que la UE no trajo condicionamientos políticos. “Si queremos negociar un acuerdo, no es muy constructivo venir con un punto inicial de condiciones e imposiciones”, afirmó."

Invertir en Cuba  5/1/2014 OnCuba: por Hugo Cancio

Habanos S.A. Marketing Director Leaves  4/23/2014 Cigar Aficionado: "[Afrodescendent] Ana López Garcia, the director of marketing operations for Cuba's tobacco monopoly, Habanos S.A., has left the company. In a short message, she told Cigar Aficionado she was leaving for "personal reasons." Her departure was confirmed by sources at Habanos. Lopez had spent nearly 40 years working in the Cuban cigar industry. She reported that she remembered dealing with Alejandro Robaina, the famous Cuban tobacco grower, and was the person who introduced him to the cigar that bore his name."

Expertas crean red sobre gestión, conocimiento e innovación con equidad de género  4/14/2014 SEMlac Cuba: "La Red cubana sobre gestión, conocimiento e innovación con equidad de género fue presentada el 10 de abril en la capital cubana, durante la celebración del taller "Construyendo equidad: estrategias para el cambio", convocado por la Empresa Gestión del Conocimiento y la Tecnología (Gecyt)."

Especialistas investigan cómo empoderar a mujeres cuentapropistas  4/14/2014 SEMlac Cuba: "La división sexual del trabajo por cuenta propia en Cuba motiva una investigación en curso para caracterizar el emprendimiento de las mujeres en el municipio capitalino Habana Vieja, uno de los más hacinados y con mayor índice de desigualdad económica de la capital cubana."

Struggling to Film in America’s Chokehold - Cuban Moviemakers Feeling Burden of U.S. Embargo  4/4/2014 NYT: "What hasn’t changed, however, are the financial and legal restrictions that make transferring money to Cuba illegal without a special license from the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control." [Absolutely false, as all information products can be sold by Cubans to the US market without any license or government oversight whatsoever. See our Berman Amendment page.]

Cuba plans big tax breaks to lure foreign investors: official media  3/26/2014 Reuters 

In Cuba,U.S.embargo elicits a shrug  3/24/2014 Al Jazeera: "An economy in which the state was once the sole employer now includes a growing gray zone of private enterprises operating with the consent of the authorities. That reflects an effort by the communist leadership to stimulate an economy stunted by low growth, despite its relatively high human development index and bountiful government benefits. Only a small number of citizens have seen their living standards improve over the past two decades."

The Fanjul flak: Typical Miami schizophrenia  2/7/2014 Progreso 

Directo al bolsillo de Fanjul  2/6/2014 Cartas desde Cuba: "El conocido anticastrista Mauricio Claver-Carone amenazó al magnate azucarero Alfonso Fanjul con hacer campaña para que le retiren las subvenciones."

Sugar tycoon Fanjul open to investing in Cuba under ‘right circumstances’  2/2/2014 WaPo: "But the shift by Fanjul is far more significant. Not only do he and his family control one of the largest sugar operations in the world, but they also have been major donors to activist groups, such as the Cuban American National Foundation and the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, that have been vocal advocates for trade sanctions."

Magnate azucarero Alfonso Fanjul dispuesto ahora a invertir en Cuba bajo “circunstancias adecuadas”  2/2/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Pero el cambio de Fanjul es mucho más significativo. No solo él y su familia controlan una de las mayores operaciones de azúcar en el mundo, sino que también han estado entre los mayores donantes a grupos de activistas como la Fundación Nacional Cubano-Americana y el U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, que han sido defensores activos de las sanciones comerciales."

Ordenanzas de la ciudad, otro “amarre” para los cuentapropistas?  1/17/2014 La Esquina de Lilith: "Significa, además, que posiblemente cientos de familias que apuntalaban la economía familiar con el alquiler de espacios de sus viviendas podrían quedarse sin esa entrada, sin contar con lo que significa para los propios cuentapropistas que, con la nueva ley para esa actividad, invirtieron en toldos, mesetas… Lo peor, no obstante, es la sensación de inestabilidad que, ahora mismo, ronda a quienes ejercen esa actividad que, cada año hasta ahora, se incrementado sus aportes al presupuesto nacional."

Cuban TV Industry Takes Another Step towards Digital Switchover  12/26/2013 Havana Reporter: "Cuban specialists recently presented the first working prototype of an integrated digital television set manufactured in Cuba, using liquid crystal display (LCD) and light emitting diodes (LEDs)."

The Need to Speed up Changes in Oriente  12/7/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "No one can accept that a lack of attractions is the culprit for Oriente underdevelopment. The area holds the home site of the Rough Riders landing in Daiquiri and Siboney, San Juan Hills, the Morro Castle and the sunken wreckage of the Spanish fleet. General Antonio Maceo’s home and Square, the Bacardi Museum, Jose Marti Mausoleum, Santa Efigenia cemetery, the Gran Piedra Coffee ruins, the Moncada Garrison, the Basilica of the Virgin of Charity, the site of the Protest of Baragua and Loma del Gato, where General Jose Maceo fell in combat are all close at hand. We also have the English Speaking Caribbean and Haitian community in Goat Hill in Guantanamo, Caimanera overlooking the Guantanamo Naval Base, the Alexander Humbolt Biophere reserve and Baracoa. The sites of the beginning of Cuba’s two Wars of Independence, the city where the national anthem was written, the home of the Father of the Cuban Nation, the site where slaves were freed, the Granma landing and the Sierra Maestra are all there. One of Cuba’s best beaches in Guardalavaca, Christopher Columbus' landing site in Bariay and Cuba’s largest arqueological dig in Banes suffice to attract an additional million tourists to Cuba."

La Zona de Desarrollo del Mariel. Potencialidad y Riesgos.  11/25/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Escépticos, fatalistas y enemigos, presagian el fracaso del ZED debido a la severa falta de vías de comunicación en el país, deficiente abasto de agua, alcantarillado, electricidad, lentitud cibernética, deplorable comercio minorista, transporte, construcción, servicios de apoyo, correos, viviendas y la mentalidad de algunos en el siglo XX. Ignoran o subvaloran los cientos de miles de profesionales, técnicos y científicos que Cuba ha formado, lo que le permite calificarlos y recalificarlos para asumir cualquier responsabilidad, a diferencia de muchos países vecinos que partirían de cero."

Soft Landing in Cuba? Emerging Entrepreneurs and Middle Classes  11/1/2013 Brookings Institution 

Cuba: Beginning of the End of Dual Currency  10/22/2013 Havana Times: 'Many economists believe that the dual currency distorts accounting and hampers economic productivity on the island. Monetary unification “is not a measure that will resolve all the current economic problems, but its implementation is essential to ensure the restoration of the value of the Cuban peso,” noted the official Granma newspaper on Tuesday."

Trabajo por cuenta propia revela tensiones de género en Cuba  10/14/2013 Global Voices: por Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez

Crean cooperativas en la Oficina del Historiador  9/27/2013 Opus Havana: "Hoy viernes fueron constituidas oficialmente dos cooperativas no agropecuarias de primer grado de la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad: la de vidriería Vidria y la de metales Calflat. En el acto, efectuado en la Casa Pedroso, y en el que intervino Eusebio Leal Spengler para saludar la iniciativa y desear éxitos a los cooperativistas, se conoció que estas se crearon con el objetivo de diversificar el trabajo en la institución en una nueva modalidad, utilizando en este caso específico la experiencia de graduados y profesores de la Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos."

Cuba expands list of allowed private sector jobs  9/26/2013 AFP: "The Communist Party daily Granma reported that among the 18 newly authorized private sector occupations is that of real estate agent, in keeping with an earlier decision to legalize private real estate transactions. Vendors of agricultural produce and telecommunications salespeople also have been added to the list."

Cuban Cinema at a Crossroads: Independent Productions on the Island  8/30/2013 Havana Times: "Calviño believes that “the first step would be to create a legal platform for independent productions. Today, we can’t even sign a contract or open our own bank account,” she explains, adding that the important thing “is to be allowed to work without the stress of thinking one is doing something illegal.”"

A business-friendly Cuba gets a hand from Canada  8/29/2013 Toronto Globe & Mail: “The irony is those that will save the Revolution are the emerging small- and medium-sized private businesses,” he says. “And those that could destroy it are those elements in the bureaucracy that resist these changes.”

The Privatization of Education in Cuba: Kissing the Right Frog  8/27/2013 Havana Times: "In this connection, Zulema’s day care center is one case among many others, which include private schools maintained by international organizations, to which the children of Cuba’s nouveaux riches flock in a mad, happy rush. As such, Cuban society is slowly becoming exposed to two visibly different ways of accessing education. At the top, we have the children of those who have come out victorious in the process of capitalist restoration, comfortable in their private institutions and nurseries. At the very broad base, we have the heirs of poverty, in an educational system that is in shambles, with badly-paid teachers and ramshackle facilities. Some go up while others plunge further down."

Illegal Dental Work on the Rise in Cuba  8/22/2013 Havana Times: "Generally speaking, dentists with private clinics are specialists or technicians from the field who continue to work for the State or quit their day jobs in search of financial improvement. They have clinics with basic conditions at home and no license to operate. In fact, no one is authorized by the government to offer health services privately, as a self-employed professional. Another practice consists of offering dental appointments and diagnostic procedures outside State clinics, in private residences, and conducting the actual surgery in the government institution, using the equipment and supplies there illegally."

