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May 23, 2017

Cuba

Super Luxury Hotel Opens in Havana, Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Super Luxury Hotel Opens in Havana, Cuba The Gran Hotel Manzana, the first five-star plus hotel in Cuba, opened its doors Monday in Havana operated by the Swiss company Kempinski, which considers the facility its “point” of entry to the Americas. The hotel is owned by the Cuban Armed Forces.

Why I Left Cuba, My Life in Costa Rica

Source: Havana Times | Why I Left Cuba, My Life in Costa Rica I received a message on Facebook, it was from a Cuban in exile in San Jose, Costa Rica, who was asking me to give him an interview so that the world could know a little bit about his life and what he

Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno Promises a New Style of Leadership

Source: Havana Times | Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno Promises a New Style of Leadership On Wednesday, socialist Lenin Moreno, from the governing Alianza Pais movement, will become the constitutional president of Ecuador. He says he is open to creating a dialogue with all sectors, including opponents, who he is reaching out to.

One More Step Towards an Animal Protection Law in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | One More Step Towards an Animal Protection Law in Cuba Just a week ago, the Cuban Association for the Defense of Animals called for a collection of signatures rejecting the crime that took place in Manzanillo. Almost 2,000 signatures were collected in just six days and there are still people who

Faggots and Homophobes

Source: Havana Times | Faggots and Homophobes They are called faggots, pussies, chickens, crazies… but these are all derogatory names. Calling a man a “faggot” is the worst insult you can give him. And that’s because homophobia is as deeply-rooted and entrenched as machismo itself.

My Second Trip to the Czech Republic

Source: Havana Times | My Second Trip to the Czech Republic On May 4th, I traveled to the Czech Republic for the second time. This time, I had been chosen to take part in a workshop, along with five women, about the issue of women’s rights today, their social empowerment, where another vulnerable group was

Castro Calls Trump’s Message to Cuba “Ridiculous”

Source: Havana Times | Castro Calls Trump’s Message to Cuba “Ridiculous” Raul Castro’s government called the message uttered on Saturday by US President Donald Trump calling for political and economic freedoms on the island “ridiculous.”

Nationwide “We Are Millions” Protests in Venezuela

Source: Havana Times | Nationwide “We Are Millions” Protests in Venezuela At least 46 people were injured on Saturday after police used tear gas to disperse demonstrations called “Somos millones” (“We Are Millions”) which attempted to reach the center of Caracas from the east of the city, the largest demonstration of opposition strength in almost

Nicaragua’s Sexual Abuse Epidemic Devastates Young Girls

Source: Havana Times | Nicaragua’s Sexual Abuse Epidemic Devastates Young Girls At sixteen, Agne Patricia Alvarez is the full-time mother of two boys: Yuleymi Marcela, 4 months old, and Edier Antonio, almost 3. When Agne was twelve, she was the victim of sexual abuse from her teacher Manuel Ortiz Hernandez, at the time the principal

Who’s Responsible for the Violence in Today’s Venezuela

Source: Havana Times | Who’s Responsible for the Violence in Today’s Venezuela We can’t deny the fact that Chavez’s Fifth Republic Movement was conceived as a progressive, democratic, inclusive and encouraging project despite all of the negative forecasts from detractors of any attempts aimed at making the world a little fairer. Likewise, we can’t deny

Cuban Documentary “Between Changes”

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Documentary “Between Changes” “Entre cambios” (Between changes) is a documentary dedicated to a specific generation of Cubans: the one who had to live through the fragile limbo when the Soviet Union collapsed. We concentrated particularly on speaking to those who experienced these changes there, in the places where the events

Will Canada Accept Cubans in Limbo?

Source: Havana Times | Will Canada Accept Cubans in Limbo? Via news agencies and the not very transparent channels on the internet, somebody has proposed that Canadian authorities take on a number of our citizens stranded in places from Mexico to the Patagonia.

Exchange between Two Cuban Poets

Source: Havana Times | Exchange between Two Cuban Poets In the same way that news traveled in old times, from hand to hand, Rafael Alcides received the criticism that writer Nestor Diaz de Villegas, another Cuban poet but in exile in the United States, leveled against him in a review of the documentary Nadie (Nobody)

Cuban Residents Abroad Stripped of their Voter Rights

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Residents Abroad Stripped of their Voter Rights An announcement in Thursday’s edition of Granma newspaper about the preparations for the upcoming elections states that “according to that stipulated in the 1992 Electoral Law, all Cuban citizens who are 16 years old and over and are living in the country on

Public Spaces and Environmental Health in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Public Spaces and Environmental Health in Cuba Talk is frequent about poor hygiene and sanitation in public spaces in Havana, especially the piled up garbage and raw sewage on many streets. Today I will comment on another related issue: The lack of public bathrooms throughout the Cuban capital and other cities

An Opinion about Real Cuban Communists

Source: Havana Times | An Opinion about Real Cuban Communists I’ve been watching out for years to see if a good communist really exists, to whether they are essentially good or bad. It’s a very complicated subject. I’ve been listening to their confessions while looking in their eyes for years, whether they have been drunk

Cuba’s Congress, Time and Laws

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Congress, Time and Laws With all it’s taking to restore the Capitolio building in Havana, it’s expected that the beneficiaries of this process – the 600 legislators who meet there – get on top of the backlog in national legislation. There are laws which have been waiting in desk drawers

Where I’ve Been of Late…

Source: Havana Times | Where I’ve Been of Late… It’s been a while now since I’ve written something for Havana Times; and I wouldn’t write anything if its editor, a personal friend of mine, hadn’t kept on asking me to. The first thing that comes to mind to tell you is, well, precisely why I

Friendship and Trust in an Old Song

Source: Havana Times | Friendship and Trust in an Old Song When we said goodbye, she left a crayon mark on the side of my face. An hour or so before all I did was go up to the bar, where she was already standing in front of me. Surprised, I explained that I was

Havana Weather for May 18-24

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for May 18-24 The days will be sunny in the morning and partly cloudy from midday, with showers in the afternoon due to daytime convection. The maximum temperatures will be between 30 and 32° C (86 and 90 F) and the lows between 22 and 23° C (72 and

Mainstream Media Silence about Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Mainstream Media Silence about Cuba The so-called Great Western Press, that is to say, the most influential in the United States and in other developed and not so developed capitalist countries, regularly echo news and articles that offer an absolutely distorted and lying image of Cuban reality.

Talking about Santeria in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Talking about Santeria in Cuba Darnelys Dominguez Pino is 42 years old and works as an attendant at a sports center. He has been directly linked to the Afro-Cuban religion known as Santeria for many years. He is a man of few words who is concerned about the path his religion

Venezuela Mothers Demand End to Repression

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela Mothers Demand End to Repression A group of mothers dressed in black marched on Mother’s Day (May 14th) to the general command of the National Guard (militarized police) of Venezuela to demand an end to the harsh repression against the demonstrations against the government of Nicolas Maduro.

Sophia is Nicaragua’s Youngest Chef

Source: Havana Times | Sophia is Nicaragua’s Youngest Chef Nicaragua’s youngest chef attends seventh grade in the morning and practices ballet in the afternoon. Sofía Castilblanco Campos was born on September 14, 2004, the youngest of four sisters. You could say she has a normal life for a 12-year-old, except that she carries a passion

Havana Residents Protest Cruelty against Puppy

Source: Havana Times | Havana Residents Protest Cruelty against Puppy In response to the brutal video that has become viral, where two Cubans – in Manzanillo to the east of the country – set a puppy on fire, signatures have been collected that will accompany a letter to President Raul Castro.

Ceshia Ubau and Her “Eyes of the Soul”

Source: Havana Times | Ceshia Ubau and Her “Eyes of the Soul” Every time that Ceshia Ubau talks about music, her eyes widen and she grins from ear to ear. Her voice, her name and her curly hair are already well-known on the national music scene. At just 19 years old, she’s about to release

On the Eve of Mother’s Day in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | On the Eve of Mother’s Day in Cuba Today, Saturday, May 13, 2017, the festival of flowers is celebrated in anticipation of Mother’s Day, on Calle 12 between 23 and Zapata. While the selection isn’t very good this year, it’s still a place to purchase a gift to take to mothers’

Havana’s 2017 Parade against Homophobia

Source: Havana Times | Havana’s 2017 Parade against Homophobia Today in the Cuban capital ten years of activism for the rights of the homosexual and transexual community was celebrated with calls against homophobia and the ongoing demand for the approval of marriage equality. (44 photos)

Violence Doesn’t Kill Violence

Source: Havana Times | Violence Doesn’t Kill Violence In Cuba, May 1st is a national holiday, and one of the celebrations that belong to ordinary Cuban people, who stay in the street after the parade to celebrate International Workers’ Day with music and beer.

Challenges Posed to Cuban Theater

Source: Havana Times | Challenges Posed to Cuban Theater Theater is one of the cultural forms that has most suffered the blows of censorship and institutionalism in Cuba. The government has always been very afraid of the power an actor has when they go out on stage, as once the play kicks off, they are

Police Block Venezuelan Retirees Protest

Source: Havana Times | Police Block Venezuelan Retirees Protest Police cordoned off the route a march of retired people were taking towards the Department of Protection of Citizens’ Rights, as the nearly daily protests continue against the Venezuelan Government.

Venezuela: Maduro Under Fire in the Odebrecht Corruption Scandal

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela: Maduro Under Fire in the Odebrecht Corruption Scandal Testimony before the Brazilian courts has implicated Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, in the Odebrecht construction company scandal in Latin America, according to details published today in the Brazilian media.

Havana Mall Hikes its Prices

Source: Havana Times | Havana Mall Hikes its Prices The Galerias Paseo shopping center, located in the Cuban capital, surprisingly hiked up the prices of the majority of its products, which I myself was able to confirm. It was done in secret and not even the salespeople were aware of it.

Cuba’s Young Filmmakers Event

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Young Filmmakers Event Guest writer Jennifer Ruth Hosek comments on this years Young Filmmakers Event which she witnessed in Havana. Gender, sexuality and youth were well-represented as young filmmakers looked more towards the future than at the past.

Cuba Looks to Expand its Internet Service to 3G

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Looks to Expand its Internet Service to 3G Cuba’s telecommunications monopoly ETECSA claims it already has 4.2 million cell phone lines, which could soon extend the connection to internet with 3G technology, government authorities announced on Wednesday.

An Unforgettable Sunday

Source: Havana Times | An Unforgettable Sunday The controversial government that puts goods for sale in hard currency stores in our capital city, declared in a solemn act of its governing board, without any kind of popular consensus, something like the Provincial Day of Diarrhea on Sunday May 7th this year.

