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June 23, 2017

Cuba

Cuban Youth Aren’t Going Back to the Land

Source: Havana Times When the vacations roll around, Yaxelis knows what’s waiting for her in advance: the same river swimming hole she’s known ever since she was a little girl, a trip or two to the city of Camaguey, maybe the trip to Havana she’s been promising her sister for the past two…

Cuba Says NO to Force

Source: Havana Times Due to marijuana being decriminalized in some countries; many travelers try to enter with small amounts for their own personal consumption, which isn’t allowed in Cuba. In these cases, a warning is given and they are fined, noted an official. Link: Cuba Says NO to Force

Cuba: Only 5.7% of the Population Have Water 24/7

Source: Havana Times Having running water 24 hours a day in Cuba is a luxury reserved for just 5.7% of the population in a country with over 11 million inhabitants. The situation could get worse before it gets better. Link: Cuba: Only 5.7% of the Population Have Water 24/7

Making Money Off Ignorance, Using Innocence

Source: Havana Times The photo is of a so-called “hot dog” label (a kind of sausage which is widely consumed in Cuba), sold in hard currency among other meat products. They are quite popular and are used to put together a quick meal and even the bread with “something” snack. Link: Making Money

Cuba in the Trump Era

Source: Havana Times The Theater, set design, script, soundtrack and even the audience chosen by Trump to announce the end of the rapprochement process with Cuba couldn’t have been worse. In political communication terms, the new US president is just a caricature of Obama. Link: Cuba in the Trump Era

Havana Weather for June 22-28

Source: Havana Times During the night, tropical storm Cindy landed on the border area of the states of Texas and Louisiana, in the southern United States; Decreasing the intensity of its maximum sustained winds to 65 kilometers per hour. Cuba is not affected by the storm. Link: Havana Weather for June 22-28

Being Both a Rebel and Transgressor

Source: Havana Times Do you want to feel yourself a rebel and transgressor? Buy one of our variety of revolutionary souvenirs. Link: Being Both a Rebel and Transgressor

A Familiar Face at Cuba’s Film School

Source: Havana Times Friendly, affectionate, but also direct and straight to the point, we found Ybis Caises along the main corridor of the International School of Film and Television. Her job since 1986 consists of connecting students and employees at this center with the outside world. Link: A Familiar Face at Cuba’s Film

The Undesirable Backpack

Source: Havana Times We all know how important and practical a backpack is. As well as lightening the load, it helps us to transport personal objects which we are interested in carrying with us. But, how can something so useful become an undesirable object that gets in the way at a certain time?

The “Promised Land” that Ortega Offered with the Canal

Source: Havana Times Four years since the canal concession was issued, no construction bids have been solicited nor has any land been expropriated or purchased along the canal route, and Chinese magnate Wang Jing has disappeared. The promise of the megaproject isn’t even mentioned in the Presidential speeches. Meanwhile, the rural protest movement…

Venezuelan Supreme Court Approves Process against Attorney General

Source: Havana Times The Venezuelan Supreme Court (TSJ) today approved submitting the Attorney General Luisa Ortega to a process that could lead to her removal, requested by the ruling party and its President Nicolas Maduro. Link: Venezuelan Supreme Court Approves Process against Attorney General

Havana-Miramar’s La Puntilla Neighborhood

Source: Havana Times The coastal neighborhood of La Puntilla, located in Miramar, Playa, has buildings such as the CIMEX Corportation, the old CUBALSE, the La Puntilla shopping center and the Riomar building, this last one, in an advanced state of decay. (23 photos) Link: Havana-Miramar’s La Puntilla Neighborhood

Postcards of the Havana Malecon Seawall

Source: Havana Times In September of 2014 we published my first feature on Havana’s malecon seawall. Now, almost three years later, we return to show some postcards of this beautiful and emblematic avenue. (16 photos) Link: Postcards of the Havana Malecon Seawall

“Either We Lift Up the Net Together or We Live Under It”

Source: Havana Times Today we bring you an interview with Moises Leonardo Rodriguez, a founder of the Corriente Martiana human rights group. “We want people to recognize their rights and to also learn how they can communicate violations of their human rights to the UN in due form.” Link: “Either We Lift Up

Trump’s New Policy, Who Really Benefits?

