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THE statement was terse but its import was great. 

In the early hours of November 26th in Havana, Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, announced that his elder brother, Fidel, “commander-in-chief- of the Cuban revolution”, had died at the age of 90. 

Cubans woke up to the prospect of life without the man who dominated them and their country for more than half a century. 

In Miami, the dwindling hard core of anti-Castro exiles took to the streets of the district known as Little Havana in celebration. 

They had done so several times before over the past decade on rumours of his death. 

This time it was real.

Fidel’s death will be marked by nine days of official mourning in Cuba and by recognition around the world of his extraordinary achievement in turning his small country into a pocket superpower that defied the United States for decades. 

Many others will hope that Cuban communism will die with Fidel. 

For all its achievements in health care and education, it has impoverished the island and deprived generations of Cubans of freedoms and opportunities.

Since Fidel stepped down from Cuba’s presidency when he was taken ill in 2006, Raúl Castro has cautiously begun to reform the island’s sclerotic centrally planned economy. 

More than 500,000 Cubans now work on their own account in small businesses

The share of state-owned enterprises in economic output has fallen to 71%. 

But the pace of reform, never rapid, has slowed in the past two years. 

That is partly because Raúl has had to deal with internal opposition to his bold agreement with Barack Obama to restore diplomatic relations with the United States after a half-century of rupture.

From his retirement compound in the western suburbs of Havana, Fidel spent the past decade acting as a brake on reform. 

Unlike Raúl, he dislikes the “market socialism” of China and Vietnam. 

He made no secret of his distaste of the rapprochement with the United States and Mr Obama’s visit to Cuba in March. 

In his last public appearance, at the Cuban Communist Party’s seventh congress in April, Fidel hinted that he would soon die but insisted “the ideas of Cuban communists will endure”. 

He was a symbolic leader for many in the party and the state bureaucracy who are terrified that change will rob them of their job security, perks and privileges.

Fidel’s departure thus removes the biggest single obstacle to change in Cuba. It comes at a moment of great uncertainty for the island. 

For the past dozen years its economy was propped up by subsidies from Venezuela, mainly in the form of near-free oil. With the collapse of Venezuela’s economy, that aid has been cut. Cuba’s economy grew by only 1% in the first half of this year, less than half the official forecast. That strengthens the case for speeding up reform.

The second uncertainty concerns the impending presidency of Donald Trump in the United States. 

Once a supporter of ending the economic embargo against Cuba, in the final weeks of the election campaign Mr Trump called for the reversal of the diplomatic opening to the island. Whether Mr Trump’s dealmaking instincts will prompt him to flip again on Cuba policy remains to be seen. Raúl responded to his victory by declaring five days of military exercises.

Fidel’s death is the most important milestone in the slow transition to a post-Castro, and perhaps post-communist, Cuba. 

Raúl has said he will step down as president in 2018, though he may remain as first secretary of the Communist Party for a further three years. 

He has groomed Miguel Díaz-Canel, a 56-year-old former education minister, as his successor. 

It is unclear how big a role the armed forces, forged and long commanded by Raúl, will play in the transition. His declared intention is that Cuba should remain a one-party state, even as it moves towards a mixed economy. 

But Fidel’s departure from the scene may unleash a much freer debate in Cuba about the island’s future.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…