Hard Currency Store Burns in Havana

Source: Havana Times | Hard Currency Store Burns in Havana On Thursday afternoon around 4;30 p.m., the small TRD (government owned hard currency stores) located on the Avenida Boyeros between Tulipan and la Rosa in the municipality Plaza de la Revolucion was devoured by a violent fire. So far the causes are unknown. (8 photos)

The New Generation or Degeneration

Source: Havana Times | The New Generation or Degeneration Young people having folders full of pornography, which they don’t even hide with subtle names, explicitly calling them: XXX, is nothing new. And of course, we know what’s inside them.

Who Cut Down the Trees in Havana’s Central Park?

Source: Havana Times | Who Cut Down the Trees in Havana’s Central Park? The scandalous clearing of trees in Havana’s Central Park, which is right in front of the new and luxurious Manzana de Gomez Hotel, has been reported on several alternative media platforms.

US Halts Cuba’s “Russian Roulette”

Source: Havana Times | US Halts Cuba’s “Russian Roulette” “The immigration flow has ceased,” recognized captain of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft. Meanwhile, frigate lieutenant Kate Webb, explained that the number of people found on Cuban rafts intercepted in the Key West area fell from 750 people per month to just 20.

Raul’s Story and Prostitution in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Raul’s Story and Prostitution in Cuba From May 4-18, the most important event for the Cuban LGBT community takes place. This year, it is marked with a peculiar and much-needed CENESEX (Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual) campaign “for schools without homophobia and transphobia.”

Unlucky Elderly Cuban Couple Face Deportation

Source: Havana Times | Unlucky Elderly Cuban Couple Face Deportation A Cuban couple, who were the first victims of the end of the preferential “wet foot/dry foot” policy after arriving at Miami International Airport in January, will finally be deported back to the island.

Havana Weather for May 11-17

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for May 11-17 This week, good weather conditions will prevail, with cloudy skies and isolated showers in the afternoons. The winds will be weak and from the east with speeds between 6 and 12 mph. The high temperatures will be between 29 and 31° C (84 and 88 F).

Memories of an Academic Event in Peru (LASA 2017)

Source: Havana Times | Memories of an Academic Event in Peru (LASA 2017) Taking part in the International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association “LASA” has been a great achievement in my life for many reasons, as I was one of the few undergraduate students from Cuba, who were among the over 4,000 academics

A Trip to the Peaceful Town of Vinales, Cuba

Source: Havana Times | A Trip to the Peaceful Town of Vinales, Cuba A world heritage site, Vinales and its beautiful mountainous valley are located 200 kms west of the City of Havana. Given its limited number of inhabitants in the town center, 10,000, tourist activity here is very high for Cuba, as there over

Advertising, Consumption and Standardization in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Advertising, Consumption and Standardization in Cuba The “standardization” process which our country is experiencing is rubbing its impetus right in our face. We don’t have to dig deep into hidden philosophies in order to confirm its progress. The new “normal” flashes its banners, explicit graphic symbols, so as to leave no

New Book Chronicles Nicaraguan Farmers’ Struggle

Source: Havana Times | New Book Chronicles Nicaraguan Farmers’ Struggle Mónica López has documented four years of the legal battle to overturn the canal concession awarded by Daniel Ortega to Chinese magnate Wang Jing. This concession, for the construction of an Inter-Oceanic canal in Nicaragua, was sealed into law in 2013 by the rubber-stamp National

Old Havana’s La Luz Cafe Now in Hard Currency

Source: Havana Times | Old Havana’s La Luz Cafe Now in Hard Currency La Luz Cafe, located on Obispo Street, near the Hotel Ambos Mundos in Old Havana, closed its doors to the public in December. It was the only place left in the area which offered these kinds of services in regular Cuban pesos

Crime in Manzanillo: Will it Go Unpunished?

Source: Havana Times | Crime in Manzanillo: Will it Go Unpunished? For a few days now, there’s been a video that’s being going viral on social media: young people in Manzanillo burned a dog alive, in the middle of the street. Because of the precarious situation we have with the Internet, I haven’t been able

Maduro’s Betrayal of Chavez and Socialism of the 21st century

Source: Havana Times | Maduro’s Betrayal of Chavez and Socialism of the 21st century The so-called “Socialism of the 21st Century” defended by Maduro was nothing but the Venezuelan version of Cuban state socialism, with all of the disastrous consequences that this entails for the economy and society.

Cuba Workers’ Celebration or Official Political Event?

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Workers’ Celebration or Official Political Event? As always, a sea of people filled the great avenues that surround Revolution Square in the Cuban capital for May Day this year, well-organized, with banners in their hands, waiting their turn to march. The same thing happened in provincial and municipal capitals in

The English Arrived

Source: Havana Times | The English Arrived A few months ago, two young English couples, who had decided to visit Guantanamo city on their way to Baracoa, the main tourist attraction in the province, wanted to first stop by my home in order to meet my family.

Increase in Deaths by Poisoning and Drowning in Cuba: Less Cases of Suicide

Source: Havana Times | Increase in Deaths by Poisoning and Drowning in Cuba: Less Cases of Suicide With regard to suicides, which are presented as “deaths from intentional self-inflicted injuries”, the document reported a decrease by 82 cases. From 1,511 people committing suicide in 2015, the number fell to 1,429 in 2016.

Alex, an Ordinary Cuban Turned Artist

Source: Havana Times | Alex, an Ordinary Cuban Turned Artist Thirty-four year old Alex Aparicio Gutierrez lives in San Cristobal, in the western Cuban province of Artemisa. Without having any formal education in drawing, he creates an inspiring and sincere reality in his work. (16 photos)

Venezuelan Musician Asks Maduro “To Listen to the People”

Source: Havana Times | Venezuelan Musician Asks Maduro “To Listen to the People” Amid the growing crisis in Venezuela, the well-known orchestra director Gustavo Dudamel asked the president of his country, Nicolas Maduro, to listen to the cries of his people and to stop acts of repression.

In Search of Prague

Source: Havana Times | In Search of Prague This isn’t my first time in Terminal 3 at Jose Marti International Airport in the capital, but it is the first time that I’m not here to say goodbye to somebody, because this time it’s me who’s traveling. There’s a long line at the check-in desk for

The Difference Between a State-Owned and a Private Ice Cream Shop

Source: Havana Times | The Difference Between a State-Owned and a Private Ice Cream Shop After the reforms process and the Cuban government’s authorization of new kinds of small businesses, private businesses popped up in many different sectors, among them, ice cream shops.

News from the Neolithic Era

Source: Havana Times | News from the Neolithic Era Ariel Glaria Enriquez HAVANA TIMES — Life in a tenement or in a building in Havana is similar to that of a more developed small village in the Neolithic Era, where nothing happens during the day, as everyone is out hunting or gathering what they eat

Do All Roads lead to Havana?

Source: Havana Times | Do All Roads lead to Havana? Entering or leaving San Serapio in the province of Camaguey is so difficult that sometimes it seems like there are more than 4 kms between this town and the highway. Up until the day she put together her savings and bought a cell phone, Yuneixi

Paying for Somebody Else’s Dream

Source: Havana Times | Paying for Somebody Else’s Dream Rather than promoting a product for its quality or usefulness, propaganda today is aimed at cultivating the suffocating sensation of needing something, it doesn’t matter if it’s a feeling of artificial need.

When Violence No Longer Has an Impact on Us

Source: Havana Times | When Violence No Longer Has an Impact on Us Walking through Old Havana, I saw a target practice booth, something which is traditional here in Cuba ever since times of “the war of all the people” in the ‘60s. In the form of a magazine kiosk, people practice shooting air-guns at

Cuba: When “Winning” is Losing

Source: Havana Times | Cuba: When “Winning” is Losing The violent reaction to the dissident who ran through Revolution Square carrying a US flag on May Day has been the last of a series of failed responses. The guy was beaten up and arrested in the middle of Revolution Square, during the rally for May

Havana Weather for May 4-10

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for May 4-10 The days will be partly cloudy from the end of the morning, with weak winds from the east to the southeast, below 12 mph. Towards the weekend a flow from the north to the northwest will be imposed, and the probability of isolated showers and thunderstorms

The Nica Act Isn’t Our Solution

Source: Havana Times | The Nica Act Isn’t Our Solution I don’t agree with the Nica Act. Watching an extremely conservative senator such as Ted Cruz, radically opposed to freedoms that I consider sacred, convert himself into a supposed “ally” of the Nicaraguan people brings me back in time to that disastrous era when the

Medicine Shortages in Cuba Are Becoming More Severe

Source: Havana Times | Medicine Shortages in Cuba Are Becoming More Severe My father returned home and was clearly exhausted; he silently got off of his bike and fell into an armchair. We became worried thinking that he was suffering a great deal of pain and we ran to help him; but he stopped us

Corruption in Cuba: an External Curse or Inherent to the System?

Source: Havana Times | Corruption in Cuba: an External Curse or Inherent to the System? One of the most defining aspects of Raul Castro’s government is his fight against corruption. Of course it can always be alleged, and especially in Miami, that the main corrupt people in Cuba are members of the ruling elite…

Cuban Government Lashes Out against One-Man Protest

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Government Lashes Out against One-Man Protest The Cuban government lashed out at the protester who interrupted the May Day parade in Havana on Monday carrying a US flag, saying he has a criminal record and is still awaiting trial on non-political grounds.

Rock in Cuba: Good Things Don’t Last

Source: Havana Times | Rock in Cuba: Good Things Don’t Last Every weekend, rock addicts go to Submarino Amarillo or the Casa de la Amistad, depending on their individual tastes, and also their means, although recently, many of them used to go to dance with the Los Kent band at the Maison. (7 photos)

Another call to close GITMO

Source: Havana Times | Another call to close GITMO It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to write a piece on the V International Seminar of Peace and for the Abolition of Foreign Military bases to take place on May 4-6, 2017 in the city of Guantanamo, Cuba, which is organized by

Between stories and photos…

Source: Havana Times | Between stories and photos… A few weeks ago, Gissel, my youngest daughter, brought a classmate home to spend the Saturday with our family. As it was the first time she had visited us, we decided to prepare a decent lunch, within our possibilities of course.

Cuba Announces “Economic Readjustments” for 2018

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Announces “Economic Readjustments” for 2018 The Cuban government has announced that it will be lowering state expenditures in 2018 to levels inferior to this year, a clear sign of the country’s worsening economic situation.

In Cuba, This Was a Different May 1st

Source: Havana Times | In Cuba, This Was a Different May 1st In Cuba, the week before International Workers’ Day, events and marches were held in every Cuban municipality, where you could clearly see the people’s support for their Revolution and their rejection of the genocidal blockade of the United States…

May Day Cuba 2017 Photos

Source: Havana Times | May Day Cuba 2017 Photos Besides rejoicing the gains may be Cuban workers, the event, which always draws hundreds of thousands of Cubans and many foreign visitors, also championed the causes of the embattled Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and expressed eternal support for Fidel and Raul Castro. (44 photos)

May 1st in Cuba: No Compromise!

