Pope Benedict XVI’s call for 'authentic freedom' during his recent visit to Cuba is unlikely to spur democracy. But other factors suggest economic changes are under way, patterned after the Chinese example, namely creating a market economy under an authoritarian, communist political system.
Guest blogger Melissa Lockhart reviews a year of what she calls big change in Cuba, little change in US policy.
Raúl Castro has freed some political prisoners, talked of term limits, and announced plans to lay off half a million government workers. But he's chosen for his inner circle senior hard-liners who resist change. Until they leave, change will be limited.
The leftists that comprise this group are, in many cases, more divergent than the right-left divide in their own countries, but from the rhetoric you would never know it.
Three oiled rock hopper penguins on the island chain of Tristan da Cunha. Thousands of endangered penguins have been coated with oil after a cargo ship ran aground and broke up on a remote British South Atlantic territory. The shipwreck also threatens the lobster fishery that provides a livelihood to one of the world's most isolated communities.
Fidel Castro is striding back into the limelight after years behind the scenes and out of view.