Cuba Elects New President

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Cuba’s National Assembly Elects New President: In a historic transition of power, the National Assembly of Cuba today elected Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel as the nation’s new president. The National Assembly yesterday voted for 31 members of the Council of State, including the new president, but waited until today to announce the results. The results were not a surprise, since only one candidate was proposed for each position. Deputies had the option of voted yes or no on individual candidates or on the full slate. Of the 604 deputies who assembled at the Capitolio building in Havana, 602 voted yes for the entire slate. Outgoing President Raúl Castro will remain as head of the Communist Party. (Miami Herald)

Rubio Calls for Tighter Sanctions Against Cuba: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is calling for tougher sanctions against Cuba just as its new president comes to power. The senator, a major voice in crafting U.S. policy toward Cuba, said that the list of Cuban state companies controlled by the military needs to be expanded. Late last year, the U.S. State Department issued a list of 180 entities – companies, hotels, factories, and stores – that U.S. corporations and individuals were prohibited from doing business with. Rubio believes that list is far too short, and should be expanded. He is also pushing for the Organization of American States (OAS) to reject the new Cuban government, though political observers think this is unlikely. (Miami Herald)

First Cuban Doctors Expected in Kenya: The first group of Cuban doctors is scheduled to arrive in Kenya in July, according to the African nation’s Ministry of Health. The initial 10 experts in disease control will be followed by another 100 doctors, part of a campaign to help eliminate malaria in Kenya. The transfer of medical personnel was agreed upon during a visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to Cuba in March. The first part of the programmed will involve spraying stagnant bodies of water around Lake Victoria where malaria is prevalent. (Business Daily)

Hertzfeld Buys More CUBA stock: In an apparent anticipation of change in Cuba, Director Thomas J. Herzeld has purchased another 7,506 shares of the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (CUBA) for an average price of $7.12 per share. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. now owns 1,215,861 shares, worth more than $8 million. Other firms recently increasing their position in the CUBA fund include City of London Investment Management Co. Ltd and Blue Bell Private Wealth Management LLC, joined recently by Susquehanna International Group LLP. The CUBA stock recently closed at $7.09 a share. (The Ledger Gazette)

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