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US denies visas to Cuban academics

As scholars make preparations for next week’s prestigious Latin American Studies Association Congress 2012 in San Francisco, there has been the very disturbing news that seven visas for Cuban academics have been denied in the past few days, two were denied on Tuesday, five on Wednesday; it is likely that at least three others will be denied as meetings have been scheduled for Friday and Monday.

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Updating of Cuban model explained

Cuban academics visit UK

Two leading Cuban academics toured the UK for a week in April giving talks and lectures at conferences in London and Sheffield. Professor Carlos Alzugaray of the University of Havana and Dr Rafael Hernandez, editor of Temas magazine, were the guests of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba (IISC). They arrived in the UK on Monday 16 April and carried out an intense programme of activities from the 17 April until their departure on the 22nd.

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Could this be the last OAS summit?

US under intense pressure in hemisphere over Cuba policy

Leaders from across the western hemisphere ended the Organisation of American States summit in Cartegena, Colombia, on Sunday 15 April, without a final declaration of agreement because several Latin American governments opposed US President Barack Obama's insistence on preventing Cuba from attending future meetings. Unprecedented Latin American opposition to the US policy on Cuba left Obama isolated and illustrated Washington's declining influence in a region that is now being aggressively courted by China. They met in plenary session to decide whether this would be the last hemispheric summit because several Latin American leaders made it abundantly clear they would not attend in the future if Cuba were kept out. On Saturday, the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the host of the Summit and Washington's closest ally in Latin America, said it would be "unacceptable" to keep Cuba out of the next gathering.

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Analysis from the Cuba Standard

Why is the Mexican President in Cuba?

President Felipe Calderón has just a few months left to cement — a dangerous word in the post-Macondo world — his presidential legacy in the oil sector. His visit to Cuba is intended to sell the Cuban government on the wisdom of the global template that his government negotiated with the United States on the subject of cross-border oilfields.

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Interview with Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban Parliament

President of the Cuban Parliament since 1992, and member of the Political Bureau of the Cuban Communist Party, Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada is, after President Raul Castro and First Vice-President Antonio Machado Ventura, third in line in the Cuban government. Professor of philosophy and a career diplomat, Alarcon spent nearly 12 years in the United States as the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations. Over time, he has become a spokesperson for the Havana government. In this long interview, one that lasted nearly two hours, Alarcon did not seek to evade a single question. The interview concludes with a discussion of the relationship of Cuba with the Catholic church and the Vatican, the imminent visit to Cuba of Pope Benedict XVI, Cuban relations with the European Union and the new Latin America and finally the future of Cuba after Fidel and Raul Castro.

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Will the ALBA bloc boycott the OAS summit?

Storm clouds gather over Cartagena

A political storm is gathering for the Obama administration following the visit to Cuba last week by Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia. At issue is next month's summit of the Organisation of the American States (OAS) set to take place in Cartagena, Colombia, and a row that is developing between the countries of the ALBA bloc and the United States over Cuba's exclusion. The visit by Santos to Havana was historic because Colombia is now the United States' closest ally in a region that has been increasingly turning its back on Washington. Just how far the nations of latin America will go in support of Cuba's inclusion in the OAS summit will be an acid test of their new confidence and strength. Santos wanted to discuss ways in which Cuba could be included at the summit, but left saying that no 'consensus' could be reached.

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