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Features

Cuba’s Best Chances in the Rio Olympics

It’s less than two weeks now until the 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 5-21) begin in Rio de Janeiro, and Cuba has before it the challenge of being among the top 20 countries in the medal standings. Continue reading

Nestle Helps Cuba Skirt the US Embargo

Nestle Nespresso bought a container of approximately 18 tons of Cuban coffee beans, which were certified as coming from the 2015-2016 coffee harvest in Cuba, for US $90,000. Continue reading

Cuba: the Looming Crisis

Since Raul Castro announced at a session of the National Assembly that there will be economic problems, speculation hasn’t stopped about a new crisis like the one experienced in the 90s. However, the situation today is very different from that Cuba. Continue reading

War over Swimming Pools in Viñales, Cuba

Emilia and Ariel are life-long activists of the Revolution, so they were convinced that it was all a mistake. They went to the provincial government and waited 24 hours for attention, sleeping in a park guarded by a special police brigade. Continue reading

Is Cuba Ready for Women in the Ring?

For quite some time now, the famous Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym, where almost all of Cuba’s professional boxing champions have come from, has women among its regular trainees. They dream of being able to compete officially in international competitions. Continue reading

How Do You Define Prostitution in Cuba?

Yes, sometimes prostitution is a neatly sliced, clearly defined transaction. Often, however, there‘s a certain murkiness about the business, particularly in places where sex is seen in a more casual light than it generally is in North America. I’m thinking of countries like Cuba and other hot spots, so to speak. They definitely don’t take sex as seriously there as we do in the colder lands to the north. Continue reading

“What Is Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega Afraid Of?”

The six members from the Meso-American Caravan who were deported from Nicaragua by the government of Daniel Ortega, still don’t understand why they were accused of handling explosives “for no apparent reason”. Continue reading

Cuba to Decide between Organic and GMO Farming

On the one hand, US business people and farmers are looking to buy organic food produced on the island, while others are interested in selling Cuba genetically modified seeds and grains. Continue reading

Hackers Invade Cuba’s Wi-Fi Hotspots

This time, the rumor - our unofficial news service - is true: Nauta internet accounts are being attacked at Wi-Fi access points. It’s hard for users to detect and its easy for these internet “pirates” to steal connection time. Too easy. Continue reading

A New Concept of the Cuban Souvenir

Opened to the public in February last year, the design store Clandestina (clandestine) has overcome the difficult test of time. The shop’s owner, Idania del Rio claims: “We are self-sufficient, we pay the bills and while we have yet to make back what we invested, we’ve gone from having 4 to 10 employees.” Under their watchful eyes, they have set their store far apart from the typical products that dominate this sector called Imagen Cuba. Continue reading

How Autism is Seen in Cuba

In 2013, Cuba had the honor of hosting the First International Forum on Autism and Inclusion, highlighting the Island's excellent special needs education and the prestige of its specialists, however... Have the Cuban people, doctors and teachers receiv... Continue reading

Cuba, Where “It’s Nobody’s Fault”

Cuba spends US $2 billion every year importing food that could be produced at home. The government spends tens of millions of dollars to import livestock and agricultural inputs but often they do not reach their destination, the farmers. Continue reading

Are Cubans Watching too Many “Junk Movies” at Home?

“We’re a country that has created so many opportunities so that we don’t have to sit at home watching tons of junk movies... I’m sad to see that, today, many young people don’t participate in our cultural programs at theaters, conferences or at poetry recitals.” Continue reading

Costly Delays in the Port of Havana

Havana’s port-transport-domestic economy chain has been interrupted once again and, at the end of the day, it’s the majority of the Cuban population who suffer the consequences. This time, the Gordian knot involves 20,000 tons of rice and thousands of bags of fertilizer. Continue reading

How Cubans Use WiFi Hotspots (Infographic)

Most Cubans using Internet outside their limited workplace connections take advantage of the new WiFi hotspots located in some public areas of Havana and the provincial capitals. See how they use the service. Continue reading

A Cuban-American Walks the Path of the Run-Away Slave

On April 7, at the Cienfuegos headquarters of the Association of Cuban Writers and Artists, Guillermo Grenier looked fresh, going into and coming out of the venue, restless. There was nothing to indicate the man had walked nearly 300 kilometers in less... Continue reading

Nicaragua Legislature Rejects Initiative to Revoke Canal Law

The secretary’s office of the National Assembly has rejected the citizens’ initiative to repeal Law #840, which ratifies the Canal concession and the related land expropriations. It declared itself “legally incapable” of processing the request presented on April 7 by the rural movement known as the National Council for the Defense of our Land, Lake and National Sovereignty. Continue reading

Cuban Novelist Pedro Juan Gutierrez and the Censorship of Silence

I still can’t believe it: Novelist Pedro Juan Gutierrez reading excerpts from La linea oscura (“The Dark Line”), a poetry anthology recently published by Ediciones Verbum. I wasn’t surprised by the possibility – increasingly slimmer, to be sure – of meeting him face to face. What I find hard to believe is that a mere eleven people (including one or two undercover security agents, no doubt) gathered at the Cuban Writers and Artists Association (UNEAC). Continue reading

Cuban Female Boxer Still Waiting For a Ring

Namibia Flores returned to the United States some days ago after attending the screening of a documentary about her life, which glosses over a young woman’s frustration over being denied the opportunity to represent her country, Cuba, as women’s boxing remains without recognition by the island’s sports institute. Continue reading

Gone With the Rain

Patricio, retired and left with only 143 pesos (around 7 USD) of his pension after paying for his Haier-brand fridge every month, wants financial aid. He wants a TV where he can “watch the news,” he says. “In all of my years of work, I’ve never once asked for any help from the government. If I ask for it now, it’s because I need it.” Continue reading

Havana Down the Drain

Havana’s tomb raiders of old have today met their match. His name is Pancho. He doesn’t look for treasures in the world of the dead. He does so in the dark tunnels where the city’s shit ends up: the sewers. Continue reading

Art, Havana and Public Spaces

On May 22, the sleepy town of Casablanca will be shaken awake by the start of the 12th Havana Arts Biennale, Cuba’s most important contemporary art gathering. For a month, it will cease to be a silent, culturally derelict town & become a meeting place for visual artists from around the world. We will see performances, interventions and public art installations. Continue reading

The Essence of the Object: An Artist’s Fascination and Metaphor

Yomer Fidel Montejo Harrys was born in Camagüey in 1983. Coming face-to-face with this 31-year-old artist, we find ourselves with a young man with a watchful eye and a friendly smile. An artist who has travelled along a long road of search, discovery and exploration which goes far beyond the naivety that we had discerned at a first glance. Continue reading

Corn on the Cob Competes with Hamburgers & Pizza in Havana

“If it weren’t for the pizzas and the shortbread cookies, Havana’s cemetery would extend all the way to Artemisa.” I recall people used to say that in my youth, commenting on the popularity of those two basic food products and their essential role in the eating needs of a large city. Continue reading

Re-Adjusting the Cuban Adjustment Act

Once again, a Florida politician has announced his intention of modifying the Cuban Adjustment Act to prevent Cubans who have been taken in by the United States as political refugees from returning to Cuba before becoming US citizens – that is to say, before a minimum five-year term. Continue reading