Latest Fidel Castro News

  • Cuba passes law to lure foreign investment
    Cuba passes law to lure foreign investment Sat, Mar 29, 2014

    Cuban Parliament session on economic reforms in Havana on December 18, 2010 More »

  • Fidel, Chavez moment after failed 2002 coup captured
    Fidel, Chavez moment after failed 2002 coup captured Fri, Mar 28, 2014

    Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez shared their amazement and joy upon the triumphal return to power of the late Venezuelan leader after a brief coup in 2002, an exchange vividly captured in a transcript released Friday. More »

  • Anti-government marchers in Caracas slam Cuban 'invader'
    Anti-government marchers in Caracas slam Cuban 'invader' Mon, Mar 17, 2014

    Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched against Cuban meddling in Venezuela's domestic affairs. More »

  • Cuban revolutionary heroine Melba Hernandez dies at 92
    Cuban revolutionary heroine Melba Hernandez dies at 92 Mon, Mar 10, 2014

    Cuban revolutionary heroine Melba Hernandez, one of only two women to accompany Fidel Castro in a 1953 assault widely seen as the start of the country's communist revolution, has died, official media reported Monday. She was 92. More »

  • Chavez still 'alive' in Venezuela a year after dying of cancer Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    By Esteban Israel CARACAS (Reuters) - Though he died a year ago, Hugo Chavez still presents a weekly show on Venezuelan state television. The weekly retransmission of Chavez's famous "Hello President!" program is just one example of how his successor, President Nicolas Maduro, has kept the socialist leader's image alive ever since his March 5, 2013, death from cancer at age 58. Elsewhere, a stylized image of Chavez's eyes - reminiscent of an Andy Warhol print - watches Venezuelans from murals in the barrios of Caracas and T-shirts worn by supporters. Calling himself Chavez's "son," Maduro constantly cites the "eternal Comandante" in his speeches. More »

  • Putin, Hitler and Stalin: Least Deserving Nobel Peace Prize Nominations
    Putin, Hitler and Stalin: Least Deserving Nobel Peace Prize Nominations Wed, Mar 5, 2014

    Russian president Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, one of a record 278 candidates for this year's award. However, the Nobel committee's agenda is likely to include the recent conflict in Ukraine. Last month, Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimea region after President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted, prompting the most serious confrontation between the West and Moscow since the Cold War.  Geir Lundestad, the Norwegian Nobel Institute's director, said: "Part of the purpose of the committee's first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots." More »

  • Cuban dissidents say political arrests top 1,000 in February Mon, Mar 3, 2014

    By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Politically motivated arrests in Cuba topped 1,000 for a third straight month in February as the result of wider public demonstrations against the one-party state, a leading human rights organization said on Monday. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation said arrests in the past three months have nearly doubled from the monthly averages of the previous two years. Reuters could not independently verify the numbers, which the commission's president, Elizardo Sanchez, said were based on first-hand reports from activists around the island. The Cuban government says the commission is illegal and counterrevolutionary, and normally does not respond to its monthly reports. More »

  • Cuban agent released from U.S. prison gets hero's welcome
    Cuban agent released from U.S. prison gets hero's welcome Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro and top leaders of the Cuban government and Communist Party greeted a Cuban intelligence agent with a hero's welcome upon his return to Havana on Friday, a day after his release from a U.S. prison. Fernando Gonzalez, 50, had served more than 15 years for spying on Cuban-American exile groups in Miami and is one of the "Cuban Five" whose detentions have complicated the already tense relations between the United States and Cuba. The United States deported him on Friday, and he told reporters he was still in handcuffs until the plane touched down at the Havana airport. Three of the original five remain in prison in the United States, and all are treated as heroes in Cuba, where their cases are considered emblematic of U.S. hostility toward its neighbour 90 miles (150 km) away. More »

  • Cuban agent who was released from U.S. prison arrives in Havana Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    A Cuban intelligence agent has arrived in Havana a day after his release from a U.S. prison where he served more than 15 years for spying on Cuban-American exile groups, Cuban state television reported on Friday. Fernando Gonzalez, 50, is one of the "Cuban Five" whose detentions have complicated the already tense relations between the United States and Cuba, two countries separated by 90 miles (150 km) of sea and more than 50 years of hostility. Cuba has suggested it would like to swap its agents for U.S. contractor Alan Gross, an American sentenced to 15 years in Cuba for setting up an illegal communications network. So far the United States has refused to make such a trade. More »

