Karla Cabrera [...] was excited when she came across "Introduction to Mao Zedong Thought," an online course about the Chinese revolutionary leader. But when Cabrera began watching the lectures on a popular online education platform owned and administered by Harvard and MIT [...] each class opened with a patriotic video montage. Talk of Mao's errors was minimal, restricted to the Communist Party line.
Current President Xi Jinping has sought to make a mark for himself as an image re-maker; seeking to scrub clean his party’s reputation through a major ongoing anti-corruption drive. He’s also championed the power of art and film to increase China’s international influence, to make it a cultural as well as a political and military power. The official line is to 'send culture out into the world'.
The Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) closed mid-November, but it still keeps China-watchers awake.
China has pledged to make the most sweeping changes to the economy and the country's social fabric in nearly three decades with a 60-point reform plan that may start showing results within weeks. Some financial and fiscal reforms are likely to be the first out of the blocks, analysts said, but more wrenching changes such as land reform, reining in the power of state-behemoths, and a more universal social welfare system may take years as the Communist Party leaders balance reorganizing the economy with a need to maintain stability.
Cuba has approved a plan to gradually eliminate its dual monetary system as part of reforms aimed at improving the country’s economic performance, a communique carried by official media on Tuesday said. “The Council of Ministers has adopted a chronogram of measures that will lead to monetary and exchange unification,” the government statement said, giving few details.
The new editor of Granma - Pelayo Terry - is seen as less of a hardliner than his predecessor. He has a Twitter account and has spoken in favour of using social media to promote dialogue. The decision to replace the editorial command of the two papers was taken by the Communist Party's Politburo. Granma is the Politburo's official newspaper and Juventud Rebelde the daily of the Party's youth wing.