Yisell Rodríguez Milán

Yisell Rodríguez Milán

Periodista, bloguera por pasión, soñadora empedernina, guantanamera como la canción y cubana porque le tocó. Anda a la caza de historias, de gente increíble que corra tras las utopías.

Illustration: Courtesy of ONDI

Designing a country

Just in the middle of 2015, a week after the start of summer in the country ONDI turns 35 years old, an entity 'guilty' of design solutions that affect the functionality of some Cuban brands. Its acronym, which sounds like echo, like a wave, refers to the name of National Design Bureau under the Ministry of Industries and that seeks to promote what many had written off the avalanche of Soviet patterns: the attention to detail, finding a creative realization that evokes welfare. Considering the value self-employed give to visuals and the urgent need for state schools also assume the importance of this branch of art in all its forms, OnCuba spoke with Carmen Gómez MSc Pozo, director of Department of image and promotion of the company. The news about the creation of the Registry of Cuban Designers placed the ONDI within the media discourse of late last year, but very few people actually know what you do. Can you explain a little? The ONDI was founded in July 1980, but as part of the state structure have had different locations. Now our role is to monitor, organize and somehow regulate the activity of design in the country, including promotion,...

The Perfect Smoke

After the best cigars in the world, hand-rolled and with the unmistakable flavor of Cuba, were in Havana from February 23 to 27 around 1,650 people from 60 countries and some 250 journalists from 30 nations participating in the XVII Festival del Habano . A new feature this year was that Americans could purchase up to $ 100 in tobacco, which were forbidden because of the US blockade of the island and Obama changed it. The event, which had its broader trade show, auctioned six lots of Premium cigars at the PABEXPO fairgrounds with which raised $ 740,000 for the Cuban health system, Prensa Latina reported. Also in this scenario was presented the Montecristo Anniversary 80 and awarded the 2014 Habanos Prizes to Cuban Rogelio Ortuzar  (Production category), the Cypriot George Fereos (Business) and the American Gary Heathcott (Information). Paris Hilton with a giant tobacco / Photo : Daily Mail The TABACUBA business Group and the joint venture Habanos SA, organizers of the Festival, held this 2015 special tribute to two of the most prestigious national brands: Montecristo and Romeo and Juliet. The Wood and Tobacco Warehouse, located in the Port of Havana, hosted the launch...

New bills … new context?

In Cuba the news, despite being serious, can be turned into joke by the public. So it is now. People, in frank display of national mischief, speculate and enjoy the "new" already announced: new high denomination notes in CUP with a value of 200, 500 and 1000 pesos began circulating around the country On February. So far the highest bill in local currency was that of 100 CUP, that is, the equivalent of 4 CUC. On Facebook, these were the reactions of some Cubans when knowing what would happen: "We will have large denomination notes. Now it is needed that wages to proportionally grow "; "J ... says that they will pay us in January with a Mella bill and we no longer be paid until April"; or "I used to be happy when I earn ed in Cuba a wad of 20 pesos bill, now with only one my old salary is already paid. (Jokes aside: it is good news; I just hope that soon, once market and productivity to improve, wages to rise and a thousand pesos note to stop being unattainable for some) ". Until last week to buy, for example, a 200 CUC washing machine...

US Lawmakers proposed a Freedom to travel to Cuba Act

Eight Democratic and Republican senators introduced this week to Congress a bill to lift the restrictions imposed in a 2000 and 1996 on travel to Cuba by US citizens and residents, as reported by AFP. The project, known as the Law of Freedom to travel to Cuba, would alleviate the effects of the US blockade against Cuba from 1962 to also allow banking transactions related to these movements. The measure is backed by three senators of the Democratic Party, to which President Barack Obama belongs, and four Republican, who has dominance in Congress but whose majority perceive any relaxation as a concession to the Cuban government. Jeff Flake, an Arizona senator and who proposed the bill in the US Capitol, said during the presentation: "We have tried with the current policy of banning travel for about 50 years so it's time for something new. It is time to allow Americans to travel freely to Cuba ". Jerry Moran of Kansas; Michael Enzi of Wyoming; and John Boozman, Arkansas are the Republicans who presented the draft joint with Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont; Tom Udall of New Mexico; Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island; and Richard Durbin of Illinois. The latter told the...

