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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HAVANA (Reuters) – A U.S. contractor who has launched a hunger strike while serving a long prison term in Cuba is receiving “dignified and decent treatment” in a hospital ward where he is in stable health, a Cuban official said on Wednesday.
Cuba’s communist government said it was concerned by a statement from Alan Gross’s lawyer on Tuesday that said his client had begun a hunger strike last week to protest his treatment by both the Cuban and U.S. governments.