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Cubans await reality of change

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POSTED: March 10, 2011 3:00 p.m.
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Kids everywhere like cartoons. These Cuban students are no exception as they watch an iPhone video offered by Ray Carlson, leader of the Inland Press Association group that toured Cuba. All Cuban schools are public, and education is free from pre-school through post-graduate work. Admission to a university, however, recently was made more difficult, and getting in now depends on grades and an entrance exam. Those who don’t make college go to trade schools. (Judith Roales)

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Been to Cuba lately?

It’s not likely that you have. And even given the changes President Barack Obama recently made in the U.S. government’s prohibition on travel to Cuba, Americans aren’t likely to be vacationing on the balmy Caribbean island anytime soon. It’s still illegal for ordinary American tourists to make the trip.

Journalists, however, can get a special “license” to go, and 12 members of the Inland Press Association recently spent a week in the country meeting with Cuban government officials, Cuban newspaper colleagues, and U.S. officials in Havana. Richmond Hill’s Miriam Potter, editorial director of the Bryan County News, was among the American newspaper executives making the trip.

These photos and the information come from that visit.

Some of what you see here may surprise you. While the U.S. government’s embargo on trade with Cuba continues, that hasn’t kept the rest of the world from buying, selling, building, investing and playing in Cuba. Tourism is booming. It’s now the Cuba’s largest industry.

For more, pick up a copy of the March 5 edition of the News.

 

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