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June 2017
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Nicaraguan Farmers Protest Canal Threat

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 Rel... Continue reading

Cuba’s Largest Company: The Revolutionary Armed Forces

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. Continue reading

Safety Draws Tourists to Cuba

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. Continue reading

Holguin to Become the Capital for Motor Tricycles for Public Transport

Holguin will add a new proud title to that of the “City of Parks” this month and will now also become the Capital of Motor Tricycles. The decision is part of the government's search for affordable alternatives for the people amid the public transport crisis. Continue reading

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 ... Continue reading

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 in the Weekly Package of audiovisual materials distributed in Cuba. And I’m sure there are other examples to illustrate this “everything for everyone” philosophy. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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 everyt... Continue reading

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 audiences all over the world, from Costa Rica to Finland. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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 of the school where she was studying sixth grade. Edier was born as a result of this abuse. Agne Patricia’s childhood world was torn apart. Continue reading

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 took place. Continue reading

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 Nadi... Continue reading

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 for seasonings in her blood. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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 2,500 fam... Continue reading

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 Assembly. The law was passed with no public consultation and almost no discussion. Continue reading

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 Horta w... Continue reading

Undocumented Nicaraguans: “We immigrants had our hopes on Hillary”

Living in the United States was never Gabriel’s plan. He wanted to work there temporarily, make a little money and then return to Nicaragua. In Managua he had worked as a business manager and customer service agent at a call center, but in the United States he’s had to do a little of everything: construction, hotel reception, cleaning, etc. He felt that the immigrants’ hopes during the past presidential elections were in a victory for Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

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 hand or on USBs and hard-drives. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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 streets, the flip side of the Moon called Cuba. Continue reading

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 man who attacked her physically and psychologically. Continue reading

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 ... Continue reading

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 upon. Continue reading

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 at home, eating rice and beans with “pork” meat. Continue reading