Source: Havana Times Last Friday, I was hanging onto every word the new US president said. Personally-speaking, I believe his speech was a well-orchestrated political show to win over the extreme Right of this country which is mainly concentrated in Miami. Link: Trump’s New Policy, Who Really Benefits?

A Day of National Shame for Cuba

Source: Havana Times June 16, 2017, will be recorded in Latin America and world history as a sad, frustrating day, in which Cuba was seen vacillating, insecure, having lost the initiative, vision and ability to strike back, that characterized the Cuban Revolution since the days of the rebels in the Sierra Maestra mountains.

Back to the Cold War

Source: Havana Times The US president gave a speech in Miami on Friday June 16, in which he spoke about Cuba, without knowing Cuba, just to please this select audience and to get votes in Congress from the reactionary congressmen with Cuban roots, who don’t know Cuba either. Link: Back to the Cold

Trump, Cuba and Miami: the Charade and the Stone

Source: Havana Times The story is old, very old; the illusion is infinite. What continues to surprise us is the Cuban exile community in Miami’s capacity to run into the same stone again and again, and when they don’t find it, they seek it out and put it in the way. Link: Trump,

Vodou Project Exposition at the Cuban Institute of Anthropology

Source: Havana Times A temporary art exhibition was put on display at the ICAN (Cuban Institute of Anthropology), as part of the IX International Colloquium on Research of African-Derived Religions. (9 photos) Link: Vodou Project Exposition at the Cuban Institute of Anthropology

Understanding the New US Policy on Cuba

Source: Havana Times The executive order signed by President Donald Trump this Friday in Miami to change US policy towards Cuba contains, in essence, new restrictions on travel and commercial activities, but does not affect family visits or remittances from the Cuban-American community. Link: Understanding the New US Policy on Cuba

“You Have to Wipe Out Your Enemies!”: Cuban Emigres Celebrate

Source: Havana Times “You have to wipe out your enemies!” said energetically Serafin Arvello, one of the Cuban emigres who congregated in Miami to anxiously await US president Donald Trump’s announcement that he will revoke the rapprochement process with Cuba which his predecessor, Barack Obama, had pushed forward during the last years of…

Cuba Rejects New Trump Policy

Source: Havana Times The Cuban government said on Friday that it considers US president Donald Trump’s new policy towards the island to be a setback in relations between the two countries, although it underlined its willingness to continue a respectful dialogue. Link: Cuba Rejects New Trump Policy

Trump Blasts Cuba, Strengthens Embargo

Source: Havana Times US President Donald Trump announced today in Miami the “cancellation” of the policy toward Cuba of his predecessor, Barack Obama, despite the fact that the measures he is about to implement are far from reversing the historical approach implemented by the Democrat. Link: Trump Blasts Cuba, Strengthens Embargo

It Isn’t Cowardice, Its Alienation

Source: Havana Times For two months now, Venezuela has been proving that Human Dignity, in the Western and modern understanding of the term, continues to hold its mobilizing potential in the degraded Caribbean region. Link: It Isn’t Cowardice, Its Alienation

Nicaraguan Farmers Protest Canal Threat

Source: Havana Times Thousands of farmers from the communities of the San Juan River and Nueva Guinea marched this Tuesday to demand that Law 840 be revoked. It is officially known as the Special Law for the Development of Infrastructure and Transportation in Nicaragua Relating to the Canal, Free-Trade Areas and Associated Infrastructure.

Cuba’s Largest Company: The Revolutionary Armed Forces

Source: Havana Times In Cuba, renting a car, sleeping in a hotel, diving or buying in a store has one thing in common: the companies that provide these services belong to the Grupo Empresarial Empresarial S.A. (GAESA) led by the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Link: Cuba’s Largest Company: The Revolutionary Armed Forces

Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day

Source: Havana Times It will be Father’s Day on Sunday here in Cuba, but, of course, it doesn’t have as much impact or coverage by the media as Mother’s Day. Here’s a few comments on the subject. Link: Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day

Elderly Cuban Woman Struggles on a Fourth Floor

Source: Havana Times Ten years ago, Alfreda Alfonso Martinez (80 years old) was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, a serious disease which is defined by high concentrations of blood glucose over a prolonged period of time or is a chronic condition. She used to work at the hairdressers in Candelaria; she was forced to…

