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Cuban economy, internet on party agenda ahead of Castro exit

Havana - A dire economic crisis and the "subversive" nature of the internet were on the agenda Saturday and Sunday as a historic congress of the Communist Party of Cuba meets ahead of longtime leader Raul Castro's departure from power.

Cuba changes leadership, seeks 'respectful' talks with US

Havana - The all-powerful Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) opened a historic congress Friday to rubber-stamp the transfer of power to a new generation as outgoing leader Raul Castro committed it to "respectful" talks with the United States.

No Castros in charge: leadership change in Cuba

Havana - Cuba's leadership is passing to a younger generation, with the last Castro leaving office and ending a 60-year family monopoly, but there is little other change as power remains firmly with the Communist Party.

Cuba: New animal-welfare law allows cockfights, religious sacrifice

Havana - Cuba on Saturday published a new animal-welfare law, the country's first, providing fines in cases of abuse but not banning cockfights or animal sacrifices during religious rites.

Cuba erects giant concrete flag in front of US embassy

Havana - Cuba has erected a giant concrete flag in front of the US embassy in the capital Havana as hopes of an improvement in bilateral relations under the Joe Biden administration fade on the island nation.

New era beckons for Cuba, without a Castro in power

Havana - Cuba will emerge from the April congress of its all-powerful Communist Party without a Castro at the helm for the first time in over 60 years.

Cuba approves animal rights law after activists' campaign

Havana - Cuba has adopted long-called for animal rights regulations, a groundbreaking victory for activists in the communist nation.

Dissident leader Ferrer released by Cuba: supporter

Havana - Leading Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer was released late Friday after 10 hours in police custody and ordered by a judge to end his political activities, he said.

Rap hit rattles leaders of communist Cuba

Havana - In Cuba, where music and revolution are intertwined, a song by rappers boldly denouncing the communist government has found viral appeal online -- but angered a regime that keeps close tabs on culture.

Squeezed by sanctions, pandemic, Cuba finally opens up economy

Havana - Cuba is undergoing a paradigm shift: after decades of tight, centralized control, the communist government is opening up the bulk of its economy to the private sector.

Press, health and education remain in state control under Cuba reforms

Havana - Cuba's weekend announcement that it would authorize private enterprise in most sectors of its economy excludes 124 areas, such as the press, health and education, the labor ministry said Wednesday.

Cuba authorizes private activity in majority of sectors

Havana - Cuba announced Saturday that private activity will be authorized in most sectors, a major reform in the communist country where the state and its companies dominate economic activity.

Cuba gripped in dollar frenzy, peso under pressure

Havana - The US dollar, nigh impossible to obtain legally in communist-run Cuba, has become a coveted commodity raking in double the state-determined exchange rate on the black market as the peso falters.

Cuba says Trump sanctions cost it $20 billion

Havana - The Trump administration's stepped-up sanctions against Cuba cost the communist-run island some $20 billion, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday.

Mobile internet: Cuba's new revolution

Havana - Since arriving in Cuba just two years ago, mobile internet has revolutionized life here -- helping people find food, fuel and even medicine amid crippling shortages, and helping them organize protests in a country where waving a placard can land you in...

Cuba to test Covid vaccine candidate in Iran

Havana - Cuba will test its most advanced Covid vaccine candidate, in Iran, the research center that developed it announced on Saturday.

Teachers and lion tamers get same wage under Cuban reform

Havana - Cuban school teachers, journalists, lion tamers and doctors-in-training will earn the same salary under reforms spelled out Thursday and taking effect in the new year.

Reuters' report claims Biden will continue use of sanctions

A recent report from Reuters claims that the incoming administration of Joe Biden will continue Trump's policy of using sanctions as a foreign policy weapon.

Catholic church in Cuba urges dialogue after rare protest

Havana - The Catholic church in Cuba, the only political interlocutor recognized by the country's communist government, called Saturday for "dialogue and negotiation" two weeks after a rare protest over freedom of expression.

Cuba to increase minimum salary fivefold

Havana - Cuba will increase its minimum wage fivefold as part of reforms due to come into effect on January 1 as it unifies its two official currencies, the official gazette said on Friday.
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