  • Exiled former Cuban rebel who broke with Castro dead at 95 Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    Huber Matos, a former Cuban revolutionary who fought alongside Fidel Castro, but later turned against him and was jailed before going into exile, died in Miami early Thursday aged 95. The day before he died Matos spoke to supporters in Cuba, the statement said, adding that his last words were: "The struggle continues, long live a free Cuba." Matos supported the Castro revolution against Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s, flying weapons to Cuba from Costa Rica before joining Castro's Rebel Army in the Sierra Maestra mountains. Sentenced to 20 years in jail, he was released in 1979 and returned to Costa Rica to join his wife and children, before moving to Miami. More »

  • Cuban ex-rebel commander, dissident Huber Matos dies
    Cuban ex-rebel commander, dissident Huber Matos dies Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    The former Cuban rebel commander Huber Matos, once one of Fidel Castro's closest comrades before eventually going against the communist leadership, died in Miami on Thursday. He was 95. More »

  • Jailed Cuban agent to be deported from U.S. after release Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A Cuban intelligence agent jailed for more than 15 years for spying on Cuban-American exiles living in Miami will be deported immediately following his release from an Arizona prison on Thursday, his attorney said. Fernando Gonzalez, 50, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998 along with four other Cuban agents and they were all convicted in 2001 of 26 counts of spying on behalf of Fidel Castro's government. The case of the "Cuban Five" is widely considered an impediment to improving tense relations between the United States and Cuba, separated by only 90 miles (150 km) of sea. Cuba considers the agents national heroes, arguing they were unjustly convicted and were mainly collecting information on Cuban exile groups suspected of planning guerrilla actions against the island. More »

  • U.S. expels Venezuelan diplomats in tit-for-tat move over unrest
    U.S. expels Venezuelan diplomats in tit-for-tat move over unrest Wed, Feb 26, 2014

    By Andrew Cawthorne and Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday ordered three Venezuelan diplomats to leave in reprisal for President Nicolas Maduro's expulsion of three American embassy staff accused of fomenting unrest that has killed at least 13 people. Disputes between the ideologically opposed governments in Washington and Caracas were common during the 1999-2013 rule of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez and have continued under his successor Maduro. When it comes to oil, though, pragmatism trumps politics and the United States remains the OPEC member's main export market. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that two first secretaries and a second secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington had been declared personae non gratae in response to Caracas' February 17 move against the three Americans. More »

  • On This Day: Fidel Castro becomes Cuban PM as he ousts his own puppet Cardona …
    On This Day: Fidel Castro becomes Cuban PM as he ousts his own puppet Cardona … Fri, Feb 14, 2014

    Castro had given liberal Cardona the job only six weeks earlier after his rebel forces overthrew the government of brutal right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista. More »

  • US bans carry-on liquids on Russia-bound flights
    US bans carry-on liquids on Russia-bound flights Fri, Feb 7, 2014

    US authorities announced a temporary ban Thursday on liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-ons aboard Russia-bound flights, as President Barack Obama said Moscow has an "enormous stake" in thwarting terror at the Winter Olympics. More »

  • Exclusive-In diplomatic shift, Europe seeks improved ties with Cuba
    Exclusive-In diplomatic shift, Europe seeks improved ties with Cuba Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    By Robin Emmott and Fiona Ortiz BRUSSELS/MADRID (Reuters) - The European Union will agree next month to deepen relations with Cuba in its most significant overture to the communist nation since diplomatic sanctions were lifted in 2008, people close to the matter told Reuters. Foreign ministers from the EU's 28 countries will give the go-ahead on February 10 to launch talks with Havana on a special cooperation accord to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights. "Cuba wants capital, and the European Union wants influence," said one person involved in the talks who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. "This cooperation could serve as a prelude to much more." Two other people with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters that a consensus had been reached in Brussels to give momentum to the market-oriented reforms introduced under Cuban President Raul Castro and to position European companies for any transition to a more capitalist economy in the longer term. More »

