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Features

Tribute to Margaret Randall at Casa de las Americas, Havana

For those of us who didn’t know her before, she could have been just another leftist, caught up in the stir of the early years of Cuba’s revolutionary victory. However, after listening to her friends speak about her and reading the book “Change the world”, you get another impression about her. Continue reading

From Havana to the Canary Islands

After moving around Havana like an outcast, I was able to get into one of the city’s best artistic venues, the Delirio Habanero cafe, located on the top floor of the National Theater. I started off by closing the show on Wednesdays and I ended up working all week long. It was a great place, a place where I could rub shoulders with some of the most important artists in Cuba. It was 1998 back then. Continue reading

Can Cuba Meet its Foreign Debt Repayments?

Cuban economist Emilio Morales takes a look at the island's foreign debt, economy and reserves and questions the claim that over five billion US dollars was actually paid on the debt during 2016. He also calls on a wide opening of the economy to outsi... Continue reading

Advise for Cubans Entering the USA

After the “wet foot/dry foot” policy was repealed and Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration have been introduced, Cubans wanting to enter and stay in the US have seen their chances cut drastically. Continue reading

Reviewing the Irish President’s Trip to Cuba

Irish President Michael D Higgins concluded his three day State visit to Cuba on Saturday. On the final day he went beyond the protocol and met with a group of independent journalists and opposition political activists. Continue reading

In Cuba Most Small Businesses Are Still Illegal

Mairim founded a job center for the self employed, which links owners to employees. However, what she’s doing is still illegal, like most other forms of professional self-employment. Likewise, freelance work, which is so common in the rest of the world, isn’t officially recognized in Cuba. Continue reading

Cuba: Gov. & Private Taxi Drivers Flex Muscles

There is a test of strength going on these days between government authorities and collective taxi drivers in Havana. The government wants to put a certain order into effect and this has provoked a silent strike, without posters or speeches but which i... Continue reading

Margaret Atwood in Cuba: “I want to know what Cubans think about Trump”

In her novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), Canadian author Margaret Atwood makes reference to a radio station based in Cuba (Radio Free America) that broadcasts subversive messages to the oppressed people of the United States. Continue reading

The State of Havana Architecture

Old Havana streets are covered with Massachusetts stones that were used as ballast in ships that once journeyed to Cuba to pick up sugar. "That means when you are walking around on the streets of Havana, you are walking on US soil," Cuban architect and... Continue reading

Love vs. “Improper Conduct” in Today’s Cuba

They were born in the bosom of a patriarchal and machista culture where their seriousness, their commitment and intelligence don’t matter... where they are marginalized because of their sexual preferences, for their “non-established” behavior. Continue reading

Exporting Work Force, an Age-Old Practice of Cuban Style Socialism

On New Year’s, mother’s day or any other highlighted date on the calendar, there are long lines out in front of any of the almost 500 Western Union offices that have opened up in Cuba. Continue reading

Rex Tillerson’s Nicaragua Connection

The past returns to haunt us sometimes, and those you thought you’d beaten come back with more power. That’s exactly what happened to presidents Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega on February 1st, when the United States Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson as the US Secretary of State for the new Trump administration. Continue reading

Bertha and Manolo, Dealing with Painful Surprises

Bertha used to love cooking and Manolo would open his eyes wide in a “Mmmm” with his lips firmly closed which meant that he was in front of her unrivaled breaded steaks. I used to watch them and believe, with all of my heart: “Nothing bad will ever happen to these two,” and I was just a little girl who couldn’t explain why I thought that to myself. Continue reading

Cubans Still Planning Journeys to the US without Visas

Three weeks after the joint announcement by the Cuban and US governments that the “wet foot/dry foot” policy and the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program has been revoked, Cubans continue to embark on illegal journeys to the US. Continue reading

Building a Home in Cuba

When the Cuban government announced that property could be bought and sold in November 2011, many people found themselves face to face with an opportunity to make some money or to finally get their own home. Continue reading

Baracoa, Cuba and the Curse of Matthew

A story belonging to Baracoa’s vox populi, tells us that, at the time of our great-great-grandparents, a strange man became famous for having put a curse on Cuba’s first city and its inhabitants, who had kicked him out of the town because of his ragged clothes and beggar ways. Continue reading

Entrepreneurship in Nicaragua: Yes, we can!

In Nicaragua, a country with few opportunities for young people, a small group has opted for self-employment, innovation and the drive to succeed. They’re only 2% of the population, but they’re launching a small economic revolution. Continue reading

The Russian Millionaire, the Virgin Nurse and the Hustler

When a joke you hear in Cuba has a social-political nature, it always has a well-defined context or background of the time when it came into the public sphere, traveling from mouth to mouth across the island to everyone. Continue reading

Will Cuba’s Higher Education Changes Provide Good Results?

In 2015, it was announced that several changes would be made to Higher Education in Cuba, which would be introduced in the current academic year (2016-2017). These would contribute to “improving the quality, equality and relevance of Cuban education.” Continue reading

Pirated Cuban TV Series Highly Popular

“Zoo logico”, a TV series which has 45 episodes and was made in Cuba, is one of the five most asked for digital products in the “Weekly Package”, which offers what is mainly broadcast on foreign channels which Cubans don’t have direct access to in their homes, demanded by customers. Continue reading

Talking about Cuba with a Chinese-US Couple

When my friend put me in touch with these two visitors, knowing that I was interested in what people outside think about our country, he warned me that the questioning would go both ways. They also had a lot of questions and were interesed in speaking ... Continue reading

Guantanamo’s Unconventional Taxi Service

What are “almendrones” (literally large almonds)? Where did they come from and what have the conditions been to encourage their survival over all these years? Do they only exist in Havana or can they also be found in other Cuban cities? Continue reading

Cuba: I Sold My Little Polish Car to Go to the USA

A few minutes after finding out herself, Andrea broke the news to her husband. "They changed the law, baby, there’s a new agreement," and now... they can’t leave anymore. “We had decided to go just recently,” she said. Continue reading

Cuban Women without a Man

Amarilis always tells me the story of how she finished her doctorate: “with my heart”. She used to come home from work and have to help her kids with their homework, cook, wash up, leave something prepared for the next day... It would already be 11 PM by that time. It was only at this hour, when everything else had been done, that she could sit down in front of the computer. Continue reading

Cuba in the Eyes of Some US Tourists

While Cubans and US citizens await the fast approaching US president-elect, Donald Trump’s inauguration day with uncertainty, US citizens are in a hurry to get to know Cuba before the normalizing relations process is reversed, according to what the soon-to-be tenant of the White House has announced. Continue reading