La música cubana se vende en bolsa negra  8/22/2013 Cubanet: "Hace algún tiempo, una “bomba” explotó en el Centro Provincial de la Música, en Matanzas. Una directiva de esa empresa se embolsaba miles de dólares, derivados de turbios manejos relacionados con agrupaciones contratadas en Varadero. Con ganancias sucias, la mujer se estaba construyendo un auténtico palacete, comparable con el que intentó erigirse, décadas atrás, el proverbial Luis Orlando Domínguez."

Celebran Aniversario 26 de los Joven Club de Computación  8/16/2013 CubaDebate 

Cuba’s Journey on the Internet: There’s a Long March Ahead  8/14/2013 Time: "only 25% of the population is online" [This figure comes from official sources.]

Internet access now a reality for some Cubans, but not cheap at $4.50 an hour  8/6/2013 CNN 

Cuba’s Economic Performance in 2012  7/24/2013 CounterPunch 

Hospitales cubanos se caen a pedazos y si los reparan, es con pacientes dentro  7/2/2013 CubaNet: "El doctor me mira sorprendido cuando le pregunto si considera que no se puede transportar a un paciente grave en un ascensor donde van otras personas. Al preguntarle me acuerdo de los ingresos hospitalarios con mi padre y la cantidad de veces que subí con él acostado en una camilla, luchando por protegerlo del hombre que sacaba un contenedor de basura, en presencia de médicos conversando que me obligaban a ver aquella situación como “normal”."

Guantánamo in us  6/30/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "The devastation caused by Hurricane Georges in Guantanamo in 1998 led the Caribbean American Children Foundation, other solidarity groups, humanists and peace loving people across Florida, to collect health, educational, handicap, sports and cultural goods which were placed on the first four engine cargo airplane to depart from Miami to Guantanamo since 1959. These solidarity efforts have continued with that region to this day."

Guantánamo en nosotros  6/30/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "El Centro Medico del Caribe en que quedaría transformado el Hospital Agostinho Neto y su Escuela de Medicina para unos 10,000 alumnos nacionales e internacionales, pudiera contar con un equipo facultativo-docente internacional, solidario, progresista, que contribuyera a conferirle el más alto nivel científico-investigativo de la región, graduando con el máximo nivel y rigor científico a unos 500 médicos, 1000 enfermeras y 500 tecnólogos anuales, procedentes de todo el mundo."

Policía allana vivienda y ocupa bienes de Alfredo Guevara  6/29/2013 Café Fuerte: "En verdad, estamos ante un asunto de corrupción de proporciones mayúsculas, pues Alfredo Guevara era uno de los mayores coleccionistas privados de pintura cubana, patrimonio con el que traficó durante décadas y era tolerado por la oficialidad por su defensa del régimen”, agregó el cineasta. “Esa tolerancia ha llegado a su fin”. El realizador dijo a CaféFuerte que “hay constancia de que ese tráfico con obras de arte ha proporcionado cientos de miles de dólares a los herederos, quienes han invertido en varias propiedades en Miami”.

Policía allana vivienda y ocupa bienes de Alfredo Guevara  6/29/2013 CubaNet: "En verdad, estamos ante un asunto de corrupción de proporciones mayúsculas, pues Alfredo Guevara era uno de los mayores coleccionistas privados de pintura cubana, patrimonio con el que traficó durante décadas y era tolerado por la oficialidad por su defensa del régimen”, agregó el cineasta. “Esa tolerancia ha llegado a su fin”. El realizador dijo a CaféFuerte que “hay constancia de que ese tráfico con obras de arte ha proporcionado cientos de miles de dólares a los herederos, quienes han invertido en varias propiedades en Miami”. Guevara murió de un ataque cardíaco el pasado 19 de abril, a los 87 años. Sus cenizas fueron esparcidas días después en la escalinata de la Universidad de La Habana, el lugar donde forjó su carrera como líder estudiantil comunista y conoció a Fidel Castro."

Cuba demanda un nuevo Baragua  6/20/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Proponer la formación de una Empresa Mixta de 100,000 acres cada uno, con las Arroceras del Delta del Mississippi, los Citricultores, Ganaderos, Cultivadores de Papa, Fresa, Repollo y Vegetales del Estado de la Florida. Proponer la formación de Empresas Mixta al 50/50% con pequeños y medianos empresarios minoritarios del Caribe, América Latina y los Estados Unidos, para la construcción y restauración de 400 hoteles de 2** y 3***, 100 Cines, 30,000 comercios de víveres, ropa, construcción, restaurantes, farmacias etc."

Cuba demands another Baragua  6/20/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Propose a 50/50% Joint Venture of 50,000 acres with the Mississippi Delta rice growers, 100,000 acres each with Florida citrus, cattle ranchers, potato, strawberry, vegetable and cabbage growers. Propose a 50/50% Joint Venture with 20,000 mid-size and small Caribbean, Latin American and US Minority entrepreneurs, to refurbish/build and operate 400 2** and 3*** Hotel, 100 movie theaters, 30,000 grocery, garment, home improvement stores, restaurants, pharmacy etc."

Ataca Sección Cuba de LASA a académico por interesarse en economista sancionado  6/9/2013 Marti Noticias: "El bloguero relató que el profesor de Baruch College en Nueva York, e investigador de la blogósfera cubana, Ted Henken, quien es miembro de la sección, provocó la reacción de una verdadera “brigada de respuesta rápida intelectual” cuando preguntó por qué el economista Omar Everleny Pérez, quien tiene una ponencia en el Congreso y ha asistido a otras ediciones, no asiste al evento. Junto con Pavel Vidal, actualmente en la filial de Cali, Colombia, de la Universidad Javeriana, Pérez ha sido uno de los críticos más agudos e impacientes desde el oficialismo de las reformas de Raúl Castro en la isla. Se ha sabido que hace poco perdió su puesto en el Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana, fue degradado a una posición más oscura y se decidió que no asistiera al Congreso de LASA. Pardo Lazo relata que cuatro de los académicos enviados por La Habana –con Carlos Alzugaray a la cabeza-- protagonizaron el acto de repudio a Henken, echándole en cara a grito pelado que ningún norteamericano estaba autorizado a interesarse por la suerte de ningún cubano."

Cuba’s New Cybercafés: A Piecemeal Strategy  5/30/2013 Havana Times: "With a total of 334 computer consoles around the country, the cybercafés will be open 11 hours a day. If every user were to navigate for only an hour, a mere 3,700 people would be able to access the Internet a day. If we maintain our initial figure of 8 million potential Internet users, people would get to connect once every 5 years. Even if we assume I am exaggerating and that only 10 % of this hypothetical population wants to use the Internet, each person would have access to the web only once every six months. And Cuba’s phone company, ETECSA, needed all of two years to take this bold step, from the date in which the installation of an underwater fiber-optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela was completed."

CUBA: Los desafíos del cooperativismo  5/24/2013 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Las cooperativas se vislumbran como una de las formas empresariales no estatales que tendrán mayor protagonismo en el nuevo modelo económico cubano. Si hasta ahora solo eran de carácter agropecuario, comienzan los experimentos en otros sectores."

Fiber Optic Cable Between Cuba and Jamaica Now Operative  5/22/2013 Havana Times: "Doug Madory, the top analyst for Renesys, said adding Jamaica gives Cuba a backup in case of an interruption in the branch of the ALBA-1 to Venezuela."

¿Un futuro petrolero para Cuba?  5/6/2013 Progreso: "Ahora, los casos de Cuba y de Brasil son totalmente diferentes, porque estás hablando de una materia prima que es la caña de azúcar. En Cuba ya podemos recuperar un millón de hectáreas de tierra que históricamente siempre han sido tierras azucareras, así que no estamos hablando de deforestación. Los estudios que hemos hecho nos demuestran que una industria azucarera cubana recapitalizada totalmente puede contribuir alrededor de 3500 millones de dólares al año a la economía cubana. Porque tienes el etanol hoy en día a dos dólares el galón y tienes el azúcar a 18-20 centavos."

A future in oil for Cuba?  5/6/2013 Progreso: "Now, the cases of Cuba and Brazil are totally different, because you're talking about a raw material that's sugar cane. In Cuba, you can regain one million hectares of land that historically was always sugar land, so we're not talking about deforestation. The studies we've done show that a totally recapitalized sugar industry can contribute about $3.5 billion a year to the Cuban economy. That's because ethanol is priced at $2 per gallon and sugar is priced at 18 to 20 cents."

E-book: de la tecnología a la mentalidad, y viceversa  4/22/2013 Cubaliteraria: "No hay tradición que sobreviva si no es capaz de convivir, y utilizar, los adelantos tecnológicos. Esa es la esencia que no debe perderse de vista ante los nuevos escenarios del e-book, que es aún un sucedáneo del libro de papel y, por lo pronto, un producto que, teniendo múltiples posibles receptores, carece de demanda y, sobre todo, de la existencia de autores que puedan sostenerla."

Preocupa vulnerabilidad de Cuba a aumento del nivel del mar  4/10/2013 CubaDebate: "“Este fenómeno afectará los ecosistemas, la productividad de los suelos agrícolas, incrementará la vulnerabilidad de los asentamientos costeros, reducirá las áreas forestales y de cultivos, y la calidad y disponibilidad del agua”, explicó Escobar. “Cuba ha establecido prioridades en función de reducir esas vulnerabilidades, identificadas en estudios de prevención y riesgo de desastres realizados por científicos del país”, agregó. Entre las actividades priorizadas para reducir los impactos del ascenso del nivel del mar, el experto señaló la conservación y rehabilitación de los ecosistemas protectores de la línea de costa: arrecifes de coral, manglares y playas de arena."

