Daily Briefing – April 26, 2018

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U.S. Visitors to Cuba down, Russian Visitors Up: Cuban tourism officials report that the number of U.S. travelers to Cuba dropped by almost half in the first quarter of 2018. Michel Bernal, the commercial director of the Cuba Tourism Ministry, said that President Trump’s tightening of travel restrictions, combined with Hurricane Irma, were to blame. Those elements did not reduce visits from Cubans living abroad, which rose 21 percent. The top gainers were Russia and Mexico, which saw their visitor counts rise 32 and 23 percent respectively. (Business Insider)

Cuba Sets New Nickel-Cobalt Production Target: The Cuban government has announced that the country will produce 50,000 tons of nickel and cobalt sulfides in 2018. The production targets were set by state company Cubaniquel, and would represent a slight increase from last year’s quota. Cuba is the world’s 10th largest producer of nickel, including mining operations in partnership with Canadian company Sherritt International. World demand for nickel, a key component in lithium-ion batteries used to power electric cars, is expected to rise in 2018. (Investing News)

Cuba to Send More Doctors to Vietnam: Cuba’s ambassador to Vietnam, Lianys Torres, said yesterday that Cuba was willing to send more medical specialists to Vietnam to work at a hospital in the central province of Quang Binh. The hospital was originally funded under the direction of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, and completed in 198. Currently there are only 20 Cuban medical specialists in Vietnam. According to Cuban media, there are 50,000 Cuban medical personnel working in more than 60 countries. (Prensa Latina)

Pakistan Leader Calls for Closer Ties with Cuba: Pakistan’s chairman of the senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, said yesterday that his country needs to strengthen its bilateral relations with Cuba. In a press release following a meeting with Cuban Ambassador Gabriel Tiel Capote, the senate chairman said that Pakistan wants to expand mutual cooperation in trade, education and other fields. In particular, Sadiq Sanjrani advocated closer Parliamentary linkages to enhance bilateral ties. (UrduPoint)

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