Cuba Exports Health Workers, Earns Petroleum Revenue

Over at Global Post, an article by reporter Nick Miroff reminds me why I like the news site so much. Here, I learned of a truly grassroots, innovative business venture, initiated by the Cuban government. And it’s ventures such as this one — exporting healthcare professionals in exchange for payment based upon current oil prices — that remind me to expect the unexpected, when it comes to global trade.

98 miles across the sea, Havana de la Cuba's waitin' for me...

It’s a clear sign that the island will come into clear, free market play within one generation from now. Miroff writes, “Through service agreements that send Cuban doctors, nurses and other skilled professionals to energy giants like Venezuela, Angola and Algeria, the Cuban government is compensated on a sliding scale pegged to the price of oil.”

Already, “…last year, the island accumulated a $3.9 billion trade surplus, and services — such as health care — accounted for $9.4 billion out of $13.6 billion in total export revenue.”

Granted, the money goes into government accounts. But, it’s this sort of publicly-administered project that will, so easily, move into a privatized venture, as Cuba emerges into 21st-century free markets. First up will be expansion of the island’s domestic oil production, followed eventually by support services and privatization of the power grid.

Check out this and other excellent Global Post articles here.

World Cup: Thrills and Heartbreak… and Mystery

Can You Spot North Korea's Fan?

Thrills: The news from every country about upcoming World Cup competition is the best way to appreciate the drama, pride and oddities of each team and their fan base. It’s not often that we, as a global village, get to mix it up in a shared world event. I read the news from Global Post, an online source with daily contributions from more than 65 correspondents in nearly 50 countries, on all topics that matter to our Global Village. Like Soccer/Football!

Heartbreak: Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba broke his arm this week in a friendly vs. Japan. Can the 32-year-old Chelsea striker get patched and sewn up quickly enough? He was whisked from the pitch directly to Sweden, where, we hope, medical miracles will happen in time.

Mystery: The global hype machine has overlooked one country, it appears. Where is the Coca-Cola merchandising deal for North Korea? News out of Pyongyang indicates the North Korean National Team is importing a “fans volunteer army” to cheer them on, comprised of Chinese entertainers. And, nobody knows if they’ve lined up an official jersey yet. Will they hit the pitch wearing tie-dyed Tees, stenciled with a sanctioned image of Dear Leader?

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