Solar Energy Outlook in Cuba

February 6, 2016 | 12 comments

On the outskirts of Havana, in the neighborhood of San Miguel de Padron, the electricity was cut off for an entire day last week. Local residents already fear that the blackout may signal the preparations for an upcoming energy shortage due to the recent political changes in Venezuela and the likely end to the oil subsidy program with Cuba.

French TV Mocks Raul Castro’s Grandson/Bodyguard

February 5, 2016 | 18 comments

The clumsiness of Raul Castro’s grandson and chief escort during the leader’s recent official visit to France did not go unnoticed by the French press. Yann Barthes, host of the French TV program Le Petit Journal de Canal + dedicated a broad segment of the show aired Wednesday to the visit of 84-year-old Castro.

Cuban Trombonist Eduardo Sandoval’s New Album

February 3, 2016 | No Comments »

Young Eduardo Sandoval considers himself the heir of Cuban trombonist Juan Pablo Torres, who passed away in 2005 at 58. When Eduardo speaks of the late musician, his eyes light up in a very special way. The work of Torres was actually one of the sources of inspiration for Eduardo’s first album, titled Caminos abiertos (“Open Roads”).

Cuba with Two Currencies and Four Exchange Rates

January 28, 2016 | 7 comments

One needn’t be an economist to imagine how complex the process of re-establishing a single currency monetary system is, but one also need not be an expert on the subject to understand the chaos that the existence of two currencies with four different exchange rates brings about. Thus, when government economists declare that establishing a single currency and exchange rate “isn’t easy,” they are merely stating what all Cubans already know. What the nation as a whole and foreign investors based in Cuba are interested in is the when.

Coming Back to Cuba

January 25, 2016 | 5 comments

Mauricio has a diploma in economics and is a graduate of the Hotel Sevilla catering school, but he hadn’t been able to practice his profession in Cuba. In 2003, his brother, who was already living in Spain, offered to help him leave the country. “I was working as a cabbie without a license, risking getting into trouble, so I decided the best thing was to leave.”

A Chinese Look at Havana Chinatown (Video)

January 25, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Havana’s Barrio Chino is one of the oldest Chinatowns in Latin America. Yet this once vibrant neighborhood has been in decline for decades. Many Cubans of Chinese descent fled soon after Fidel Castro¹s 1959 revolution. Louis Chan, 61, is a painter and designer in Havana. His parents emigrated from Guangdong, China, to escape hardship and seek their fortune.

Cuba’s Dangerous Crusade against Intermediaries

January 23, 2016 | 2 comments

As the popular saying goes, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Since the problem of high produce prices was discussed at Cuba’s National Assembly in December, all fingers have been pointing at a would-be culprit: the middleman.

Cuba Joins the Professional Soccer World

January 20, 2016 | No Comments »

Several sports had begun slowly taking steps towards joining the professional world, but Cuban soccer appeared reluctant to take advantage of the reform process launched by the government at the close of 2013. Ultimately, Cuba agreed to a couple of contracts, those of 22-year-olds Maykel Reyes and Abel Martinez, who joined the Mexican club Cruz Azul.

Cuban Director Cremata Speaks of Censorship

January 19, 2016 | No Comments »

Monologo de la Presidenta (“A Monologue by Madam President”), a one-act play and testimony by Juan Carlos Cremata, has been circulating around the Internet since last week. The piece offers details of the meeting where the film and theater director was informed that his play El rey se muere (“The King is Dying”), an adaptation of Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionoesco’s work, was being censored.

Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech

January 18, 2016 | No Comments »

In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, King gave a major address in London on segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.