Cuba News - A Daily Roundup

Once Estranged, Couples Reunite Over a Quiet White House Meal with Cuba on the Menu
In case you missed it, President Trump made big news during his epic press conference at the White House this week. He broke bread with Senator Marco Rubio. During the presidential primaries, then-candidate Trump and Sen. Rubio traded insults on the campaign trail, but then traded endorsements in advance of their successful runs for the […]

Tourism: Killing the Cuban Encanto?
First came the packs of drunken jailbait to the Fábrica de Arte, snapping selfies while the Cuban band played their hearts out. Then came the frat boys so blasted they lay unconscious in the street and had to be taken … Continue reading

“Extreme Bipartisanship”
Three weeks into President Trump’s term, the debate over Cuba policy has yet to be joined. Washington is immersed in an acid bath of partisanship. The discussion about preserving engagement, diplomacy, travel, and trade with Cuba has been stilled by constitutional and foreign policy conflicts. Cuba policy is being reviewed by the administration, under the […]

Ab-normalization: Florida Imposes Sanctions on Itself
When Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus folded its tent last month, 400 Floridians lost their jobs. Now, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott appears determined to turn his state’s drive for jobs into a Cuba policy clown show. Gov. Scott, on the eve of a “jobs summit” that he is staging, unleashed a twitter storm […]

Sovereignty First!
Think you had a bad day? It could be worse. You could be a suitcase belonging to the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. Packed and unpacked; for the meeting of Caribbean and Latin American leaders in the Dominican Republic. There, President Peña Nieto was a no-show; his trip cancelled without explanation. Packed again for […]

Cuba, Twitter, and the Confusion over Day One
On Inauguration Day, just after we craned our necks to trace the flight taking former President Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama out of town, this tweet caught our eye. It read “This is what you see from the #Cuba seat at the opening ceremony at the Capitol,” and auto-played a video shot by […]

With Obama’s Wet-foot/Dry-foot Mic Drop, Trump-era Cuba Policy Set to Begin
President Obama made his first Cuba policy move – giving Cuban Americans the unlimited right to visit Cuba and to provide unrestricted remittances to their families – on the 83rd day of his first term. He made his final move (we think) last night – ending an unfair immigration policy that gave Cubans who landed […]

Cuba Policy, 2 Weeks Before Inauguration
Since we celebrated the second anniversary of President Obama’s decision to restore relations with Cuba last month, the forces supporting reform are using every spare minute to make the policy – here’s a bad locution for you – as irreversible as possible before President Trump takes office. “Amid uncertainty about Cuba policy,” Alaska Public Media […]

El Paquete: Opiate of the Cuban Masses
I’m not a particularly heavy consumer of the “package” (love the typically Cuban double entendre) but I know what I want, my ‘Paquete’ guy knows what I want, and I stray only for research and on recommendation. Samantha Bee; Transparent; … Continue reading

Letter From Havana: Obama’s Cuba Policy Turns Two
Whatever else endures from President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, what will remain irreversible is the simple truth he acknowledged: that Cuba is a sovereign country with a legitimate government and whose independence must be respected and considered permanent. This was a radical departure for U.S. foreign policy. In fact, the opposite […]

Cuba: President-elect Trump’s Other “Repeal and Replace” Problem
“Please don’t turn your back on us.” On Wednesday, countless words were spoken in Washington, but these seven cut through the din. Speaking to journalists and Members of Congress in the U.S. Capitol, four Cuban women who run small businesses on the island urged President-elect Trump to maintain the reforms in U.S. policy that have […]

Cuba After Fidel; Trump After Fidel
Before you read further, take a look at this luminous photograph of Cubans massed together in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution. The picture was taken Tuesday evening, when senior members of Cuba’s government were joined by foreign leaders to pay posthumous tribute to Fidel Castro, following his death last Friday night. The Cuban and foreign […]