Source: Havana Times | May 1st in Cuba: No Compromise! In preparation for International Workers Day in Cuba, the offensive from the official media has been the usual, overwhelming, full of empty, decontextualized, grandiose phrases that lack any substance. It bores and distresses.

Esperanza Spalding and Richard Bona in Guanabacoa

Source: Havana Times | Esperanza Spalding and Richard Bona in Guanabacoa The entrance was by invitation and the amphitheater was full. Most of the people went to see the students of the Guanabacoa music school. They almost never appear in public and relatives longed for that moment. Few knew that two world renown musicians, Esperanza

Cuba Ready to Celebrate International Workers’ Day

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Ready to Celebrate International Workers’ Day For days now, the official Cuban media hasn’t stopped telling us how the country prepares to fill the streets on May 1st, International Workers’ Day. The most ironic thing is when we hear workers reciting short speeches that they’ve learned by heart in front

Eleven Minutes of Horror: Stray Animals in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Eleven Minutes of Horror: Stray Animals in Cuba “Natural Selection” is a documentary which shows, in only eleven minutes and a succession of visual cuts, the current landscape for stray animals in Cuba. The director, Cynthia Cazanas Garin is a fourth year student who struggled to get the permits to make

“Nica Act” Reintroduced in US Senate

Source: Havana Times | “Nica Act” Reintroduced in US Senate The draft of the Nica Bill [Nicaraguan Investments Conditionality Act], threatening to impose economic sanctions on Nicaragua in response to the authoritarian drift and corruption of Comandante Daniel Ortega’s regime, was revived this Wednesday for discussion in the US House and Senate.

Where Will Cubans Look to Now?

Source: Havana Times | Where Will Cubans Look to Now? A schizophrenic situation has been enduring in Cuba for decades: the State sells things to you, but it doesn’t pay you enough to be able to buy them. Likewise, the much criticized two-currency system is what keeps most Cuban state companies afloat.

The Day Trump Won, Depression Hit Me

Source: Havana Times | The Day Trump Won, Depression Hit Me Ana isn’t her real name – it’s been changed to protect her identity. She lives in Donald Trump’s United States with her three children and her husband. All except her are U.S. citizens. Originally from Matagalpa, Nicaragua, her history in the U.S has been

Yanahara Mauri’s Nudes

Source: Havana Times | Yanahara Mauri’s Nudes Cuban photographer Yanahara Mauri Villareal’s (1984) nudes, border on the grotesque a lot of the time; bodies are normally accompanied by objects which are far removed from the classical beauty that the eye traditionally sees in this art form. (19 photos)

Havana in Orbit with Jazz

Source: Havana Times | Havana in Orbit with Jazz Havana is the host city for the activities this week which accompany celebrations for International Jazz Day which will be commemorated on April 30th 2017. Cuban pianist Alejandro Falcon with his group and students kicked off the event on Wednesday. (10 photos)

Google’s Real Impact in Cuba Today

Source: Havana Times | Google’s Real Impact in Cuba Today A news item from the AP news agency has reported that “Google’s GGC nodes finally went active in the last 24 hours”, wrote on Thursday morning Doug Madory, analysis director at Dyn Research which is based in New Hampshire on twitter.

Venezuela Says it Will Leave OAS

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela Says it Will Leave OAS Venezuela announced Wednesday that it will leave the Organization of American States (OAS) after the latter approved a Meeting of Consultation of foreign ministers to deal with the situation in the Latin American country, thereby increasing external pressures on Nicolas Maduro’s Government.

Havana Weather for April 27 – May 3

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for April 27 – May 3 Hot days with little cloudiness, which will increase slightly in the afternoons. There will be weak winds from the south and southeast, with speeds between 6 and 12 mph. Humidity will remain low, especially during the first half of the term.

Reoffending Cuban Volleyball Players

Source: Havana Times | Reoffending Cuban Volleyball Players Less than a month ago, there was a commotion in international sports media outlets after a report was published about the five Cuban volleyball players who are locked up in Finland, complaining about their living conditions and the lack of communication with their families.

Coffee with Cuban Truth Serum

Source: Havana Times | Coffee with Cuban Truth Serum Old Panfilo has become the greatest reporter of modern Cuba, it isn’t by chance that the entire country comes to a standstill and sits in front of the TV every Monday evening to watch his comedy show. Even his censored programs pass around from hand to

Proud to Live in a Medical Power Like Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Proud to Live in a Medical Power Like Cuba There’s no doubt that one of the achievements of the Cuban Revolution has been universal access (not free) to health care for every Cuban. I have felt pride in our medical power at times. That pride has deflated on several occasions when

A Manipulating Anachronism Relating to Cuba

Source: Havana Times | A Manipulating Anachronism Relating to Cuba There isn’t an idea more absurd than the one that stigmatizes neo-colonialism with wanting greater freedom and a market economy, as an example of falling under the US’ radar. There are dozens of countries which have a market economy and democracy and they aren’t subordinated

The Load (documentary)

Source: Havana Times | The Load (documentary) A striking, beautifully filmed observation of life aboard an old freight train: a microcosm where a group of men forced to spend a lot of time together amid a variety of unplanned circumstances.

The Cuban Series “Street Stories” Circulates Underground

Source: Havana Times | The Cuban Series “Street Stories” Circulates Underground The pirated version of “Historias Callejeras” (Street stories), episodes 6 and 7 are now readily available for Cubans eager to see any material which offers an alternative to the boring official TV broadcasts. The show portrays a grim and violent reality on the Havana

Silence as a Virtue in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Silence as a Virtue in Cuba There’s a knock at the door and I open it. My neighbor shows me a copy of Granma newspaper and there’s a flask of rum in his other hand. He walks in happily as if he were plotting something and asks me if I can

Undocumented Nicaraguans in the USA: Fear and Paranoia

Source: Havana Times | Undocumented Nicaraguans in the USA: Fear and Paranoia Jazel is an undocumented Nicaraguan who has no home, or work, or money. For almost four months she’s been surviving however she can, wandering the streets of New York, in search of some way to subsist. She escaped a toxic relationship with a

The New Havana Port Passenger Terminal

Source: Havana Times | The New Havana Port Passenger Terminal The two-story metallic structure known as the Emboque de Luz welcomes passengers for their trip to the other side of Havana Bay. The new building was built upon an old structure which dates back to the 18th century and became a Fire Station in 1942…

Sharing Experiences with a US Photographer

Source: Havana Times | Sharing Experiences with a US Photographer I was amazed to meet a heterosexual man who didn’t feel uncomfortable at any moment while looking through my work, on the contrary, he gave his opinion the whole time and they were mostly positive on the whole.

Planning as Practiced in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Planning as Practiced in Cuba There are people here who, sitting behind a desk with the air conditioning on and a car parked outside the door, make plans on their own which, by the time they reach the people, have already been approved.

Cuba in Fast & Furious 8

Source: Havana Times | Cuba in Fast & Furious 8 The 8th sequel of the blockbuster The Fast and the Furious is already in the homes of many Cubans thanks to great “know-how” which, relying on new technologies plus a great amount of cunning and other tricks, has allowed anyone who has a USB drive

OMNI-Zona Franca and Notes for a Text in the Making…

Source: Havana Times | OMNI-Zona Franca and Notes for a Text in the Making… In order to accurately assess OMNI’s impact, you have to look at its different stages, learn about government institutions and their censorship, about misunderstandings, bureaucracy, the urgency for a necessary art – a trinity which includes society, poetry and needs.

Venezuela Needs More than a Breather

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela Needs More than a Breather “Every day that passes in Venezuela, that country sinks more in poverty, more political positions are polarized and its return to democracy becomes more difficult,” comments the usually pro-Nicaraguan government newspaper El Nuevo Diario in an editorial on Monday.

Hanging on to the Oil Tree: Maduro, Castro & Ortega

Source: Havana Times | Hanging on to the Oil Tree: Maduro, Castro & Ortega The Venezuelan government is almost exclusively dependent on the State oil company PDVSA to fund its budget. Likewise, the governments of Raul Castro in Cuba and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua rely on the company to fund their coffers.

Nicaragua Anti-Canal Protests Despite Repression

Source: Havana Times | Nicaragua Anti-Canal Protests Despite Repression The government’s intention was to prevent the concentration of people. However, the peasants who oppose the Nicaragua canal project managed to group themselves into scattered clusters in four departments of the country: New Guinea, Boaco, Juigalpa and Rio San Juan. They changed strategy and converted a

Venezuela: Music and Daring against Maduro

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela: Music and Daring against Maduro In the two weeks of protests in Venezuela against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which continued on Saturday, there has been more than smoke, arms and shields: there has also been room for the language of nonviolence to the point of nudity and creativity.

Cuban Filmmakers and Counter-revolutionaries

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Filmmakers and Counter-revolutionaries As a result of the decisions recently made by Cuban cultural institutions, along with the Cuban government, to censor the films Santa y Andres by Carlos Lechuga and the documentary Nadie by Miguel Coyula, a worrying phenomenon has come about.

Cuba’s Revolutionaries Will Never Let the Sword Fall

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Revolutionaries Will Never Let the Sword Fall The Cuban people have given many signs of their capacity to resist, in stages that were actually much more difficult than the current one, such as the so-called Special Period, when the country was almost completely paralyzed and no one considered abandoning the

Cuba and Morocco Reestablish Diplomatic Relations

Source: Havana Times | Cuba and Morocco Reestablish Diplomatic Relations Cuba today reestablished diplomatic relations with Morocco, which had been broken in 1980, following the expulsion of the Cuban ambassador from Rabat. The agreement came days after the private visit of King Mohamed VI and his family to the Cuban capital where they booked the

Saving Quality Education in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Saving Quality Education in Cuba The Cuban school year 2016-2017 reached its final stage. When students return from Victory Week vacations (mid-April) they will face the final months of this stage which includes final exams, extra-curricular work, entrance exams and others.

Electricity in Cuba: Black Market Prices or Subsidized?

Source: Havana Times | Electricity in Cuba: Black Market Prices or Subsidized? The Government tells us that electricity is “subsidized”, in conformance with their calculations which are made in USD, but the effect it has on our pockets is as if it were the “black market”. To highlight the State’s generosity they compare these prices

Sculptures and Drawings by Tony Cragg in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Sculptures and Drawings by Tony Cragg in Cuba Tony Cragg, an important English sculptor living in Germany, traveled to Cuba to open his personal exhibition: Toni Cragg. Sculptures and drawings, at Havana’s National Fine Arts Museum.