Air China opens first direct route between Beijing and Havana

On September 28, 2015 the airline Air China will begin operating the first direct route between Beijing and Havana, EFE news agency reported. The flights will run three times a week and will feature a stop in Montreal, Canada. The hour journey so far passed 20, but the new route will reduce the airtime because, as the airline explained in an advertisement cited by Xinhua, it saves the stops in Europe. Approved Destination In January 2013 the Caribbean News Digital newsletter notified that Cuba had received the first group of Chinese vacationers that arrived after the granting of China to Cuba the status of approved tourist destination for its citizens, which led to the signing of a formal Memorandum of Understanding. The approved status as a tourist destination was the first given by Beijing in the Americas and meant that Chinese travel agencies have facilities to make the proceedings, mainly migrant, allowing Chinese vacationers travel. "This event will undoubtedly strengthen economic, trade and cultural cooperation between the two countries," then Carlos Lahhite, director of the company Ecotur the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) told reporters where it was estimated then that about 20,000 tourists of that nationality could visit annually Cuba...

US agricultural businesses demand more trade with Cuba

A coalition of more than 30 companies and associations of food production and agricultural products from the United States was presented at the National Press Club in Washington, DC in support of the end of the US blockade and improving trade relations between that country and Cuba. Influential figures in American business and political scene as Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, Jay Nixon, Missouri Governor, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Jerry Moran and Sam Farr, Kevin Cramer and Rodney Davis, of the House of Representatives, support the nascent association. The website Farm Futures specifies that the office of Representative Kevin Cramer reported that the new coalition seeks to restore Cuba as a market for exports of food and other agricultural products from the United States, and that the event will be broadcast live on CSPAN 3. "Normalizing trade between the US and Cuba will increase the ability of Cuban citizens to access affordable food and achieve greater prosperity," said the statement issued by Cramer, where they named among the member companies of the coalition the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National...

French tourism will triple its presence in Varadero

The Transat France Group, one of the largest emitters of tourists to the island, opens today in Matanzas the first Francophone club Lookea in Cuba, said in a press release the Ministry of Tourism (Tourism). Located in the Meliá Peninsula Hotel, located in the Hicacos Peninsula, 20 minutes from downtown Varadero, the club will have water parks, sports (beach volleyball, canoeing, catamaran, golf, among other ), fitness and dance sessions. Six nights in all-inclusive status in this center Five Star can be booked at the price of 1099 Euros per person in double room and includes discounts. The service includes excursions to nearby cities like Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Havana and also the Guama Tourist Complex, on the Zapata Swamp. That will increase considerably percent occupancy hotel, with 581 rooms, total capacity of about 1,300 customers and is aimed at families, weddings, honeymoons and incentive groups. The hotel chain Meliá Hotels International and Gaviota SA Tourism Group support this new tourism project focused on the leader destination for sun and beach in Cuba. There will be, to boost visitor arrivals, direct flights from Paris to Varadero, weekly by the company XL Airways with 250 seats each Monday from late December...

Cuban Nominees to Grammy 2015

Singer Aymee Nuviola and pianist Alfredo Rodriguez are among Cubans nominated to the Grammy Awards 2015, according to the The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, ((The Recording Academy), the sponsor of this annual gala scheduled for February 8 next year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Nuviola is nominated with First class to Havana in Best Tropical Latin Album category in which the Palo! group is also included, composed of Leslie Cartaya, Raymer Olade and Philbert Armenteros with Steve Roitstein and Ed Calle, who are present with production PALO! LIVE. Young Rodríguez is competing in Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella by his arrangement Guantanamera song for the album The invasion parade. Other candidates are Arturo O'Farrill & The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, who are opting for Best Latin Jazz Album with the anglicized version of the album The offense of the drum. Meanwhile Luis Conte, veteran percussionist, opt for the third time to a Grammy with the album Our world in song (as part of the trio of musicians with Wu Man and Daniel Ho) in Best World Music Album. The percussionist Pedro Pablo Martínez and his group The Pedrito Martinez group are nominated for...

La Habana / Foto: Roberto Ruiz.

Vote for Havana via SMS and email

The Office of the Historian of Havana created a mail box through which residents can vote in Cuba in Havana as one of the 7 Wonder Cities of the World (New7Wonders Cities), final goal of the contest held since 2012 by the Swiss foundation New7Wonders. The message that will be sent to the [email protected] will specify address, name and surname of the sender, date of birth and 7 selected cities of the 14 finalists: Havana, La Paz, Quito, Mexico City, Chicago, Barcelona, London, Reykjavik, Kuala Lumpur, Beirut, Doha, Vigan, Durban and Perth. For the process to be successful you can only send one email per person must include all the data discussed above, vote for seven cities and not only for one, or more or less, you cannot repeat cities and no additional texts will be written and files attached. The deadline for exercising voting via email is December 4 at 11:59 pm, Cuba. Activation of voting by email, driven by Eusebio Leal Spegler, Havana City Historian, is a direct result of his meeting this week with Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Director of Development Value of New7Wonders. "The historian insisted I call him from Dubai when the results are known,"...

Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Director de Desarrollo de Valor de la New7Wonders

Vote for Havana

Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Head of Value Development Director New7Wonders Foundation, Swiss foundation that called the contest via the Internet to choose the 7 most beautiful cities in the world, visits Havana this week. The Cuban capital, for those who still do not know, is one of the 14 finalists of the international competition started in 2012 with the nomination of 1200 cities in 220 countries. On December 7 we will know finally whether it be one of those chosen by millions of people in the world as "fairest of the fair", that is, if its enthusiasts achieve exceed in quantity those of Barcelona (Spain ), Beirut (Lebanon), Chicago (USA), Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), La Paz (Bolivia), London (UK), Mexico City, Perth (Australia), Quito (Ecuador), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Vigan (Philippines). "Part of the objectives of this visit is to work on voting methods from Cuba," said De la Fuente in a press conference held Tuesday at the Hotel Iberostar Parque Central. He'll be here until Thursday when he will leave after meeting with officials of the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) to assess the ability to enable voting via SMS, the Correos de Cuba company...

José Manuel García-Margallo

Winds are blowing in favor of relations between Spain and Cuba

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo, said Monday that his country "must be present" in Cuba if it wants to "help" the Island "shape its future." The senior official described the relations between the two nations as "very fluid" and said-during an interview on Onda Cero taken by Europe Press- that he will travel to Cuba because it "has changed dramatically." García-Margallo announced that he will be in Havana on November 24 and 25 and specified that "the situation has changed and when circumstances change is obvious that we must change the relationship," reported El diario.es. He explained further that the trip has a "human component" because under the law of historical memory the number of Spaniards in the island has increased by 10, for which reason this is "extremely important" in commercial terms and as for investments. "I requested two things, the release of a journalist, Martinez Ferrate, and the release of Carromero. And the two have been met, and I give you my word of honor that have been made without political consideration, "said the Minister, who said that in 1996 when the EU adopted the Common Position that conditioned any progress...

Halloween in Havana

"Magnificent original, latex mask for Halloween, brought from USA. It is an ogre. Price: 40 CUC. (...) I assure you will not find another like it in any costume party, and if you add good clothes you will surely be the winners of the feast that you attend, "an ad in Revolico published from Cuba on October 31st, day when some Anglo-Saxon countries celebrate a festivity of Celtic origin known as Halloween or witches night, says. "I still have fancy dress for fat and strong women," another message proclaims, while a third, followed by exclamation marks, seems to cry "Halloween Costumes, the best and most spectacular ones" and lists the purchase options: celebrities, sexy, religious, Christmas clothes, plus uniforms and the main customers: kids, adults and those looking for XL size. There are even discounts for groups and "repeaters". North winds seem to be stronger than usual this last day of October, especially among the youth who since Thursday evening wears witches, mummies, zombies attires... or use anything they could find to look like coming out from some fiction. Alek, a young philologist, tells from Guantánamo that he went to some Halloween parties during his college years. "It was very...

Ronald Hernández Torres

Cuban physician speaks on Facebook on his battle against Ebola

I don’t see him logged in Facebook but I write him anyway. Maybe he reads my message at night, while resting, or in the early morning, when reading the news. "Ronald, I am a journalist. I have followed with great interest the news you've shared on your Facebook profile on the state of Cuban collaborators who accompany you and I wonder if you would agree to grant me an interview, "I post and promise it will be a "short" interview , although I’ve never been good at that of brevity. Suddenly the green button that indicates that someone is "online" appears and I see his answer: -How short it will be? I am writing from a cell phone. -Very short, I answer. -You may start then, he replies. His name is Ronald Hernandez Torres. He graduated as doctor in 1992; he is a specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine, lives in the province of Las Tunas and is one of 53 Cuban collaborators who departed this month for Liberia, one of the West African countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic. 38 more went to Guinea Conakry and, before that, other 165 health workers had gone to Sierra Leone. Exclusively for...

