Cuba Privatizes Some Abandoned State-Owned Farmland

Fidel Castro, 81, has been out of the public eye for the past 16 months after his intestinal surgery. Recently he phoned Elian Gonzalez.

Elian Gonzalez, who as a boy was the focus of an international custody battle, said ailing Cuban President Fidel Castro called him Thursday and told him he is doing well.

“It was a very exciting moment,” said Gonzalez, who turned 14 this month.

Ho hum.

More importantly for the prosperity of Cubans, Marc Frank reports the state is privatizing some farmland.

The weekly economic publication Opciones recently reported that sickle bush and other weeds have become “a plague”, covering one third of Cuba’s 3.6 million hectares (90 million acres) of arable land.

A group of Raul Castro’s aides is drawing up a plan for what to do with the large tracts of vacant state land, with a deadline set for the end of this year, Communist Party sources say.

Local farmers say they are the key to any reform.

“When I was young I joined the revolution because my father and I worked like slaves for an American dairy company right here,” said family farmer Alfredo Fernandez. “Our lives are much better now, but the truth is the area used to produce 1,000 liters of milk a day and now maybe 200 liters.”

Finally, Tomás Estrada-Palma has a video showing a Cuban mob, organized by the state to attack peaceful protestors.

Finally plus one, here is the first of a series of videos showing allegations of torture in Cuba.

Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, guerrilla radio, Adam’s Blog, The Pink Flamingo, Celebrity Smack, Big Dog’s Weblog, The Bullwinkle Blog, and Dumb Ox Daily News, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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