Moringa in Nicaragua: The Miracle Tree

Source: Havana Times | Moringa in Nicaragua: The Miracle Tree In a field located along kilometer 68 of the old highway from Managua to Leon there’s a large plantation of Moringa – also called Marango – the new king of alternative medicine. Here on this property belonging to Jacobo Arguello approximately 348 acres have been

The State Doesn’t Care about Nature

Source: Havana Times | The State Doesn’t Care about Nature It’s becoming a more and more frequent occurrence to find cut down trees everywhere in the city of Havana. Sometimes they don’t even have electricity cables above them, so I don’t understand why they have to be cut down.

Cuba’s Damn Procedures (part 2)

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Damn Procedures (part 2) I remember a few years ago when I was running late to hand in my entry for an erotic literature competition, and when I reached the institution which received the works, the receptionist told me to go up to a floor where a pre-selection of works…

ETECSA-Cuba: the Company Without the Drive to Progress

Source: Havana Times | ETECSA-Cuba: the Company Without the Drive to Progress Finally, Cuba’s telephone company ETECSA seems to have heard the people’s cries and has improved its previous offer, benefiting users of their service and the country, which receives a lot of hard currency for top-ups made abroad.

Bolivar Is in the Streets of Venezuela Not in Power

Source: Havana Times | Bolivar Is in the Streets of Venezuela Not in Power It is urgent to offer respect and immense solidarity to the people of Venezuela for the tenacity with which they are fighting, with which they take to the streets peacefully, demanding change in the terrible reality of their country.

General Motors Leaves Venezuela after Factory Confiscation

Source: Havana Times | General Motors Leaves Venezuela after Factory Confiscation US automaker General Motors (GM) announced today the cancellation of its operations in Venezuela after denouncing the confiscation of one of its plants by the government of Nicolas Maduro.

Havana Weather for April 20-26

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for April 20-26 During this 7-day Havana forecast period we can expect some isolated showers. The days will be cloudy from the morning, and in the evenings the probability of rain will increase.

Reggae Concert in an Apartment in Alamar

Source: Havana Times | Reggae Concert in an Apartment in Alamar A Cuba full of a great mix of people was revealed at the Reggae concert which was held as an album launch for the CD- “Diaspora illegal”, by “Estudiantes sin Semilla”, a group founded by two Cuban Rastafaris over 10 years ago.

You Can’t Choose Your Own Potatoes

Source: Havana Times | You Can’t Choose Your Own Potatoes A lot of people have to rack their brains today with Cuban reality, which is in some way, let’s say, picturesque. The theory behind it is founded on deep spiritual categories, with high resounding words and idealism which are like those of priests.

Brazilian Justice Calls for Investigating Lula over Cuba Projects

Source: Havana Times | Brazilian Justice Calls for Investigating Lula over Cuba Projects Brazilian prosecutors seek to investigate former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, accused of corruption, in connection with the Odebrecht corporation’s construction operations in Cuba, reports the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper quoting secret court documents.

Cuban Officials Linked to Telecom Business with China Arrested

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Officials Linked to Telecom Business with China Arrested Two senior Cuban officials linked to business with the Huawei consortium, a Chinese enclave within the state’s telecommunications monopoly on the island, were arrested in Havana on corruption charges.

The Cuban Revolution’s Anti-socialist Nature

Source: Havana Times | The Cuban Revolution’s Anti-socialist Nature On April 16, 1961, on the corner of 23rd and 12th Streets in Vedado, Havana, Fidel Castro announced the “socialist and democratic nature of the Cuban Revolution.” However, since the ‘60s, many Cuban socialists from different generations have been reporting the truly anti-socialist path that the

Venezuela: A Tired People

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela: A Tired People An extreme tiredness is evident on the faces of many people in Venezuela. Most comments on the street coincide in one detail; we are fed up with the extremes. We are fed up with the manipulations of the government, its inefficiency, its corruption; We are fed up

Staircase Collapses in a Downtown Havana Building

Source: Havana Times | Staircase Collapses in a Downtown Havana Building In the morning hours of Tuesday, April 18, the staircase of the building located at the corners of San Miguel and Amistad municipality of Centro Habana collapsed. On this occasion there was no loss of human life. (7 photos)

Finding a Wallet Full of Money

Source: Havana Times | Finding a Wallet Full of Money When we saw the news at home a few days ago about the children from Pinar del Rio who returned a wallet they found with 300 US dollars inside, my daughters and I looked at each other knowingly and we burst out laughing.

Cuba Suspends Sending More Doctors to Brazil

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Suspends Sending More Doctors to Brazil Brazilian authorities announced on Monday that they will seek to hire more local doctors after Cuba suspended sending more than 700 of its doctors, part of a health agreement between the two countries, for fear of defections.

A Five Year Battle with a Happy Ending

Source: Havana Times | A Five Year Battle with a Happy Ending Finally, after nearly 5 years of fighting against Cuban bureaucracy, dealing with institutional opportunism and corruption, I managed to get the state-owned company Aguas de la Habana to install an independent pipe to supply my home with water.

The Church of Regla, Across the Bay from Old Havana

Source: Havana Times | The Church of Regla, Across the Bay from Old Havana Every time I’m in Cuba at Easter time, I religiously visit our parish church in Regla. Of all the things somebody from Regla remembers, wherever they find themselves in the world, it’s this church.

An Unexpected and Wonderful Experience

Source: Havana Times | An Unexpected and Wonderful Experience For a few days now, some Havana Times writers have been busy with a project to promote our website. Video interviews have been recorded, something unusual for us, although this is how you raise money in the rest of the world to sell an image and

The Cuban Miracle Girl

Source: Havana Times | The Cuban Miracle Girl Everybody knows who she is in Cuba’s western Artemisa province as well as in Pinar del Rio. Sulay Enamorado Izaguirre is 36 years old, but when she was just four, she fell down a well that was 300 feet deep and less than two feet in diameter.

Crossing Cuba on a Bicycle without Resting

Source: Havana Times | Crossing Cuba on a Bicycle without Resting Austrian cyclist Jacob Zurl has set himself the challenge to cross the entire island of Cuba without a break. It entails 1,450 kilometers (900 miles) and he plans to cover it in 55 hours.

Coming Soon to Cuba: International Jazz Day

Source: Havana Times | Coming Soon to Cuba: International Jazz Day The celebration of International Jazz Day 2017 takes place this year in Cuba with a program that will run from April 24 to 30 and bring together in Havana great musicians from around the globe.

The Russian Car Parts Connection in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | The Russian Car Parts Connection in Cuba “Minus eleven degrees!” is Ania’s first remark about Moscow. She doesn’t dwell on it too long, but talks about her stay in Russia and that of many more like her who the technical health of a significant fleet of private cars in Cuba rely

Easter Week in Cuba 2017

Source: Havana Times | Easter Week in Cuba 2017 Catholics in the Cuban capital began their Holy Week on April 9th with the Palm Sunday Mass at the Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje church located by the park that takes its name from the saint. Holy Week ends tomorrow with Resurrection (Easter) Sunday. (22 photos)

UN Praises Cuba for Practices against Human Trafficking

Source: Havana Times | UN Praises Cuba for Practices against Human Trafficking The UN Special Rapporteur on people trafficking, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, said today that Cuba applies “good practices” in the fight against this global problem.

What Would Cuba Be Like with Freedom of Speech

Source: Havana Times | What Would Cuba Be Like with Freedom of Speech I try to write about the country I live in, rather than ordinary Cubans’ problems, the country which doesn’t appear in the media or on national TV.

Second Generation Cuban-Americans

Source: Havana Times | Second Generation Cuban-Americans “We wanted to come see our parents’ and grandfather’s country,” the two brothers told me whose father I met a long time ago when we were children and then teenagers. They speak Spanish with the accent of those who were born in the United States, but learned it

Cuba, My Poor Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Cuba, My Poor Cuba The need for democratic change in Cuba is pretty much public consensus. It’s even greater among Cubans living abroad. For those who live on the island, it’s becoming increasingly so. As our people free themselves from the utopian trance they begin to discover the limitations our freedoms

Social Interests and Cuba’s Shared Taxis

Source: Havana Times | Social Interests and Cuba’s Shared Taxis Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed another controversial episode along the long road to searching for real solutions to our many burdens. The government in the capital of Havana introduced price regulations to how small scale private transport operate, who are known around

Cuba in 19th Century Letters

Source: Havana Times | Cuba in 19th Century Letters With the need to embrace a larger world, on January 31, 1851, coming from New Orleans on board the steamship “The Philadelphia”, without any other company but her trunks full of books, drawing charcoal and cardboard, Fredrika Bremer arrived in the port of Havana. (44 photos)

Defeating the “Nica Act” in Managua

Source: Havana Times | Defeating the “Nica Act” in Managua The recently released new version of the Nica Act, which proposes that the US government automatically veto any loans to Nicaragua from multilateral agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, is worthy of condemnation for ethical as

The Child Abuse Situation in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | The Child Abuse Situation in Cuba During 2015, a total of 2174 Cuban children and teenagers suffered reported acts of physical abuse, grooming, rape, sexual abuse, pedophilia, statutory rape and incest. Such cruelty is an offense which should make us all ashamed. Cuba isn’t the only country in the world where

Havana Weather for April 13-19

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for April 13-19 The days will be partly cloudy in the mornings with isolated and scattered showers in the afternoons. The winds will be from the east, with speeds between 9 and 15 mph, somewhat stronger in the coastal zones. The days will be a little cooler, and the

Welcome Cuba to the Progress Bazaar

Source: Havana Times | Welcome Cuba to the Progress Bazaar Those who know Old Havana will recognize the luxurious “Kempinsky-Manzana de Gomez” hotel which will open very soon, with a lot of fanfare. Something in all of this particularly caught my attention…

Russian Presence in Nicaragua has the USA Concerned

Source: Havana Times | Russian Presence in Nicaragua has the USA Concerned The Russian military presence in Nicaragua still hasn’t “alarmed” the United States, but it has kept them on their toes “watching” while Moscow increases its cooperation efforts with Comandante Daniel Ortega’s government, which includes a fleet of war tanks.

A New Mosque for Havana, Pros and Cons

Source: Havana Times | A New Mosque for Havana, Pros and Cons The city of Havana is reportedly set to be the site of one of the largest mosques in Latin America, which will serve Cuba’s estimated 10,000 Muslims, with the funding allegedly provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Real Madrid, a Soccer Fan Club in Havana

Source: Havana Times | Real Madrid, a Soccer Fan Club in Havana The world’s biggest soccer teams have fan clubs in every corner of the Earth, but because of Cuba’s peculiarities, there are very few official fan clubs based in this corner of the Caribbean. “Official” fan clubs are those which have received the soccer

The King of Morocco is in Cuba, Takes Over Old Havana Hotel

Source: Havana Times | The King of Morocco is in Cuba, Takes Over Old Havana Hotel The king of Morocco, Mohammed VI, is vacationing in Cuba with his family and entourage. For their comfort he rented the entire 96-room Saratoga Hotel in Old Havana for 10 nights.