In FIHAV 2014: New Business Portfolio of Cuba

About two thousand foreign entrepreneurs from over 60 countries and 360 Cuban entities will participate in the XXXII International Fair of Havana, FIHAV 2014. The event will take place from November 2 through the 8 at the EXPOCUBA fairgrounds, largest exhibitor center of the archipelago, located to 25 miles southeast of downtown Havana. The presentation of the business portfolio of the island, on Monday, regarding foreign investment, will be among the highlights, said Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, at a press conference. "These are projects that already have a certain level of study, many with research on feasibility, allowing foreign investors to get valuable information to make decisions to invest or not in the country," the senior Cuban official said. Information will be available for those interested in digital and printed format. With respect to the 2013-considered the largest in the last ten years, the level of foreign participation is now "similar" although there is, said Malmierca, limitations on the roofed areas space in EXPOCUBA to increase concurrency of domestic and foreign business. This year 366 exhibitors rented 18,000 square meters for the stands, that is, 30 more than on the 31 edition of the...

Cuba revitalizes cooperation with Norway in oil industry

Cuba and Norway yesterday renewed bilateral cooperation in the oil sector with the signing of new agreements between the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and the Ministries of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), and the Ministry of Energy and Mining, was reported in Cuba. The note specified that businesses in this area between the two nations began with the signature of an agreement on May 17, 2011. The document was part of the Oil for Development program of NORAD. Through this program- which begun in 2005 to train and promote the responsible management of the "black gold" in several regions of the world, the Scandinavian country holds meetings with national authorities and share experiences on staff training, the development of techniques and knowledge sharing on oil. On the website of the embassy is specified that both the Cuban entrepreneurs and the Norwegian ambassador, John Petter Opdahl, described the results of the cooperation is "very positive" and it further specifies that Cuba has already made several significant test indicating the existence of oil and natural gas reserves in the territory. The Cuba-Petróleo Union (CUPET), state organization responsible for supplying fuels and lubricants to the domestic market, is more specific...

The Esoteric Library / Photo: Yisell Rodríguez Milán.

Divinations, parapsychology and self-employment

A cat and a huge banner with a fortuneteller are the first things you see. I'm at the entrance of the only Esoteric Digital Library, I think, in Cuba and it is the feline accommodated within the counter (like another book), his body crushing an edition of the Kamasutra, who receives me. If you travel through Havana by bus and you are a curious person, it is difficult to have not ever seen this house. It is in Infanta, almost at the junction with Carlos III, and I would bet that not a few of those who travel frequently, for example in a P1, have wondered what place is this, in what mysterious business Cubans living there have gotten into. Today I got off at the "Emergency Stop" and walked to the house. Outside, to show look well that the business is legal, two posters: one announces that there is a "library" of mysteries and the other which rent "rooms and spaces." Two birds with one stone. Tania de las Mercedes Calá Mauso and Jose Juan Bas Valdés live there and they say they are Reiki masters since 2003. They explain that Reiki is a Japanese healing and self-healing discipline,...

Zafra azucarera en Cuba

Thirteen million dollars for Cuban Agriculture

Thirteen million dollars to import equipment and rehabilitate waterworks in irrigated areas is the budget for 2015 of the AZCUBA Sugar Group, informed specialists in the imminence of the next harvest, which begins in Mayabeque in mid November and ends in May in Holguin. Fifty sugar mills, two more than in 2014, will work 148 days of the coming production period. The two newcomers are Dos Rios, in Santiago de Cuba, align, and Brazil, in Camagüey, Miguel Angel Mendez, director of Care for industrial plants of the company, told the newspaper Juventud Rebelde For the rehabilitation of the sugar industry, whose largest output is recorded increased in 1970 with 8.7 million tons of crude and from there it fell to the drastic amount of 1.1 million in 2007, Cuba is in talks with a foreign firm. The investment money will go to the execution of a bioelectrical plant in the Ciro Redondo sugar mill, Ciego de Avila. A second bioelectrical plant, only with national capital, is being built on the giant Jesus Rabi, Matanzas; and Cuba is planning to build three in Artemisa, Havana and Holguin; which combined with the 17 in plans to start operation until 2030, should triple...

