Entries by Havana Live

Cuba’s golf revolution

HAVANA, 29 December  Barely days after the fall of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, two of the world’s most famous revolutionaries, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, walked into Havana Golf Club and, still dressed in military fatigues, proceeded to mock a bourgeois pursuit of the rich: they played golf. The pair putted, swung […]

U.S. Embassy in Havana prepares to reopen

HAVANA,28 December  (AP) – A half-century after Washington severed relations with Cuba, the United States’ seven-story mission looms over Havana’s seaside Malecon boulevard as the largest diplomatic outpost in the country. Cuban guards stand at close intervals on the street outside, and islanders line up by the thousands each year for a shot at a […]

The Pope may visit Havana in 2015

HAVANA, 27 December The Cuban Catholic Church does not rule out the possibility that the pope Francisco made a brief stop in Havana during his trip to Latin America. The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cuba, Orlando Marquez, said that although no known formal invitations, the possibility exists. “It is known that the pope Francisco […]

Cuban’s worry that fast track to U.S. residency will go

HAVANA,26 December (BEN FOX,ANNE-MARIE GARCIA AP) Like tens of thousands of Cubans, Gerardo Luis wants to get to the United States and he’s suddenly worried that time may be running out. Across an island where migrating north is an obsession, the widespread jubilation over last week’s historic U.S.-Cuba détente is soured by fear that warming […]

Cuba rush intensifies

Hotel Parque Central Havana HAVANA, 25 December  The mad rush to Cuba just became even more intense. Before President Obama’s speech last week indicating a move toward normalization of relations with Cuba, the demand for travel to the forbidden island was so strong, tour operators were selling out every departure almost as quickly as they […]

What’s on the horizon for Hollywood in Havana?

Filmlocation in Havana for Havana Club RumHAVANA, 24 December  As the U.S. and Cuba move towards normalizing relations following more than half a century of diplomatic enmity, eyes are turning to the Caribbean island to assess its potential value to the film and TV businesses. Research group, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates U.S. […]

U.S. travel, trade with Cuba may start in 2015

HAVANA, 23 December  With glasses raised, some Cuban exiles still hopefully toast “Next Year in Havana” as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. It is a ritual that has gone on for decades, ever since the 1959 Cuban Revolution brought Fidel Castro to power. Now, for the first time in a long time, […]

Don’t rush to book that flight to Havana just yet

HAVANA, 19 December (AP SCOTT MAYEROWITZ) While the U.S. plans to restore diplomatic ties with the Caribbean island nation, globe-trotting tourists won’t be able to hop on a plane to Havana anytime soon. It remains illegal for most U.S. citizens to travel to — and spend money in — Cuba. Congress would first have to […]

White House statement about the changes in USA-CUBA relations

HAVANA, 18 December  Yesterday, the United States took historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live […]

The basics of the major new US-Cuba deal

The US and Cuba have announced a broad agreement between the countries that will be a first and historic step toward normalizing relations after more than 50 years of hostility. Here are the basics of what each country has agreed to, as is known so far: HAVANA, 17 December  What the US will give Cuba […]

Obama announces new Cuban openness – and a future EMBASSY in Havana

Obama talked about America’s Cuba policy on Wednesday, announcing a new openness that drew jeers from senators on both sides of the aisle. HAVANA, 17 December  President   Barack Obama announced Wednesday at the White House that the United States will move swiftly toward normalizing diplomatic relations with the isolated communist country of Cuba, following […]

Havana releases US prisoner Alan Gross

HAVANA – WASHINGTON (AP)  American Alan Gross was released from a Cuban prison after five years Wednesday, a surprise move that could pave the way for a major shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island nation, senior Obama administration officials said. Gross, 65, was on an American government plane bound for the U.S. Wednesday […]

Cuban Gov. to Keep 92% of Worker Salaries

HAVANA, 17 December (Havana Times)  Cubans working for firms with foreign capital on the island received a bucket of cold water Tuesday when a new resolution published in the official Gazette fixes their salaries at only 8% of what the joint venture or foreign companies must pay the government in hard currency for their services. […]

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Found Abandoned in Cuba

HAVANA, 15 December  Despite it being 2014, classic cars from before the 1960’s, particularly American cars, are still commonplace on the streets of Cuba meaning the small island provides a glimpse into the history of motoring. One a recent trip to Cuba, photographer Piotr Degler heard whispers that there was a rare Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing […]

‘US embargo delayed’ Cuban Ebola team’s pay

WHO official in Cuba blames sanctions for problems in transferring money to doctors fighting the disease in Africa. HAVANA, 14 December   Cuba had to cover food and lodging expenses for dozens of its doctors fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone after the US embargo delayed payments from the World Health Organisation, according to an official […]

