Articles Tagged with havana

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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Many think of old Havana of being just that–old, trapped in an era during which the United States (and much of the Western world) cut off contact. For a long time, this notion wasn’t far from the truth, but since the turn of the 20th century, Havana has been changingMany contributing factors, including a loosening of restrictions on small-scale private enterprise by the new regime, has led to a slow and assured blossoming of newness in the city. Continue reading

Gran-Hotel-Manzana-300x169Cuba’s first five-star luxury hotel opened in Havana on Monday. The Gran Hotel Manzana, which is part of the Swiss group Kempinski, is situated at the heart of Havana in front of the Grand Theater of Alicia Alonso and the gardens of Parque Central.

The facility is jointly owned by Kempinski and the military-controlled Gaviota. Its European-style building was a shopping center called the Manzana de Gomez that first opened in 1917. It was completely renovated by hundreds of workers flown in from India. The Cuban government reportedly made a rare exception by allowing foreign workers to restore the structure.

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Daniel-Llorente-300x214Cubans who attended Havana’s Annual May Day parade this year were shocked when Daniel Llorente ran down the Plaza of the Revolution waving a large American flag.

Llorente, a self-proclaimed dissident who isn’t affiliated with any opposition party, yelled, “Freedom for the Cuban people!” as he ran down the plaza waving a U.S. flag to a stunned audience of hundreds of thousands that included foreign journalists. He managed to run for a few seconds before he was tackled by security and removed from the plaza. It is not yet known whether he has acquired the services of an attorney.

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JetBlue-Cuba-300x143While several U.S. airlines have cut flights to Cuba because of weak demand, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue Airways have all applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting more flights to Havana.

American Airlines sent a request on Monday for an additional seven weekly flights. JetBlue also requested seven additional slots, including flights from Fort Lauderdale to Havana six times a week and a weekly flight from Boston to Havana on Saturdays. Delta made a similar request, seeking seven additional weekly flights to the island’s capital.

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