Stories written by Patricia Grogg
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Getting Tough on Corruption in Cuba

As two separate trials of foreign businessmen continued amid extreme discretion, the Cuban government passed new anti-corruption measures, apparently indicating the Raúl Castro government’s desire to avoid loose ends with this thorny problem.

Redoubling Efforts Against Racism in Cuba

Jokes, songs, crude gestures and epithets that degrade people of African descent are still common in Cuba, despite the fact that the constitution prohibits discrimination based on skin colour, and in spite of more recent political measures, activists say.

Cuba Kicks Off Cyclone Season with ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Rains

The new cyclone season in Cuba is forecast to be highly active, and it announced its arrival with intense rains that caused rivers to burst their banks and flooded extensive areas in the western province of Pinar del Río.

Q&A: Weather Forecasts to Prevent Strokes and Asthma Attacks in Cuba

A biometeorological forecast model developed in Cuba to sound the alert on weather conditions that exacerbate chronic diseases like asthma, hypertension and vascular disorders could also help predict the impacts of climate change on health.

Cuba to Open Public Internet Outlets – at 4.50 Dollars an Hour

Cuba will continue to prioritise public Internet access over connectivity in private homes, as indicated by a government announcement Tuesday that 118 new public cyber salons would open nationwide as of early June.

Cuba to Open Public Internet Outlets – at 4.50 Dollars an Hour

Cuba will continue to prioritise public Internet access over connectivity in private homes, as indicated by a government announcement Tuesday that 118 new public cyber salons would open nationwide as of early June. The new Internet outlets were reportedly made possible by the “full functioning” of a fibre optic cable laid between Cuba and Venezuela.

Key Land Reform Accord in Colombia’s Peace Talks

Colombian government and guerrilla delegates have announced an agreement on the question of land reform – an important step in the peace talks that began six months ago in Havana.

Cuban Agriculture Needs Young People

When Gabriela Blanco tells other Cubans that she works in an organic vegetable cooperative and is getting ready to study agronomy at the university, she gets surprised looks.

In Haiti, April Showers Don’t Always Bring Flowers

In Haiti, a simple spring shower that would barely be noticed in most countries can cause devastating floods, due to the severe deforestation and erosion that impedes the absorption of rain.

Solar Energy and Briquettes Make Headway in Haiti

While Jean Reniteau mulls over the idea of using solar panels to light his house, Frantz Fanfan is wondering how to expand production of biomass briquettes to replace the use of charcoal in the cooking stoves of most of the Haitian people, who lack electricity.

Q&A: Master Reforestation Plan to Save Haiti

Droughts and floods, devastating hurricanes and soil erosion with a drastic impact on food security make Haiti extremely vulnerable to climate change and in need of enormous adaptation efforts.

Cuba Loses an Essential Friend

Hugo Chávez of Venezuela was the president who made the most visits to Cuba, where flags are flying at half-mast in official mourning for his death Tuesday Mar. 5, and where his friend and political mentor, Fidel Castro, survives him.

No-till Farming Holds the Key to Food Security

No-till farming is a response to climate change that fits well with the needs of the Caribbean: it increases the ability to capture water, while withstanding both drought and excessive rains, says expert Theodor Friedrich, representative of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Cuba.

Former president Fidel Castro voting in Cuba on Sunday Feb. 3. Credit: Marcelino Vázquez Hernández/AIN

Fidel Castro Votes to ‘Update Cuban Socialist Model’

Among millions of people flocking to the polls in Cuba to vote in general elections was the unexpected figure of former president Fidel Castro, making a surprise public appearance in what was interpreted as a reaffirmation of his support for the government of his brother, President Raúl Castro.

Cuban Diplomacy Bypasses U.S. via CELAC

Cuban diplomacy will be working full blast this year, promoting its own approach to integration in line with the needs and goals of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a regional body that excludes the United States, Cuba's leading ideological opponent.

Despite Immigration Reform, Travel Still Tricky for Cubans

Maria Lourdes, a Cuban, has two passports, one from the island and another from Spain, but until now traveling was only a dream.

Cuban Sugar Sector Aims for Recovery in 2013

The Cuban sugar industry seems to be experiencing a rebirth thanks to an economic modernisation programme that has allowed for an injection of foreign capital as part of a strategy to strengthen and diversify this key sector.

International Aid Helps Cuba Adapt to Climate Change

"Adaptation to climate change is urgent and must be part of development," said Bárbara Pesce-Monteiro, the United Nations resident coordinator in Cuba, assessing the damage done by hurricane Sandy in the eastern region of the country.

Eric Corvalán: “The 1975 family code was once cutting-edge, but it is now out-of-date.” Credit: Patricia Grogg/IPS

Q&A: Documentary Tackles Child Abuse in Cuba

“Child abuse merits a different, in-depth approach. The objective of this film is to make the problem visible and promote debate and reflection,” says Eric Corvalán, director of a documentary that required “breaking through walls.”

Economic Reforms in Cuba Require Decentralisation*

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.

Colombian Peace Talks Invite Citizen Input*

The Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas will resume the peace talks in the Cuban capital on Dec. 5, in a climate of moderate optimism surrounding a process in which citizen participation could play a key role.

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