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Boating accident takes life of Cuban baseball star

By the A.M. Cuba wire services

Florida Marlin's ace right-handed pitcher José Fernández died in a boating accident early Sunday.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported the 24-year old Fernández was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach after the 10-meter boat they were in had a "severe impact" with a rock jetty.


Arturo Pardavila via Wikimedia Commons
José Fernández during an interview April 12, 2016.

Fernández was born in Santa Clara, Cuba, and defected to the United States with his mother and sister when he was 15 years-old. He became a U.S. citizen last year.

Fernández was selected to the annual Major League all-star game in 2013 and 2016 and was the National League rookie of the year in 2013.

The Marlins say they are "devastated by the   tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.''

The Marlins' game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves was immediately cancelled following the news of Fernández' death.

— Sep. 25, 2016

Trump trashes detente with Cuba


By the A.M. Cuba wire services

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says if he is elected, he will reverse all of what he called the "concessions" President Barack Obama made in an effort to normalize relations with Cuba, unless Havana meets certain demands.


Ali Shaker/VOA via Wikimedia Commons
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"Those demands will include religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of political prisoners," Trump said Friday in Miami, home to a large Cuban population.

The real estate billionaire said "We're going to stand with the Cuban people in their fight against communist oppression. We're on the right side. Great people. They are great people. The president's one-sided deal for Cuba and with Cuba, benefits only the Castro regime."

In the past, Trump has said he supports normalized relations, but would have preferred a better deal.

— Sep. 17, 2016


Claims embargo has cost Cuba $125.9 billion
Cuba wants 55-year US embargo lifted NOW

By the A.M. Cuba wire services

The Cuban government has called on the United States to do more to ease economic pressure on the nation in light of improved relations between Washington and Havana, saying U.S. economic sanctions cost Cuba $4.6 billion in the last financial year.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez made the remark at a news conference Friday marking the launch of an annual campaign for a United Nations resolution that condemns the U.S. sanctions on the financially strapped island.

Rodriguez called the U.S. sanctions "the main cause of the economy's problems and obstacle to development."

He said over the 55 years the embargo had been in place, it had cost Cuba a total of $125.9 billion. The figure includes actual costs, such as fines on Cuba's business partners, and hypothetical figures, such as sales Cuban businesses could have been making in U.S. markets.

Since Cuba and the United States re-established diplomatic ties in a surprise move in December 2014, the two nations have opened embassies, restored commercial flights, eased travel restrictions, and negotiated trade, environmental, and communications agreements.

But the U.S. has yet to fully lift its trade embargo on Cuba, an issue that has been the subject of a nonbinding U.N. resolution in the General Assembly that has passed every year since 1992. Cuba has been the driving force behind the resolution, but it has overwhelming support from other nations.

Cuba and the United States have been at odds since Fidel Castro took control of the country — ousting a U.S.-backed government — and established a communist government in 1959. The trade embargo was established in 1960.

The United States traditionally votes against the U.N. resolution and claims Cuba owes it $10 billion for American property and companies seized by the Castro regime.

This year's vote in the U.N. is set for October 26.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he opposes the trade embargo, but says only Congress has the authority to completely lift the sanctions.

— Sep. 10, 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



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