Bloqueo norteamericano obstaculiza comercio electrónico de Cuba  4/10/2013 CubaDebate: "Cuba denunció aquí que el bloqueo impuesto por Estados Unidos obstaculiza su acceso a las tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones y, por consiguiente, limita el uso y desarrollo de las aplicaciones del comercio electrónico. El viceministro cubano de Comunicaciones, Wilfredo González, evidenció el carácter discriminatorio de las medidas unilaterales de Washington y su dimensión extraterritorial, que van en contra de las directrices del programa de trabajo de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC)."

Prevén en Cuba incremento de producción de cemento ecológico  4/7/2013 CubaDebate: "Expertos cubanos prevén para 2014 un incremento de la producción de cemento ecológico, material que por su menor contenido de clínquer reduce la emisión de dióxido de carbono a la atmósfera, refleja hoy la prensa."

Otro robo descarado amparado en el bloqueo  3/31/2013 Cubadebate: "El robo descarado de marcas cubanas en Estados Unidos sigue siendo amparado por autoridades federales en ese país, quienes se escudan en las espurias regulaciones del bloqueo económico, financiero y comercial que Washington practica contra Cuba. Esta semana, una comisión federal norteamericana juzgó que la empresa General Cigar Co. Inc. puede seguir utilizando el nombre de la marca registrada Cohiba para sus puros en Estados Unidos."

Cuba: Producción porcina se ha incrementado  3/29/2013 CubaDebate: "El presidente de la Sociedad Cubana de Porcicultores (SCP), Francisco Diéguez, dijo hoy en La Habana que la implementación de una estrategia especial en esa esfera en el país permitió un crecimiento de esa masa animal. La disminución de la importación de alimentos y su sustitución por otros cultivos producidos en esta isla y la aplicación de medidas rigurosas para el control de las enfermedades que afectan a los cerdos influyó positivamente, explicó."

The Internet, Broadband and Foreign Policy - Cyber Cuba  2/26/2013 Cuba-L 

Cuba: Una estrategia energética nunca está desvinculada del modelo económico  2/25/2013 Rebelion: por Manuel David Orrio

La inversión extranjera en Cuba  2/16/2013 OnCuba: "En su momento fue la noticia del día; luego, nada más se supo: Cuba trabajaba en la modificación de la Ley 77 sobre la inversión extranjera, y la nueva legislación debía promulgarse antes de que finalizara diciembre del 2012, según declaró a mediados del pasado año la directora de Finanzas del Ministerio de Comercio Exterior e Inversión Extranjera, Yamila Fernández."

LOS SERVICIOS DE MICROFINANZAS EN CUBA: UNA NECESIDAD URGENTE  2/1/2013 Revista Caribeña de Ciencias Sociales: Universidad de la Habana

CUBA: realidad y perspectivas del cooperativismo  1/29/2013 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: Entrevista a Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, investigadora del Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana

Is Cuba The Next Emerging Market?  1/29/2013 Forbes: "Small changes allowing some private enterprise in Cuba are coinciding with the U.S.’s own policy shifts: As a result, the economic embargo, which prevents most business and travel in Cuba for U.S. firms and citizens, is becoming more porous. In 2009 President Obama relaxed travel restrictions and remittances for Cuban-Americans, enabling them to invest in small private businesses. U.S. citizens can now legally travel to Cuba. But is it time to look at Cuba as a viable emerging market? U.S. public opinion is shifting in favor of normalizing ties, and the American business lobby in particular wants to take advantage of the untapped market, which it believes is worth $1 billion a year."

The Economics of the Cuban Embargo  1/29/2013 CounterPunch: "This growing international trade, disguised as sending goods to needy family members in Cuba, now includes filling the hulls on 10 or more daily charter flights from US cities to Cuba. Cuban Americans send goods, often with “mules,” to provide family members in Cuba, needing supplies for their businesses. The “mules” return with cash, derived from sales of these goods. Some of the new Cuban stores and restaurants supplied by Miami-based Cubans make substantial profits, some of which get spent in Cuba, and ends up in Cuba’s central bank. Miami, the United States’ poorest large city, derives income because it provides jobs involved in buying and selling the goods sent to Cuba. Jobs also arise from routine tasks created around the daily charter flights to and from Cuba, and the fees collected from take offs and landings. Add to this, the work for accountants, book-keepers and others."

Cuba is Testing Underwater Internet Cable  1/24/2013 OnCuba: "Quality tests on internet traffic through the cable began on January 10, with real traffic from and to Cuba in order to normalize this communication system. The connection has initially been used for international telephone traffic, the company explained. Once the experimental stage concludes, the operations of the underwater cable would not imply yet the multiplication of possibilities to access the internet, since investment would have to be done in the internal telecommunication infrastructure and increase hard currency resources to pay for the Internet traffic."

Cuba first high-speed internet connection activated  1/24/2013 BBC: "The $70m (£44m) fibre-optic cable arrived from Venezuela in February 2011, but tests on the line are said to have begun only this month."

Is the Venezuelan undersea cable operational?  1/22/2013 OnCuba: "The news came out of a report posted Sunday on the website of Renesys (USA), a company considered an “internet intelligence authority”. In the report author Doug Madory wrote routing data showed significantly faster traffic to Cuba. According to this analysis the ALBA-1 cable is allowing data transmission faster than before, when outgoing and ingoing data was travelling via satellite. Though Cubans haven’t still seen a real improvement in speed, the news fills them with hope. The subsea data cable will increase internet speed exponentially in Cuba. It will multiply by 3000 data, images and voice transmission with a bandwidth of 640 gigabytes and capacity to handle 10 million phone calls simultaneously, according to fayerwayer.com."

Cosméticos para la mujer negra  12/23/2012 Trbajadores: "Por atinado y certero me sorprendió gratamente el criterio de la diputada Olivia Teresa González, de Centro Habana, en la más reciente reunión de la Comisión de Industrias y Construcción, de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular: “No hay una perspectiva o proyección en la producción nacional de cosméticos y otros productos de belleza para la mujer negra”, dijo."

Cuba Denounces New US Treasury Fines  12/20/2012 Havana Times: "A statement posted on the front page of the Granma newspaper discussed the December 11 imposition of a $375 million fine against London-based HSBC Holdings for violating US sanctions against several countries, including Cuba. A day after, OFAC announced the implementation of an another fine of $8.5 million against the Japanese bank Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, also for processing financial transactions involving a group of countries that included Cuba. The Cuban Foreign Ministry considers this to involve “new acts in the extraterritorial application of the provisions of the US blockade against Cuba and also against entities in third countries."

Telephone Fraud, Corruption and One-Party Democracy in Cuba  12/17/2012 Havana Times: "As for democracy and party systems, the general trend of representative democracy is predominantly toward bipartisanship while communist systems were founded on the concept of a single party. One thing to consider is the set of traditions of the countries where socialist revolutions triumphed. In ancient Russia, these traditions were shaped by the absolutism implanted for centuries by the tsarist autocracy. China, Vietnam and North Korea can be described as eastern monarchies that are equally despotic and overly centralized. In Latin America, Cuba follows the tradition inherited from Spain, where kings once prevailed, followed by caudillos."

Cuba abre la puerta a las cooperativas privadas  12/11/2012 El Pais: "Un resquicio de autonomía se abrió ayer al entrar en vigor un decreto ley que ampliará de forma gradual el cooperativismo en Cuba. En una etapa preliminar se prevé que este contribuya a la creación de más de 200 asociaciones de ese tipo en todo el país. Desde la pasada sesión de la Asamblea Nacional, en julio de este año, se aguardaba la entrada en vigor de una medida que se espera dinamice la deteriorada economía de la Isla. Hasta ahora esta forma de gestión solo estaba permitida en el sector agropecuario. Pero desde hoy incluirá también los sectores gastronómico, de transporte, servicios personales y domésticos, la recuperación de materias primas y los servicios de la construcción, entre otros."

In Communist Cuba, the Tax Man Cometh  11/28/2012 MSNBC: "A sliding scale income tax - from 15 percent for earnings of more than 10,000 pesos (about $400) annually, to 50 percent for earnings of over 50,000 pesos, (about $2,000) - adopted in 1994, remains in the new code for the self-employed, small businesses and farms, but it also includes a series of new deductions to stimulate their work."

Brazil-Cuba: Full steam ahead  11/13/2012 Progreso Weekly: "With little hoopla, Brazil has become Cuba’s second trade partner in Latin America. The trend is rising, according to basic data: In 2011, the bilateral trade exchange rose by 45 percent, compared with 2010, when it totaled US$501.4 million. This year, it is expected to close at $1 billion."

Damnificados de “Sandy” adquieren materiales de construcción  11/13/2012 CubaDebate 

Venezuela envia ayuda humanitaria a Cuba y Haití  10/27/2012 Cubadebate 

Santiago de Cuba se levanta  10/27/2012 Cubadebate: "El pueblo de Santiago de Cuba, aún en medio del pesar por las pérdidas humanas y materiales que le dejó Sandy, se levanta con absoluta fe en la recuperación de su terruño y hace a favor de ello con el apoyo que llega de otras provincias del país. En consonancia, brigadas de linieros y operarios de las empresas eléctrica y telefónica ya trabajan para restaurar el suministro de energía, afectado en casi un 85 por ciento, así como dar vitalidad a los más de 17 mil teléfonos interrumpidos."

In Cuba, the Teachers Are Leaving  10/25/2012 Havana Times: "Last year, 14,000 teachers left the classroom with medical leave certificates or requesting self-employment licenses, while this summer another 4,000 gave up teaching without excuses. Meanwhile, 80 percent of the slots to study teaching careers are vacant."