Cuba Searches for its “Lost” Money

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Searches for its “Lost” Money In my neighborhood, the story about Juan the butcher, who took a detour with a truck full of minced meat, sold it and then left the country, is famous. “It’s a good thing he left,” a neighbor warns, “because if he was still here, people

Maduro Gets Support in Havana from his Allies

Source: Havana Times | Maduro Gets Support in Havana from his Allies The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) backed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday in his confrontation with the Organization of American States (OAS). The meeting of the ALBA Political Council was held behind closed doors in Havana.

Cuba’s Damn Procedures (part 1)

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Damn Procedures (part 1) Every writer knows what the procedure is to getting a book published in Cuba, you have to win a literary competition, if you don’t then your work will never be visible to anyone.

Nicaragua’s Patricia Belli: from Tragedy to Rejoicing

Source: Havana Times | Nicaragua’s Patricia Belli: from Tragedy to Rejoicing Patricia Belli is possibly the most influential contemporary Nicaraguan artist of our times. The opening of “Balance and Collapse”, an exhibition of her collected works at the Ortiz Gurdián Foundation’s Managua Art Center, is the perfect excuse to talk with Patricia about her three

Why Did I Stay in Cuba, Why Didn’t I Leave?

Source: Havana Times | Why Did I Stay in Cuba, Why Didn’t I Leave? Staying in Cuba is reason to be asked one fine day why you didn’t leave, and it’s asking yourself what would have happened if you had left. This “what if” is the father of all absurdity and uncertainty for what never

My Hitchhiking Scare

Source: Havana Times | My Hitchhiking Scare Among the most frightening moments I’ve ever lived, when I felt like I was on the brink of death, was when I was in 11th grade and had gone to spend my summer holidays with some relatives in Santiago de Cuba.

Is the US fighting or Supporting Terrorism?

Source: Havana Times | Is the US fighting or Supporting Terrorism? When the events of September 11, 2001, took place, the greatest and most criminal terrorist attack ever, destroying New York’s Twin Towers, the then US president George W. Bush declared war on terrorism…

Herbie Hancock and Chucho Valdes Together in Cuba on April 30th

Source: Havana Times | Herbie Hancock and Chucho Valdes Together in Cuba on April 30th Katherine Muller-Marin, the Director of the Unesco Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently stated that the celebration of the 6th edition of International Jazz Day on April 30th, will be a unique opportunity for Cuba

Medieval Music Returns to Havana

Source: Havana Times | Medieval Music Returns to Havana Medieval music will once again fill some of Havana’s streets from April 24th to 27th. Concerts will be played by the Ensemble Vocal Luna, Camerata Vocale Sine Nomine and Lauda, the event’s host ensemble.

Jodie Foster Spends “Beautiful Family Evening” with Mariela Castro

Source: Havana Times | Jodie Foster Spends “Beautiful Family Evening” with Mariela Castro US actress Jodie Foster spent a “lovely family evening” in Havana with Mariela Castro, with whom she talked about the work of the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex) that Mariela heads.

Seventy-two Cubans in Panama Have 45 Days to Find a Third Country

Source: Havana Times | Seventy-two Cubans in Panama Have 45 Days to Find a Third Country They left Cuba hoping to benefit from the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy which offered immigration benefits to every Cuban who reached the United States by sea or land, a policy which then US president, Barack Obama, revoked on January 12, 2017.

Mexico to Grant Residency to Nearly 600 Cubans

Source: Havana Times | Mexico to Grant Residency to Nearly 600 Cubans The Mexican government has begun a process to regulate and grant residence permits to 588 Cubans who were stranded in the border state of Tamaulipas with the United States, after that country changed its immigration policy for Cubans.

Time Passes By and Cuba’s Anonymous Elderly

Source: Havana Times | Time Passes By and Cuba’s Anonymous Elderly Nelson barely gets by and not many people know it. He doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. For years he’s been passing daily in front of my apartment with his wife and they go up the building stairwell in silence.

US Legislators Toughen the “Nica Act”

Source: Havana Times | US Legislators Toughen the “Nica Act” The new version of the “Nica Act” (Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act) presented Wednesday by 25 members of the US House of Representatives, “has toughened” the proposal of conditions on loans from multilateral organizations to the government of Daniel Ortega.

Cuba Makes Needed Water Filters, but Production Is Low

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Makes Needed Water Filters, but Production Is Low It was August, 2014, and the women in this rural community made coffee very early that morning and kept their eyes fixed on the dirt track as if they were waiting for the Messiah. “The truck’s coming,” one of them alerted and

Fires in Cuba: Accidental or Deliberate?

Source: Havana Times | Fires in Cuba: Accidental or Deliberate? Cuban TV has been warning the general population about the crisis the country is suffering with drought over the last few months. As it doesn’t rain very much, it’s only logical that food production and livestock are affected and forests become more vulnerable to experience

Stranded Cubans Offered Transfers to other Mexican Cities

Source: Havana Times | Stranded Cubans Offered Transfers to other Mexican Cities Cubans stranded in Nuevo Laredo can sort out their immigration status in other parts of the country, and therefore no longer need to travel to Nuevo Laredo, Jose Martin Carmona, the director of the Tamaulipeco Institute for Migrants, has indicated.

Nicaragua “Among the Happiest Countries” According to Latest UN Index

Source: Havana Times | Nicaragua “Among the Happiest Countries” According to Latest UN Index The 2017 report from the United Nations, headed by economist Jeffrey Sachs, has pronounced Nicaragua #43 among the happiest countries in the world. The report measured well-being in 155 countries during the previous year.

Back to the Future (video)

Source: Havana Times | Back to the Future (video) I’m confident that virtually no Cuban has been able to escape the experience you have when you get into a private shared taxi. The driver nearly always has music on to keep himself entertained along the journey and, in passing, he tortures his passengers.

As Chavism Clings to Power Venezuela Suffers

Source: Havana Times | As Chavism Clings to Power Venezuela Suffers I’m not going to deny the fact that I thought it was an exciting and hopeful time when Hugo Chavez won the presidency of Venezuela back in 1998; and he swore before the Constitution, which he called “dying”, to fight for a new Venezuela:

Culture is Cuba’s Greatest Attraction

Source: Havana Times | Culture is Cuba’s Greatest Attraction Last weekend I went out with little Lucia to walk the streets of Old Havana, attracted by the children’s dance show performed in its plazas. It was fascinating to witness the quality of the groups, the environment and the large number of children among the audience.

Havana Weather for April 6-12

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for April 6-12 Over the next few days there will be isolated showers and thunderstorms, with winds from the north and northeast with speeds between 9 and 15 mph. In the second half of this forecast period we can expect partly cloudy days with occasional showers in the afternoons

Dance in Urban Landscapes of Old Havana

Source: Havana Times | Dance in Urban Landscapes of Old Havana The 22nd edition of the International Festival of Dance in “Urban Landscapes: Old Havana City in Motion” took place from March 29 to April 2. Here we present some pictures of the inaugural day. (16 photos)

Original Lion Statutes in Havana Park Disappear

Source: Havana Times | Original Lion Statutes in Havana Park Disappear Mariana Grajales Park, in the capital’s Vedado neighborhood, doesn’t have it’s original lions anymore, now it has some ordinary ones, probably made out of concrete. Where the statues ended up remains a mystery up until today.

Cuba’s Silent Gatekeepers

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Silent Gatekeepers For the last few months, I’ve been troubled by a suspicion – or a fit of paranoia if you will – which has been confirmed by what’s been going on recently. This paranoia has been taking shape and has become an increasingly persistent presence ever since Fidel Castro

What “Fighting” for Our Daily Bread Means in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | What “Fighting” for Our Daily Bread Means in Cuba Much has been said recently about “fighting” here in Cuba. I’m talking about the kind of fighting which isn’t linked to sports, or political or military matters. It isn’t just a few people who theorize and give their opinions. They analyze, in

Holy Mondays

Source: Havana Times | Holy Mondays A few months ago, and after a lot of looking around, I got a new job at the Medical Sciences University, in Guantanamo. This institution has given me a lot of anecdotes to share with HT friends, but I’m a little disheartened right now, so I’ll write them slowly

Trinidad, Cuba with its Architectural Beauty Frozen in History

Source: Havana Times | Trinidad, Cuba with its Architectural Beauty Frozen in History When you enter the historical center of Trinidad, it is like traveling several centuries back in history, its architecture exposes characteristic features of the Spanish buildings of centuries past. (28 photos)

Venezuela and Cuba Today (cartoon)

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela and Cuba Today (cartoon) In Venezuela the clamour of the economic, social and political crisis continues to rise, while in Cuba the concern is over cheap oil with favorable terms. Many think that the decisions of the government of Nicolas Maduro are made in Havana.

Venezuela and Cuba Today

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela and Cuba Today In Venezuela the clamour of the economic, social and political crisis continues to rise, while in Cuba the concern is over cheap oil with favorable terms. Many think that the decisions of the government of Nicolas Maduro are made in Havana.

OAS Declares “a Violation of the Constitutional Order” in Venezuela

Source: Havana Times | OAS Declares “a Violation of the Constitutional Order” in Venezuela The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved today by consensus a resolution in which it expressed “its deep concern about the serious unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order” in Venezuela, which was opposed by that country and

Depression, the “Silent Epidemic” Also Attacks in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Depression, the “Silent Epidemic” Also Attacks in Cuba A recent medical event in Havana and particular indicators I picked up on in TV programs and social projects, stirred my curiosity about the impact of depression in Cuba. In Latin America, Brazil is the country with the highest level of depression, followed

Bolivia Cancels OAS meeting on Venezuela and 18 Countries Protest

Source: Havana Times | Bolivia Cancels OAS meeting on Venezuela and 18 Countries Protest A group of 18 countries today protested the decision of Bolivia, the current president of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), to suspend the extraordinary meeting convened for Monday to address the Venezuelan crisis without consulting the

Cuba’s Cockfighters Resist Police Ban

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Cockfighters Resist Police Ban We ordinary Cubans have very few entertainment options left. For thousands of people in Mayari, just like across the nation, cockfighting is one of the few forms of amusement that exist here; but it has been illegal since the Revolution’s early years.

Maya or the Name of a Flower…

Source: Havana Times | Maya or the Name of a Flower… The girl stepped out of the darkness. “Hi. Do you want some company?” The foreigner looked her up and down. She wasn’t very tall. She had a beautiful smile and was very young. She seemed to be well-suited for his intentions.