Havana Weather for June 15-21

Source: Havana Times This week expect high humidity, abundant cloudiness and rainfall, which can become strong in some locations. Winds will blow mainly from the Southeast, with speeds between 9 and 15 mph, and will be stronger towards the weekend, reaching 19 mph in some zones. Link: Havana Weather for June 15-21

Safety Draws Tourists to Cuba

Source: Havana Times Safety is one of Cuba’s greatest tourist attractions, especially when we compare this to other countries within the region, where violent crimes have increased even above the Latin American average, which are already high enough as it is. Link: Safety Draws Tourists to Cuba

Cuba Electoral Process Begins to Replace Raul Castro

Source: Havana Times Cuba today announced the regularly scheduled municipal elections in October, the first step in the electoral process that will conclude in February with the designation of Raul Castro’s successor in the presidency. Link: Cuba Electoral Process Begins to Replace Raul Castro

Another Miami-White House anti-Cuba Concoction

Source: Havana Times On Friday June 16, president Donald Trump is expected in Miami where he will meet with right-wing Cuban American politicians and with vestiges of surviving exile hardliners to fulfill the coffee and pastry ritual at the Versailles restaurant before or after reversing some or all of president Barack Obama directives,…

The Price of Home Internet in Cuba (Cartoon)

Source: Havana Times It’s very ironic the offer of home Internet with such absurd prices, taking into account the even more absurd income of Cubans. Link: The Price of Home Internet in Cuba (Cartoon)

Refusal to Subscribe to the Paris Accord Isolated Nicaragua

Source: Havana Times The Nicaraguan government’s refusal in December 2015 to subscribe to the Paris Agreement on climate change and global warming has produced a state of isolation in the diplomatic world and among the international NGOs that weigh in on the environmental debate. Link: Refusal to Subscribe to the Paris Accord Isolated

Raul Castro Reappears, Rumors Nixed

Source: Havana Times Raul Castro reappeared Monday with Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, who makes an official visit to Cuba. The news emerges after reports circulated by dissident sources – amplified in social networks and media abroad – alleged that Castro, 86, was in dire condition. Link: Raul

Tillerson Signals What’s Coming in US Policy on Cuba

Source: Havana Times As rumors grow that Donald Trump will announce on Friday a change in Barack Obama’s policy of rapprochement with Cuba, his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, gave signs today of the possible hardening of the US position. Link: Tillerson Signals What’s Coming in US Policy on Cuba

Two Private Restaurants Closed in Havana

Source: Havana Times Cuban authorities have launched a campaign to prevent economic the opening on the island being ripe for money laundering from abroad. The owner of two successful restaurants on the Havana seafront has been the first arrested. Link: Two Private Restaurants Closed in Havana

A Unique Vision on Life in a Country Full of Symbols

Source: Havana Times Fernando Perez makes auteur cinema, his unique vision on life in his country is full of symbols and characters who translate his desires, sadness and joy, and they make up a language (another one) to trace our present reality. Link: A Unique Vision on Life in a Country Full of

Alicia Cubells, a Special Woman I Interviewed in Prague

Source: Havana Times While in Prague recently, I had the good fortune of meeting a young female entrepreneur, who let me get an insight into her life. Alicia Cubells is one of these people who leave their mark deep in people’s hearts… Link: Alicia Cubells, a Special Woman I Interviewed in Prague

A Visual Paradise vs. Institutional “Paradise”

Source: Havana Times The exhibition Blind Spot took place between June 3rd and 9th at the gallery belonging to the Superior Art Institute (ISA)’s Visual Arts Department, which had been organized by some students from this department. Link: A Visual Paradise vs. Institutional “Paradise”

Where is Our World Headed?

Source: Havana Times For several decades now, scientists and other clear headed people have been warning about the consequences of climate change which is upon us, and the need to take measures to prevent global warming… Link: Where is Our World Headed?