Cubanos son propietarios de casi 85 por ciento de viviendas del país  10/22/2012 Cubadebate: "Las familias cubanas son propietarias de casi el 85 por ciento de las viviendas existentes en el país y solo el seis por ciento están vinculadas o son medios básicos de organismos de la administración central del Estado. El resto de ellas está considerado en régimen de arrendamiento y en cuartos, habitaciones, bohíos y otros tipos, según el más reciente informe hasta 2011 de especialistas del sistema de la vivienda en la nación, al que la AIN tuvo acceso."

Sex Tourism: The Largest Free-market in Cuba  10/15/2012 Havana Times: "When the Cuban government began promoting the tourism industry in the 1990s, it was sex tourism that jump-started that initiative. Twelve years into the 21st century, they have managed to transition to other more conventional forms of tourism. Eco tourism, family tourism and luxury tourism are gradually coming to occupy prominent places in the industry."

Cuba, Uruguay y Brasil: intercambio para crecer  10/10/2012 Microcredito: "Una delegación de referentes cubanos visitó las experiencias cooperativas del Uruguay y Brasil, con el propósito de relevar las experiencias que tienen ambos países en torno a la Economía Social y Solidaria (ESS), sector sobre el cual Cuba quiere impulsar en el marco de su proceso de actualización socioeconómica."

Cooperativismo cubano: modificaciones en las Unidades Básicas de Producción Cooperativa  10/5/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: video

Prices and Taxes in Cuba  10/4/2012 Havana Times: "To really achieve the redistribution of wealth, taxes should be applied only on luxury goods, those products that aren’t necessary for life. Applying them on milk, cooking oil, soap and meat ends up being punishment against the poor. Kiosks have been opened in all the districts selling products in convertible hard-currency. One needs only to stand around one of those to witness how many of the people who shop there are clearly poor people who have to save every penny to buy the most indispensible items. A few days ago people were complaining that detergent was scarce in the hard-currency stores. The problem was actually that only large packages were being sold, while the fact is that many Cubans can barely manage to scrape together the 50 cents (USD) for the smallest packets."

New investment fund aims to catch wave of interest in Cuba  9/27/2012 International Institute for the Study of Cuba: "Romar group, which is active in equipment sales, development, trading, finance and logistics in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, has kept a low profile during the almost 20 years it has done business in Cuba, but the family-owned company is now emerging as an important link with the island for investors. Romar’s development arm, Q Hospitality, is negotiating construction of four hotels, one each in Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and Santa Lucía. Plans also include construction of a 80-mw wind farm in Cuba. However, its most ambitious project is a marina and real estate development at Tarará, just east of Havana."

CUBA: Las cooperativas en el nuevo modelo económico  9/21/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Los Lineamientos de la Política Económica y Social del Partido y la Revolución aprobados por el VI Congreso del Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) mencionan a las cooperativas como una de las formas empresariales no estatales[3] que tendrán cabida en el nuevo modelo económico a instaurar en los próximos años en nuestro país."

Peligros e incertidumbre tras las nuevas regulaciones aduanales  9/14/2012 AfroCubaWeb: de Alberto Jones

Cuba ensaya nuevos usos de las tarjetas de débito  9/10/2012 KokaCub@: "Personas en Cuba que disponen de una tarjeta de débito en pesos cubanos (CUP) pueden adquirir productos –por un precio equivalente- en tiendas estatales donde se compra solo en pesos convertibles (CUC), como parte de un experimento que se desarrolla al menos en la capital."

Mercado cubano se abre a los productos brasileños  9/7/2012 CubaDebate 

New tax in Cuba threatens consumption in a hungry nation  9/4/2012 AFP: "Cuba has slapped a new customs tax on everyday goods shipped from overseas in a drive that experts say could weaken the economy and sap consumption. The levy took effect Monday and is payable in foreign currency. It targets goods imported by private citizens, often self-employed people who have started up businesses as part of timid reforms undertaken by the communist government in 2011."

Desde hoy, en vigor nueva Resolución de la Aduana en Cuba  9/3/2012 CubaDebate: "A partir de este lunes tres de septiembre entra en vigor la Resolución No. 122 de la Aduana General de la República de Cuba referente a los envíos hacia el país por vía aérea, marítima, postal o de mensajería."

Import tax deadline has Cuba entrepreneurs on edge  9/1/2012 Miami Herald: "A sudden jump in import taxes on Monday threatens to make life tougher for some of Cuba's new entrepreneurs and will mean higher prices for many of their customers by raising the cost of goods ranging from jungle-print blouses to jewelry. The new measures steeply hike duties on cargo shipments, as well as on many bulk goods brought in by airline passengers, a crucial supply line for many of the small businesses the government has been trying to encourage as it cuts a bloated workforce in the socialist economy."

¿El principio del fin de la doble moneda en Cuba? (I)  8/31/2012 Havana Times: "El cartel en cuestión anunciaba que los portadores de tarjetas magnéticas del sistema RED podían usarlas para pagar sus compras en esa chopin con moneda nacional, claro, al tipo de cambio oficial establecido. El sistema RED opera en tres bancos cubanos (Banco Popular de Ahorro, Banco de Crédito y Comercio y Banco Metropolitano) y emite tarjetas de débito en las cuales a algunos sectores de los trabajadores cubanos se les deposita su salario. El salario en moneda nacional, claro."

¿Abrazará Cuba la economía solidaria?  8/21/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El 25 de julio, en una de las más concurridas sesiones de la reunión semestral de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (especie de poder legislativo) de Cuba, fue la estrella Murillo Marino. Jefe de la comisión del Comité Central del Partido Comunista para la reforma económica, él detalló, durante más de dos horas, los planes para los próximos años. Gran parte de las empresas estatales dejan de ser mero apéndice de los ministerios y tendrán autonomía financiera y operativa. Más importante aún, 222 pequeñas y medianas empresas, hoy pertenecientes al Estado, serán transformadas en cooperativas, en teoría, 100% autónomas. Una amplia gama de servicios - incluido el transporte público, mercados de frutas, restaurantes y centros de crías de camarones - se llevará a cabo por la nueva gestión de las líneas de la “economía solidaria”."

Cuba: Breaking The Fiber Optic Monopoly  8/10/2012 Havana Times: "Capote discusses how he was involved in a US project to generate Wi-Fi reception in Havana by planting a small number of devices in key points all across the Cuban capital. Could it be possible to do that without the help of the CIA? Surely the Chinese sell such gadgets. Who knows, maybe even the Wi-Fi system that “Paul”/“Daniel” was going to install could be built with components “MADE IN CHINA.”"

Pavel Vidal Alejandro: “Microfinance in Cuba”  7/31/2012 The Cuban Economy 

Max Marambio gana caso contra Cuba y reclama $153 millones  7/28/2012 Café Fuerte: "El empresario chileno Max Marambio logró un fallo favorable ante la Corte Internacional de Arbitraje (ICC) en el litigio que sostiene por la compañía mixta Alimentos Río Zaza y reclamará una indemnización de $153 millones de dólares al gobierno cubano. El tribunal de París decretó esta semana, por mayoría, la disolución de la sociedad y la liquidación de los bienes compartidos con el Estado cubano, reportó el diario chileno."

Promueven en Cuba la creación de cooperativas fuera de sector agropecuario  7/24/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Cuba promueve la creación de cooperativas fuera del sector agropecuario, como parte del proceso de actualización del modelo económico del país, informó hoy Marino Murillo, vicepresidente del Consejo de Ministros. De acuerdo con el funcionario, es más conveniente para la nación esa forma de producción no estatal, pues con ella se privilegian grupos y no individuos, de acuerdo con el concepto de desarrollo que se implementa."

Cuba: El Cooperativismo y sus perspectivas en la actualización del modelo económico  7/23/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento 

Entrega la banca cubana más de 250 millones de pesos en créditos  7/19/2012 CubaDebate 

Cuba's non-farm co-ops debut this week  7/17/2012 Reuters: "One hundred state-run produce markets and 26 other establishments were scheduled to become private cooperatives on Monday as Communist-run Cuba continues to shed secondary economic activity in favour of individual initiative and markets."

Cuba proyecta cooperativas en sectores de servicios  7/12/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El gobierno cubano estudia la posibilidad de aplicar el sistema de cooperativas a sectores de servicios como transporte y gastronomía, en medio de los cambios que lleva adelante para “actualizar” el modelo socialista de la isla. Un grupo de especialistas elabora en la actualidad una metodología aplicable a cualquier tipo de unión, un manual de cooperativismo y un sistema de contabilidad y las políticas tributarias, de precios y de seguridad social. La intención gubernamental es implantar las cooperativas en los servicios, la gastronomía, el transporte y otros rubros de la economía."

Otorgados en Cuba más de 47 000 créditos bancarios a particulares desde diciembre  6/28/2012 CubaDebate 

US Treasury Department Fines ING Bank with 619 millions for Violating the Blockade  6/13/2012 Cuba MINREX: "This sanction by the United States Government against a bank for commercing with Cuba is the largest-ever imposed by OFAC."

Venden en Nueva York obra de Wifredo Lam por 4 millones de dólares  5/25/2012 Cubadebate 

Cuba: aumentará en más de 200 000 cifra de trabajadores por cuenta propia en el 2012  5/25/2012 Cubadebate 

The Potential of Cuba’s Search for Oil  5/25/2012 COHA 

Rivera painting fails to sell at auction, but Wilfredo Lam makes $4.56M  5/24/2012 Auction News 

CUBA: el gobierno fomenta la creación de cooperativas  4/27/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El gobierno cubano parece inclinado a poner énfasis en la formación de cooperativas en el contexto de una idea de colocar en manos “no estatales” la responsabilidad de generar, en pocos años, cerca de la mitad del Producto Interno Bruto anual. A inicios de este mes Marino Murillo, jefe de la Comisión Permanente de Implementación y Desarrollo de los cambios en el gobernante Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) anunció que se iniciará “la creación experimental de cooperativas fuera del sector agropecuario”. La información divulgada por Murillo en un Consejo de Ministros no explicó los sectores en los cuales se aplicará, o se está aplicando ya, el experimento, pero sí subrayó que respetará “el papel regulador del Estado y el Gobierno”."

