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    Cuba Hosts Xi Jinping for Two-day Visit

    Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Cuba for a two-day visit on Monday evening, the culmination of his tour of several Latin American countries during the last week. Xi meets on Tuesday in Havana with his counterpart Raul Castro.

featuredimage My Own T-Shirt Hero: The Forgotten Story of a Bay of Pigs Pilot

I recall I was around 10 years old when my father used to take me from one ministry to the other to collect his salary. It could have been the Ministry of Sugar or Transportation. He didn’t work at any of them, but he would collect his full salary there every month. In fact, he didn’t work anywhere. He was paid on instructions from the Ministry of the Armed Forces.


featuredimage Confessions of a Cuban Plumber

Last Sunday, I washed some rotten lentils down the drain and ended up clogging the pipe. I had no choice but to look for a plumber and pay to have it fixed. I called a plumber who had fixed a number of other things around the house, with whom I’d never exchanged more than a few words of greeting and the inevitable “how much do I owe you?”


featuredimage The Chinese Dream Looks for a Cuban Bed

As Cuba receives Chinese President Xi Xinping on Monday, a growing number of Chinese businesspeople cross their fingers, hoping for the slightest commercial opportunity on the island.


featuredimage Why Did Fidel Castro Recklessly Blame the Ukraine?

In a show of gross political indecency, Fidel Castro accused the government of the Ukraine of having downed a Malaysia Airlines plane – without the slightest shred of proof. In his juicy diatribe, dated July 17, the impetuous Comandante mixes the downing of the airliner with Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and throws Barack Obama into the mix.


rightcolimage A Visit to Cortes, Pinar del Rio

Last week, I spent a number of days in Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s westernmost province, a place renowned for its fish and tobacco – and its baseball team. A friend had invited me to her home in the south-laying town of Cortes, located in Sandino, the westernmost municipality on the island.


rightcolimage Cuba’s All-So-Kind Economy Czar

Marino Murillo has always struck me as a contemptuous person. The arrogance with which he speaks before the legislature, the self-confidence with which he addresses the thorny issues, and his body language, place him somewhere between a domineering public official and a neighborhood butcher.


rightcolimage People with Disabilities in Cuba: Different But Not Insensitive

We are different on the outside. On the inside, however, we are just as sensible as anyone else. We’re somewhat vulnerable, but that doesn’t make us weaker. Perhaps a bit old-fashioned for today’s world, we try and make the most of all the ways of showing love and affection.


rightcolimage “Sex Shopping”: An Innovative Art Exhibition in Havana

When young Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara spoke to me of an exhibition he organized last year (titled Shopping de sexo, “Sex Shopping”), I regretted not having attended. The works on display included a broad range of items related to the sexual and erotic practices of Cubans. (7 photos)


rightcolimage The Palestinians Are Being Slaughtered

The last harrowing news we heard involved the murder of a group of children who were playing soccer at a beach. Though these incidents occur in plain sight, for everyone to see, very little is done to put an end to the mass killing.


rightcolimage Argentina Can’t Handle Germany, Messi is Not Maradona

Argentina and Germany met at the World Cup final for the second time in 24 years and the outcome was the same: Germany came out victorious thanks to another heartbreaking goal. The South American nation’s most recent victory over the Mannstchaft took place in 1986.


rightcolimage My Sundays at Home in Cuba

Sundays ought to be like an emergency exit: the possibility of fleeing from the daily chaos that steps on our heels throughout the week and swallows us up without mercy. Quiet time, the pleasure of doing what we like, breaks the doldrums of routine.


rightcolimage On Cuba’s “New” Fashion Trends

“Leandro, I want you to iron-out my hair and give me a haircut like yours. And don’t worry, I have money.” The person addressed, on hearing the word “money”, began taking out the gear. My neighbor then asked: “Can you do it?”