Descemer Bueno

Over 10 Cuban among nominees to Latin Grammys

With the song "Bailando" by the record label Universal Music / Republic Records, the Cuban Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona along the Spanish Enrique Iglesias reached five nominations for Latin Grammy Awards, the Latin Recording Academy reported. The song received nominations in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Urban Performance and Best Urban Song; while "Loco" competes in Best Tropical Song. The renowned Cuban musician celebrated in social networks his nominations and thanked his team and fans, which are already close to 100 thousand in his Facebook page.   Mi equipo y yo @descemer_bueno muy contentos con las 5 nominaciones @latingrammys#LatinGRAMMY … http://t.co/Ttbto8OHSQ — Descemer Bueno (@Descemer_Bueno) September 24, 2014   Other Cubans included among the 47 candidates are in the category Song of the Year: Silvio Rodriguez, along with Calle 13, with “Ojos Color Sol” of the El Abismo label; and Pablo Milanes in Best Singer-Songwriter Album with the album " Renacimiento ". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaWffsvAZJ4?rel=0 In Best Salsa Album is Aymee Nuviola with "First Class To Havana", from the label Worldwide Entertainment & Productions; while Eliades Ochoa and Cuarteto Patria are nominees for Best Traditional Tropical Album with the album " El Eliades...

Patrick Hemingway, center, during a previous trip to Cuba, along one of the guardians of the Hemingway Museum, Roberto (left) and Thomas Fuentes (right), grandson of Gregorio Fuentes, Hemingway´s officer on his boat Pilar / Photo: Taken from the Vancouver Sun

The grandchildren of Ernest Hemingway are in Cuba

John and Patrick Hemingway, grandsons of American novelist Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), are in Cuba to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the granting of the Nobel Prize in Literature to their grandfather, and 80 of the purchase of his yacht El Pilar, reports the Cuban News Agency. Since Sunday they left the United States accompanied by marine biologists and experts in sport fishing, with whom they will be on the island until September 13 also promoting cooperation programs on natural resources in the Straits of Florida, confirmed the website of Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF) entity that along with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the Global Arts / Media, organized the visit. “In 1934, Ernest Hemingway invited representatives from the Philadelphia’s National Academy of Sciences to travel on his beloved boat, the Pilar, to conduct marlin research in the Florida Straits. At that time there was no embargo on Cuba, and this type of scientific exchange could happen frequently. After 50 years of broken diplomatic relations and in a world with natural resources becoming more scarce now is the time to promote scientific exchange with our geographical neighbors rather than isolate them”, they explained. However,...

Highest grossing Cuban songs in the last decade

It is strange, geographically speaking, how far can the Cuban music go. The Cuban Agency Copyright Musical (ACDAM) told OnCuba that the main countries reporting profits for Cuba by the use of national songs are Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Finland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Greece, Norway, Austria and Italy. The gross revenues from the use of Cuban musical works in 2013 were 37 million pesos between the two currencies (national and convertible pesos). Europe reported the largest amounts in 2013, while in Latin America were Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Cuba maintains more than 150 Reciprocal Representation Agreements, plus about 90 of Execution and about 60 mechanical reproductions with 93 international companies and 178 countries. Highest grossing songs in the last decade are: 1. Un montón de estrellas, by Fernando Borrego Linares (Polo Montañez) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j3QHyBOyhg?rel=0   2. Contigo en la distancia, by Cesar Portillo de la Luz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ8z5dCzgJY?rel=0   3. Lágrimas negras, by Miguel Matamoros https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk6ZQKxD6nw?rel=0   4. Chan Chan, by Francisco Repilado Muñoz Máximo (Compay Segundo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q61JRKpWg-s?rel=0   5. Mamá son de la loma, by Miguel Matamoros https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G9a0Ndk1AQ?rel=0   6. La gloria eres tú, by José Antonio Méndez García https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbR8ocnsMMg?rel=0   7. Yolanda, by Pablo Milanés https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sct0-7rs2zY?rel=0   8. Dos Gardenias,...

Ofrenda a Yemayá / Foto: Tomada de Radio Bahía

The other rafters, Yemaya and a pig

I’m not writing about the rafters from 1994 but the other rafters, those who live in the first Cuban village, capital and bishopric and almost on a daily basis cross the largest Cuban river with handmade bamboo rafts tied up with palm leaves or wires. I’m referring to the rafters of Toa River. Annually, during the Water Festivities the city holds in order to celebrate its anniversary in August, they jump into the eastern fluvial basins in Cuba in an ancestral competition. Orley Perez, a popular sailor from Quivican, explained for the local radio that by the age of nine he had learned to drive “cayucas” (as these rustic rafts are called), which are not only used during the celebrations but to take loads home given that they are the “cheapest and fastest” means of transportation. Baracoa is a city of legends where, particularly during the summer, people get more creative to escape from heat and boredom which is common in rural areas. However, it is not the only municipality in Guantanamo province where, mainly in July and August, events are rather worthy of one of García Márquez’ novels than of reality. From the sea to semi deserts. The municipality...