Microcrédito y microfinanzas, ahora en Cuba  4/18/2012 IPS: "La apertura del crédito desde la banca estatal permite sumar nuevos recursos a disposición de los emprendimientos privados."

Why Cuba must produce the food it needs  2/23/2012 Granma 

Cuba and China strengthen economic relations  2/23/2012 Granma 

¿Una Cuba con petróleo?  1/1/2012 El Economista de Cuba: "La compañía estatal petrolífera cubana dice que las reserva pueden ser cuatro o cinco veces mayores. Cuba va a empezar a extraer petróleo en el Golfo de México. Si encuentra lo que está buscando, la abundancia de petróleo podría arrebatar a Cuba del agarrón de los Estados Unidos antes de que Obama deje la Casa Blanca. Esta posibilidad ha traído el equipo de ataque al congreso de Miami liderado por la fanática congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republicana por Florida, R-FL), quien básicamente quiere que se criminalicen las extracciones en la sección cubana del Golfo."

Cuba: campesinas camagüeyanas en cooperativas pecuarias  12/29/2011 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Desde los inicios del proceso revolucionario, se han implementado numerosas políticas favorables al acceso de las mujeres al trabajo y en especial al empleo, pero aún queda mucho por hacer en el logro de una verdadera equidad. La participación de las mujeres en los puestos relacionados con la dirección, ya sea política o administrativa, aún se mantiene muy distante de la participación potencial que, como profesionales, pueden aportar ellas en estas esferas de toma de decisiones."

Amplían facilidades de arrendamiento a particulares (+ Gaceta)  12/26/2011 Cubahora: "A partir del primero de enero del 2012, y de forma gradual durante ese año, trabajadores de las empresas provinciales de Servicios Personales, Técnicos y del Hogar podrán arrendar locales y áreas como trabajadores por cuenta propia, de acuerdo con una nota publicada hoy por el diario Granma."

2011: Cuba recibe un 7,6% más de turistas  12/26/2011 Cubahora 

Anuncian rebaja de precios de materiales de la construcción  12/23/2011 Cubahora 

Inter-American Dialogue consults the IISC - Predicting the future: What will happen over Cuba in 2012?  12/20/2011 IISC: Washington-based forecasting.

Entra en vigor mañana política crediticia cubana y otros servicios bancarios  12/19/2011 Cubahora: "A partir de mañana entrarán en vigor el Decreto-Ley 289, tres resoluciones complementarias del Banco Central de Cuba (BCC) y una instrucción del Ministerio de Economía y Planificación, con el objetivo de ampliar la política crediticia cubanay otros servicios bancarios."

Analysis: Cuba’s new financial policy — accelerating the economy  12/3/2011 Cuba Standard: "A foreseeable challenge is that, effectively, these three banks — whose basic experience and knowledge was formed under the logic of credit for medium-size and large enterprises — will be able to speedily assume the principles that govern microfinance. An alternative, more attuned with international practices, would have been to create microcredit banks or other financial institutions that solely specialize on serving this market segment. The formation of mixed-capital microcredit institutions (for example with some Latin American microcredit bank) would multiply the financial, logistical and know-how potential of Cuban banks facing the opening of a non-state small-business sector."

Cuba’s Social Networks  12/3/2011 Havana Times: "However “nothing has changed,” said young Cuban blogger Roberto Gonzalez. Speaking to BBC Mundo, he said, “Previously Cuba was linked [to the Internet] by a satellite connection, so I could understand why it was so slow, but now — six months after we’ve been linked by an underwater cable connection — it’s just as bad.” The national press isn’t touching the issue. Only Yohandry’s pro-government blog indicated recently that there’s no problem with the cable – but without explaining why it still doesn’t work, why some senior-level project managers were arrested, or why others fled the country."

The new Cuban entrepreneur: Boris Reyes  10/1/2011 Cuba Absolutely 

Cuba Woman’s Small Business Secret  9/5/2011 Havana Times: by Yusimi Rodriguez

Revolución, Autogestión y Cooperativas. Una visión desde la presente perspectiva cubana  7/26/2011 ALAINET: "En el caso cubano hay un amplio caudal en la Universidad de Pinar del Río con desarrollos teóricos de fondo y prácticas ya establecidas. En la Universidad Central de Las Villas también se puede encontrar vasta información comenzando por el legado de Víctor Figueroa y los trabajos de todo el grupo de economistas y profesionales dedicados a esos empeños, en la Universidad de Oriente en Santiago de Cuba, en el Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas (CIPS) y el Instituto de Filosofía (ambos del CITMA) en La Habana, el Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Local (CEDEL), el Centro de Estudios sobre la Economía Cubana, las investigaciones desde la sociología del trabajo, los aportes de intelectuales revolucionarios quienes, aún sin vínculos académicos o institucionales brindan aportes significativos, así como en numerosas asociaciones y organizaciones sociales. El Centro Memorial Martin Luther King Jr., brinda capacitación, formación y acompaña procesos de ese tipo."

Who Rules America? An Investment Manager Breaks Down the Economic Top 1%, Says 0.1% Controls Political and Legislative Process  7/24/2011 Global Research 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cuba May Allow Microfinance as Part of Modernization of Economic System  7/13/2011 MicroCapital: "Juan Diego Ruiz, general coordinator of the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (AECID, in Spanish), an instrument of the Spanish government, said, “Today what’s being talked about more is credit policy, credit for the productive sector, and it’s an issue that is being discussed both on the street and in offices.” Tomás Marco, head of agricultural development in Cuba for AECID’s Spanish Technical Office for Cooperation, commented that it is in the area of self-employment “where microcredit fits best, with a focus on individuals. What’s opening up is a possibility; it’s not even a certainty. Nobody knows if loans in hard currency for self-employed people will be permitted.” In another sign of international interest, the Italian Permanent National Committee for Microcredit, an agency of the Italian government that was set up to facilitate microfinance activities, has also made visits to Cuba."

El cuentapropismo con voz de mujer  7/8/2011 IPS: "¡Café! ¡Las jabas, aquí las jabas! (bolsas) ¡Queso crema del bueno...! Las voces, todas femeninas, se confunden entre el ruido y las ofertas habituales en cualquier mercado cubano. Elisa, de 64 años, estuvo entre estas mujeres hasta que fue multada por comercio ilegal. "Lo pagué caro", dice."

Microcredit Knocks Softly on Cuba’s Door  6/28/2011 Havana Times: "A microcredit system could begin operating in Cuba as part of reforms adopted by the government of Raul Castro to modernize the country’s socialist economic system. “Until about a year and a half ago, you practically couldn’t talk about this issue, but now the situation is different,” a European diplomat told IPS. He preferred not to be identified, to avoid undermining progress on the issue, which has its own particular complexities in the case of Cuba. “The idea of microcredit went from being almost sacrilege to something interesting,” he noted."

Cooperativas y socialismo  6/27/2011 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Nosotros..Primero destruimos potentes cooperativas cubanas entre los annos 1959-65 y ahora las queremos reiniciar 2012…."

CUBA: Microcredit Knocks on Door…Softly  6/27/2011 IPS 

Starting My Own Business in Cuba  6/22/2011 Havana Times 

Cuba’s High-Flying Corruption  6/16/2011 Havana Times: "Some of my colleagues are complaining that the scalpel isn’t cutting everything as deep as it should, but for me what’s particularly interesting is that the government has in fact decided to apply surgical techniques to the problem, and they’re doing it publically. It seems that corrupt politicians will no longer be dealt with as “miscalculating comrades” who always deserve a second chance. Now such individuals are running the risk of being tried and convicted as common criminals."

Myopic policies hurts local economy  6/6/2011 AfroCubaWeb 

The demise of the dollar  4/14/2011 Independent: by Robert Fisk, 10/09

Cuba planning to drill deep-water oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico  4/7/2011 Global Research 

Pequeños propietarios cubanos podrán vender al Estado  3/30/2011 Cubadebate 

Más de 83 000 cubanos solicitaron licencias para Trabajo por Cuenta Propia  1/7/2011 Cubadebate: "Más de 85 000 personas, la mayoría sin vínculo laboral, han solicitado licencia para el Trabajo por Cuenta Propia desde finales del pasado octubre, reporta hoy el diario Granma. Hasta el cierre del pasado año se habían otorgado 75 061 nuevas licencias para el Trabajo por Cuenta Propia y 8 342 se hallaban en proceso, desde que fuera aprobada la ampliación y flexibilización de esta actividad."

Cuba’s Economic Paradigm Shift: A Work in Progress, Norman Girvan and Alissa Trotz  12/20/2010 Norman Girvan 

Cuba looks ready to allow small loans for reforms  10/11/2010 Reuters: ""We are trying to help create a financial instrument currently nonexistent in Cuba to provide the agriculture sector with credit in hard currency," said Juan Diego Ruiz, local coordinator of the Spanish government aid agency. Cuban officials have for long been wary of "microcredits" -- first developed in the 1980s to provide financial services to the poor in Bangladesh -- because they worry the small loans to groups of individuals could undermine the country's socialist principles, especially if coming from abroad. But Western diplomats say Cuba's government now appears ready to give such financing a try, even though it does not want to talk openly about "microcredits"."