Trumped Cubans
Everyone’s talking about it, stunned still. Cubans and foreigners alike are godsmacked by Trump’s victory and Republican control of Congress. A steady stream of locals and Yuma have been making their way to Cuba Libro, dazed, incredulous, tears in their … Continue reading

Havana, We Have a Problem: Stray Cats & Dogs
If you’ve been to Havana, you’ve seen them. The poor bitch in heat lying prostrate on the sidewalk trying – unsuccessfully – to prevent another macho from mounting her. Packs of roving cats scouring garbage night after night. Bony and … Continue reading

Communicating from Cuba?!
One of my oldest, closest friends is having a tough go of it lately. Man problems, work-life balance problems, health problems. In a nutshell, she’s living life, which, as Hobbes observed, tends to be nasty, brutish, and short. All I … Continue reading

In the Summer, In the City
It may be hard to believe (or all too easy, depending on your experience and perspective), but there are days I rue my decision to live here. You’d think 14 years would be time a-plenty to know whether a place … Continue reading

Cuba, a Country Frozen in Time
My land is an insular museum, stuck between the Iron Curtain and the industrial capitalism of the 1950s, and visitors view us an exotic species.

Amid Grim Economic Forecasts, Cubans Fear a Return to Darker Times
Recent calls to cut energy usage, along with the faltering economy in Venezuela, which provides much of Cuba’s oil, have left Cubans worried about fuel shortages and blackouts.

Competing on Good-Will Tour in U.S., a Cuban Team Sends Mixed Signals
On a tour of North America, Cuba’s baseball federation showed signs of old-world stubbornness despite pronouncements that it welcomed the thawing of relations with the United States.

Cuban Defector Yulieski Gourriel Is Declared a Free Agent by M.L.B.
The 32-year-old former star for the Cuban national team could be a target for the Yankees and the Mets, who both need offensive help.

Your Man vs Mine
It’s confession time. I confess I really didn’t like living in San Francisco – loved the access to nature, but the striving, wannabe, hipster attitude? Not so much (besides, I’ll take a hippie over a hipster ANY day). However, my … Continue reading

The Y’s and Wherefores of How Cubans Name Their Children
Many born during the Cold War were given first names beginning with Y. Experts differ as to whether it was in tribute to the Soviet Union, or in rebellion.

From Cuba to Miami by Providence and a Homemade Boat
A motley group of Cuban refugees risked their lives at sea for five days to reach the United States and a new future. Many others are not so lucky.

Cubans Trying to Reach U.S. End Standoff in Lighthouse Near Key West
The episode, which lasted about eight hours, comes at a time when many Cubans are fearful that the United States’ immigration policies may change.

That Time of the Month in Havana (AKA Periodo Especial)
So the KKK deigned us with a visit. Not the white hooded racists, but the Prada-clad Kardashian clan. By all accounts, they hated Havana. They are not alone. Reasons to dislike my adopted city abound – the vicious gossip and … Continue reading

Cuban Ballet: Proud Past, Promising Future
The country long-closed dance system may flourish even more with new relationships.

Details in Smuggling Case
Baseball players paid a South Florida-based smuggling ring more than $15 million to leave Cuba in secretive ventures.

Cardinal and Longtime Catholic Leader in Cuba to Step Down
Jaime Ortega y Alamino has been a savvy political operator who aided the Vatican’s secret efforts to broker détente between Washington and Havana.

Living the Dream: The Stones in Cuba
“I am about to see the Rolling Stones. In my hometown. In my lifetime.” Proclaimed with equal parts conviction and awe by a Cuban I hold in certain esteem, we headed off on foot to Ciudad Deportiva. The Day had … Continue reading

Getting Stoned with Obama in Cuba
No, I’m not talking about smoking blunts on the Malecón (File under: Not Gonna Happen). Nor am I talking about the rock-throwing barbarity found in other latitudes – even at their most dogmatic and agitated, Cubans are more prone to … Continue reading