Monday, September 27, 2010

Cuba to allow first US dollar home rentals in 50 years

Cuba announces raft of economic reforms AFP – A painter works in Havana. Cuba on Friday announced a raft of reforms intended to absorb some 500,000 …
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HAVANA (AFP) – Cuba is to allow some houses to be rented in US dollars for the first time in 50 years as well as the opening up of small businesses as it seeks to shed 500,000 public jobs, state media said Friday.
"From October, the ban on renting accommodation in the Cuban convertible peso (equivalent to the dollar) will be lifted," the daily Granma said.
The move will apply to "people who have permission to live abroad, or those who live in Cuba, and leave the country for more than three months," the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party said.
Those people will also be allowed to rent out their cars, it added.
Cuba has been under a US economic embargo for almost five decades. And the communist authorities only permit those Cubans who are married to foreigners or who have work contracts abroad to leave the island and return when they want.
Those people who have been given state housing since 2001 or who have carried out repairs on their homes will also be allowed to rent them, but with time limits.
Cuba is preparing to embrace the free market the hard way by laying off hundreds of thousands of public sector workers in the next six months.
Cuba's main labor organization said Monday it expected 500,000 jobs to be eliminated from the public sector by March 2011 "along with a parallel increase in the non state sector."

A first former Cuban prisoner moves from Spain to U.S.

Be the first to leave Spain to go to live in the United States, although other 21 former Cuban prisoners have requested to be granted this permission .

Arturo Pérez de Alejo will first Cuban dissidents released by the government of Raul Castro and hosted by Spain, which moved to the United States . The trip, which carried with her wife and daughter to Miami , has been funded by the Organization International Organization for Migration (IOM ) , where you can meet with another daughter and  three grandchildren.

Perez is the first of the former Cuban prisoners welcomed in Spain you can travel to the U.S., although was not the first to move to another country closer to his native Cuba, As did José Ubaldo Izquierdo on August 4 , who moved to Chile.

This  trip has been accomplished so quickly thanks to Perez and had initiated the process to be welcomed as refugees political  Administration Barack Obama , and his wife and daughter had already visa to reside in the U.S.. "I'm very happy because I know I'ma unique case , "said the former chairman of the organization independent human rights Escambray . Perez was held since the Black Spring March 2003.

Of the 36 former political prisoners who have arrived in Spain since began in July releases , 21 have requested to be hosted in the U.S., where many of their families, especially in the state of Florida.
S: Agencias/ Front Line results

Venezuela opposition limits Chavez in parliament

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez casts during parliamentary elections in Caracas Reuters – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez casts during the parliamentary elections in Caracas September 26, 2010. …

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela's opposition won a third of the seats in parliament and claimed a majority of the popular vote in elections on Sunday, a boost to its campaign to beat President Hugo Chavez at the 2012 presidential election.
Although Chavez's Socialist Party will have a majority in the 165-seat National Assembly, it fell short of its goal of winning the two thirds needed to pass major laws and make appointments to the Supreme Court and election authorities without the support of its foes.
The newly-united opposition Democratic Unity umbrella group said it won 52 percent of votes in the election. If confirmed, it would be a symbolic blow to the socialist Chavez in the 12th year of his rule of South America's top oil exporter.
"We are the majority!" sang opposition supporters after the results were announced in the early hours of Monday.
After years of defeats and missteps, opposition leaders will now focus on trying to topple the man they call an autocrat at the ballot box in 2012, and will use their group in parliament to step up the pressure on Chavez.
"This is a huge result for the opposition. They exceeded even their own expectations," David Smilde, a Venezuela expert from the University of Georgia, told Reuters.
With the last results still coming in, however, Chavez was close to the three fifths of seats needed to give him special decree powers with which he could bypass parliament in implementing socialist reforms.
A baseball-mad former tank soldier who rose from a poor rural childhood, Chavez first tried to take power in a 1992 coup and has lost only one election since he won the presidency at the ballot box in 1998.
He has become one of the world's most recognizable politicians, taking the crown from Cuba's Fidel Castro as Latin America's leading critic of Washington and nationalizing foreign oil companies in South America's top crude exporter.
Chavez is widely accused of using bullying tactics against his opponents, although he can argue his democratic credentials are burnished by the opposition gains in Sunday's vote.
He is still the country's most popular politician but his approval ratings have been hit by a deep recession, soaring violent crime and electricity shortages.
Election authorities said on Monday that Chavez's Socialist Party won at least 94 seats in the Assembly and that Democratic Unity took at least 60 seats. Five seats went to other parties and the results from the remaining six were not yet in.
A source at the electoral council backed the opposition's claim of winning 52 percent of the popular vote.
"This gives us a lot of political power," said Armando Briquett, spokesman for Democratic Unity.
The favorable outcome for opponents of Chavez's nationalizations and socialist economic policies will likely be welcomed by investors with money in Venezuelan bonds. However, Chavez is unlikely to cool his revolutionary zeal for long.
He sought to put a brave face on the election, declaring on his Twitter site that it was a "new victory for the people."
The government was always likely to get a higher percentage of seats than votes due to changes in electoral districts and voting rules that favored it.
Faced with the prospect of negotiating with politicians he views as bourgeois capitalists, Chavez may yet move to limit the power of parliament. He could devolve some lawmaking capacity to community groups loyal to him or pass key legislation before the new legislators take office in January.
Chavez stripped powers from opposition figures when they won key states and cities in regional elections two years ago.
Chavez, 56, was not on the ballot for Sunday's election but he was the dominant figure throughout the campaign, in yet another vote that was essentially a referendum on his rule.
While not an outright defeat for Chavez, the result shows Venezuela's opposition forces are galvanizing.
Analysts are unsure whether Chavez might now want to radicalize his self-styled "Bolivarian Revolution," named for Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar, or try to soften policies to appeal to the many who voted against him.
"He has always been impossible to predict," said a senior Western diplomat in Caracas.
The election result signals the unofficial start of the presidential race in which Chavez hopes to extend what will by then be nearly 14 years in power.
Investors have paid close attention to the vote, particularly because debt issued by the government and state oil company PDVSA offers very high yields for those willing to bear what some consider a significant chance of default.
For the opposition, the election has given them their first significant presence in parliament for years.
They boycotted the last vote in 2005 but managed to unite this year and will hope to replicate that in 2012.
"It's going to be a hostile parliament, that's for sure," Guillermo Miguelena, the Caracas secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Action Party, told Reuters. "Now we need to keep the unity we have achieved."
(Additional reporting by Andrew Cawthorne, Enrique Andres Pretel, Deisy Buitrago, Eyanir Chinea, Marianna Parraga; Editing by Kieran Murray)