Cuba unveils private sector expansion plan  9/24/2010 Reuters: "Many are expected to get start-up money from relatives living abroad, especially in the United States." [US Cubans are largely of Spanish descent.]

The self-employed sector - Much more than an alternative  9/24/2010 Granma: "Increasing the opportunities for self-employment is one of the decisions which the country is making in terms of restructuring its economic policy, in order to increase levels of productivity and efficiency. It is also an attempt to offer workers another way of feeling useful in terms of personal effort, and to distance ourselves from those concepts that almost condemned self-employment to extinction and stigmatized those who decided to legally join that sector in the 1990s. On August 1, the approval of a tax system of taxation for the self-employed sector was also made public, in line with the nation’s new economic scenario. Whoever contributes more, will receive more is the principle of the new tax regime that will help to increase sources of income to the state budget, and achieve an adequate redistribution of that income to society."

The rationalizations: A first look  9/22/2010 Progreso: "Can a private sector capable of assimilating and maintaining a workforce that large be developed in Cuban society? Several factors will determine this, among them the facilities available to secure credits and supplies, the creation of wholesale warehouses, and the official regulations that rule them. The absence of any of these items would undermine the effort to open and energize the economy."

The Cuban Model, Not Working So Much  9/14/2010 Atlantic: "Last week, there was a bit of a kerfuffle on the international Interwebs about Fidel Castro's statement to me that the "Cuban model" doesn't even work for Cuba anymore. Fidel himself said, in speech last Friday, that I had misinterpreted his statement, that it was American-style capitalism, and not Cuban-style socialism, that was failing."

Cuba to cut 500,000 from state payroll  9/13/2010 Financial Times: "Better accounting would be demanded of businesses, and the way they were taxed would be changed. As well as taxes on income, the self-employed would pay a sales tax and 25 per cent social security tax for themselves and each employee, the sources said, while co-operatives would pay a tax on profits and social security."

Fidel says econ remark 'misinterpreted'  9/11/2010 Press TV 

Agreed, We Need a Different Model  9/11/2010 Havana Times: "In an interview granted to the US magazine The Atlantic, Fidel Castro was quoted as saying “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” At no moment did he speak of socialism, but of the “model.” The interpretation of this by an academic taking part in the conversation was that Fidel was referring to the high degree of State involvement in the economy. This factor precisely characterizes “State socialism” or “real socialism,” which has failed everywhere as it maintains a concentration of ownership (but in the hands of the State) and the wage-labor form of production – a model that Lenin himself termed “state monopoly capitalism.”

Fidel: 'Cuban Model Doesn't Even Work For Us Anymore'  9/8/2010 Atlantic 

Alerta roja contra la corrupción - Patricia Grogg entrevista al politólogo ESTEBAN MORALES  8/17/2010 IPS: "IPS: Usted es muy conocido por temas sobre Estados Unidos, las relaciones de Cuba con ese país y el racismo. ¿Qué lo llevó a escribir sobre la corrupción, un asunto que, según sectores oficialistas, alimenta "campañas de desprestigio" contra el país si se ventila públicamente? EM: Escribí esos artículos porque creo que son los peligros de ahora. Y tengo un lema: en medio de la situación que hemos vivido estos años, creo que quien quiera ser revolucionario tiene que tener su propia guerra, librar sus propias batallas y correr los riesgos que sean. En caso contrario, que se quede en su casa, bajo la cama. Eso de que el enemigo va a aprovechar las cosas tampoco me inmoviliza, porque el enemigo no nos va a resolver el problema, sino al contrario. Soy de los que piensa que a veces es más saludable que seamos nosotros mismos quienes reconozcamos nuestras deficiencias a que sea el enemigo quien nos las lance luego a la cara, o nos las guarde, que es peor."

Cuban capitalists must wait for change as Fidel Castro returns to the fray  7/24/2010 Telegraph, UK 

¿Mudos o protagonistas?  7/22/2010 BBC Mundo: "Sin lugar a dudas Esteban Morales se metió en un terreno en el que cosechará mucho odio en las alturas pero también el respeto de la mayor parte de sus compatriotas de a pie, no porque les haya revelado un secreto sino por el valor de publicarlo. La escasa reacción entre los intelectuales comunistas a pesar de lo arbitrario de la sanción contra el profesor va a dar nuevos bríos a los "excomulgadores", sobre todo si creen que la medida sirve como acción preventiva para proteger sus intereses personales. Pero también podría convertirse en un bumerán ya que coloca a los militantes e intelectuales ante la disyuntiva de regresar a la seguridad del silencio o convertirse en protagonistas en la construcción de una sociedad mejor, asumiendo todos los riesgos que eso implica."

El misterio de la Santísima Trinidad  7/12/2010 Kaos en la Red: de Esteban Morales - "Pero los verdaderos corruptos no son los que venden leche en polvo, ni siquiera los que venden bienes duraderos a las mismas puertas de los supermercados, sino los que desde sus cargos en el gobierno y en el estado, controlan y abren los almacenes. Son esos, los que debemos remover de los cargos estatales, pues son los que de verdad manejan los recursos del estado y las posiciones cómodas, que a veces les facilitan a sus amigos. ¿O de donde salen los colchones, televisores, aires acondicionados y otros productos duraderos, que se vocean y venden a las mismas puertas de las “shoppings”?, ¿de donde salen esos productos, duraderos? Se trata del propio funcionario estatal corrompiendo hacia abajo. Porque nadie importa esos productos, ni compra la leche en polvo en el exterior, ni disfruta del poder como ellos, de abrirles los almacenes a los delincuentes."

Where Corruption Begins  7/10/2010 Havana Times: by Erasmo Calzadilla "However Morales, without perceiving it, wanders past another deeper cause of the corruption when he asserts that corrupt bureaucrats can do more harm, because they are “within the government and the state apparatus, which really manage the domestic resources.” Didn’t it occur to the professor to wonder what an official is doing —be they honest or corrupt— managing “domestic” resources without being under the direct control of those who produce these resources? Corruption didn’t begin the moment the manager misappropriated wealth, but a little before, when surplus value was expropriated from the workers and a law protected that act."

Corrupción en las altas esferas del poder de la isla  7/4/2010 Clarín, Argentina: "Cuba está viviendo una dura lucha interna dentro de los estamentos de poder entre intelectuales que denuncian graves casos de corrupción y funcionarios que intentan mantener a toda costa un sistema del que se están favoreciendo personalmente con enormes cantidades de dólares… El caso Morales ya inunda los blogs en Internet, particularmente los leídos por los funcionarios cubanos y los disidentes “socialistas”. En cambio, tuvo menos repercusión entre los exiliados en Miami."

Corruption: The true counter-revolution?  4/21/2010 Progreso: by Esteban Morales - "Without a doubt, it is becoming evident that there are people in positions of government and state who are girding themselves financially for when the Revolution falls, and others may have everything almost ready to transfer state-owned assets to private hands, as happened in the old USSR. Fidel said that we ourselves could put an end to the Revolution and I tend to think that, among other concerns, the Commander in Chief was referring to the questions relative to corruption. Because this phenomenon, already present, has continued to appear in force. If not, see what has happened with the distribution of lands in usufruct in some municipalities around the country: fraud, illegalities, favoritism, bureaucratic slowness, etc. In reality, corruption is a lot more dangerous than the so-called domestic dissidence. The latter is still isolated; it lacks an alternative program, has no real leaders, no masses. But corruption turns out to be the true counter-revolution, which can do the most damage because it is within the government and the state apparatus, which really manage the country's resources."

Now is Not the Time for Austerity - The Debt is Not the Threat  2/26/2010 CounterPunch 

Spanish intelligence reportedly investigating market attacks  2/15/2010 Market Watch: "Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has hinted on a number of recent occasions that criticism by the U.S. and British media is part of an effort to undermine the euro. El Pais said in private he has been taken aback by just how aggressive some parts of the foreign press have been with Spain."

Eurostat to Look Into Greece's Debt Swaps  2/15/2010 WSJ: "Europe's statistics office is seeking information from the Greek government concerning reports Greece used complicated currency swaps overseen by Wall Street investment banks to hide its mounting debt levels, a European Commission spokesman said Monday."

Investors sticking it out in crisis-prone Cuba  12/17/2009 Reuters: "Investment projects number 258, similar to 2008."

El 70% de los suelos cultivados de Cuba están amenazados por la erosión  11/17/2009 EFE 

Cuba orders extreme measures to cut energy use  11/11/2009 Reuters: "In documents seen by Reuters, government officials have been warned that the island is facing a "critical" energy shortage that requires the closing of non-essential factories and workshops and the shutting down of air conditioners and refrigerators not needed to preserve food and medicine."

Carta de Felix Sanchez sobre la canasta básica  10/31/2009 AfroCubaWeb: Esta carta sobre "la canasta básica," el necesario de cada dia, circula de nuevo en Cuba en octubre, 2009 y fue escrito en 2006.

Missing their chance  10/28/2009 Cadena Habana: "Health care also suffers the consequences, because heart diseases are the first cause of death in the United States. The lives of many US citizens could be saved if they had access to Cuban drug Ateromixol, commonly known as PPG. It is the best anti-cholesterol drug available in the market, according to a study conducted by Geneva University. It is cheaper and more effective than the ethanols and steroides available in the United States."

