Associated Press reporting on Cuba: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
The Associated Press' reporting on Cuba is nothing short of scandalous. The news agency has been completely compromised by the Castro dictatorship and has essentially become another Granma; a propaganda mouthpiece for the Cuban regime. They lather up with the information fed to them by the dictatorship, they rinse themselves of any integrity, and then they repeat the process.
The AP's servitude to the Cuban dictators is evidenced by the headline gracing one of its "articles" on the so-called migratory reform that took effect this week. Without a shred of empirical evidence, the AP makes this scandalous proclamation on behalf of the tyrannical Cuban regime:
Cuba now lets dissidents leave, return
For years, Cuban dissidents say, authorities' message to them has been the same: Sure, you can leave the country. Just don't expect us to let you come back.
Now, two prominent and outspoken government opponents - Yoani Sanchez and Guillermo Farinas - say they've been told they can come and go freely under a new law that eliminated decades-old travel restrictions on nearly all islanders.
Not one dissident has been granted a passport, let alone has any dissident been allowed to leave and return to the island. But that does not stop the AP from declaring that Cuban dissidents are now free to come and go. It is painfully obvious that the idea here is not for the AP to report actual news, but to disseminate Castroite propaganda that paints the murderous dictatorship in a kinder and gentler light.
In the meantime, while the AP and its cohorts are basking in the artificial light of Castro propaganda, the Cuban government has already set up the pay off for their migratory reform con game. Sure, they will let certain Cubans leave and return to the island, but only those who are not a threat to their power and are willing and able to pay the price.
Cuba unveils new customs rules
Cuba began to implement new customs regulations on Tuesday, moving closer to international guidelines for passengers and their luggage.
The new General Customs regulations have been "adapted to Cuba's current conditions and are in accordance with international practices," according to new Resolution 439 of 2012 issued by the General Customs of the Republic and published at the Official Gazette.
Just in time for the high-season influx of tourists, the new rules allow each passenger to bring in items for personal use duty-free.
Such items include clothes, footwear, personal grooming products, portable digital media player, camera, mobile phone, portable television and articles for personal entertainment, to name a few.
Also, up to 10 kilograms of medicine in the original packaging, excluding those that may be subject to restrictions, will also be duty-free.
Apart from personal items, passengers may bring in items that are subject to a customs tax, as long as their value does not exceed 1,000 pesos (about 38 US dollars), or they are not intended for profit and do not exceed the authorized amount.
The new customs law coincides with more relaxed travel rules going into effect on Monday, which make it easier for Cubans to travel in and out of the country.