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Oct 5, 2014

Canadian company lays out defense case for its jailed CEO

HAVANA (Reuters) – Defense lawyers for a Canadian executive sentenced to 15 years prison in Cuba on bribery and other charges released a raft of documents on Sunday seeking to bolster their case that Cy Tokmakjian was denied a fair trial.

Tokmakjian’s transportation company said crucial evidence prepared by the defense team was not accepted by the five-judge panel during the two-week trial in June, and relevant witnesses including experts were denied a chance to testify.

Oct 3, 2014

Exclusive: Gifts for Cubans end in 15-year sentence for Canadian CEO

HAVANA (Reuters) – Dinners at fancy restaurants, week-long family vacations and a flat-screen TV: the bribes that Cuba accused Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian of giving Cuban officials were modest by corruption standards in many developing nations.

But they have cost him dearly.

Tokmakjian, 74, was sentenced last week to 15 years in prison and $100 million of his company’s assets were seized.

Sep 29, 2014

Cuba asked for $55 mln, assets to release Canadian CEO -company

TORONTO/HAVANA, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Cuba offered to free
jailed Canadian executive Cy Tokmakjian in return for $55
million and company assets, his company said on Monday, but the
deal fell through because the firm didn’t have the money and the
businessman wanted to clear his name.

Tokmakjian, 74, founder and chief executive of
transportation firm Tokmakjian Group, was sentenced to 15 years
in prison on Friday after being convicted of bribery and other
economic charges in a case that lawyers and diplomats called a
chilling development for potential foreign investors.

Sep 28, 2014

Cubans convicted along with Canadians in corruption case

HAVANA (Reuters) – Fourteen Cubans, including two high-ranking officials, were convicted and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 6 to 20 years in a corruption case that also condemned three Canadian executives, the Canadian company said on Sunday.

The case has come under deep skepticism from Western diplomats who have considered the evidence weak and say it threatens to scare off foreign investors at a time when Cuba is actively seeking business partners from abroad. It has also strained Cuba’s relationship with Canada.

Sep 28, 2014

Cuba sentences Canadian CEO to 15 years on financial charges

HAVANA (Reuters) – A Cuban court has sentenced Canadian executive Cy Tokmakjian to 15 years in prison for bribery and other economic charges, his company, the Tokmakjian Group, said on Saturday in a chilling development for potential foreign investors.

Two aides received sentences of 12 and 8 years and Cuba seized about $100 million worth of the company’s assets, the Ontario-based transportation firm said in a statement.

Sep 27, 2014

Cuba aborts plan to create perfumes for Che Guevara and Chavez

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba has aborted plans to develop fragrances in honor of the late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara and former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling the project disrespectful of two “sacred” revolutionary symbols.

The executive committee of the Council of Ministers, one of the highest bodies within the communist government, said in a statement on Saturday that those responsible for promoting the fragrances would be disciplined for their “grave mistake”.

Sep 26, 2014

Cuban cabinet change aims to boost flagging economy

HAVANA (Reuters) – With Cuba’s economy flagging, President Raul Castro has turned to his most trusted economic adviser, Marino Murillo, granting him more authority to carry out ambitious reforms to the socialist economy.

Castro on Thursday added the title of economy minister to Murillo’s brief.

Murillo, 53, was already one of Cuba’s vice presidents, part of the powerful 14-member Political Bureau of the ruling Communist Party, and chief of the commission charged with carrying out Cuba’s market-style economic reforms.

Sep 9, 2014

Cuba estimates total damage of U.S. embargo at $116.8 billion

HAVANA, Sept 9 (Reuters) – U.S. economic sanctions against
Cuba have cost the island nation $3.9 billion in foreign trade
over the past year, helping to raise the overall estimate of
economic damage to $116.8 billion over the past 55 years, Cuba
said on Tuesday.

The figures were published in a report that Cuba prepares
for the United Nations each year in requesting a resolution
urging an end to the comprehensive U.S. economic embargo and
other sanctions against Cuba’s Communist government.

Sep 8, 2014

Hemingway grandsons push for marlin conservation in Cuba

COJIMAR Cuba (Reuters) – Ernest Hemingway’s grandsons sailed into the fishing village that inspired “The Old Man and the Sea” on Monday in a campaign to save game fish like the giant marlin that dragged the fictitious Santiago out to sea.

John and Patrick Hemingway arrived in Cojimar, on the eastern outskirts of Havana, to begin a weeklong visit to try to enlist Cuban marine scientists to join an effort to conserve billfish in the Straits of Florida.

Sep 1, 2014

Cubans angered by new consumer import restrictions

HAVANA, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Cuba has raised duties and
restricted imports on consumer goods brought in by air travelers
or sent by mail, imposing greater hardship for a fledgling
private sector and angering people looking to counter chronic

The new restrictions, which began on Monday, take aim at
black market dealers of goods that are hard to find on store
shelves or come with steep excise taxes. They also protect the
state monopoly on selling imported goods.

    • About Daniel

      "Daniel Trotta joined Reuters as a correspondent in 1993, starting in Nicaragua and moving Mexico City (1996) and Madrid (2000) before coming to New York in 2005. As a U.S. General News correspondent, his specialty is writing the lead story on major breaking news. Trotta also travels the United States producing in-depth features and helps edit the national news file from the Reuters headquarters in New York. Outside the office, he is the manager of the New York Express of the New York City Metro Baseball League."
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