Obama Announces New US Approach on Cuba

    We bring you below the specific measures taken by President Obama and portions of his speech delivered live. Later today we will bring you the simultaneous speech made by Raul Castro regarding the changes in US policy and the prisoner exchange.

featuredimage Cuba’s Raul Castro Explains Advances with USA

Cuban president Raul Castro spoke to the nation today at noon, the same time that Barack Obama was making an address from the White House. The two leaders were addressing, in their own way, a successful diplomatic effort that included the release of prisoners Alan Gross, the three remaining Cuban Five members and an unnamed US agent who was also jailed in Cuba.

featuredimage Naming Havana a “Wonder City” Is an Insult

Though it is true that there is no shortage of marvelous places in our capital (about to turn 500), Havana’s urban architecture threatens to disappear altogether owing to the almost ceaseless collapse of buildings.

featuredimage Cuban League Game Redefines Meaning of “Walk-Off Homer”

There have indeed been many bizarre, improbable, almost credibility-stretching games played in the Cuban League over the past half-century of “revolutionary” baseball. And now this past week still another oddball event – again a walk-off home run of the most unlikely and unprecedented variety – has staked its claim for a spot atop the growing inventory of classic Cuban League baseball oddities.

featuredimage Cuba’s Ladies in White

At a time when people expected a sign of good will to come in support of Cuba’s aspirations, they beat and detained the Ladies in White and those who accompanied them to celebrate a day that invokes nothing other than human rights, in a way that would be inexplicable in any decent society.

rightcolimage Cuba’s Somber Commemmorative Dates

Cuba’s official discourse cannot help but celebrate or solemnly commemorate certain events. There is even a television program about such events, where I’ve heard as absurd commemorative remarks as: “On a day like today, the Commander in Chief visited this or that place.”

rightcolimage My Take on Cuba’s “Weekly Package” (Part I)

I buy Cuba’s weekly TV series, music and software package on a regular basis. In my opinion, some of its contents are valuable in more than one sense. That said, there are a series of factors behind this phenomenon that have truly piqued my curiosity.

rightcolimage The Most Beautiful Woman in my Neighborhood

She flung open the gate and rushed out to the street wearing a beautiful black dress, picture hat and high heels. Was she going to a party? A heavy, afternoon downpour had drenched everything. I was waiting for the rain to stop at a bus stop.

rightcolimage Prohibition at G Street, Havana

Havana’s renowned Parque G has been under a “local Prohibition” for some weeks now. After some time away, I went to G Street with some friends, only to find that the food and drinks stand located at the intersection of 23rd Street (usually teeming with people) was empty.

rightcolimage A Depressed Woody Allen?

“The sun will burn out, whether we like it or not.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what we do in life: everything is a meaningless illusion, because nothing endures. It is difficult to believe such admissions of hopelessness come from Woody Allen…

rightcolimage Having a Foreign Father in Cuba

I have a little girl for a neighbor who has the great fortune of having a foreign father. Don’t jump to any conclusions: I don’t believe Cubans are worth less or generally worse than foreigners. On the contrary…

rightcolimage There’s No Tomorrow, Or Is There?

Much of what I have written and have yet to write about Peak Oil is humorously addressed in the animated documentary There is No Tomorrow. Written and directed by Dermot O’Connor, the film was produced by Incubate Pictures, in association with the Post Carbon Institute.

rightcolimage A Disappointing International Human Rights Day in Cuba

At home, the headlines extoll Cuba’s work in defense of the human rights of children and for free education and health. They publish photos of smiling school children and doctor’s offices and say nothing about the issue of democracy (much less about Cuban dissidents).