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Features

Human Trafficking Between Cuba and the USA

Cuban immigrants have always been made a political issue, presented as persecuted individuals who are fleeing communism and given the status of refugees by the USA. Continue reading

Cubans on the Frontline Against Ebola

Many people react with admiration to the honorable gesture of the Cubans. The medical mission will expand to more than 400 in the coming weeks. They will remain in place for at least six months. Continue reading

US Funded Contest in Cuba Aborted

When Jeff Kline visited Cuba offering to train young people to produce radio programs, A 25-year-old woman signed up. Kline was from another country and another generation, but she said the American quickly gained her trust. Continue reading

Cuban Singer-Songwriter Levis Aliaga

The work of Levis Aliaga (Ciego de Avila, 1972) is one of the most solid produced by folk singers of his generation. Praised by artists and writers, Aliaga has not yet achieved much renown among audiences – something which, most likely, has more to do with his current whereabouts (the Canary Islands) than with his talent as a singer-songwriter. Continue reading

How Cuban Music Made Me a Better Historian

“If you want to learn anything about the history of this country, you have to start with Carlos Varela.” This advice, offered by a colleague who was helping me in a Cuban archive a decade ago, proved remarkably true. I arrived in Havana in 2004 to research child migration conflicts. Continue reading

Solo Exhibition of Cuban Artist Tomas Oliva

The toilet – that intimate and carefully concealed artifact – is brought out from its hiding place by Tomas Oliva and used as a means of expressing different emotions, moods and ideas. (10 photos) Continue reading

The Hong Kong Protests: Waiting for the Flood with an Umbrella

Though political factors have taken center stage in Hong Kong’s current and massive protests, economic and financial interests could turn the tide definitively. Cuban HT reader Isidro Estrada brings us a first hand view of the situation from Peking. Continue reading

Cuba’s Deja Vu Surprises and Delights

Though most who had attended the concert had expected to see a different band play, people were not put off to find that the guest band was Déjà vu on arriving at the gardens of Havana’s Mella Theater on a recent Thursday. (13 photos) Continue reading

Che and Chavez Colognes: Inexplicable Fragrances

Cubans of any political creed have been startled by the news that the state-owned company Labiofam has launched two new colognes made in Cuba. The new fragrances are labeled “Ernesto,” for Che Guevara, and “Hugo,” for Hugo Chávez. Continue reading

When Cuba Sends Patients Abroad

When I wrote about Rafael’s illness, I became curious about the medical services that Cuban Public Health arranges for patients abroad. Continue reading

Does the US Interests Section in Havana Scam Cuban Visa Applicants?

Like many Cubans, Luis Enrique González was ecstatic when in January 2013 his government lifted the much-hated restrictions on freedom to travel abroad. He dreamed of visiting his father in Florida—maybe even riding a Harley-Davidson around the USA. Continue reading

Cuba’s Telephone Co. Cons its Users

Cuba’s telephone company monopoly, ETECSA, has admitted it is experiencing problems with its systems and that it is stealing money from users. They committed to reimbursing us the money they had charged us by mistake as soon as the problems were fixed. Continue reading

Happy in Havana (Cuban version)

A Made-in-Cuba version of the video clip “Happy,” by U.S. musician Pharrell Williams is circulating on the social networks and the alternative weekly audiovisual package. Continue reading

Cuban Folk Musician Irina Gonzalez: Communion with the Earth

Irina Gonzalez (Santa Clara, Cuba, 1986) is a young and talented folk musician who stands out both for her mastery of several instruments and the poetic sensitivity she evinces in her lyrics. She graduated as an oboe-player, but she also plays the flute, the harmonica, the piano, percussion instruments and – of course – the guitar. Continue reading

Havana Summer and the Coconut Island Amusement Park

So as the summer break was coming to an end, I decided to take my son to the Isla de Coco (“Coconut Island”) amusement park. The park was built where the renowned “Coney Island” was once located, in Havana’s neighborhood of Playa. Continue reading

From Cuba to Miami in Business Class

Felix left Havana one Sunday afternoon and arrived in Miami Thursday night. He was exhausted, unbathed, unshaven, famished and weighed several pounds less. Continue reading

Antonio Pacheco: Cuba’s Former “Captain of Captains”

Cuban sports authorities have just degraded yet another of their baseball greats: former player, coach and manager Antonio Pacheco, known as the “Captain of Captains” till recently. Continue reading

A Tour of Cuba’s National Zoo

Last week, my son Rogelito, my wife Yasmin, her mother Silvia and I went to Cuba’s National Zoo. I will use some of the many pictures we took to accompany my impressions during our outing. (8 photos) Continue reading

The End of the Cuban Rafters

Twenty years ago, a massive exodus of Cuban rafters – some 35 thousand left the country – marked the beginning of the end for this type of illegal emigration. Washington and Havana reached an agreement whereby all Cubans captured at sea would be returned to the island. Continue reading

Fidel Castro Turns 88, Repairs Underway at His Birthplace

Today, August 13th, Fidel Castro reaches 88, an event celebrated in all of Cuba's official media. Castro, who officially left office due to serious illness in July 2006, is still the top advisor to the government of his younger brother Raul, 83. Continue reading

A Woman Hallucinates Another Reality (Video)

“Samsara”: A woman hallucinates another reality, where she is free. A short fiction film directed by Maria Elisa Perez Leal. “It’s about a personal story with my mother.” (2010) 5:35 minutes. Continue reading

Cuba-infused Women’s Jazz at Canadian Festival

I recently had a delightful taste of Cuban music right in my own Canadian back yard. This wonderful concert starred Jane Bunnett and her all-woman band, Maqueque, who were brought to our local Algonquin Theatre stage by the Huntsville Festival of the A... Continue reading

Dramatic Film about Cuban Exile Premiers at Venice Film Festival

The world premiere of Return to Ithaca, a film by French director Laurent Cantet inspired by a story written by Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura, will take place at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, to be held from August 27 to September 6 thi... Continue reading

Cuba politics and economics converge at Miami Conference

A close look at the island’s economy, both from Cubans residing in the country and those living abroad, marked the second day of discussions at the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy conference in Miami. An overriding conclusion was that the urgent need for expanding the changes in motion requires political decisions still forthcoming. Continue reading

Cuba Copies the Eritrean Model of Closed Airports

The Havana airport administrator says there are many other airport terminals in the world where entry is forbidden to persons accompanying a passenger, but did not name any of them. While that appears to be an exaggeration, there is at least one in Asm... Continue reading