Canal Law Protest Draws Thousands of Nicaraguan Farmers

Source: Havana Times Several thousands Nicaraguan farmers marched Saturday in the Punta Gorda municipality, in the southern region of the country, to demand a revoking of the law which gives a Chinese consortium based in Hong Kong the authority to build an interoceanic canal in the Central American country. Link: Canal Law Protest

Brazil’s Temer Hangs-On amid Crisis

Source: Havana Times His country has been shaken by a serious political crisis for the last few weeks, but Brazilian President, Michel Temer, won’t leave his position anytime soon, forced out by a court or giving into pressures to resign due to his corruption scandals. Link: Brazil’s Temer Hangs-On amid Crisis

Formal Education in Today’s Cuban Society

Source: Havana Times Formal education plays a determining role in any society in the world. When I was younger, it was called Civic Education and its main objective was to create values and positive behaviors in individuals. Link: Formal Education in Today’s Cuban Society

Trump to Announce His Cuba Policy on June 16th

Source: Havana Times | Trump to Announce His Cuba Policy on June 16th US President Donald Trump will come to Miami next Friday to announce the changes his administration has for US policy toward Cuba, a source familiar with the President’s plans told the Miami Herald.

The Anti-Castro Opposition in Times of Trump

Source: Havana Times | The Anti-Castro Opposition in Times of Trump Financial aid to promote the full exercise of human rights in Cuba is a subject that we need to resolve ourselves, it would be a conclusive sign of support for an inescapable purpose.

Havana Bars: Not so much mine, Not so much yours

Source: Havana Times | Havana Bars: Not so much mine, Not so much yours A part of the emerging private business sector in Havana are the bars that have been rapidly spreading like a rash for some time now. These are spaces which have operated as places where the most privileged young people go to

Former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel D’Escoto Dies

Source: Havana Times | Former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel D’Escoto Dies The priest and former Nicaraguan foreign minister, Miguel D’Escoto, died on Thursday of a long illness, informed the first lady, vice president and official government spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo.

Havana’s Miramar, Also Without Water

Source: Havana Times | Havana’s Miramar, Also Without Water Along with the break and reparations of an important main pipeline that supplies water to this capital with its almost 20 municipalities, seriously felt in the day to day by its inhabitants, a faulty valve on 60th St. also knocked out the water supply in Miramar.

Suspicions and Consequences in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Suspicions and Consequences in Cuba Discrediting doesn’t work as a method in political debates. Appealing to insults instead of settling differences on the battlefield of thought is a dangerous shortcut that can debase whoever practices this behavior. This practice is common in the Cuban public sphere. Where there are more suspicions

Cuba’s Economy and Cures for Fear

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Economy and Cures for Fear Last week, we learned about an unexpected meeting of our highest powers. Certain documents were being discussed for some time now, which didn’t seem to bring about change in the lives of us ordinary mortals very quickly. The Cuban Government has written out its Guidelines

Cuba: Socialism, Private Property and Wealth

Source: Havana Times | Cuba: Socialism, Private Property and Wealth The Cuban Parliament has finally approved the groundwork for the reforms process put forward by President Raul Castro and his government. However, it has done so with some reserves, the most sensitive subject seems to revolve around private businesses and a consequent accumulation of wealth.

Cuban Activists Pushing Limits (Video)

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Activists Pushing Limits (Video) Isbel Diaz and Jimmy Roque are two Cuban social activists who see a direct relation between the different sectorial struggles on the island. Here they are interviewed about their beliefs and efforts by Yaima Pardo.

Havana Weather for June 8-14

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for June 8-14 The days will be cloudy from the morning, with showers and occasional storms during the day. The high temperatures will be between 30 and 32° C (86 and 90 F), while the lows will range between 24 and 26° C (77 and 79 F).

Cubans with a Memory!

Source: Havana Times | Cubans with a Memory! Government media, especially Cuban TV, doesn’t stop mentioning the attempts perpetrated by US governments against our country ever since the “Revolution” triumphed in 1959. But they conveniently forget how many Cubans were and are beaten up by government forces?

Trump Asked to Prioritize Compensations in his Cuba Policy

Source: Havana Times | Trump Asked to Prioritize Compensations in his Cuba Policy Republican senator Marco Rubio and Democrat senator Bill Nelson have asked the Trump administration to give priority to compensation to US citizens who lost assets when Fidel Castro nationalized these at the onset of the Revolution.