Cuba without a Defense Attorney

Source: Havana Times | Cuba without a Defense Attorney Ogsmande Lescayllers lived twenty years outside of Cuba (1990-2010). The reason: he was accused of being a counter-revolutionary, when he was a professor at the University of Havana. Ya tiene 7 años de regreso a la isla.

Lenin Moreno Ahead in Ecuador Presidential Elections

Source: Havana Times | Lenin Moreno Ahead in Ecuador Presidential Elections The governing party candidate, Lenin Moreno, is close to becoming the new Ecuadorian president, according to preliminary data released by the National Electoral Council (CNE) with 94.18 percent of the votes counted today, dpa reported. The CNE indicated that 51.07 percent of valid votes

Ecuador Elects its Next President Today

Source: Havana Times | Ecuador Elects its Next President Today Lenin Moreno, a socialist, and Jorge Glas, Ecuador’s current vice president, form the ticket supported by the governing Alianza País movement, proposes a continuity of the policies implemented in 10 years under the administration of President Rafael Correa. Guillermo Lasso, a conservative, and Andres Paez,

The Cuban Market and its Inconsistencies

Source: Havana Times | The Cuban Market and its Inconsistencies Not using the market properly has been – and still is – one of the country’s economic failures; not to mention the fact that it has also functioned without recognizing its mechanisms. Professor Fernandez Estrada notes, “we have to create conditions so that its the

Venezuela Supreme Court Backtracks on Parliament Takeover

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela Supreme Court Backtracks on Parliament Takeover Venezuela’s Supreme Court has overturned two of its own rulings that limited legislators’ immunity and stripped the National Assembly of its powers. President Maduro had urged the Supreme Court to deal severely with the rebel National Assembly, where the opposition has a large majority,

Ecuador Holds Elections on Sunday

Source: Havana Times | Ecuador Holds Elections on Sunday Lenin Moreno, a socialist, and Jorge Glas, Ecuador’s current vice president, form the ticket supported by the governing Alianza País movement, which proposes a continuity of the policies implemented in 10 years of the administration of President Rafael Correa. Guillermo Lasso, a conservative, and Andres Paez,

Cuba Sends Doctors to Help Victims in Peru

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Sends Doctors to Help Victims in Peru Cuba has sent a specialized medical brigade to Peru to help those affected by the heavy rains and floods in the Andean country. The team consists of 23 doctors and paramedics who will work in the area of ??Piura, in the north of

Cuba Faces Gasoline Crunch from Venezuela Crisis

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Faces Gasoline Crunch from Venezuela Crisis As of April 1st, Cuban gas stations will only sell premium gasoline in cash and to tourists until stocks run out. The cause being reduced shipments of subsidized oil from Venezuela, which is facing its own serious economic crisis.

Venezuela’s Attorney General Denounces Rupture of Constitutional Order

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela’s Attorney General Denounces Rupture of Constitutional Order Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said today that the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) to take over the functions of the National Assembly represents a constitutional rupture.

Despite Severe Drought, Cuba Banks on More Golf Courses

Source: Havana Times | Despite Severe Drought, Cuba Banks on More Golf Courses For weeks now the subject of prolonged drought in the majority of Cuba’s municipalities and the need to conserve on water use has been a topic in the media. So how does the government’s push for more golf courses fit into the

Good News in Cuba?

Source: Havana Times | Good News in Cuba? In a country where government media describes a make believe reality or true only for the privileged elite, those of us who are independent journalists in Cuba usually only see what disappoints us. This makes us sarcastic, skeptical and unconquerable beings.

Venezuelan Retirees and Pensioners Protest

Source: Havana Times | Venezuelan Retirees and Pensioners Protest For the second consecutive day, and this time not only in Caracas, also in several states of Venezuela, retirees and pensioners went out to claim their right to life. “Angry grandparents demand their rights” was one of the slogans. (24 photos)

National Assembly of Venezuela Annulled by “Coup”

Source: Havana Times | National Assembly of Venezuela Annulled by “Coup” The Venezuelan National Assembly called the Supreme Court decision to assume legislative functions and grant President Nicolas Maduro “all powers”, as if were a king, the equivalent of a coup in the oil rich country.

Nicaragua Canal Project Owners Reduce Presence to a Minimum

Source: Havana Times | Nicaragua Canal Project Owners Reduce Presence to a Minimum The Hong Kong Nicaragua Development consortium (HKND) – owned by Chinese businessman Wang Jing, who in June 2013 received a concession from commander Daniel Ortega to build an interoceanic canal in Nicaragua – has reduced operations to a minimum in the country.

Nicaraguan Farmers in Opposing Camps over GMOs

Source: Havana Times | Nicaraguan Farmers in Opposing Camps over GMOs Alvaro Fiallos, National Union of Farmers and Ranchers of Nicaragua (UNAG) president: “It’s not true they would raise productivity in the country.” Michael Healy, National Union of Agricultural Producers (UPANIC): “We need to find alternatives to crops affected by climate change.” By Maynor Salazar 

Havana Weather for March 30 – April 5

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for March 30 – April 5 The days will be mostly clear in the morning, with some isolated clouds in the afternoon. The relative humidity will be low and the probability of rain will remain very low.

Who Pays for Health Care and Education in Cuba?

Source: Havana Times | Who Pays for Health Care and Education in Cuba? Cuban workers pay for healthcare and education. Ever since the 1960s, surplus value gained from their labor has gone to the State’s coffers, the State being the main owner of the country’s modes of production and only redistributor of this wealth.

A Stroll along Two Guantanamo City Avenues (Photo Feature)

Source: Havana Times | A Stroll along Two Guantanamo City Avenues (Photo Feature) Both avenues always draw my attention when I visit the city. During a trip I spent a few hours to capture recognized sites and share with you what is pleasant for me every time I walk through them. (14 photos)

A Stroll along Two Guantanamo City Avenues

Source: Havana Times | A Stroll along Two Guantanamo City Avenues Both avenues always draw my attention when I visit the city. During a trip I spent a few hours to capture recognized sites and share with you what is pleasant for me every time I walk through them. (14 photos)

Fernando of the Cuban Five New President of ICAP

Source: Havana Times | Fernando of the Cuban Five New President of ICAP All the five spies of the Wasp Network, considered heroes by the Cuban government and supporters, have until now held positions of vice presidents in state institutions and agencies, but this Tuesday Fernando Gonzalez Llort ascended to the presidency of the Cuban

Bob Dylan at the Cuba Fototeca

Source: Havana Times | Bob Dylan at the Cuba Fototeca A collection of photos taken by Ted Russell, in tribute to the modern music icon, Bob Dylan, will be on show at the Fototeca de Cuba, in Old Havana, through April 24th. (10 fotos)

Cuba’s “Quality” Telecommunication Services

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s “Quality” Telecommunication Services You don’t need a particular day to get annoyed with ETECSA. All you have to do is install the Nauta service on your mobile phone and you’ll discover more than enough reasons. Any service you ask for ends up disappointing you.

Cuba Defends Maduro Government of Venezuela against OAS

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Defends Maduro Government of Venezuela against OAS On Tuesday March 28, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States met in Washington to discuss the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Cuba, which is not a member of the OAS, came out in defense of its main economic

Twenty OAS Countries to Seek Ways to Get Venezuela Out of Crisis

Source: Havana Times | Twenty OAS Countries to Seek Ways to Get Venezuela Out of Crisis Twenty countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) called today at an extraordinary meeting of the Permanent Council of that forum to seek ways “in the shortest possible time” to help solve the political, economic, social and humanitarian

New Protest Set Against Nicaragua Canal Project

Source: Havana Times | New Protest Set Against Nicaragua Canal Project A rural movement opposed to the construction of an inter-oceanic canal in southern Nicaragua announced a new protest march against the megaproject, promoted by the Ortega government and the Chinese consortium HKND.

New Protest Set Against Nicaragua Canal

Source: Havana Times | New Protest Set Against Nicaragua Canal A rural movement opposed to the construction of an inter-oceanic canal in southern Nicaragua announced a new protest march against the megaproject, promoted by the Ortega government and the Chinese consortium HKND.

Bob Dylan in Havana

Source: Havana Times | Bob Dylan in Havana On the afternoon of Friday March 24th a wide collection of photos of the US icon of rebel music, Bob Dylan, was inaugurated at the Fototeca de Cuba. (15 photos)

Poor Neighborhood, “Rich” People

Source: Havana Times | Poor Neighborhood, “Rich” People I have already told you some stories about my neighborhood and its people, which give you an idea more or less of how we live here. Living in a ghetto, like everything in life, has its advantages and disadvantages.

Indifference and Not Enough Inspections

Source: Havana Times | Indifference and Not Enough Inspections Two days ago, I took the A-7 bus heading towards Guanabacoa. When I got on, I realized that the 50-something year old bus driver had a very beautiful young girl next to him inside his protection booth, the conversation seemed to be quite pleasant as they

Evo Morales Heading to Cuba for Throat Surgery

Source: Havana Times | Evo Morales Heading to Cuba for Throat Surgery Bolivian President Evo Morales will travel to Cuba on Wednesday to undergo surgery on his throat, health minister Ariana Campero said on Thursday in La Paz.

Evo Morales Heads to Cuba for Surgery

Source: Havana Times | Evo Morales Heads to Cuba for Surgery Bolivian President Evo Morales will travel to Cuba on Wednesday to undergo surgery on his throat, health minister Ariana Campero said on Thursday in La Paz.

In Cuba, Almost Nothing Is Considered Garbage

Source: Havana Times | In Cuba, Almost Nothing Is Considered Garbage Not too long ago, I was watching a friend do a deep clean of his house and was witness to the conflict that arose between him and his father when it came to deciding what to throw away. That experience led me to write

Confessions of a Cuban Living with HIV

Source: Havana Times | Confessions of a Cuban Living with HIV Onin Reyes was diagnosed with HIV six years ago and he doesn’t lose hope that a cure will be discovered for his illness. “I never found out who it was that infected me, I am very aware of the fact the responsibility was mine

The Golden Mile of Old Havana

Source: Havana Times | The Golden Mile of Old Havana In the city’s historic center, near the Obispo pedestrian boulevard, you can find the so-called “Golden Mile”, popularly known like this because it is the best conserved part of the city. It is possibly the most important tourist attraction in Havana. (19 photos)

Fidel and Raul Castro’s youngest sister, Agustina, passes away

Source: Havana Times | Fidel and Raul Castro’s youngest sister, Agustina, passes away Agustina del Carmen Castro Ruz, the youngest of Fidel and Raul Castro’s siblings, passed away this Sunday in Havana aged 78 years old, close family sources have confirmed.

A Brief Example of Institutionalized Racism in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | A Brief Example of Institutionalized Racism in Cuba While talking to some German socialists in a noisy and touristy cafe on 23rd and O Streets, in Vedado, I watched a policeman in action on the corner of La Rampa cinema, asking to see the ID of passers-by.

