Articles Posted in Featured Posts

Cuba-Restaurant-300x200Cuban authorities are reportedly raiding several private restaurants on the island in what appears to be a government crackdown on entrepreneurs transgressing the Castro regime’s definition of free enterprise.

El Litoral, a high-end paladar known for its food and clientele, was the first to get raided by authorities. Officials from the Technical Department of Investigations reportedly carted off tables, chairs, plates, sound systems, and bottles of imported liquor.

Neighboring businesses told news sources that the owner of El Litoral got in trouble because of money laundering allegations. The liquor the restaurant served didn’t come from official government sources and some of its employees were allegedly being paid off the books. Servers also reportedly told clients that they accept dollars if they don’t have CUCs (Cuban convertible pesos). U.S. dollars are not legal tender on the island.

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Nuevo_Laredo_Cubans-300x216Reports show that there are more than 1,300 Cuban migrants who are currently being held in detention centers across the U.S. awaiting trial. All of them traveled to the U.S. seeking freedom, but the immigration policy that allowed them to remain in the country was ended by former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Cuban migrants seeking residency were welcomed in the U.S. as political refugees under the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy. Obama eliminated the policy on January 12, just days before his presidency ended.

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Cuban-Travel-New-Rules-300x200Tourism has reportedly been a bright spot for the Cuban economy during the first half of 2017, pulling in 23 percent more tourists than the same period last year. But other areas of the island nation’s economy have foundered and failed to meet projected targets, Cuban officials have revealed.

The Cuban economy experienced a 1.1 percent growth during the first half of the year thanks to the tourism, agriculture, and construction sectors. Other economic sectors have reportedly performed poorly as the island bounced back from a recession and faced difficulties securing trade credits.

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CubanTravelNewRules-300x200The U.S. Treasury Department issued new clarifications on Tuesday on measures that will take effect for business, remittances, and travel with Cuba following President Donald Trump’s June announcement regarding U.S. policy towards the island.

The document, released by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), includes answers to 14 frequently asked questions from business owners, travelers, and the general public about the changes Trump proclaimed in Miami on June 16.

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China-Cuba-Cigar-Deal-300x200China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC) and Cuban cigar producer Habanos S.A. signed an agreement in Havana over the weekend with the aim of increasing Cuba’s cigar exports to China.

Co-heads of Habanos S.A., Luis Sanchez-Harguindey and Inocente Nunez, and CNTC general manager Ling Chengxing signed the agreement on Sunday. Under the agreement, Habanos S.A. will assist China with the production of tobacco products while expanding the sale of its premium products in the Asian market.

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Trump-Signing-Policy-300x214President Donald Trump plans to continue the biannual suspension of the Title III provision of the Helms-Burton Act, sources say. The Act permits the owners of property confiscated in Cuba to sue the Cuban government and foreign governments for using those expropriated holdings.

Since the Helms-Burton Act, formally known as Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, was passed by Congress in 1996, every president has suspended the lawsuit provision in six-month intervals. The ability to waiver the provision was added by President Bill Clinton as a compromise for U.S. allies like Mexico, Canada, and EU countries that feared Title III would open their investments in Cuba to a potential tidal wave of lawsuits in U.S. federal courts by people with prior claims.

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Raul-Castro-300x200Cuban President Raul Castro dismissed President Donald Trump’s harder line on relations with Havana to Cuba’s National Assembly on Friday, calling it a setback.

“Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail,” said Castro.

This was the first time he has commented on Trump’s June announcement of a rollback of some of the changes established by former President Barack Obama.

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Norwegian-Sky-300x225The wave of tourism brought by the 700 Americans who arrived in Havana by sea in May 2016 is showing no signs of abating more than one year later, even with the new restrictions placed on American travelers to the island by President Donald Trump.

Adonia’s historic voyage from Port Miami to Cuba was the first of its kind in almost 40 years. It marked a big step in the normalization process between Cold War enemies that was started by former President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro on December 17, 2014. The embargo imposed by Congress almost 60 years ago is still in place, but the Obama administration relaxed the rules to allow Americans to visit the island if the trip falls under one of 12 categories of travel.

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Norwegian-Sun-300x225Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced Monday that it will send a second ship to Cuba as of May 2018. The cruise operator plans to expand its lineup of Cuba voyages with new sailings out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

NCL started trips to Cuba in May 2017 with the 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sky, which offers an all-inclusive four-day itinerary from the Port of Miami. The second ship, Norwegian Sun, will sail from Port Canaveral and offer the same four-day itinerary with unlimited free drinks. Both ships will spend one night in Havana.

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cuban flagA Cuban state-owned news agency announced on July 3 that the government plans to bring back the so-called love motels, known as “posadas” in Spanish, to give cash-strapped couples more affordable options for privacy.

According to the announcement published in the Trabajadores, the official publication of the Central Worker’s Party (CTC), the Provincial Housing Company of Havana is planning to reopen the once-popular love motels.

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