Leonardo Padura Speaks on His Novels and Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Leonardo Padura Speaks on His Novels and Cuba Cuban writer Leonardo Padura announced in Managua the publication of his new novel, set for release in January 2018. The book, “The Transparency of Time” features the reappearance of the emblematic detective Mario Conde, now as a retired police officer in the contemporary

People in the USA are Nice

Source: Havana Times | People in the USA are Nice In my last post, I said that I didn’t have a reason to write anymore. But, Bingo! I think I’ve found it! I’m going to dedicate this space to telling you about my everyday impressions in this strange world, following the work of my predecessor,

Cuba and Copyrights: Share or Pay?

Source: Havana Times | Cuba and Copyrights: Share or Pay? They say that people at Yara cinema stood up, clapping wholeheartedly, when an announcement was made by author Leonardo Padura at the last Havana Film Festival that the movie Mario Conde (based on the lead character in several of his novels) would soon be available

Fragments of My Short Trip to Lima

Source: Havana Times | Fragments of My Short Trip to Lima I never thought that it would be such a diverse and developed city. When I visited one of its parks, I realized that their laws are very strict with those who abuse animals or the environment…

Cuba’s Demographic Disaster

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Demographic Disaster Aging isn’t Cuba’s problem as such, but demographic replacement is. Chile and Costa Rica have longer life expectancy than Cuba, but they aren’t experiencing a demographic alarm. And when there is a vacuum, they do the same thing Europe and the US do: they bring over immigrants and

First Lights in Havana

Source: Havana Times | First Lights in Havana It’s a time when the stillness of the darkness and the sad lights of an old city continue to linger. Some people walk through the streets in darkness doing their chores. The glow tints the sky with soft but intense colors. It is a moment when the

Cuban Immigration to the North at a Near Standstill

Source: Havana Times | Cuban Immigration to the North at a Near Standstill It’s pretty incredible but it’s true, there are hardly any more rafts heading towards the United States; I imagine that few would risk leaving for South or Central America to then head on to that country that used to take in every

Imported Chicken is King in Socialist Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Imported Chicken is King in Socialist Cuba The weekly newspaper Tribuna de La Habana reported the government’s decision to sell chicken as the only meat option in the regulated (rationalized) extra food for special diets with a medical prescription.

Is Cuba Ready for Tourism Development?

Source: Havana Times | Is Cuba Ready for Tourism Development? There is a wonderful growth and development plan in Cuba, which anticipates 103,000 rooms for 2020. We currently have 64,000. If this plan is carried out, this will represent a 60% increase in just 13 years. It is undoubtedly an ambitious and feasible goal, at

Cruelty Still Shocks in Cuba Despite the Apathy

Source: Havana Times | Cruelty Still Shocks in Cuba Despite the Apathy When I signed up to the initiative organized by CeDA (Cubans in Defense of Animals), to help out collecting signatures so that animal abuse becomes a crime, I was surprised by people’s promptness to jot down their personal details on paper, on the

Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Tribute in Havana

Source: Havana Times | Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Tribute in Havana The Park located on 17th Street in the neighborhood of Vedado in the Cuban capital, was the venue for a 50th anniversary celebration concert for the Beatles’ award winning Sgt. Pepper’s album (1967). (14 photos)

On a Sunday Night in Alamar, Havana

Source: Havana Times | On a Sunday Night in Alamar, Havana It’s 9 PM and the P3 bus hasn’t come yet. I’ve been waiting for half an hour already. Alamar’s dark streets make it easy for masturbators, drunks and attacks; yup, it’s definitely better to wait for the bus than go out there and tempt

50th Anniversary Concert for Sgt. Pepper in Havana

Source: Havana Times | 50th Anniversary Concert for Sgt. Pepper in Havana A well-attended concert for the 50th anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was held at John Lennon park. Over two hours of joy, enjoyment and happiness, prove that we need rock concerts which maybe represent the rebellious symbol that Lennon

Cuba Recognizes Private Businesses

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Recognizes Private Businesses While some Cuban officials fear that economic reforms mean that capitalism will return to the island, Parliament has taken heed of president Raul Castro about “calling things by their proper name” and has legalized what is already a reality: the existence of small private businesses, which have

Is Cuba Bidding Farewell to Hollywood?

