Politics Raul Castro

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  • HAVANA, July 21- Cash-strapped Cuba signed two deals on Thursday with Saudi Arabia for long-term credits worth around $80 million in total to import goods from the Gulf kingdom and invest in infrastructure. "This is the fourth and fifth accord we have signed since we started working together with the Saudi Fund in 2010," Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca...

  • Official website Cubadebate reported that Havana official Isabel Hamze said government officials held an emergency meeting and agreed to take "severe measures" against drivers who hike fares. Private taxis have mushroomed in Havana since 2010, when President Raul Castro's government began allowing some private-sector activity including the granting...

  • HAVANA, July 14- The director of Oxfam broke the global aid agency's longtime silence on the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, urging the American Congress to lift it "sooner rather than later" given the island's mounting economic woes. Winnie Byanyima said in an interview in Havana that Oxfam was set to formally campaign against the embargo as part of its broader...

  • The Soviet-era refinery, a joint-venture with Venezuela, is currently running at its minimum output capacity of 50,000 bpd, said Luis Morillo, the general manager of PDVSA's Cuba division. His comments come days after Cuban President Raul Castro acknowledged that oil imports from Venezuela had fallen this year, creating further problems for the...

  • HAVANA, July 11- Cuba has opened a shop in Havana that could eventually operate as the Communist-ruled island's first wholesale store for the fledgling private sector, offering products in bulk at lower prices than in expensive retail outlets. They said the plan was for Zona+ to sell everything in bulk at a discount, catering in particular to the small businesses...

  • HAVANA, July 8- President Raul Castro told Cubans on Friday to brace for tough times because the Communist-run country must cut spending and energy supply as it deals with a cash crunch and reduced oil imports from ally Venezuela. Cuban economic growth slowed to 1 percent in the first half of this year from 4.7 percent in the same period of 2015, Castro told the...

  • BOGOTA/ HAVANA, June 22- Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels said on Wednesday they had agreed to end hostilities with a definitive ceasefire that leaves the two sides just a step away from resolving the longest-running conflict in the Western Hemisphere. The accord will be signed on Thursday in Havana by President Juan Manuel Santos and...

  • BOGOTA/ HAVANA, June 22- Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels said on Wednesday they had reached agreement on a definitive ceasefire that would end hostilities in the longest-running conflict in the Western Hemisphere. The accord will be signed on Thursday in Havana by President Juan Manuel Santos and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC,...

  • LOS ANGELES/ NEW YORK, June 20- Nestle SA's Nespresso says it will become the first company to sell Cuban coffee in the United States in more than 50 years, as relations between the Cold War adversaries smooth. Nespresso USA secured necessary licensing from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to ship single-use brewer pods containing the Cuban coffee from Europe...

  • LOS ANGELES/ NEW YORK, June 20- Nestle SA's Nespresso says it will become the first company to import coffee from Cuba to the United States in more than 50 years amid smoothing trade relations between the Cold War adversaries. Initially available in limited quantities, Cafecito de Cuba aims to deliver on Nespresso's mission to deliver "exclusive, unique coffee...

  • MOA, Cuba, June 13- Cuba is trying to reduce costs in the nickel industry to offset losses from low global prices, rather than raising output from 56,000 tonnes annually, industry executives said on a rare tour of one of the communist-led island's plants. "We expected revenue of this order, but the reality today is different," Oliveros Garcell said, during a visit late...

  • France, Italy, Japan, Spain and Russia are among the countries seeking to convince Cuba to sign contracts with their companies for projects to update the Communist-led nation's creaking infrastructure, in return for writing off debt. In December, Cuba struck a general accord with the Paris Club of wealthy nations to forgive $8.5 billion of $11.1 billion in...

  • The head of the Organization of American States, that Venezuela views as a pawn of U.S. policy, this week called for an emergency meeting to discuss a possible censure of the country for violating democratic norms. Meanwhile on Thursday a senior Brazilian official said Brazil may help block Venezuela from taking the rotating presidency of the Mercosur trade...

  • HAVANA, June 4- Puerto Rico has taken the first steps toward opening a commercial office in Cuba, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said on Saturday, on the sidelines of a Caribbean summit in Havana. Garcia Padilla is the first sitting Puerto Rican governor in history to visit Cuba, a "privilege" he said, telling journalist that local officials and the public had...

  • The head of the Organization of American States, that Venezuela views as a pawn of U.S. policy, this week called for an emergency meeting to discuss a possible censure of the country for violating democratic norms. Meanwhile on Thursday a senior Brazilian official said Brazil may help block Venezuela from taking the rotating presidency of the Mercosur trade...

  • HAVANA, May 24- Cuba will recognize small and medium-sized private firms as legal entities, a Communist Party document published on Tuesday showed, a move that could remove obstacles for businesses and foster the emerging private sector. The 32- page document published on Tuesday detailed the party's plan for Cuba's economic development, approved in the...

  • HAVANA, May 18- Cuba's chronic goods trade deficit widened by $1.5 billion in 2015 as exports fell 24 percent and imports rose 3 percent, the government said on Wednesday, in the first data showing a commodity crash has hurt the economy. Cuba orders much of its imports a year in advance. While no statistics are available, revenues from the sale of professional...

  • HAVANA/ BRASILIA, May 12- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's suspension from office is bad news for newly trendy Cuba, which despite a detente with Washington is feeling the pinch from a downturn ravaging allies' economies and political fortunes in South America and Africa. Friends such as Venezuela, Brazil and Angola for years used revenue from a...

  • The detente between the United States and Cuba has raised hopes that full commercial ties will soon be restored between the former Cold War foes. "We have talked about a number of projects," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event celebrating a donation by Caterpillar to the foundation that preserves the heritage of U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.

  • HAVANA, April 29- Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Friday praised Cuban President Raul Castro for embracing the realities of the modern world after a meeting with the Communist leader that marked a further step in Cuba's thaw with the West. Cuba still has one of the world's lowest Internet penetrations with access expensive and restricted.