Cuba News - A Daily Roundup

This week, in Cuba news… U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS “Physical symptoms” suffered by U.S. government employee in China mirror Cuba incidents The State Department issued a “health alert” this week after an employee at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China reported suffering “a variety of physical symptoms” from late 2017 until April of this year, the New […]

Pompeo Says Mysterious Sickness Among Diplomats in Cuba Has Spread to China
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that a diplomat stationed in Guangzhou, China, suffered the same ills as those attacked in Havana.

First Cuba, Now China? An American Falls Ill After ‘Abnormal’ Sounds
The State Department said a U.S. government employee posted in Guangzhou had signs of possible brain injury. But it has not identified a cause.

Hand-Me-Down Plane That Crashed Reflects a Cuban Air Industry in Crisis
The 39-year-old plane is a powerful symbol of the troubled aviation industry. As tourism surges, Cuba’s national airline struggles to buy planes and maintain its fleet.

More Than 100 Die as Aging Cuban Airliner Crashes
The plane, a nearly 40-year-old Boeing 737, went down moments after departing Havana’s international airport.

Patrulla 122: Protecting, Serving, Discriminating?!
I’m just back from another visit with my friend Miguel, who has been in Havana’s biggest prison for almost a year now. I started writing the update (many readers have reached out to me regarding Miguel and Esther’s plight since … Continue reading

Cuba Central News Brief: 05/04/2018
Dear Friends, Don’t miss the Kennedy Center’s Artes de Cuba Festival, May 8-20, in Washington, DC. A full list of events can be found here. This week, in Cuba news… U.S.-Cuba Relations Sen. Rubio recommends engagement critic to head Cuba broadcast program Florida Senator Marco Rubio has recommended former Miami mayor Tomás Pedro Regalado to […]

This week, in Cuba news… U.S.-Cuba Relations U.S. visits to Cuba plunge following Trump administration measures International arrivals to Cuba declined 7 percent and U.S. arrivals by 40 percent in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the first three months of 2017, Cuba’s Tourism Ministry told reporters this week. Reuters reports that Cuban officials […]

More Black Officials in Power in Cuba as Leadership Changes
Despite progress on racial disparity in Cuba, black Cubans fare worse. A decision to select more black Cubans for the highest levels of government sends a signal.

Cubans Doubt a Change at the Top Will Bring Change at the Bottom
On the streets of Havana, the passing of power out of the hands of the Castro family was met with a collective sense of apathy.

Cuba Central News Brief: 04/20/2018
ICYMI: CDA STATEMENT: CDA on Cuba’s Leadership Transition This week, in Cuba news… U.S.-Cuba Relations FBI has “made a lot of progress” in health attacks investigation, Rubio says; Canada removes families of diplomats in Havana Speaking at the Summit of the Americas in Peru, Florida Senator Marco Rubio told the Miami Herald the FBI briefed […]

To Be a Star Carlos Acosta Had to Leave Cuba. Maybe His Dancers Won’t Have To.
Mr. Acosta, the international ballet star, has started Acosta Danza, a Cuban contemporary-meets-ballet troupe that makes its U.S. debut this week.

Fidel Died and Raúl Resigned, but Castros Still Hold Sway in Cuba
Stalwarts and heirs of the Communist revolution will help support — and scrutinize — Cuba’s new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

Who Is Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba’s New President?
Most expect Cuba’s new president to be a leader of continuity after Raúl Castro. But he also has to figure out how to resuscitate Cuba’s economy.

Cubans in Florida Have Waited to See Castros Go, but No One Is Celebrating
There’s a sense of wistfulness among aging Cuban exiles in Miami: Cuba will no longer be led by a Castro. But they don’t expect real change anytime soon.