  • Castro holds court on sidelines of Havana summit
    Castro holds court on sidelines of Havana summit Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    Fidel Castro, the 87-year-old father of the Cuban revolution, held court on the sidelines of a regional summit here this week, looking alert and well in his numerous meetings with foreign leaders. More »

  • Exclusive - Europe to launch talks to upgrade relations with Cuba
    Exclusive - Europe to launch talks to upgrade relations with Cuba Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    By Robin Emmott and Fiona Ortiz BRUSSELS/MADRID (Reuters) - The European Union will agree next month to deepen relations with Cuba in its most significant overture to the communist island since the bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions in 2008, people close to the matter told Reuters. Foreign ministers from the EU's 28 countries will give the go-ahead on February 10 to launch talks with Havana on a special cooperation accord to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights. "Cuba wants capital and the European Union wants influence," said one person involved in the talks who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. "This cooperation could serve as a prelude to much more." Two other people with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters that a consensus had been reached in Brussels to give momentum to Cuba's market-oriented reforms under President Raul Castro and to position European companies for any transition to a more capitalist economy there in the longer term. More »

  • Cuban agent due for U.S. release to be deported, lawyer says Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    By Zachary Fagenson and David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - A Cuban intelligence agent, jailed for 15 years for spying on Cuban-American exiles in Miami, is due to be freed next month and will be deported to the Caribbean island country, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Fernando Gonzalez, 50, was arrested by the FBI in 1998 along with four other Cuban agents who were convicted in 2001 of 26 counts of spying on behalf of Fidel Castro's government. The case of the "Cuban Five" is widely considered an impediment to improving the hostile relations between the United States and Cuba, separated by only 90 miles (145 km) of sea. A U.S. immigration official confirmed that late on Wednesday, saying "as soon as Gonzalez has finished his criminal incarceration he will be removed from the country." Another agent, Rene Gonzalez, was released in 2011 after serving more than 13 years and now lives in Cuba. More »

  • Convicted Cuban agent due for release next month, but not free to go home Wed, Jan 29, 2014

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A Cuban intelligence agent jailed for 15 years for spying on Cuban American exiles in Miami is due to be freed on February 27, but must remain in the United States for three years of supervised release, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Fernando Gonzalez, 50, was arrested by the FBI in 1998 along with four other Cuban agents who were convicted in 2001 of 26 counts of spying on behalf of Fidel Castro's government. The case of the "Cuban Five" is widely considered as an impediment to improving the hostile relations between the U.S. and Cuba, separated by only 90 miles of sea. Another agent, Rene Gonzalez, was released in 2011 after serving more than 13 years and now lives in Cuba. More »

  • Cuba challenges neighbours on poverty, then faces own critics
    Cuba challenges neighbours on poverty, then faces own critics Wed, Jan 29, 2014

    By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro challenged Latin American leaders to show the political will to improve health care and education, then heard from his own critics after Cuban authorities stifled a protest outside the confines of a regional summit. Castro's speech also listed a series of Latin American grievances that directly or indirectly involve the United States, attempting to unify the 33 countries at the summit against their neighbour to the north, which was not invited. "We have every possibility to abolish illiteracy," Castro told leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). "We should have the political will to do it." While Castro advised fellow leaders on how to manage their economies, Cuban dissidents and the United States admonished the Cubans for thwarting a protest. More »

  • Fidel Castro 'talked a lot' during meeting, Brazil's Rousseff s …
    Fidel Castro 'talked a lot' during meeting, Brazil's Rousseff s … Wed, Jan 29, 2014

    Fidel Castro was lucid, displayed a sharp memory and "talked a lot," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday of her two-hour meeting with the former Cuban president. Rousseff met Castro, 87, on Monday during her visit to Cuba for a Latin American and Caribbean summit. She said Castro discussed his contemporaries, such as former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, and historical figures such as Napoleon. Castro has rarely been seen in public since he took ill in 2006 and handed over power to his younger brother Raul Castro, at first provisionally in 2006 and then definitively in 2008. More »