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    Why Does Obama Want Diplomatic Relations With Cuba?

    The US president is a man of political vision and sensitivity and, much like Carter and Clinton back in their day, realized that the United States’ isolation in the international arena, particularly in connection with Latin America, could no longer be sustained by Washington.

featuredimage A Million Fines for May Day?

Cuba’s Comprehensive Supervision Department (DIS) seems to be repeating the refrain of an old song by Carlos Puebla: “If anyone so much as sticks their heads out, cut ‘em off!” It is almost as though it has set out to apply the record-breaking figure of one million fines before May 1st, the date in which Cubans gather at Havana’s Revolution Square to express their support and to condemn whatever they are told to support and condemn.


featuredimage Cuba: Where Bottle Caps Are Worth More Than a Medical Degree

“My son got his medical degree twenty years ago,” Rogelio tells me. “Today, he earns 1,460 Cuban pesos a month (70 usd). Since that amount isn’t close to enough to live on the father and son team actually make a living with bottle caps.


featuredimage Voting for Cuba

The first phase of Cuba’s “parliamentary elections” – the electoral mechanism created by the Cuban government more than 30 years ago – are around the corner (April 19th) and, in the midst of the media spectacle calling on us to “vote for Cuba,” I asked myself the question: “What Cuba will I be voting for?”


featuredimage New US Treasury Info on Traveling to Cuba and Doing Business

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Dept. published a revised list of questions and answers for United States citizens interested in travel to Cuba, travel services, banking, sending remittances, or doing any type of business with the island.


rightcolimage My Entry into Video Journalism in Cuba

When a friend of mine, journalist Ignacio Gonzalez, approached me and invited me to host a press channel he planned on launching, the first thing I thought was that the job was not for me.


rightcolimage Cuba’s Civil Society in Panama

I really had no intention of writing about this, so as not to offend anyone – but I feel the need to devote a few lines to the subject, for I find it impossible to keep quiet in light of so much senselessness.


rightcolimage Remembering Gunter Grass in Cuba

It is as though Aries came along with its fire to take two literary greats from us. In the early morning of Monday, we heard of the passing of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano and, in the afternoon, at the other end of the world, of the death of German novelist Gunter Grass.


rightcolimage My Political Stance

I’ve always believed that the simplest things are the hardest to explain – precisely because one feels that they require no explanation, that they are as intrinsic to us as the act of breathing.


rightcolimage Autonomous Cuban Social Researchers Seek Aid in “Puerto Rican Roulette” Process

How is one to conduct serious research in alternative spaces in Cuba without becoming frustrated in the process? How is one to look for opportunities to converse with colleagues from other countries, without sinking in the quicksand of bureaucracy?


rightcolimage The Next Victim

Every time I publish a post dealing with the energy crisis, I am showered with insults. I have been called delirious, an alarmist, a Nostradamus wannabe, a chronic pessimist, a sensationalist, a Caribbean version of Pol Pot, a poor devil brainwashed by Fidel Castro, a follower of Diogenes the Cynic, Andreas Lubitz wannabe and other flattering things of this nature.


rightcolimage Working Cuba’s Highways

“I give hand jobs, blow jobs and the full package, whatever I need to do, though I don’t like it. I have to feed my three kids and I would rather stand by the side of the road, and make more, than work for the State for a salary that’s doesn’t even cover my bus fare.”


rightcolimage On Paranoia and Fear in Cuba

During a hearty, after-meal chat around a table laden with the remains of foul-smelling pizzas and enlivened by boisterous laughter, a friend of ours jokingly “lamented” the little attention and affection shown him by Cuba’s DTI (intelligence department).