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Miami Herald - Latin America Advisor
Question: Cuban President Fidel Castro's fall following a speech Oct. 20, in which he broke bones in his left leg and right arm, brought to the fore questions about what will happen in Cuba after he is gone. Is the Cuban government prepared for Castro's eventual departure? Is the United States prepared?
Across the Florida straits, bands like Los Van Van and singers like Ibrahim Ferrer are quite content in one of the two last bastions of communism in the world.
Here in the US, Cuban refugees like trumpeter Arturo Sandoval doesn't hide his dislike of Castro. The anti-Castro people probably would like more classically trained artists like Sandoval on their side. But for right now, they'll be happy with anyone they can get. Which brings us to the subject of today's Global Hit.
He was born Armando Christian Perez, and grew up in Miami. Drugs and violence were as common in his childhood as the palm trees where he lived. It's not surprising that Perez would adopt the stage-name Pit Bull.
The world has breathed a collective sigh of relief after the superpowers reached an agreement ending the immediate threat of nuclear war.
Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev has agreed to dismantle all Russian missiles based in Cuba and ship them back to the Soviet Union.
The announcement was made in a public message to President John F Kennedy broadcast on Moscow Radio.
In response, President Kennedy said the decision to remove the Cuban missiles was an "important contribution to peace".
He has also promised the US will not invade Cuba and will eventually lift the US naval blockade imposed on the island...
Tue Oct 26, 4:39 PM ET By ANITA SNOW, Associated Press Writer
HAVANA - Communist Cuba said "adios" to the Yankee dollar that shored up its struggling economy for a decade, launching a two-week process Tuesday to eliminate the U.S. currency from its stores and businesses in response to stepped-up American sanctions.
President Fidel Castro (news - web sites) said widespread use of the currency of his country's No. 1 enemy, once seen as a necessary evil to stay afloat after losing Soviet aid and trade, would be halted to guarantee Cuba's economic independence....
Young Cuban classical pianist heads to two-year perfection course at Paris conservatory.
By Vanessa Arrington / Associated Press Writer. Sunday, October 24, 2004.
HAVANA -- For years, Cuban classical pianist Gabriel Urgell Reyes played chords on an old upright piano in his native Havana.
Now, the young talent will play on a brand-new Bluthner grand worth tens of thousands of dollars -- in Paris.
Urgell, 28, was one of six pianists and the only Latin American granted entry to this year's perfection course at France's prestigious Conservatoire National Superieur de Danse et Musique in Paris.
"He is brilliant, and could likely be someone very famous in the future," said Herve Billaut, in charge of piano pedagogy at the conservatory. "It's surprising that he stayed so long in Cuba."...
Love, passion and a melancholy man
By Nicholas Caistor. 23 October 2004
It is rare for a publisher to rush forward publication of a novel to try to pre-empt pirate editions. But this week, Norma publishers in Colombia have been forced to bring out the latest book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez after illegal vendors had apparently sold more than 13,000 cheap copies on the streets of his home country of Colombia.
Of course, Garcia Marquez is no ordinary novelist, and his latest book, in Spanish called Memorias de Mis Putas Tristes (in English, Memories of My Melancholy Whores) is his first fictional work to appear in 10 years...
Mississippi University, Oct. 19, 2004.
STARKVILLE, Miss.-Mississippi State University archaeologist John O'Hear has spent his entire career exploring early Native American life in the Southeast. But because he grew up in Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish, he recently also has become a co-investigator of a project seeking to unravel archaeological secrets at one of the most important sites in southern Cuba.
The early 16th century site is so significant O'Hear describes it as the equivalent of "1,000 years from now being able to dig at the site of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King's home church in Atlanta."
Chuy Lopez. Sunday, October 24, 2004
"The bass is an instrument that in one word describes itself," says Israel "Cachao" Lopez, a virtuoso Cuban bassist considered the grandfather of salsa -- and creator of the mambo. "We're the depth of the music."
The role that the upright string bass plays is pivotal. When the instrument is plucked, the resulting deep resonant tones can swing a jazz rhythm section; when it's bowed, the sounds produced fill out a classical symphony. In Afro-Cuban music, the bass binds a complex polyrhythmic mesh of horns, strings, piano, guitars, voices and percussion that dance within a two- bar pattern called clave.
Morning Edition, October 20, 2004 · Cuban leader Fidel Castro, 78, has outlasted nine U.S. presidents, but many analysts are preparing for the end of his regime. The Bush administration has a blueprint for a post-Castro Cuba and is looking for an opportunity to pursue its plan. NPR's Tom Gjelten reports.