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.

You might not guess it from your Internet bill, but the United States has some of the cheapest broadband in the world -- right up there with Kazakhstan, India and Bangladesh. That’s one of many surprising, and occasionally puzzling, revelations in a new report from the International Telecommunication Union, which tracks the use, cost and penetration of information networks around the world.

At a small store on Eighth Street near Miami's Little Havana, Armando Perez paid $25 to activate his daughter's cell phone in Cuba. Store owner Laura Benitez sat behind a glass window, typing in the phone numbers for Perez and others calling Cuba. "I call my daughter every week, even if it's just for her to say, 'Papi, I love you,'" said Perez, a thin man who left the island on a boat in 2008.

Osvaldo Alonso's dream is no different than that of many soccer players: He wants to play in the World Cup. And by most estimates the tenacious midfielder has the ability to make that happen. But in Alonso's case, even exceptional talent and desire haven't been enough to overcome one obstacle that remains in his path. For the last 16 months, politics have kept Alonso from even trying out for the U.S. national team, which last month earned a berth in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Cuban Government’s anouncemnt thru GRANMA (the official newspaper of Cuba’s Communist Party) says that athletes will be able to sign contracts abroad as long as they “fulfill their obligations at home.” Said obligations were characterized thusly: ”It will be taken into account that they are in Cuba for the fundamental competitions of the year.” This suggests that Cuban athletes will still be required to play for the national team and tournaments.

Cuba's control over its media just may be lightening up a bit. Cuba's state-controlled Trabajadores newspaper announced the entire list of Cubans nominated for the Latin Grammys, and included even those artists living in exile, ending a long history of ignoring those in exile, according to the Miami Herald.

At 67, Cuban taxi driver Benito Perez had never been on a plane. For years, friends in Miami had invited him to visit, but he couldn't afford to pay for the flight and didn't want to burden his friends. The process of getting an exit permit from Cuban authorities and permission from the U.S. government also seemed daunting.

September 14, 2013

This week on South2North Redi looks at how three developing countries are tackling different problems in their healthcare systems. Professor Joe Veriava from the Wits School of Clinical Medicine, describes the Cuban system as an “interdependent, integrated system of healthcare". The emphasis on both education (Cuba has a 99 percent of literacy rate), health and political will has resulted in favourable healthcare indicators.