Florida’s newest high-profile Democrat, former Gov. Charlie Crist, was spotted at the Segovia Tower in Coral Gables at a $32,000-a-head fundraiser hosted by personal injury attorney Ralph G. Patino.
Obama moved next to a fundraiser hosted by Jorge Mas Santos, a Cuban American National Foundation leader and CEO of MasTec. There, the president thanked Mas Santos, who stood next to him, and singled out Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Speaking by the pool of Mas Santos’ house, Obama said his policy of supporting civil society in Cuba is beginning to show results, but that Washington must continue to be “creative and thoughtful” in its policies.
When Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Farinas arrived in Miami, he said he was prepared to face rejection from radical members of the Cuban-American community who do not believe in pacific opposition.
The reaction has been far different. When he went to the Versailles restaurant, a traditional gathering spot for older exiles in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood, he was embraced. During an event at Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower, he was applauded.
“The love the exiles in Miami have shown us makes us discard what the government, over 54 years, has planted in our minds,” he said.
Read the whole thing.
While you’re at it, if you understand spoken Spanish, listen to Jaime Bayly’s interview with Berta Soler,
Parts 2, 3 with Laura Maria Labrada and Belkis Cantillo (also in the photo above), and 4.
A group of Cubans attending AfricAmericas, a six-day event being held here through today, told stories that most U.S. blacks would find familiar, “but it is not like here,” said Manuel Cuesta Morua, who has been a tour guide, history teacher and a museum director whose political activism cost him his job. “In Cuba, we are all equal, but [blacks] can’t be in the media. We have the same education, but we can’t have that job.
“Here there are civic tools” and a justice system that can work, he said. “We have no political or symbolic representation, no access to the emerging economy” and no avenues to leadership positions.
4. Barbara Walters is retiring. Back in 1977 she spent 10 days in Cuba as Fidel Castro’s guest.
She came back with an interview that aired on TV, and a very persistent rumor that she boinked the dictator. Then she went back 25 years later, asked the same questions and got the same BS answers, like “we [Cuban Communists] don’t have the same notion of freedom as you”,
Since Fidel’s not available for interviews, but the regime needs money, expect more dissidents being allowed to travel abroad and that Mariela will get more awards.
Russia’s National Oil Consortium on Friday paid Venezuela a bonus of $600 million for participation in the development of the Junin-6 deposit, the head of a company making part of the consortium said.
Vladimir Bogdanov, the head of Surgutneftegaz, added that Friday is to see constituent documents signed and a joint venture registered in which 60% belongs to Venezuela’s state oil and gas corporation Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), and 40% to the Russian consortium.
The National Oil Consortium (NNK) of Russian companies working in Venezuela includes Russian energy giant Gazprom, state-run crude producer Rosneft, Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP, Surgutneftegaz and LUKoil.
Total investment into the Junin-6 block development – a project designed to last 25 years – is estimated to reach $20 billion. The agreement on the joint venture between Russia and Venezuela was signed a month ago in Moscow. The Junin-6 oil field could produce up to 450,000 barrels daily by 2017.
The settlement also affects a refinery in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, which was closed for business reasons in July 2008. Shell Chemical Yabucoa’s existing terminal operation in Puerto Rico will upgrade its operations, the Justice Department said.
Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas has requested that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to officially request that the United Nations convene a Security Council meeting to discuss Cuba’s human rights violations, and the plight of political prisoners.
Fariñas is currently on hunger strike to call international attention to his cause. As you may recall, Osvaldo Zapata Tamayo died earlier this month from his hunger strike, after being tortured by the regime “excellent medical care” by being denied hydration.
Cuban artist Geandy Pavon protests by projecting the image of Orlando Zapata Tamayo upon the facade of the Cuban Mission to the UN building in NYC,
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday strongly condemning the “avoidable and cruel” death of Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata and voicing its concern at the “alarming state” of another prisoner, Guillermo Fariñas. MEPs also repeat their call to the Cuban government for the “immediate and unconditional” release of all political prisoners and urge the EU to begin a “structured dialogue” with Cuban civil society.