- - Monday, April 18, 2011

CUBA

Fidel Castro: New leaders must fix economy

HAVANA | A new generation of leaders must act decisively and without hesitation to correct the errors of the past and lead the island once those who fought in the 1959 revolution are gone, Fidel Castro said in a column published Monday.

Nearing the close of a critical Communist Party summit called to chart the course of the island’s socialist system and right its flagging economy, the aging revolutionary leader praised delegates to the gathering.

He wrote that he was impressed by their intellectual preparation and he believes they are up to the task.

“The new generation is being called upon to rectify and change without hesitation all that should be rectified and changed,” Mr. Castro wrote. “There is no margin for error.”

Divided into five committees and meeting behind closed doors, party delegates are considering more than 300 proposals for economic changes, many of which were first announced last year.

They affect sectors from agriculture, energy, transportation and housing to new rules letting Cubans go into business for themselves.

State-run Cuban news media have reported intense debate over several points, such as:

• The need for formal contracts to improve control and payment of taxes in the agricultural sector.

• Providing credit to independent workers who need capital to launch their businesses

• Eliminating the island’s unique dual-currency system, under which workers are paid in Cuban pesos, while many imported goods are available only in a dollar-linked currency that is beyond most people’s reach.

BRAZIL

Students return to school where 12 were killed

RIO DE JANEIRO | Students returned to a Rio de Janeiro school less than two weeks after a man shot and killed 12 children.

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