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Cuba ready for the biggest U.S. tourists invasion ?

HAVANA,  August 43   It will be the largest number of American tourists to arrive in Cuba since the 1959 Revolution. The increase is expected to exceed the 50% of visitors who have already made their bookings. While authorizations for all kinds of travel and transportation companies are multiplying in the U.S., moving beyond the tourist […]

Japanese tourists rush to Havana

HAVANA, AUGUST 22  Japanese travel agencies are increasing their tourism to Cuba in response to growing demand generated by the rapprochement between the Caribbean country and the United States to normalize diplomatic relations. That is the case of the travel company JTB, which rise from October five to eight the number of packages in Cuba […]

The conversation continues’ and ‘Live in Cuba’ expand a musical dialogue

HAVANA, 2August  22  (NYT)  As the American flag was raised over the United States Embassy in Cuba last Friday, the pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill could be found in the immigration area at José Martí International Airport in Havana. Footage of the ceremony, symbolizing the restoration of diplomatic relations severed in 1961, was being piped […]

Revitalizing Cuban design, one chair at a time

HAVANA, August 21  Cuban designers must be particularly resourceful. Since the U.S. imposed its restrictive trade and travel embargo on the Caribbean country in the 1960s, its artists have had unique difficulty obtaining working materials. So Havana-based designers Raiko Valladares and Jose A Villa turned to components that were not in short supply: construction steel. […]

A breakout year for Cuban entrepreneurs

HAVANA, August 21 Yovanni Cantillo started Ya, Cuba’s first fast-food drive-through, last year. Every six weeks since, he travels overseas to haul back suitcases full of soda cups with lids, thick straws for milkshakes, and small plastic cups for ketchup—items Cuba’s state-owned stores don’t carry. Julio Alvarez and Nidialys Acosta opened a garage to restore […]

The informal markets of Cuban tourism

HAVANA, August 20   When, at the beginning of the 1990s, the US dollar was de-penalized and the Cuban government found its salvation in tourism, few could have imagined that a whole series of informal markets would develop around the inflow of foreign visitors. The most notable impact of this phenomenon can be seen in […]

Cuba tourism boom has operators scrambling for guides

HAVANA, August 19  It was mid-May, and independent tour consultant Frank Slater found himself leading his 22nd tour of Cuba, guiding a group at Vinca La Figia, Ernest Hemingway’s home from 1939 to 1960 in the village of San Francisco de Paula, about 9 miles outside Havana. Now a museum, it is a popular tourist […]

Olga Tañón heads to Cuba for celebratory ‘Vivo la Vida’ video

HAVANA, August 18 Back in 2009, Puerto Rican tropical star Olga Tañón performed in Cuba as part ofJuanes’ “Paz Sin Fronteras” show in Havana. Now, Tañón is readying for a big return, planning two free shows on the island: One December 5 in Santiago de Cuba, and a second one December 12 in Havana’s  Malecón. Tañón will […]

American Airlines to begin offering charter flights from L.A. to Havana

HAVANA, August 18  American Airlines announced Tuesday that it will offer charter flights from Los Angeles to Havana starting in December. It will be the first flight from the West Coast to Cuba since Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations last month. The new charter service will be sold by Cuba Travel Services […]

Cuba on edge as drought worsens

HAVANA, August 17  Cuba put its civil defence system on alert on Monday due to a year-long drought that is forecast to worsen in the coming months and has already damaged agriculture and left more than a million people relying on trucked-in water. From Cuba’s famous cigars to sugar, vegetables, rice, coffee and beans, the […]

Cuba’s tourism boom has many in remote areas worrying

  HAVANA, August 17    Santiago de Cuba is the 500-year-old city smells of fresh paint and varnish. Residents stroll along a recently completed harbour promenade under gleaming new streetlights, enjoying sea breezes while relaxing on newly installed metal benches. Missing are the tourists. As foreign visitors flood Havana and a select group of other colonial […]

Cuban Professor predicts US embargo will take five years to go

HAVANA, August 16  Despite the fact that Cuba and the United States have officially restored diplomatic relations, one Cuban academic believes that the wait for the US embargo to be lifted on the socialist country will be long. Dr.Luis Rene Fernandez Tabio, Professor of Economics at Havana University’s Centre for United States and Hemispheric Studies […]