Cuba's declining trade betrays depth of its crisis  10/20/2009 Reuters: "Business between Cuba and four of its top five trading partners has declined sharply this year in a reflection of the communist-led Caribbean island's deep economic crisis, trade reports from the countries said. Reductions in exports to and imports from Cuba ranged from 20 percent to as high as 50 percent, according to the reports from China, Spain, Canada and the United States. In descending order, they are the top traders with Cuba after Venezuela. Numbers were not available for Venezuela, which is the leading economic and political ally of Cuba's government and supplies the island with oil."

VII Conversatorio Empresarial para el Progreso Afro en la Cámara de Comercio Colombo Americana, sobre convocatorias de Fomipyme  10/13/2009 El Tiempo: "Se realizará el jueves 22 de octubre, organizado por Color de Colombia y AmCham, a propósito de la convocatoria abierta por $ 1737 millones para proyectos que beneficien a la población afrodescendiente."

The demise of the free lunch  10/8/2009 Economist: "The government is also organising thousands of public meetings across the island to discuss a wider ten-point plan that proposes an end to the monthly ration of free staples and a host of perks, such as free wedding cakes. Instead, the focus is on creating incentives to work harder by raising wages, and thus productivity. All this reflects the ideas of Raúl Castro, who after almost half a century as defence minister replaced his elder brother as Cuba’s president last year and who has been much franker in discussing the country’s economic failures."

From truffles to fox furs, U.S. ships more than food to Cuba Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/incoming/article1934188.html#storylink=cpy  9/5/2009 Miami Herald: "U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba hit a record $711.5 million in 2008, as prices for commodities soared. That makes the United States Cuba's fifth-largest trading partner overall. ``We are the natural provider of food and agriculture products to Cuba,'' says Kirby Jones, president of Alamar Associates, a consulting firm for U.S. companies aspiring to trade with Cuba. ``We're No. 1 and could be selling a lot more, were it not for the restrictions.''

Cash-strapped Cuba says toilet paper running short  8/7/2009 Reuters 

Cuba Suspends Communist Party Congress and Lowers Projection for Economy  7/31/2009 AP: "Cuba on Friday suspended plans for a Communist Party congress and lowered its 2009 economic growth projection to 1.7 percent _ nearly a full percentage point _ as the island's economy struggles through a "very serious" crisis. In a closed-door meeting of the Communist Party Central Committee, officials agreed to postpone indefinitely the first congress since 1997, which had been announced for the second half of this year. The gathering was to chart Cuba's political future long after President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel are gone. Instead, top communists will try and pull their country back from the economic brink."

Cuba ponders reduced state role in economy  7/28/2009 Reuters: "Cash-strapped Cuba should consider putting more of its state-run economy in the hands of producers, as President Raul Castro has done with agriculture, the country's top economic commentator said on Tuesday. Ariel Terrero, during his regular Tuesday appearance on state-run television, did not call for private management, but suggested that sectors such as food services and retail could perform better if they were run in a new way."

Raul Castro says Cuba must put land to better use  7/26/2009 AP: "Raul Castro said Sunday that the global economic crisis means tougher times ahead for Cuba, but the country has no one to blame but itself for poor farm production that leads to frequent shortages of fruits, vegetables and other basics. In a speech marking Revolution Day, Cuba's president said the island can't pin all its problems on Washington's 47-year-old trade embargo. He implored Cubans to take better advantage of a government program begun last year to turn unused state land over to private farmers."

666: Goldman's latest bonus bears the mark of the beast  5/8/2009 Independent, UK 

Fed Dread - The New York Fed is the most powerful financial institution you've never heard of. Look who's running it.  5/6/2009 Slate:  By Eliot Spitzer [who was conveniently removed from office as Governor of NY]

Janet Tavakoli  4/20/2009 Q & A: "Janet Tavakoli is founder and president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based firm that provides consulting to financial institutions and institutional investors. . Her new book is called "Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street." Its the story of her meetings with Warren Buffet prior to the economic downturn and how that impacted the way she views investing. She is a former adjunct professor of derivatives at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. She has also worked for Westdeutsche Landesbank in London, Bank One in Chicago, Merrill Lynch, PaineWebber, and Bear Stearns."

Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street  4/20/2009 Tavakoli Structured Finance: "Janet Tavakoli warned the world this disaster was coming well in advance. Now she explains it again for those who did not listen before as well as why it is not over yet. You need to read this book to understand the biggest credit bubble in world history."

Massive Cover-Up of Economic Crisis - “The Entire Strategy Is to Keep People from Getting the Facts”  4/5/2009 Global Research 

Bernanke's Financial Rescue Plan: The growing prospect of a U.S. default  4/5/2009 Global Research 

Bush and Obama Administrations Broke the Law By Refusing to Close Insolvent Banks  4/5/2009 Global Research 

The Quiet Coup  4/1/2009 The Atlantic: "The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time."

This Crisis Is Way Bigger Than Dead Banks and Wall Street Bailouts  3/23/2009 Alternet: By James Galbraith

Has a ‘Katrina Moment’ Arrived?  3/22/2009 NYT: "The "dirty little secret," Obama told Leno on Thursday, is that "most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal." An even dirtier secret is that a prime mover in keeping that stuff legal was Summers, who helped torpedo the regulation of derivatives while in the Clinton administration. His mentor Robert Rubin, no less, wrote in his 2003 memoir that Summers underestimated how the risk of derivatives might multiply "under extraordinary circumstances." Given that Summers worked for a secretive hedge fund, D. E. Shaw, after he was pushed out of Harvard's presidency at the bubble's height, you have to wonder how he can now sell the administration's plan for buying up toxic assets with the help of hedge funds. It will look like another giveaway to his own insiders' club. As for Geithner, people might take him more seriously if he gave a credible account of why, while at the New York Fed, he and the Goldman alumnus Hank Paulson let Lehman Brothers fail but saved the Goldman-trading ally A.I.G."

The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution  3/22/2009 Rolling Stone: "The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power."

Will Our Economic Collapse Cause the Death of Millions Abroad?  3/20/2009 Alternet: "But now, as the wealthier nations cease investing in the developing world or acquiring its exports, the crisis is hitting them with a vengeance. On top of this, conditions are deteriorating at a time when severe drought is affecting many key food-producing regions and poor farmers lack the wherewithal to buy seeds, fertilizers, and fuel. The likely result: A looming food crisis in many areas hit hardest by the global economic meltdown."

Was Eliot Spitzer Taken Out Because He Was Going to Bust AIG?  3/19/2009 Alternet: "Coincidentally, right after the WSJ editorial appeared on Valentine's Day 2008, Spitzer was caught up in what was an extremely unusual sting. So unusual is an investigation like this that it seems almost like it was a set-up; and considering where it all came from and how it all came down, it might well have been. It seems that Spitzer's bank was investigating expenses under the auspices of the newer Homeland Security laws of the Bush administration. Greg Palast wrote about this compellingly, and in light of how the whole thing is shaking out now, and what Spitzer said back then about this financial mess and what he tried to DO about it, Palast had a pretty good early grasp on what had gone down. So now, with Spitzer poking his head up from the underground of "healing his family," at this most compelling of moments, its probably worthwhile for Americans to screw their heads on straight and forget the details of the hooker, and look at what Spitzer was working on when he was taken down. We might all find ourselves wanting to thank the egotistical crime fighter who cant keep it in his pants."

The Real AIG Scandal by Eliot Spitzer  3/17/2009 Slate: "Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?"

AIG has insured $1.6 trillion in derivatives  3/9/2009 BoingBoing: "And you thought AIG's $62 billion quarterly loss last month was bad -- turns out that the company has a further $1.6 trillion in outstanding derivatives exposure, according to this leaked memo that AIG sent to the US Treasury in order to beg for another $30 billion."

Hundreds swarm Stanford's Antigua bank  2/18/2009 Reuters: "Hundreds of people lined up at Texas billionaire Allen Stanford's Antiguan bank on Wednesday seeking to withdraw funds, a day after the tycoon was charged with an $8 billion fraud. Two police officers stood watch at the Bank of Antigua at midmorning as at least 600 people stood in a line stretching around a street corner, despite assurances from regional monetary authorities that the bank had sufficient reserves."

U.S. Intel Chief's Shocking Warning: Wall Street's Disaster Has Spawned Our Greatest Terrorist Threat  2/17/2009 Truthdig: ""Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance," the document read."

The global collapse: a non-orthodox view  2/11/2009 Phillipine Daily Inquirer: "The most painful expression of the crisis of overproduction was global recession of the early 1980s, which was the most serious to overtake the international economy since the Great Depression, that is, before the current crisis. Capitalism tried three escape routes from the conundrum of overproduction: neoliberal restructuring, globalization, and financialization."

What Cooked the World's Economy?  1/27/2009 Village Voice: "It wasn't your overdue mortgage."

GREECE: PANIC IN SHIPPING INDUSTRY  12/23/2008 Vlogging the Apocalypse: "Greece braces for shipping storm - The bottom has fallen out of the global shipping industry. In just a few months, dry cargo rates have fallen by more than 90 percent as demand for transport of commodities to fast-growing nations, like China and India, has slumped. On top of that, the credit crunch has made banks reluctant to lend money to shipowners and to provide financial guarantees to allow their vessels to sail, leaving some stuck in harbour."

UN praises Cuba's ability to feed people  11/14/2007 AP: "A U.N. food expert hailed Cuba as a world model in feeding its population, some 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc ravaged the island's economy and sparked widespread hunger. Jean Ziegler, who has been the United Nations' independent investigator on "the right to food" since 2000, spent 11 days in Cuba on a fact-finding mission, meeting with top officials and chatting up farmers, state managers and ordinary Cubans waiting in line for food allotted by ration cards. "We haven't seen even one malnourished person" - a rare feat in much of poverty-stricken Latin America, Ziegler said Tuesday. "The right to being fed is the priority, without a doubt.""