Source: Havana Times | Is Cuba Bidding Farewell to Hollywood? Hollywood wants to film in Cuba and it can’t. Less and less US productions are coming to the island since the second semester of last year. There is no official negative response, projects just go unanswered.

Attorney General Rejects Maduro’s Constituent Assembly without a Referendum

Source: Havana Times | Attorney General Rejects Maduro’s Constituent Assembly without a Referendum Venezuelan attorney general, Luisa Ortega, presented a written letter to the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) on Thursday, where she questions a legal ruling that supports the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to amend the Constitution without calling for a referendum.

No to violence against the LGTBI community (Video)

Source: Havana Times | No to violence against the LGTBI community (Video) While in Prague, one of our class tasks was to make a short 1 minute video, which would be called a capsule, and we were given the freedom to choose whatever subject we were interested in. I chose the violence that the gay

A Frivolous and Unfounded Accusation

Source: Havana Times | A Frivolous and Unfounded Accusation The accusation against the remaining independent press from Nicaragua’s Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), appears to be the product of a paranoia that has been very well aimed towards co-opting them into squelching the small measure of free expression that still exists.

The Holy USA family

Source: Havana Times | The Holy USA family I have always liked films, especially dramas and animated movies. The last one I saw, copied off a flash drive of course, is the not so recent “The Boss Baby”.

Cuba Housing Construction: 10 Years in Decline

Source: Havana Times | Cuba Housing Construction: 10 Years in Decline Housing construction in Cuba has fallen for the tenth consecutive year in a row, adding to the further decline in a country with great housing shortages. This despite the opening of the housing market for buying and selling and some government subsidies.

Havana Weather for June 1-7

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for June 1-7 The days will be partly cloudy from the morning on, increasing in the afternoons, giving rise to isolated rains and thunderstorms, which will be more numerous towards the south of the capital. The winds will be from the southeast and northeast, with speeds between 6 and

Murillo Reappears Presiding a Parliamentary Session with Raul Castro

Source: Havana Times | Murillo Reappears Presiding a Parliamentary Session with Raul Castro The so-called tsar of economic reforms in Cuba, Marino Murillo, reappeared on Thursday on the political stage during an special session of the National Assembly, along with president Raul Castro. He had been absent from the public for over a year.

Havana for International Tourism

Source: Havana Times | Havana for International Tourism Even though neglect has taken over the city, when we walk through newly restored spaces, transformed so they can be used for other things, even changing their names sometimes, a new landscape full of grandeur is being unveiled before us. (17 photos)

A Tough 5-Years Since Hurricane Sandy Hit Eastern Cuba

Source: Havana Times | A Tough 5-Years Since Hurricane Sandy Hit Eastern Cuba Ever since Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, which almost destroyed Santiago de Cuba and caused severe damage in the other eastern provinces, and left my house trembling as it nearly tore off the roof all of a sudden, we haven’t been able

Educating a homophobe

Source: Havana Times | Educating a homophobe A few hours after having displayed my pride for being different in a public space, I was faced with one of the greatest challenges I’ve ever had in my life. But I must admit that the outcome was very insightful for me and educational for the other person

The Elderly Who Leave Cuba

Source: Havana Times | The Elderly Who Leave Cuba Emigres who are over 50 or 60 years old are exposed to huge changes in their lives. Their lives get turned around by 90 degrees, or maybe more even. That’s why their uprooting is usually like an incurable pain, although the situations vary.

Tear Gas vs. “Poop Bombs” in Venezuela

Source: Havana Times | Tear Gas vs. “Poop Bombs” in Venezuela Protests against Nicolas Maduro’s government have shaken Venezuela for eight weeks now and have already left at least 60 dead. The following are some of the key points about the protests and their protagonists.

My Neighbor’s illegal Sodas

Source: Havana Times | My Neighbor’s illegal Sodas As we all know, illegal “business” or as we say business “on the side” exists all over the country. The reason why Cubans resort to this practice is more than obvious, “the blockade” and it isn’t the United State’s embargo against Cuba to be precise.

Samsung Opens its First Store in Cuba

Source: Havana Times | Samsung Opens its First Store in Cuba Samsung Electronics Co. announced that it opened its first store in Cuba on Monday, which is a remarkable step for the international technological company as it aims to infiltrate the Caribbean market on a full-scale, reported Yonhap from Seoul.