Who the Hell Am I? A Confession
A Californian passing through Cuba Libro recently asked me if I felt more American or Cuban after 16 years in residence. The question, though common, sort of blindsided me; these types of existential/identity inquiries are interesting, but of little use … Continue reading

Cuba Central News Brief: 04/13/2018
This week, in Cuba news… U.S.-Cuba Relations President Trump to skip Summit of the Americas; State Department representatives meet with Cuban civil society The White House announced this week that Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru in place of President Trump, who has elected to stay […]

Cuba Central News Brief: 4/6/2018
U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS President Trump and President Castro will attend Summit of the Americas Peruvian Ambassador to the U.S. Carlos Pareja confirmed the attendance of Presidents Donald Trump and Raúl Castro at the eighth Summit of the Americas next week in Peru, the AP reports; the Cuban government has not yet announced President Raúl Castro’s plans […]

Cuba Central News Brief: 3/30/2018
U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS Update to Immigrant Visa Processing for Cuban Nationals In the coming months, Cuban nationals seeking immigrant visas to the United States will no longer be processed at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, but will now conduct visa interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guayana, the State Department announced Thursday. Due to the […]

Cuba Central News Brief: 3/23/2018
U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS With Bolton, Trump creates a hard-line foreign policy team On Thursday, the Trump administration announced the departure of national security adviser General HR McMaster and the accession of John Bolton to the position, reports the New York Times. Bolton served as Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Bolton will […]

Cuba Central News Brief: 3/16/2018
ICYMI: In Cuba, let’s get back in the game, by CDA’s Emily Mendrala in The Hill This week, in Cuba News… U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS At State, Tillerson out; Pompeo to step in On Tuesday, President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced his plan to nominate current CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, […]

Cuba Central News Brief: 3/9/2018
U.S-CUBA RELATIONS Marine science and search and rescue collaborations endure despite political chill between U.S., Cuba This week U.S. and Cuban government officials and experts met in Fort Lauderdale to advance coordination plans for oil spill prevention and mitigation in the Gulf of Mexico, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Cuba was represented by several Cuban […]

My Havana Valentine
We had a squabble getting ready for Alicia’s party. It was one of those lover tiffs which squalls out of nowhere…but somewhere. It’s that discussion ostensibly about mixed up dinner plans but actually lays bare incompatibility. The writing on the … Continue reading

Inside a Cuban Prison: The Sequel
Miguel has a court date. Finally. Regular readers of Here is Havana are likely haunted still by my friend’s unfortunate tale of incarceration in Havana’s roughest prison. Unfortunately, after more than six months behind bars, his – and Esther’s – … Continue reading

Havana Declaration: He’s an Assassin
I thought I’d already written all I had to say about New Year’s Eve in Cuba. Likewise, I figured a couple posts about Donald Trump – the Cuban reaction to his election; his overall ineptitude – were sufficient, more than … Continue reading

Humans of Havana
“I’m doing absolutely nothing. I don’t plan on even leaving the house. I want to hang out with you guys, eat as much as I possibly can, sleep and luxuriate in hot water worth its name.” As you may have … Continue reading

Me Too: Gender Violence in Havana
I’ve been physically assaulted twice. Both times I was walking home alone at night. And both times I was compromising my safety. In the first instance, circa 1993 in Monterey, California, I was drunk. In the second instance, I had … Continue reading

Cuba Travel from US – Legal and with RESPECT
For the past two days, I’ve been participating in the US-Cuba congress RESPECT (Responsible Ethical Cuba Travel) in Havana. This is the largest US-based organization (150 members from travel service providers and airlines to lawyers and non-profits) dedicated to promoting … Continue reading

A Quick Note on Irma
Havana September 14, 2017 Time for thanks giving. Among the many (well documented) reasons Cuba does hurricane preparation and post-recovery/survival so well is the ability of the populace to pull together, help each other and and sweat it out as … Continue reading

Inside a Cuban Prison
Maybe you read my recent post Inside a Cuban Posada, where I sneak a peek (cockroaches and combs included) into the island’s love hotel business. This post follows in that same vein – providing readers a first-hand, behind the scenes … Continue reading