Articles Tagged with havana

Philipgoldberg-215x300On the eve of the biggest political change in Cuba since the 1959 communist revolution, the number of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana has dropped to just ten people.

The U.S. State Department published an updated embassy roster on March 22, which showed there are no political, economic, public affairs, or cultural officers left at the embassy. The majority of positions remaining are focused on the internal functioning of the embassy, its security, or its maintenance.

The new embassy head is Philip Goldberg, who holds the title of Charge d’Affairs, an official who temporarily stands in for an ambassador. Goldberg is expected to remain in role for six months, when he will likely be replaced with another Charge d’Affairs and not a permanent ambassador. Continue reading

Miami-Dade_County_FL_USA_-_panoramio_31-300x200The U.S. Department of Transportation has provisionally approved new flight routes from the USA to Havana in Cuba. The proposals are currently open for public comment, and a final decision on these routes is expected by the end of April.

These new flights reverse the trend seen in 2017, which saw carriers reducing their services to Cuba. President of tour company Insight Cuba, Tom Popper, explains demand has recently been rising for U.S.-Cuba routes after the dip in interest last year. Continue reading

Raul-castro-2016-292x300The Cuban government has opened its first wholesale food market in Havana. The new market is intended to sell staple items to private-sector cooperatives.

By opening the Mercabal wholesale market, the government hopes to address concerns from the private-sector food industry that they had no alternative but to buy supplies from retail stores. This not only meant they were paying high prices, but it has also led to shortages in those stores for ordinary consumers.

Mercabal will sell a limited array of the products most in demand in cafes and bars. These staples include sugar, salt, beans, beer, chicken, and hamburgers. Products are sold at prices between 20 and 30 percent less than in retail stores.

Continue reading

https://www.attorneycuba.com/files/2018/03/U.S._Flag_Flaps_Outside_U.S._Embassy_in_Havana_Cuba_25998479275-300x200.jpgThe United States government has announced that, effective in March, it is making staffing cuts to its embassy in Havana permanent. These cuts are expected to have significant consequences for Cuba’s economy and its citizens, and they send US-Cuba relations to their lowest point since normalization began four years ago.

 

Staffing levels at the embassy were initially reduced in the wake of the “health attacks” on the embassy which began in 2016. The cause and exact nature of these attacks are still unknown. The U.S. government has not accused the Cuban government of any wrongdoing, but says the Cubans were responsible for the safety of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana.

Continue reading

donny-300x169The Trump administration wants to create an “internet task force” to expand information access in Cuba, but not everyone is for the plan. Alan Gross was arrested and jailed in Cuba in the year 2009 for doing his job; he was a United States government contractor employed by USAID – the United States Agency for International Development.

Gross was held until his trial in March of 2011, when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Released in 2014, he has been a political activist and author ever since. Now, he is speaking out against the Trump administration’s plans for Cuba. Continue reading

Cuba-Marti-Statue-300x168When it comes to US-Cuba relations, it is rare these days to see a sign that relations are improving. And it’s even rarer to see government officials from both countries sharing a positive moment together. But that’s just what happened this past Sunday during a morning sunrise in Havana, Cuba’s capital.

Raul Castro–along with his rumored successor, Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel–were present along with three US Members of Congress for the unveiling of a statue of Cuban national hero Jose Marti. The statue was sponsored and funded by the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Continue reading

ri-300x198Amidst rising global tensions, North Korea sent Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to Cuba on Monday of this week.

The visit marks a continuation of friendly relations between the two nations that have lasted since 1960, despite Havana’s staunch opposition to pursuing nuclear weapons. Some diplomats maintain that the relationship with Cuba might be of use in deescalating the current conflict, while others fear that talks are not so innocent.

Continue reading

960x0-300x200Despite the current foreign policy difficulties between the United States and Cuba, some people are foraging ahead with their business ties with the island. Although many announcements have been made about the reversal of Cuba-friendly Obama-era policies, not much has actually been changed on a policy level; the most significant recent move was the mutual removal of diplomats.

Susan Leger Ferraro is a social serial entrepreneur who has been looking to affect social change since first started Little Sprouts, an early education center in at-risk communities, when she was just 17 years old. In 2015, Ferraro first visited Cuba and has since set out to support the development and expansion of infrastructure in order to meet the needs of its growing tourism industry. Now, she’s sharing some of her wisdom from her experience in Cuba, and on a more ecumenical scale.

Continue reading

cubatourist-300x200

Hurricane Irma charged through Cuba last weekend, demolishing buildings, uprooting trees, and leaving 10 dead in its wake. The Category 5 storm had winds as fast as 160 miles per hour when it made landfall in Cuba, making it the most powerful storm to reach the island since 1932.

The amount of damage to the country’s infrastructure and industry was devastating. In the aftermath, some people are mourning, many are rebuilding, and some are just enjoying the feeling of relief brought on by clear skies.
Continue reading

mojitos-300x200The best way to end a hot day in sunny Havana, whether you’re there for business or pleasure, is with a cold drink (or two). But contrary to the craft beer craze here in the States, in Cuba it’s more about where you drink as opposed to what you drink. If you’re looking for a hoppy IPA or nitro stout, for example, prepare to be disappointed. But with an open mind, you’ll be more than content with a Havana cocktail. Here are a few places in Havana that shouldn’t be missed on your next visit.

El Floridita

El Floridita is a historic bar just across the street from the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana, making for the perfect afternoon combo. After all, fine art is so much finer after a drink.

Continue reading