Economía y comercio en Cuba

Cuba offers Mexico tax preferences

Cuba offered the Mexican government tax preferences by means of a Joint Resolution signed by the Cuban ministries of Foreign Trade and Investments and Finances and Prices, as stated in the 32 issue of the Gaceta Oficial de la República. The document materializes the Third Additional Protocol to the Economic Complementation Agreement No. 51, signed between both nations on November 1, 2013. That same year Cuba and Mexico had agreed on several changes to the concessions granted to Mexico in 2000, in the context of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI by its acronym in Spanish), which had been already been modified in 2002. The 80-page resolution favors the import of food, chemical, sanitary, cloth products and games for children, mostly with 100% of tax preferences. At the top of the list there are pure breed reproductive animals; whales, dolphins, porpoises and manatees; non-chopped fresh or refrigerated sea products; dairy pastas and cheeses with variants produced by Penicílliumroqueforti; fats and oils, vegetables, pastry products; jams, jellys; tequila and mescal. The first eight pages of Annexure 1 to the resolution are covered with food products. It also benefits the import of electric audio-frequency amplifiers, optic devices, permanent data storing devices based...

Zona Especial de Desarrollo Mariel

Guidelines for investing in Cuba

As soon as Cuba opened up for world trade interested people and companies started to come up. Entrepreneurs from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Brazil, China and Russia were among the first to bring in their proposals and, till May, Cuba was studying about 23 projects. Since its beginning in November, 2013, more than 130 potential investors had contacted the Office of Mariel’s Special Development Zone. Out of that number, 72 presented direct applications for investing in the area and 66 expressed their interest in receiving more information. However, what are the procedures those interested in negotiating in Cuba must put into practice? How long can take for a proposal to materialize? The Office of Mariel’s Special Development Zone (OZEDM by its acronym in Spanish) is the national entity attached to the Council of Ministers in charge of managing and controlling ZEDM, and of drafting and implementing the Development and Business Program, as well as of taking care of the necessary applications, permits and authorizations. Its purpose is to promote investments in the infrastructure of this Zone, in biotechnology, renewable energy sources industry, informatics, agriculture, packs and bottles and in pharmaceutical products. According to its website, those interested must comply with...

Constitución de la República de Cuba

How much does the Constitution cost?

It is ten Cuban pesos. That’s its value in 23rdStreet in Vedado, in the Cuban capital, very close to Coppelia where an old man also hawks newspapers and magazines. Till recently it was hard to buy the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, but the Mayor General Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz Publishing House, from the Ministry of Justice (MINJUS by its acronym in Spanish), has released a new edition that is not only commercialized in bookstores but also in street stands and small stands by street sellers. -Is it in good demand?,I asked. -Yes, enough, they plainly answered. Earlier it was only possible to consult the Magna Carta in schools, work centers, libraries, or by inheritance from an old family member. Now, it is easy to find it, especially after February 24, 2013, when Raul Castro after retaking the presidency of the Council of State and the Cuban Government, announced a constitutional reform. Before the National Assembly the President said: “in accordance with the agreements of the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, it is necessary to bring the Constitution of the Republic in line with the changes related to the gradual implementation of the Guidelines of the Cuban...

Presidentes de China y Cuba

The trail of China in Cuba

The news still hadn’t "cooled" of the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin when Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, arrives and negotiates with the Government of the island 29 agreements, relevant to the national economy. The main ones were around four major issues: credit, telecommunications, science and industry, although sectors such as education and culture will also benefit. Some of the most significant agreements were the provision of a concessional credit line for the construction of a "multi-terminal" on the Guillermón Moncada port of Santiago de Cuba, postponing payment for 10 years of the Cuban debt, free of interest, transfer of credits to buy equipment to develop telecommunications and three biopesticides production plants and a high security laboratory, as well as other credit - "government" and "interest free" - for the implementation of other projects or supplies of materials and equipment. On telecommunications, central issue in the Cuban context, they agreed on an enigmatic "cooperation in cyberspace" with the State Office of Cyber ​​Security and Information of China, and a memorandum between the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of Cuba and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China on...

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