Now, the Other Side of Agitprop

Source: Havana Times | Now, the Other Side of Agitprop The young filmmaker Eliecer Jimenez shines a light on the different aspects and complexities of the current political landscape here in Cuba. The opposition, breakaway groups, leaders and their disagreements, in a precise editing sequence, where everything has its place.

Cuba National Assembly Special Session Called for Thursday

Source: Havana Times | Cuba National Assembly Special Session Called for Thursday The Cuban government has called for a special session of the National Assembly of the People’s Power to be held on Thursday June 1st, to officially approve documents which will govern the national political and economic strategy in the coming years.

Can We Progress in Cuba under the Current Model?

Source: Havana Times | Can We Progress in Cuba under the Current Model? I can’t help but think about the parallel between the way of tackling the problem of outstanding payments for rice farmers and the tobacco farmers’ struggle to receive a fair price for tobacco. The solution in the rice farmer’s case and the

Havana’s Gran Hotel Manzana: A Slap in the Face

Source: Havana Times | Havana’s Gran Hotel Manzana: A Slap in the Face With Raul Castro’s government in power, Cubans are now less equal than others, but among them: it’s still very hard to be like a foreigner. What a country to establish itself as a colony and metropolis at the same time, while declaring

GMOs in Cuba: More Questions than Answers

Source: Havana Times | GMOs in Cuba: More Questions than Answers Once again, Cuban TV has brought up the subject of GM crops on its “Pasaje a lo Desconocido” show, where two experts on the subject, with opposite views, discussed the impact of this technology, which has been present in Cuba for some time now.

Cuba, Pensioners and Respect for the Law

Source: Havana Times | Cuba, Pensioners and Respect for the Law Not too long ago, I witnessed how a policeman dressed as a civilian, fined an old lady, with the help of two inspectors. Minutes later, they took her merchandise to a police truck that was parked nearby. Persecution of retirees and other vendors trying

Yeinner Chicas: A Nicaraguan Who Lives to Dance

Source: Havana Times | Yeinner Chicas: A Nicaraguan Who Lives to Dance Yeinner Chicas is now 27 years old and claims that he doesn’t know what his life would have been without dance because it saved him from the violence and crime in his neighborhood of Masaya, Nicaragua and has led him to win over

This US Traveler’s Glimpse of Cuba

Source: Havana Times | This US Traveler’s Glimpse of Cuba Here in the US, we’ve heard characterizations of Cuba for many years, so until I visited, all I had were passive presumptions. Members of my extended family tried to tell me how it would feel in Cuba, and what it would be like–mostly trying to

Medicine, the Most Sought-after University Degree

Source: Havana Times | Medicine, the Most Sought-after University Degree Entrance exams for university took place about 15 days ago here in Cuba. Thousands of young people from every province are waiting to find out what course they will get, their future depends on it, the future of this country too.

Life in Havana without Water at Home

Source: Havana Times | Life in Havana without Water at Home Due to a rupture in the Havana aqueduct for two days at the beginning of this weekend some of the city’s main municipalities were without home water service. Fortunately the problem was resolved by Saturday afternoon. (12 photos)

LGBT Dialogue between US and Cuban Activists in Havana

Source: Havana Times | LGBT Dialogue between US and Cuban Activists in Havana Throughout the entire day, the activists from both countries debated aspects of the gay struggle in Cuba and the experience of the United States within the scope of the Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

In Defense of Public Debate in Nicaragua

Source: Havana Times | In Defense of Public Debate in Nicaragua Instead of trying to silence the independent media as the COSEP private sector communiqué suggests, what the country needs is to recognize the right of the independent press to exercise their critical function without any kind of constraint.

Cuba’s Days Girls and their Big Dreams

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Days Girls and their Big Dreams Twenty-year old twins Dayrelis and Daynelis Fabelo Nunez have been interested in the world of music ever since they were little girls and now they dabble in singing as well as modeling. In the Artemisa and Havana provinces, they have performed on different stages

Nicaragua: COSEP Denounces “Smear Campaign”

Source: Havana Times | Nicaragua: COSEP Denounces “Smear Campaign” Nicaragua’s Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) issued a statement Wednesday in which its executive committee (made up only of the presidents of chambers and associations that comprise it) gave its support to the president of this institution, Jose Adan Aguerri, in the face of an

Pro & Contra US-Cuba Exchange Offensive

Source: Havana Times | Pro & Contra US-Cuba Exchange Offensive There are two very distinct approaches trying to influence the Trump administration’s awaited Cuba policy. An initial look at the US president’s plans for the relationship with the neighboring country is expected in the not too far off future.