Venezuela Approves BP Asset Sale Talks

September 27, 2010, 8:05 am
Venezuela has granted BP permission to negotiate the sale of its assets in the South American O.P.E.C. member, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said Sunday, Reuters reported.
Last month, he said BP would need authorization from the administration of President Hugo Chávez to sell its minority stakes in two exploration and production joint ventures with Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, as well as its interest in the Petromonagas crude upgrader.
Go to Article from Reuters »
Fidel Castro called to vote for Chavez in elections 's legislative Venezuela

The  Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, made yesterday to " face to rain " forecast for today, when elections will be held  laws of Venezuela, to give a "major victory" to his counterpart Hugo Chávez.

"I  face to the rain , and not let the rule take out of them any advantage , fight with neighbors and family protect people and property, but not would go to vote as a sacred duty , "he wrote in another of its ideas to the press Cuban was quoted by news agency Italian ANSA.

Castro reported in his commentary , published this week on the Internet, which Based on these elections, " the rule "means " weaken the Revolution ( Bolivarian ), limiting their ability to fight , to deprive of  two-thirds of the National Assembly to facilitate its plans counterrevolutionaries. "

It also aims, he added, "increase their vile campaign and continue surrounding Venezuela military bases . "

"If  errors , not give up ever the opportunity that Revolution ( Bolivarian ) offers to rectify and overcome obstacles, " said.

In election Sunday's will choose 165 members of Parliament that South American country .

S: Telam / simultaneous translation LPPNEWS Front Line results

South Korea and U.S. begin five days of naval maneuvers

09/27/2010 / 4:30 : h
Seoul , Sept. 27 ( EFE ) .- Korea South and the United States began today CincoDías naval maneuvers joint in the western coast of lapenínsula Korean in a new show of force against régimencomunista North Korea , news agency local Yonhap .
This is the second exercises joint military after losrealizados on the east coast of the peninsula in July inresponse the collapse in March of ship South Korean " Cheonan , near the maritime border between the two Koreas.
That event , which killed 46 sailors South Korean , was attributed to a torpedo launched from a North Korean submarine , although Pyongyang denies responsibility .
military said South Korean in exercises sedesarrollan in the Yellow Sea ( West Sea ) involved unos1.700 soldiers and a dozen ships , including two destructoresestadounidenses and two submarines.
Korea North called on Sunday , these maneuvers of " provocation military " and warned that its army " nuncaperdonará to provocateurs . "
The exercises last July in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) were the highest achieved in the peninsula in three decades ycontaron with the participation of U.S. aircraft carrier "George Washington " , a dozen warships , 200 avionesde combat and 8,000 .
The new maneuvers in South Korea and the U.S. , its main sociodemographic safety, pulled a day before a meeting extraordinariadel North Korean Workers' Party of North Korea, laprimera in the last 44 years.
Analysts suggest that the meeting starting tomorrow , inwhich will elect the new party leadership only Korea delNorte , is a possible first step in preparing lasucesión North Korean leader , Kim Jong- Il , 68 .
As his eventual successor is shaping his youngest son, Kim Jong -un, who may be one of the important posts in the partidopara consolidate and political heir of his father.
The meeting of the Workers Party is the largest eventopolítico in North Korea since 1980, when Kim Jong- il fueformalmente named the successor to his father, Kim Il- Sung, fundadordel communist regime North Korean .

S: / EFE / translate LPPNEWS Front Line results