John Kerry makes surprise visit to Old Havana (Galerie)

HAVANA, August 15 (AP) On a historic day for U.S.-Cuban relations, Secretary of State John Kerry took time out for a walking tour of cobblestoned Old Havana — just like many of the growing numbers of Americans traveling to the island since detente was announced eight months ago. Dressed in slacks and a white dress shirt, […]

Kerry in Havana says U.S. and Cuba aren’t prisoners of past

HAVANA, August 14  — The U.S. flag was raised Friday over the U.S. Embassy in Havana by the three Marines who last lowered the Stars and Stripes more than a half-century ago in a day of history-making symbolism as more Cold War vestiges were the put to rest. But the ceremonies led by Secretary of […]

August 15, is International Homeless Animals’ Day

HAVANA, August  14 The International Society for Animal Rights established this day to shed light on pet overpopulation, a global tragedy that affects communities all around the world. There is a simple solution: spay and neuter. Please consider supporting Aniplant Cuba’s spay-neuter campaign in honour of all the homeless animals. In honor of this day, […]

The long adios tour – Buena Vista Social Club’s U.S. finale

HAVANA, August 13 (By Judy Cantor-Navas)  It was not foreseen that the Buena Vista Social Club’s Adios tour would start the same week that Secretary of State John Kerry is flying to Havana for the raising of the U.S. flag in Cuba for the first time since 1961. But good timing was part of the […]

July 2015, third warmest month in Cuba since 1951

HAVANA, Aug 11 (PL)  July 2015 was the third warmest month in Cuba since 1951, after registering an average temperature of 28.2 degrees Celsius, above 0.7 the historical average for the seventh month of the year, Granma newspaper reported today. According to the Climate Center at the Meteorology Institute, the values of maximum and minimum […]

HavanaAir not ready for take off

HAVANA, August  11 Houston will have to wait a little longer for direct flights to Cuba. When Miami-based HavanaAir first announced the flights last month, the private airline said flights were expected to begin in August. However, the Houston Airport System was still working with the airline on final details, HAS spokesman Bill Begley told […]

Havana on the edge

HAVANA, August 11 (The Atlantic) Old Havana, the historic district of Cuba’s capital, was founded by Spanish colonists in 1519. Its churches and fortresses carved from white limestone, Triangle Trade–era mansions, and airy courtyards tell a story of centuries of wealth and its expression by Cuba’s military and mercantile elite. But the district lost prominence […]

Under the radar, advertising on the rise in Cuba

HAVANA, August 11  The four surgeons in the video, masked and somber, bend over their patient, a vital-signs monitor beeping in the background. “Screwdriver,” says one. “Pliers.” Then finally, in relief, another surgeon whispers, “I think it’s good.” One more surgery with a happy ending. Except the patient is not human. It’s a cellphone. The […]

International Course on Dengue started in Havana

HAVANA, Aug 10 (acn) Professors of England, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland and Cuba are taking part in an International Course on Dengue that began on Monday in Havana. The Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute (IPK), Collaborating Center of the Pan-American and World Organizations PAHO / WHO for […]

Protesters arrested in Obama mask ahead of Kerry’s visit

HAVANA, August 10  Relations may be warming at last between Washington and Havana, but that doesn’t mean the Castro regime is suddenly upping its human-rights game simply to please Obama. In fact, just yesterday, the Cuban government threw an estimated 90 protesters — many clad in black-and-white Barack Obama masks — into jail for marching […]

Two Cuban bands pre-nominated for Latin Grammy awards

HAVANA, August 10 (ACN)   The Cuban bands Los Van Van, currently directed by Samuel Formell, and Havana D’Primera, directed by Alexander Abreu, were pre-nominated on Thursday for the 17th edition of the Latin Grammy Awards. Awarded by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the United States, these prizes are among the […]

Running their own businesses in Cuba is a challenge

HAVANA , August 9  (Miami Herald) Niuris Higueras jokes that her spouse calls Atelier — the Havana restaurant she started with her brother — her real husband. In an effort to see her family more, she’s decided to move them into the rooms in the back of her popular Vedado restaurant. It already has a […]