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Jun 25, 2014

Jailed American in Cuba is suicidal, wife and lawyer say

HAVANA (Reuters) – A U.S. foreign aid contractor serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba for importing banned Internet technology is increasingly suicidal, his wife and lawyer said on Wednesday.

They renewed their call for U.S. President Barack Obama to become more involved in securing his release, saying the recent trade of five Taliban terrorism suspects for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl was one model for how to bring him home.

Jun 18, 2014

Mother of U.S. aid contractor jailed in Cuba dies

HAVANA (Reuters) – The mother of a U.S. aid contractor jailed in Cuba died on Wednesday, adding to the despondency of a prisoner whose case has strained U.S.-Cuba relations and prompted him to vow not to complete another year of his 15-year term, his lawyer’s office said.

U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor Alan Gross, 65, was convicted for illegally attempting to establish Internet service on the island and ended an 8-day hunger strike in April at the urging of his mother.

May 29, 2014

U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief urges Cuba to extend reforms

HAVANA, May 29 (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce on Thursday urged Cuba to speed up and extend
market-style economic reforms, calling the changes a potential
path toward better relations with the United States.

Chamber President Thomas Donohue concluded his three-day
visit to the communist-ruled island with a speech at Havana
University attended by Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo
Malmierca, a host of other Cuban officials and students.

May 28, 2014

U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief defends visit to Cuba

HAVANA (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce defended his visit to Cuba on Wednesday after coming under fire from critics in the U.S. Congress who contend the trip is a publicity coup for the communist government.

Chamber President Thomas Donohue said his agenda was unhindered by the Cuban authorities and he was confident he was getting a “fair look” at Cuba, after which the influential lobbying group would report its findings to its “friends” in the United States.

May 27, 2014

U.S. business leader praises growth of free enterprise in Cuba

HAVANA (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised the growth of free enterprise in Cuba upon his arrival in Havana Tuesday at the start of a three-day visit that was criticized by a leading supporter of the U.S. embargo in Washington.

Chamber President Thomas Donohue has long opposed the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba as an impediment to free enterprise for American companies that want to do business in the communist-ruled country.

May 21, 2014

Dissident blogger launches Cuba’s first independent online newspaper

HAVANA, May 21 (Reuters) – Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez
Cuba’s first independent online newspaper on Wednesday with
reports questioning the quality of Cuba’s healthcare system but
access to its maiden edition was soon redirected to another site
mocking the journalist.

The new site 14ymedio.com seeks to draw attention away from
the communist-ruled country’s state-controlled media and
challenge the government’s heavy media restrictions. Cuba has
been tolerating a greater criticism in recent years but not yet
from such a professional-looking website produced on the island.

May 15, 2014

Cuban blogger to launch island’s first independent online newspaper

HAVANA, May 15 (Reuters) – Cuba’s prize-winning dissident
blogger Yoani Sanchez is launching the island’s first
independent digital newspaper next week to challenge the
communist-ruled country’s state-controlled media.

Sanchez said the online publication will be named
“14ymedio,” in honor of the year of its launch and the 14th
floor Havana apartment where she writes her popular Generation Y
blog on daily life and politics in Cuba.

May 10, 2014

Cubans celebrate gay rights, but marriage remains distant

HAVANA (Reuters) – Several hundred Cubans danced to a conga beat, waved the rainbow flag and proclaimed their same-sex love on Saturday, celebrating great advances in gay rights while patiently waiting for the still politically distant right to marriage.

About 500 people marched in the seventh annual parade against homophobia through Havana’s Vedado district, where cross-dressing dancers and hand-holding same-sex couples, joined by dozens of foreign visitors, clamored for greater social acceptance.

May 7, 2014

Cuba arrests four Miami-based exiles suspected of attack plot

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba has arrested four Miami-based Cuban exiles suspected of planning attacks on military installations with the goal of promoting anti-government violence on the communist-run island, the interior ministry said.

Labeling the suspects terrorists, it said in a statement late on Tuesday they were linked to Luis Posada Carriles, 86, a Cuban exile and former CIA operative living in Miami who for many years sought to overthrow former President Fidel Castro.

Apr 23, 2014

Oldest ex-Major League Baseball player dies in Cuba at 102

HAVANA (Reuters) – Conrado Marrero, at 102 the oldest former Major League Baseball player and a patriarch of Cuban baseball known for his quick wit and goofy pitching delivery, died on Wednesday at his home in Havana, his grandson said.

Marrero, who played for the Washington Senators, was two days short of his 103rd birthday. He had been in declining health for weeks, was unresponsive for some time on Wednesday and stopped breathing in the early afternoon, said the grandson, Rogelio Marrero.

    • 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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