Under Strong Pressure, Temer Withdraws Military from Brasilia’s Streets

Source: Havana Times | Under Strong Pressure, Temer Withdraws Military from Brasilia’s Streets Brazilian President, Michel Temer, gave into the latest criticism about the serious political crisis the country is experiencing today and withdrew military presence which had been ordered to be deployed in Brasilia a day before in order to contain violent protests.

A Common Story in a Multi-Family Havana Building

Source: Havana Times | A Common Story in a Multi-Family Havana Building Juan Mariscal, who the children in the neighborhood nick-named “the Bear” for having a hairy back, was a hardline Communist and a well-off spy who always criticized our education and our families’ ideological commitment…

A Dump of a Hostel and My Solution

Source: Havana Times | A Dump of a Hostel and My Solution I must confess that the first night I spent in Lima city was hell for me. I felt like I had gone back in time to Cuba 16 years ago when I used to live at the students residence at the Universidad de

Tourist Art and Souvenir Center on Havana’s Port Avenue

Source: Havana Times | Tourist Art and Souvenir Center on Havana’s Port Avenue The make-over of different spaces along the Port Avenue, from Caballeria wharf to Desamparados Street, carried out by the Havana City Historian’s Office, led to the creation of the Old San Jose Warehouse Cultural Center. (20 photos)

Sergio Ramirez: “Never be silent in the face of power”

Source: Havana Times | Sergio Ramirez: “Never be silent in the face of power” This past Monday, May 22, the “Central America Speaks” festival opened its doors to the public. This fifth year brought together more than 200 participants from 19 countries to talk about literature, poetry and journalism.

Cuba’s Population Longs for Effective Participation

Source: Havana Times | Cuba’s Population Longs for Effective Participation San Antonio is the town where everybody longs for water. The story goes way back, so much so that Dany Rivera Pelaez, who has lived all of her 54 years in that small town, can’t remember a day that she didn’t collect it.

Havana Weather for May 25-31

Source: Havana Times | Havana Weather for May 25-31 Warm days can be expected in the capital during this 7-day forecast period, with humid winds from the south to southeast and a high sensation of heat. Isolated showers and thunderstorms will occur in the afternoons.

Cuba: Political Communication in the Post-Fidel Era

Source: Havana Times | Cuba: Political Communication in the Post-Fidel Era For half a century, Cuba’s political communication remained exclusively in the hands of the talented Fidel Castro, a brilliant public speaker who used public squares as a platform to popularize ideas, legitimize actions and win over followers.

Trump Proposes Eliminating Grants to Cuban Dissidents

Source: Havana Times | Trump Proposes Eliminating Grants to Cuban Dissidents President Donald Trump’s first budget request, which was submitted on Tuesday, eliminates funds directed to issues linked to civil society and human rights in Cuba [something which the Cuban government has been demanding for years].

Rocker Tanya Returns to the Cuban Music Scene

Source: Havana Times | Rocker Tanya Returns to the Cuban Music Scene Tanya has returned to the Cuban rock scene, this time more mature, with better music arrangements, irreverent lyrics, romantic ballads, after two decades of not living on the island. She was a solo artist in the ‘80s of Live Art, and then became

Wendy Guerra Stays in Cuba and Writes Banned Novels

Source: Havana Times | Wendy Guerra Stays in Cuba and Writes Banned Novels Cleo is a young poet who lives in Havana, a writer under suspicion. State Security and the Ministry of Culture believe that her success has been built by “the enemy” as a weapon of destabilization, a CIA invention. However, some intellectuals living

My Trip to Prague, Writing from Cuba

Source: Havana Times | My Trip to Prague, Writing from Cuba Writing a regular diary in Prague was difficult for me. The peculiarities of the video journalism course, my encounter with the city, with the Internet and with the Czech people filled my 24 hours to the full.

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

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.

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.

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