Social media: vulgarity and obscenity

Source: Havana Times | Social media: vulgarity and obscenity Vulgarity is being promoted without signs of stopping; we could even almost say that it is replacing creative or intelligent ideas. Everything is gaining a malicious, cruel tone, not only in depth but in decency too.

Death Threats in Nicaragua against Indigenous Rights Activist

Source: Havana Times | Death Threats in Nicaragua against Indigenous Rights Activist Lottie Cunningham won’t remain silent. Despite the death threats she’s received, she continues to denounce the inaction of Comandante Daniel Ortega’s government in the face of the invasion of indigenous lands of Nicaragua’s Caribbean region. This situation has left a toll of more

Extreme Drought in Cuba, Many Are Unaware

Source: Havana Times | Extreme Drought in Cuba, Many Are Unaware Cuba, reached World Water Day this year suffering one of the most intense droughts in the last 100 years, severely affecting over 80% of the population. Out of the country’s 168 municipalities, 141 are affected and 53 have been declared in extreme drought.

Cuba: Is Healthcare a Gift or a Right?

Source: Havana Times | Cuba: Is Healthcare a Gift or a Right? Recently, a campaign has been launched to raise Cuban citizens’ awareness of the fact that while medical services have been free ever since the Revolution triumphed in 1959, they cost the government a lot of money.

The Hidden Side of Cuba’s New Medical Bills

Source: Havana Times | The Hidden Side of Cuba’s New Medical Bills What the government is doing by handing out bills for doctor’s visits is shameful, in a country where the State retains most of Cuban workers wages, rewarding them with poor salaries plus “free” health & education.

Orgasms, orgasms…

Source: Havana Times | Orgasms, orgasms… Having an orgasm with love is the perfect combination, a powerful alliance which brings a couple together, as well as other interests, like friendship, children (if you have them) and all kinds of relationships.

Wet-foot/ Dry-foot Policy: Changing Mentalities

Source: Havana Times | Wet-foot/ Dry-foot Policy: Changing Mentalities It goes without saying that the new US government is complying with what has been set out in the agreements signed by his predecessor and that there is some kind of bilateral effort to put the procedures which this implies into gear.

Fidel Castro Reappears “in his Dead Body” in… Hong Kong

Source: Havana Times | Fidel Castro Reappears “in his Dead Body” in… Hong Kong The image that Fidel Castro and his closest watchmen in the Cuban government wanted to avoid at his funeral, is now part of the artistic reality of a famous fair in Hong Kong.

Cuba and Its Rotting Tomatoes

Source: Havana Times | Cuba and Its Rotting Tomatoes In a country often with considerable food shortages, dozens of tons of tomatoes are rotting in Guantanamo because nobody is collecting them. In the face of situations like this one, which affects the national and local economy, you can’t divide the blame up between everyone.

“Island”, My Latest Film Project

Source: Havana Times | “Island”, My Latest Film Project Once again, with a small camera and a lot of determination to make cinema, I’m taking a risk and making a new movie project, where I shine a light on my own fears, my desire to show what I think and how I see the things

Venezuela, Tales of the Absurd

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela, Tales of the Absurd Venezuela is experiencing a crisis which has forced its inhabitants to rethink the way they spend money in their own country in recent years. Amid new conditions, having access to basic goods which used to form part of their daily lives before, such as food, sports

Havana Weather for March 23-29

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for March 23-29 The days will be sunny in the morning and partly cloudy in the afternoons, with isolated and occasional rain. The maximum temperatures will range between 25 and 29° C (77 and 84 F), while the lows will be between 19 and 21° C (66 and 70

Store Sales and Cuba’s Army of Resellers

Source: Havana Times | Store Sales and Cuba’s Army of Resellers Everything begins with an order “from above”. Then the paperwork comes down and nighttime preparations. The following day, from the crack of dawn, the commotion, chaos, crowds… This isn’t an undercover operation; there’s a sale.

Trump’s Cuba Policy Still in Limbo

Source: Havana Times | Trump’s Cuba Policy Still in Limbo A year after Barack Obama’s trip to Cuba the euphoria which triggered the “thawing” of relations between the two countries has disappeared, giving way to uncertainty ever since Donald Trump became president, who has yet to make a move.

The OAS Does it Again…

Source: Havana Times | The OAS Does it Again… Luis Almagro’s obsession against the government of Venezuela has revealed itself during the last few months and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. His meddling statements are nothing new in the history of the OAS.

Cuba is Creating a New Life Philosophy

Source: Havana Times | Cuba is Creating a New Life Philosophy Eurico Borges, 1950, painter and traveler from Portugal, arrived in Cuba for the first time in 1999. Three days after his arrival, he knew that this was the place where he wanted to live. He settled in our country in 2000 and has lived

Cuba “Seizes” the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Source: Havana Times | Cuba “Seizes” the Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Cuban government has banned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from being spread in Cuba. It also doesn’t allow the Cuban public to learn about the Conventions which the government has ratified and much less the state of compliance with the Conventions

Fear of State Security

Source: Havana Times | Fear of State Security The moral of this story isn’t my phobia of reggaeton but of the fear that the National Security Agency awakens in nearly everyone here in Dallas. Talking about this subject with Cuban emigres in the US, one of them even told me…

The Movie of the Rolling Stones in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | The Movie of the Rolling Stones in Cuba In my hands, and as a valuable gift brought from Rome, a packet entitled “The Rolling Stones, Havana Moon.” It consists of two CDs with the Stones music and a DVD of the megaconcierto they offered for free at the Havana Sports City

A Photo Feature from Prehistoric Cuba

Source: Havana Times | A Photo Feature from Prehistoric Cuba Cuban natives captured their vision of the world in caves, even the stamp of the Spanish conquest, passing on hundreds of paintings called “cave paintings” to us. These are drawings which were made over a thousand years ago. Interesting analogies transport us from the past

Forced to Live with Open Sewage

Source: Havana Times | Forced to Live with Open Sewage An inspector recently fined us because we had thrown some buckets of water on the street and a little reached the sidewalk. “Don’t you know comrade that it is only allowed on Saturdays?”, she asked very seriously, while taking out her booklet for giving fines.

Cubans Receive “Symbolic Bills” for Medical Services

Source: Havana Times | Cubans Receive “Symbolic Bills” for Medical Services Cuban patients who are seen at medical institutions in Havana have begun to receive an unprecedented bill with the cost of the medical services they’ve received. The Public Health Ministry (MINSAP) says that giving patients a “symbolic bill” is part of a program that

How Can You Fight Injustice in Cuba?

Source: Havana Times | How Can You Fight Injustice in Cuba? A political system which doesn’t have feedback, nor is founded on democratic elections, will never be able to truly fight injustice. If those who rule the country and decide for the rest of us what will happen to the economy and society make a

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope 2017 in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Terry Fox Marathon of Hope 2017 in Cuba The twentieth edition of the Terry Fox Run, hosted on Saturday, March 18, in Havana and other Cuban cities, saw thousands of people remembering the remarkable feat that the young Canadian made to raise funds for the fight against cancer. Havana Times was

Venezuela and Nicaragua, Differences & Similarities

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela and Nicaragua, Differences & Similarities Almagro’s Double Standards with Venezuela and Nicaragua.  Accuses Maduro of violating the Inter-American Diplomatic Charter, while praising agreement with Ortega By Wilfredo Miranda Aburto   (Confidencial) HAVANA TIMES — A day after Luis Almagro proposed to suspend Venezuela from the Organization of American States (OAS),

From Camaguey, Cuba: Presents and a Threat

Source: Havana Times | From Camaguey, Cuba: Presents and a Threat Henry Constantin is one of the most recognized figures in Cuban independent journalism, who has decided to stay in Cuba and work from his native city of Camaguey. The police visit to his home coincided with the birthday of his son Dante, who was

Shadows and High Contrast Photography in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Shadows and High Contrast Photography in Cuba For most beginners in photography its often quite uncomfortable to obtain snapshots with low light source, whether natural or artificial. However, with an optimum adjustment of the camera and using the little that the environment that surrounds you provides, even backlit, you can achieve

On the Horizon for Venezuela

Source: Havana Times | On the Horizon for Venezuela The international community hems and haws about how to exert more effective pressure and collective sanctions on the ever more authoritarian Venezuelan regime. The democratic opposition can’t seem to unite around a common strategy to force the government back on the democratic and electoral path. Meanwhile,

Train Wreck in Central Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Train Wreck in Central Cuba Dioney Martin shouldn’t have been on the train that covered the route between Siguaney and Sancti Spiritus at midday on February 27, 2017. If she had got on at Zaza del Medio it was only to do somebody a favor, a routine errand like taking a

Like a Whisper…

Source: Havana Times | Like a Whisper… The photo on the tombstone of the family grave had been wiped out a while ago by the natural elements outdoors. Those who saw her didn’t hold back in telling others about how incredibly alive Ariadna’s gaze and smile seemed to be.

Just One of Those Days

Source: Havana Times | Just One of Those Days There are days when, for no apparent reason, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and even another person’s smile can annoy you. You don’t understand why exactly, because of course there are lots of things which we don’t understand.

Spiritual War in Havana?

Source: Havana Times | Spiritual War in Havana? One afternoon, I was walking near the old Tallapiedra thermoelectric plant, a place close to where I normally catch the bus home and also near a primary school. Something with a white outline really caught my eye on the pavement.

Small Businesses in Cuba, Challenges and Obstacles

Source: Havana Times | Small Businesses in Cuba, Challenges and Obstacles Anything to do with funding, supplies and taxes has to be a headache today for Cuba’s self-employed. [In the case of taxes, they were once demonized here as an evil of only capitalist systems.] The other obstacles on the road to success are huge.

Havana Weather for March 16-22

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for March 16-22 The high temperatures will range between 22 and 29° C (72 and 84 F), and the lows during the early morning will be between 16 and 20° C (61 and 68 F). The sea surface temperature will be 25° C (77 F).

A New Consumer in the Family Ration Book

Source: Havana Times | A New Consumer in the Family Ration Book As is required when a new Cuban citizen is born, I went to register my nephew at Oficoda, the office which will regulate the rationed items that he will receive in the future. My sister has had a baby and I can’t stop

Having a Child in Cuba, Pros and Cons

Source: Havana Times | Having a Child in Cuba, Pros and Cons Cuban authorities have launched a new set of measures to benefit Cuban mothers so as to increase the country’s birth rate and to stop society from aging at the rapid rate it is today. These are steps in the right direction, but are

What Are the Grounds for Unity in Our America?

Source: Havana Times | What Are the Grounds for Unity in Our America? A great promoter of this unity, Chavez himself once said, and then repeated it on many occasions, that governments were going from summit to summit while the general populations of the Americas were going from bad to worse.