Cuba says it’s committed to expanding computerization, Internet access

HAVANA, 13 December  (EFE) Computerizing daily activities and expanding Internet access are priorities for Cuba, according to Communist party daily Granma, which said the island is making progress in those areas “steadily but unhurriedly.” In a lengthy front-page editorial Friday, Granma said Cuba is aware that the era of the Internet and new technologies must […]

U.S. tried to stir unrest in Cuba by infiltrating its hip hop scene

HAVANA, 12 December   (AP) – For more than two years, a U.S. agency secretly infiltrated Cuba’s underground hip-hop movement, recruiting unwitting rappers to spark a youth movement against the government, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The idea was to use Cuban musicians “to break the information blockade” and build a network […]

Habanos S.A. announces HABANOS FESTIVAL XVII

HAVANA, 11 December  Habanos S.A. has formally announced the dates and program notes of the Habanos Festival XVII, happening Feb. 23-27, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. The Festival will feature a focus on two of the largest Cuban marcas, Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo. The former will be featured in this year’s Gran Reserva Cosecha cigar […]

New comedy wave tests limits on criticism in Cuba

HAVANA, 10 December (By Anne-Marie Garcia) AP  Panfilo, the elderly protagonist in a weekly show on Cuban state television, has a broken water pipe in his house. When the city repair worker says it’ll take six months to fix, Panfilo bribes her with a bottle of shampoo and the repair is made the following day. […]

‘Return to Ithaca’ removed from Havana film festival

Havana,10 December (AFP) The film “Return to Ithaca,” a story of Cuban friendship and disillusionment with the country’s revolution was delisted from Havana’s Latin American film festival, the film’s producers said Tuesday. French producer Didar Domehri told AFP the director of the festival Ivan Giroud had sent producers a letter of acceptance after he saw […]

97-year-old fan of John Lennon guards statue in Havana for 14 years

Juan Gonzalez, poses for a photo next to the bronze statue of the late Beatle John Lennon in Havana HAVANA, 9 December  When a statue of Lennon was inaugurated in a leafy Havana park 14 years ago, souvenir-seekers kept stealing the iconic circular spectacles that adorned it. When officials tried to glue them on, vandals […]

HAVANA one of the the New7Wonders Cities

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Announcing the names of the New7Wonders Cities, Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, said: “I would like to thank everyone who have helped promote the New7Wonders Cities campaign since its inception in 2011. We began with more than 1,200 nominees from 220 different countries and here have 7 that represent the global […]

Benicio del Toro to receive prize at Havana festival

HAVANA, 7 December   Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, one of the stars invited to the 36th Havana International New Latin American Film Festival, is scheduled to receive a prize on Sunday, when he will screen his new film “Escobar: Paradise Lost.” “It’s hard to put into words what it means to me that […]

Havana’s 9 pm cannon shot declared Cuba’s cultural heritage

HAVANA, Dec 7  (acn) The nine p.m. cannon shot, a centuries-old tradition of Havana nights that takes place at the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, was declared Cultural Heritage of the Cuban Nation. The official declaration was delivered during the military ceremony by Gladys Collazo, president of the National Council of Cultural Heritage in […]

Heads of state arrive in Havana for CARICOM-Cuba Summit

HAVANA, 6 December  Heads of State and Government of the member nations of the Caribbean Community(CARICOM), and regional organizations, will be arriving in Havana this Saturday, to participate in the Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit. According to the program released by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the presidents of Surinam, Grenada, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are expected […]

MEO Australia Limited joins oil exploration in Cuba

Along the northern coast of Cuba is Block 9, assigned to the Australian oil company MEO. HAVANA, 5 December (By Wilfredo Cancio Isla Café Fuerte)  The company MEO Australia Limited will join the onshore oil exploration effort in Cuba after signing a production sharing contract with the Cuban state oil company Cupet. The Australian firm announced […]

Havana Film Festival kicks off

HAVANA, December  5 (EFE)  The 36th edition of the Festival of New Latin American Cinema at Havana has kicked off with a homage to Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014), a well known film enthusiast and one of the major promoters of the event. The opening ceremony was held at Havana’s Karl Marx theater, with […]

Che Guevara’s son starts ‘motorcycle diaries’ tour in Cuba

HAVANA, 5 December (By Claire Boobbyer) The youngest son of Che Guevara is launching a motorbike tour company in Cuba, named after the revolutionary’s bike, La Poderosa. The youngest son of Che Guevara, whose The Motorcycle Diaries is one of the most iconic travelogues of all time, is launching motorbike tours of Cuba this month. Ernesto […]