During most of 2008, we have focused on news coming from Cuba about reforms announced and implemented by Cuba’s government in areas ranging from the decentralization of agriculture to the new availability of consumer items like cell phones and DVD players.
This week, our attention was captured by more subtle yet no less important developments. These include reports on how the state-run media is now doing investigative journalism; how Cuban officials foresee the prospects for additional, significant economic reforms – such as doing away with Cuba’s system of two currencies, distributing ration cards based on need rather than universal access, and a gradual opening to more foreign investment; how one respected journal, Temas, is leading a debate on once-forbidden topics ranging from race relations to the study of transitions in other parts of the world.
In U.S. domestic developments, the debate here could hardly be described as subtle. The ritual of making speeches about Cuba in Miami, and about Cuba for Miami, was reenacted as we reported last week. We carry the coda in this week’s edition of the news blast – Senator Obama’s speech before CANF was critically reviewed by Fidel Castro in a reflection published a few days after – the call-and-response between a former president and one who might be. We’re also continuing to follow a constitutional challenge to restrictions on Cuban-American travel to the island.
It was a very interesting week, so we urge you to “read on”!
But first, a word from your publisher:
The Center for Democracy in the Americas is pleased to produce this news summary each week for our eager and growing readership. This is more than a series of Google Alerts (not that there’s anything wrong with getting your news that way). We follow and translate global reports on Cuba. We follow what’s happening in Cuba not just by reading the press, but also by traveling to the island and by filing reports and filming videos. We have a perspective – we think U.S. policy is wrong, we want travel and trade restrictions lifted, and we favor normalization – but we make room for a variety of perspectives, because we know our readers want to decide for themselves.
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And now…this week in Cuba news.