Friday, April 29, 2005
Cuban Webs gain Visibility in Internet
To get the most out of their connection to Internet, journalists are catching up with the latest news on the web. Victor A. Fernandez, webmaster of Transtur, company of rent-a-car and taxi services, said that key words like Cuba in Google register 37.8 million entries daily in 2005, compared to 10 million last year.
In a lecture given as part of a course on Digital Journalism at the International Institute of Journalism "Jose Marti" in Havana, Fernandez said that searches under Cuba-Habana registered 1.830 million visits, while Cuba-Press had 156.8 million and Cuba-Prensa 9.7 million.
Among the most visited sites by those who searched Cuba were Lami, a Texas directory of links to Cuba-related websites, cubaweb, cubatravel and down in the list some Cuban media.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Real Joy for Workers´ Day in Cuba
After the first announcement in March by president Fidel Castro of raising pensions for retired or disabled people, to a minimum of 150 pesos per month, in April came the news of a raise in minimum wages, from 100 to 225 pesos per month.
This will represent additional expenses for the national budget of over two billion pesos this year, but economic recovery has been sturdy enough to finance it. Budget deficit should still be under or about three per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, considered a manageable figure.
Hikes in nickel mining, oil and gas production, power generation and a boost in access to foreign credit, given by the agreements signed with China and Venezuela, support the decision to increase salaries and pensions, as well as the distribution at subsidized prices of household appliances.
That is why the May 1st parade next Sunday is expected to be one of the most colorful and enthusiastic ever.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Havana Club: 18 million bottles of rum to 170 countries
Founded in 1993 and after international court litigations still in process to obtain the right of distribution in the United States, Havana Club sold last year 18 million bottles of rum to 170 countries, said Regla Jimenez, Marketing Director of Cuba Division of the company at a conference on occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Rum Museum in old Havana.
Located facing the Avenida del Puerto in Havana docks, the oldest part of the city, the Museum has had over 424 thousand visitors from 60 countries. It hosts a wide variety of aged rums, from the traditional 7 and 15 years to the new Cuban Barrel Proof and solera San Cristobal de La Habana.
The museum introduces visitors to the mysteries of distillation based on sugar cane molasses, as ancient as the four-century-old sugar industry.
Jimenez said they are working on linking rum to other Cuban products like habanos (hand-rolled cigars) and coffee.
Other options open to visitors are the Havana-Club gallery with samples of Cuban contemporary art, a bar-restaurant, a souvenir store and the patio, where you may drink guarapo (sugar cane juice) alone or combined with rum.
Albert, prince of Monaco together and local prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso and singer Cesar Portillo de la Luz are among the famous who have visited the museum.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Hot Potato on Bush´s Court
Take the UN Commission on Human Rights for instance. An increasing movement in member countries against a US resolution accusing Cuba of human rights violations, which has included politicians, personalities of the cultural and scientific communities, businesspeople, trade unions and parliaments all over the Western hemisphere has demanded their governments to vote against the spurious document introduced by the US delegation in Geneva.
One of the most evident cases of protecting a terrorist, while proclaiming a crusade against terrorism, is intending to give Luis Posada Carriles´ an asylum status, after all that has been said, published and sanctioned by a court in Venezuela which found him guilty of masterminding and making a Cubana airplane explode in 1976 after leaving Barbados for Havana with 73 passengers on board.
If there was any room left for doubt about the terrorist nature of these extreme-right murderers, a conversation was screened today over the TV between Santiago Alvarez, Posada Carriles´ alleged lawyer and a man who was already under arrest by Cuban authorities on Alvarez´ instructions to engage in sabotages to different objectives in the island, in particular the famous Tropicana cabaret.
There is a lot more evidence in possession of the Cuban government that demanded from Washington an answer to the abundant and serious charges made by president Fidel Castro in three TV appearances this week.
The hot potato is now in Bush´s court.