The Rural Artists of Solentiname, Nicaragua

Source: Havana Times | The Rural Artists of Solentiname, Nicaragua Jeysell Madrigal Arellano forms part of that new generation. At 32, she’s already been painting for 14 years. She works from her home, a few meters distant from the house of artists Rodolfo and Elba, and is able to support her children through her painting.

Tomatoes are Rotting in Guantanamo

Source: Havana Times | Tomatoes are Rotting in Guantanamo Tomatoes are rotting in the Caujeri Valley, a man tells me, which has had a good harvest this year, with a yield that doubles what was expected and has a modern factory to process them but, right now, its productive capacity isn’t enough to deal with

Differences, Oddities

Source: Havana Times | Differences, Oddities People who are different might bother other people’s eyes but it hurts those on the receiving end more, who have to put up with society’s averting glances, its disgust.

Politics Is One Thing and Politicking Another

Source: Havana Times | Politics Is One Thing and Politicking Another Politics are an art form; politicking is a serious crime against the people of a nation. Politics are used to serve the people and to defend them; politicking is used to rob them, not only financially, but of their dreams and hopes too.

Cuba Sent Home by the Netherlands with 14-1 Debacle

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Sent Home by the Netherlands with 14-1 Debacle The World Baseball Classic ended for Cuba on Wednesday after losing an embarrassing 14-1 to the Netherlands in seven innings, shortened on the mercy rule.

Venezuela Accused of Violating the Entire Democratic Charter

Source: Havana Times | Venezuela Accused of Violating the Entire Democratic Charter “The facts leave no room for doubt: Venezuela violates all the articles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter,” said the Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro said in the document.

After the Hurricane, Nature Shows Another of Its Powers

Source: Havana Times | After the Hurricane, Nature Shows Another of Its Powers Today, five months after its passage, the population and the Cuban Government are busy at work in the recovery of those territories. And even though it is silent and solitary, the natural environment is also in its process of being restored.(26 photos)

Cuba Fights Hard, Loses to Japan in WBC

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Fights Hard, Loses to Japan in WBC Three times Cuba had the lead over Japan in their World Baseball Classic clash on Tuesday in Tokyo. However, it wasn’t enough. With three runs in the bottom of the eighth, including the second homer of the game by Tetsuto Yamada, Japan took

What I Saw on a Sunday Adventure to Downtown Dallas

Source: Havana Times | What I Saw on a Sunday Adventure to Downtown Dallas Last weekend I cycled from my suburban neighborhood to downtown Dallas. I thought I was going to deal with a dangerous and annoying traffic but instead I found a network of tree-lined cycle paths, one of whose branches leads up quite

Cuba: Small Slithers of Change Towards Progress

Source: Havana Times | Cuba: Small Slithers of Change Towards Progress Within the internal and external setbacks which the Cuban people have experienced in the last 60 years, physical and mental changes are being seen in language and daily tasks which make the most optimistic of us see a glimmer of light at the end

Somebody Is Spying on Me

Source: Havana Times | Somebody Is Spying on Me It turns out that a few days ago, I had a bad night’s sleep and I woke up earlier than normal, my two dogs had spent most of the early morning barking, and that had woken me up.

Cuba’s Telecommunications Monopoly Squeezes Customers, Again

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Telecommunications Monopoly Squeezes Customers, Again ETECSA, Cuba’s telecommunications monopoly, has done it again; it is Cuban families’ public enemy number 1, without any logical need or reason. At a time when many Cubans are still learning how to use the company’s expensive Nauta services, the firm has in effect jacked

Thirty Cubans Caught in Human Trafficking Operation

Source: Havana Times | Thirty Cubans Caught in Human Trafficking Operation US authorities have busted a human trafficking operation with over 30 Cuban immigrants who reached the Florida Keys in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Capitalist Investments in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Capitalist Investments in Cuba Cuba’s promising future in tourism can already be seen, the growing avalanche of foreign visitors to Havana is invading its public spaces. Curiosity for the country has meant that tourism has also expanded to more remote places where visitors search for the Cuban people’s daily reality. (17

Cuba Loses 4-1 to Upstart Israel in WBC

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Loses 4-1 to Upstart Israel in WBC Cuba has more than a century of baseball tradition; people in Israel have little interest in the sport. When the two teams met earlier today in the Tokyo Dome, it was the upstarts that outplayed the weakened Cuban team by a score of

Why Teen Girls Rose Up at a Guatemalan Children’s Home

Source: Havana Times | Why Teen Girls Rose Up at a Guatemalan Children’s Home “It wasn’t because they didn’t like how the food tasted.” A story of abuse by Guatemalan authorities that led to an uprising of teenage girls on International Women’s Day that ended with at least 37 burnt to death at a government

The Medula Contemporary Dance Company of Guantanamo, Cuba

Source: Havana Times | The Medula Contemporary Dance Company of Guantanamo, Cuba The Guaso Theater, a landmark in Guantanamo, recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. Among the acts present for the gala celebration was the young contemporary dance company Medula. (23 photos)

Indifference to Animal Pain – Those Who Walk on By

Source: Havana Times | Indifference to Animal Pain – Those Who Walk on By A few days ago, a small shopping trip became a bitter walk. Traveling on a P11 city bus, a dog got on at one of the stops in Alamar without the driver realizing it.

Cuba to Begin WBC Round Two vs. Israel

Source: Havana Times | Cuba to Begin WBC Round Two vs. Israel After sweating out a 4-3 win over Australia on Friday, thanks to a fifth inning grand slam from Alfredo Despaigne, Team Cuba now faces Cinderella Israel in its first second round game on Sunday in the World Baseball Classic.

Havana Weather for March 9-15

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for March 9-15 The days will be warm, sunny in the morning and partly cloudy from the early hours of the afternoon. The probability of rain will be kept low, and only isolated and scattered showers will occur during some afternoons.

Women in Nicaragua Rally against Gender Violence

Source: Havana Times | Women in Nicaragua Rally against Gender Violence Some five thousand women marched in Managua on March 8, coming together from several parts of the country in commemoration of International Women’s Day. Most of the participants wore purple shirts.

A Cuban Doctor from the Old School

Source: Havana Times | A Cuban Doctor from the Old School She is an “old school” doctor, from the time when anybody could not just become a doctor. You had to really study back then, without computers or digital material. Getting by with the little printed literature there was, without summarized study programs. The training

Who Does Cuba Have to Make Concessions to?

Source: Havana Times | Who Does Cuba Have to Make Concessions to? I have just read a news item which has left me flabbergasted: US President Donald Trump believes that Cuba, “with everything we have given it”, has not made any “concessions” within the normalization of bilateral relations process…

Is Cuba Made of Cork?

Source: Havana Times | Is Cuba Made of Cork? A president in pre-revolutionary times used to say that Cuba is a country made of cork because whatever happens it always remains afloat. And if we look at what has happened over the last half a century, we would be tempted to say that this is

What is American Pride?

Source: Havana Times | What is American Pride? I don’t like Trump but I don’t like these sudden fans and defenders of the subculture of backwardness, neverending excuses, structural victimization, of a united Latin America. What do they mean when they say “our America”?

This March 8th, I’d Like to Speak to the Men

Source: Havana Times | This March 8th, I’d Like to Speak to the Men My grandmother was a feminist, my mother too, my father, even though he was a man, was also a feminist, and I didn’t have a lot of room to grow and be anything else but in this case I certainly wanted

For a Less Alienating International Women’s Day

Source: Havana Times | For a Less Alienating International Women’s Day In Cuba, I believe that there is still a lot to be done in all spaces; in the home and in public, as well as the personal sphere. In order to demand change, we need to leave behind our apathy and ask ourselves what

How Cuba Handles Issues of Citizenship and Residency

Source: Havana Times | How Cuba Handles Issues of Citizenship and Residency There are a series of steps that could be taken here in Cuba so as to adjust our practices to international standards. The first thing we have to do is to standardize a citizenship law.

Sergio Ramirez: “Darkness and Terror”

Source: Havana Times | Sergio Ramirez: “Darkness and Terror” The inauguration of a new facility in San Juan del Sur, donated by an international NGO to a free adult education program, brought together three people who apparently were never supposed to coincide in the same place: writer Sergio Ramirez; Jose Maria Guadamuz, secretary of the

Cuba Improves with 6-0 Win Over China in WBC

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Improves with 6-0 Win Over China in WBC Team Cuba improved its image in Group B of the IV World Baseball Classic, obtaining its first victory, 6-0 over China, in the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday afternoon before 39,102 fans. The victory gave the Cubans a 1-1 record after losing 11-6

US Drastically Cuts Visas for Cuban Visitors

Source: Havana Times | US Drastically Cuts Visas for Cuban Visitors In 2016, the US cut down the number of visas given to Cuban citizens to visit family members, participate in cultural exchanges and professional trips to 12,218, the most drastic cut in the last eight years in relation to Cuban applicants. And the declining

The Devil Strikes in Nicaragua

Source: Havana Times | The Devil Strikes in Nicaragua Vilma Trujillo, a young woman from a remote rural community of the North Atlantic Region of Nicaragua, was burned in a bonfire last February 21 for being possessed by the devil, all with the approval of a Protestant pastor – or lay leader, which makes no

The Case of Journalist Fernando Ravsberg

Source: Havana Times | The Case of Journalist Fernando Ravsberg Like we say here in Cuba, I’ve had just about enough of the case with this journalist for quite some time now. Let whoever has anything serious against Fernando Ravsberg step forward and tell me because I’m a revolutionary and I don’t want to harm

Getting to Work on Time in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Getting to Work on Time in Cuba Getting to work or school on time is one of the most difficult challenges we ordinary Cubans face, due to the serious complications that exist in public transport across the country. Nevertheless, we go to great lengths and make a lot of effort to

Repression in Cuba Comes in Many Forms

Source: Havana Times | Repression in Cuba Comes in Many Forms Every Sunday, there is the “Los Chinos” agro-market fair in the city of Holguin in eastern Cuba. Trucks loaded with produce come from all over the country, mainly from its central provinces. So far so good, but then the inspectors and the bureaucracy step

Dog Mistreated on Cuban TV

Source: Havana Times | Dog Mistreated on Cuban TV In an episode of the Cuban cop show “Tras la huella” broadcast on the night of February 26th, a dog seemed to play a significant role in the plot. At one point, the pet dog was found by the cops, hidden in a closet, unconscious with

Cuba Opens WBC Play vs. Japan on Tuesday

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Opens WBC Play vs. Japan on Tuesday The decision was a surprise but that’s what managers are for. Carlos Marti, announced right-hander Noelvis Entenza to face the two-time WBC champions Japan on their home turf in the inaugural tournament clash for both squads, reports Ray Otero of Baseballdecuba.com.

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