The reform process launched in Cuba by the government of President Raúl Castro has made several changes to the country’s rigid social and economic structure, with the ultimate aim of bringing this island nation out of its economic lethargy and making production, which is sinking under the weight of restrictions, controls and contradictions, more efficient.
Thousands of young Cubans are graduating in computer engineering, a sector the government decided to strengthen over the past decade. But their professional future is uncertain because of failures of organisation and of internet connectivity.
The social and economic model that is taking shape in Cuba based on changes gradually being implemented require reforms for strengthening and giving greater autonomy to local government bodies, which began to be renewed in October with the election of new municipal assembly members.
The easing of travel restrictions announced by the Cuban government Tuesday was one of the most eagerly awaited reforms. However, limitations remain in place for professionals and others deemed essential to the country’s development or national security.
A year after the Raúl Castro government approved a programme of changes and measures aimed at making the Cuban economic model sustainable, the slow pace of implementation is a focus of debate and criticism even among its supporters, who believe it should move forward more rapidly.
Local communities can play a key role in adaptation to climate change if they are helped to properly understand the problem and take it on board. "Climate literacy is needed," says Ángela Corvea, a long-time Cuban environmental activist.
As a result of climate change-related extreme weather events like a rise in the sea level and increasingly intense storms alternating with drought, Caribbean island nations are facing the challenge of adopting adaptation measures that could be too costly for their budgets.
"What matters at this summit is not what is on the official agenda," said Uruguayan analyst Laura Gil, echoing the conventional wisdom in this Colombian port city, where the Sixth Summit of the Americas ended Sunday without a final declaration.
A group of former political prisoners from Cuba and their family members gathered in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square and in front of the foreign ministry Tuesday to protest the unexpected cut-off in aid from the government.
Relations between the United States and Latin America have "grown more distant" in importance part due to the latter's persistent disagreement with U.S. policies on immigration, drugs, and Cuba, according to a new report released here Wednesday on the eve of this year's Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.
In response to the pressures of everyday life, some people in Cuba are promoting meditation as a way to protect the mind and body and foster a culture of peace.
Pope Benedict XVI’s call for changes in Cuba and the world should also focus on churches, according to members of Cuban civil society who, independently of their beliefs or ideologies, recognised the impact of the pope’s visit to this socialist country.
Debates in civil society, tension with internal opposition groups, demands from outside the country and inevitable comparisons with John Paul II’s visit to this socialist island in 1998 surrounded Benedict XVI’s visit 14 years later to a very different Cuba.
The Catholic Church in Cuba expects people to welcome Pope Benedict XVI with warmth and enthusiasm, even though Catholics are not a majority here like they are in Mexico, the first stop on the pope’s Latin America tour that begins Mar. 23.
The search for oil in Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico waters, launched by the Spanish firm Repsol, has triggered speculation about future prospects for Cuba and the possibility of this country one day making the transition from importer to exporter of crude.