Díaz-Canel Meets with Maduro

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Reaffirming the alliance between Cuba and Venezuela, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro became the first foreign leader to meet with Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba’s new president. Diaz-Canel was sworn in as president Thursday. Maduro flew to Havana the following day to congratulate Diaz-Canel, meeting with him formally on Saturday. The two nations have been strategic allies since 2000, when socialist leader Hugo Chavez become the Venezuelan head of state. (Reuters)

China Donates Water Purification Plants: China is donating 14 purification plants to improve the quality of drinking water in central Cuba, Chinese media reports. The plants are designed to process 500 liters of water per hour using UV light to eliminate pathogens. The donation is designed to mitigate cutbacks in Cuba’s water distribution in recent years, caused by a combination of drought and aging infrastructure. Three of the plants have been installed by the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, with the remaining to come online by mid year. (China.org)

Dutch Company to Continue Seed Development: Dutch company Enza Seeds said that it would continue its cooperation with Cuba’s Liliana Dimitrova Institute of Horticulture Investigations. The Dutch firm made its press statement at the opening of the 1st National Seed Fair in Havana, reports Cuban media. Enza Seeds for the Caribbean has been working with Cuba for more than a decade to develop seeds for hybrid tomato and pepper plants that can resist tropical diseases and thrive in the area’s weather. (Prensa Latina)

Canadian Tourist Jailed: A Cuban court has found a Canadian tourist guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced him to four years in prison, reports the Canadian press. The 47-year-old Canadian tourist from Quebec, Toufik Benhamiche, was driving a small boat in July 2017 during an adventure tour when he struck and killed a woman from Ontario. Behnhamiche’s lawyer is bringing action against Canadian tour company Sunwing and local partner Gaviota for Group for negligence. (Cruise Lawyer News)

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