Articles Tagged with havana

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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Luis-Almagro-300x200Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), has criticized the Cuban government after it denied him entry to the island on February 22.

Almagro was to travel to Cuba to receive an award named in honor of the late Oswaldo Payá, who was a strong opponent of the Cuban Communist Party.

The award was issued by Latin America Youth Network for Democracy (Red Latinoamericana de Jovenes por la Democracia in Spanish) , which is led by Payá’s daughter, the renowned Cuban activist Rosa Maria Payá. Almagro wrote Rosa Marie Payá a letter explaining that the Cuban consulate would not give him a visa because the purpose for his visit was deemed to be an “unacceptable provocation.”

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ICE-Agents-300x236Two Cubans nationals who were deemed “inadmissible” for entry into the U.S. became the first to be sent back to Cuba by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since former President Obama ended the “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy on January 12.

The two women were placed on a flight to Havana this morning. ICE didn’t specify when or where they arrived in the U.S., but an ICE official told the press that this is the first “removal flight” since the elimination of “wet foot, dry foot.”

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