Dual economy could trouble Cuba's future  11/17/2006 Miami Herald: "Cubans say the unequal system is the single most exasperating issue facing them. So much of the economy runs on the dollar that the typical family here needs greenbacks to buy everything from razors to bedsheets to shoes -- items largely available only at government stores that price their goods in dollar equivalents. Yet the average worker earns 250 pesos a month -- about $10. ''In Cuba, money is worthless,'' said dissident Lizette Fernández who left Cuba in August and now lives in Hialeah. ``You get soap two times a year, and when you run out, you have to go to the dollar store, where it costs 75 (U.S.) cents. There is virtually nothing you need that you can buy with Cuban pesos.'' Before she left Cuba, Fernández helped kick off a campaign demanding that all government establishments sell goods in a single currency -- pesos."

Cuba's military puts business on front lines  11/15/2006 WSJ: "Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces rent rooms to tourists through Gaviota SA, the island's fastest-growing hotel conglomerate. They sell premium cigars, peddle consumer goods through an island-wide retail chain and serve lobster dinners at the Divina Pastora restaurant in Havana's landmark Morro Castle. The military also has a say in allotting nickel mines and leasing offshore lots for oil exploration. The University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies estimates that soldiers control more than 60 percent of the island's economy. The military's economic role will likely become even more critical after the death of Cuba's ailing 80-year-old leader, Fidel Castro, who is widely believed to be dying of cancer. Although Mr. Castro has steadfastly opposed economic reforms during his 47-year communist regime, his younger brother and anointed successor, Raul, has shown a deep interest in free-market experiments in the past. As defense minister since the 1959 revolution, he has frequently looked to the military as his laboratory."

U.S. embargo cost Cuba $4 billion in 2005  10/1/2006 PL: "The U.S. embargo on Cuba cost the Caribbean nation more than $4 billion last year, double the tally a year earlier, as tougher U.S. rules took a bigger bite out of the island"s recovering economy, Cuban officials said Monday. Cuba saw sharp declines in the number of U.S. visitors and Cuban-Americans coming to see family because of Washington"s tighter rules on travel to the island. Restrictions on money transfers and packages meant less cash and fewer goods arriving in Cuba for friends and family, Cuban authorities said. Despite rising U.S. pressure, Cuba"s economy posted robust growth in 2005: roughly 12 percent, according to Economy and Planning Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez."

Cuba's economic fate up in air  8/28/2006 USA Today: "Kirby Jones, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association, says Canada and European nations have more than 300 joint ventures with Cuba in telecommunications, oil and energy, mining, port management and other sectors. "This is not the Cuba of old, when everything was under Soviet Union domination," he says. "This is a brand new version, a mixture of capitalism and socialism." Raul Castro could continue in that direction, some economists and scholars say. Initially, he might unveil small, cosmetic reforms to polish Cuba's image and win over his people. He might let Cubans start thousands of small businesses in trade, agriculture and tourism, as the Castros allowed in the mid-1990s. One scenario: Cuba copies China, a blend of authoritarian state control, manufacturing, mass-market consumerism and high-tech development. "At best, Raul will try the mini-China model," says Antonio Gayoso of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy and a former economist in Cuba's finance ministry. "At worst, he and the military will continue the repressive control they have now.""

Flow of funds to Cuba holds steady  5/26/2005 Miami Herald: "Cubans living in the United States still send an estimated $460 million a year to relatives on the island despite restrictions tightened by the Bush administration last summer, according to a poll released by a Coral Gables firm Wednesday. But a portion of the Cubans on the island who receive the cash transfers believe they are getting less money, according to a separate and less scientific survey conducted inside the island by a Washington-based think tank. The assumption: That Fidel Castro's government is taking a bigger bite of the remittances, one of the key sources of income in an island where the economy was devastated by the 1990s collapse of Soviet subsidies. ''Now that it is clear to them how much money is arriving, [the Cuban government] is now getting a higher and higher percentage of that money,'' said pollster Sergio Bendixen of Bendixen & Associates."

Experts question sense of revaluing Cuban peso  4/5/2005 Miami Herald: "Cuba's recent strengthening of its currency is designed to close the gap in the purchasing power of those who earn only pesos and those who receive U.S. dollars from abroad, analysts say. But the peso's revaluation makes no economic sense because the communist-ruled island's economy is not strong enough to back up the 7-8 percent increase in the value of its currency, the experts added. When coupled with a government decision in November to charge a 10 percent fee on all dollars converted into pesos, the changes amount to a 17-18 percent strengthening of a currency that is not accepted anywhere outside Cuba."

Private taxis eliminated from Havana Capitolio  5/4/2004 Havana Journal: "Eusebio Leal. In spite of his title, perhaps suggesting quaint stories and dusty archives, Mr. Leal has in recent years become quite a powerful man, especially around the old city. His brief extends to urban renewal, preservation and beautification of buildings and public areas of Old Havana, and the promotion of tourism, one of the primary sources of hard currency for the government. As a result of his office’s involvement in tourism, Mr. Leal controls a sizable budget in hard currency, deriving income from some government-operated tourist enterprises and employing the moneys in urban renewal. Although Mr. Leal’s office gets high marks for some of its preservation work, ordinary citizens resent being displaced from their homes, or as in this case, their place of business."

Cuba economy flat as tourism booms and sugar crashes  5/5/2003 Reuters: "Cuba's economy has stagnated so far this year, despite a surge in tourism that has helped to compensate for the near collapse of the Communist-run Caribbean island's sugar industry, government sources said Monday."

St. Mary’s students in Cuba to study its economy  3/17/2003 Express News, San Antonio: "Fourteen St. Mary's University students are in Cuba this week examining the island's economy in the wake of 40 years of socialism, isolation and the recent influx of U.S. tourists and business interests. The students, members of a semester-long School of Business and Administration course studying the nation, will spend 10 days in and around Havana."

Cuba: New Slowdown For Motor Of Economy  1/13/2003 Black World Today: "The Cuban government continues staking its bets on tourism as the new engine of the economy, even though its goal of drawing an annual two million visitors was frustrated for the third year in a row in 2002. Arrivals were down five percent last year from 2001 levels, with a total number of 1.7 million foreign tourists. But a slight increase in the past few weeks has local authorities breathing easier."

Castro has chokehold on private sector, scholars say  11/21/2002 Miami Herald: "But scholars at a conference on Cuba's economy said Wednesday that the Castro regime has never allowed the private sector to flourish. It has choked businesses with red tape, forced them into illegal survival strategies and condemned them to a provisional and tenuous existence. ''These enterprises face a very insecure future,'' said Ted A. Henken, a professor at Tulane University who wrote a doctoral thesis on Cuba's experiments with self-employment. Fighting off economic collapse after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Castro regime in mid-1993 permitted some Cubans to create their own jobs. It said Cubans could seek licenses to work in any of 117 occupations, including bicycle taxi operators, street vendors, artisans and other categories. With time, the list of occupations grew to about 160 categories of self-employment. By 1996, some 209,000 Cubans were self-employed. The number has since shrunken to about 150,000 people, a sign of the mistrust the Castro government feels toward the sector, the scholars said."

La pobreza golpea a los orientales  1/13/2002 El Nuevo Herald: what they fail to mention is the disastrous impact of the Guantanamo US Naval Base on the economy of Oriente: it takes up the best deep water port in the Caribbean for US fantasies.

Havana: the Dynamics of Local Executive Power  1/1/2002 Capital city politics in Latin America: democratization and empowerment: by Joseph L Scarpaci

THE MUNDO AFRO PROJECT  9/6/2001 LASA: by Milam Fitts, Chicago International Development Corporation

A Brief History of the Black Panther Party. Its Place in the Black Liberation Movement  6/1/1995 World History Archives: By Sundiata Acoli, from the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign, 1995

Alberto Jones Columns on the Cuban Economy

The Need to Speed up Changes in Oriente  12/7/2013

La Zona de Desarrollo del Mariel. Potencialidad y Riesgos.  25/11/2013

Guantánamo en nosotros 30/6/2013

- Guantánamo in us 6/30/2013

Cuba demanda un nuevo Baragua 20/6/2013

- Cuba demands another Baragua 6/20/2013

Podemos dejar perecer a Santiago de Cuba?, 24/11/12

New approach to deal with hurricane onslaught on Cuba,
11/5/12


Nuevo enfoque para tratar con los huracanes en Cuba,
5/11/2012

Sandy´s trail of death and destruction, 11/26/12
An appeal for aid, Caribbean American Children
Foundation.

La senda de destrucción y muerte de Sandy, 26/12/2012
Un llamamiento de ayuda,
Fundación Caribeña Americana de los Niños.

Peligros e incertidumbre tras las nuevas regulaciones
aduanales, 9/14/2012

My Cuba. Summer of 2011, 11/24/11

Myopic policies hurts local economy, 6/6/11  

- The Entrenched Cuban Embargo, 10/19/09 

The Handling of the Cuban Housing Crisis
, 10/16/09

Cuba Financial Woes Risking its Future, while Sitting on 
Untapped Riches

8/22/09  

Cuba: a Recession-Resistant Nation with a 
Failing Economy
, 7/25/09 With recommendations for
repair, including encouraging small business.

Preventing a second Special Period: 
an urgent imperative
, 11/15/08

  

Links

CIA - The World Factbook -- Cuba

Foreign Policy Association
cuba.foreignpolicyblogs.com/category/cuban-economy/

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