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Cuba’s GDP growth of 4 percent in first-half

HAVANA,  June 22  (Reuters) The Cuban economy will grow 4 percent in the first half of 2015, in line with official forecasts on the strength of increases in sugar production, manufacturing, construction and trade, Economy Minister Marino Murrillo said. Murrillo delivered an update on the economy to the cabinet on Friday that was covered in […]

Cuba makes Havana Club plea to US

HAVANA, June 22  The Cuban government has called on the United States to allow the Franco-Cuban Havana Club Holding to sell its product into America, claiming that the import ban continues to breach World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. Speaking at a meeting of the WTO’s disputes settlement body, Cuban diplomat ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, Cuba […]

Jeannette Ryder remembered in Havana

HAVANA, June 21   People describe her as a slender, short-statured woman who walked the streets of Havana feeding stray dogs and cats. Some called her crazy – the label often applied to those who selflessly aid the needy. However, Jeannette Ryder gradually won over people to her cause, people who began to admire her […]

U.S.-Cuban project restoring Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Figia

HAVANA   June  21 (CNN)Ernest Hemingway’s home near Havana is expected to soon receive an infusion of badly needed building supplies from the United States. An American foundation restoring the legendary writer’s home in Cuba on Saturday signed an agreement with the Cuban government to — for the first time — import construction materials directly […]

Buena Fe opens summer season in Havana

HAVANA, June 20 (Prensa Latina) The popular band Buena Fe will open the summer cultural program in Cuba with a big concert in the Karl Marx Theater to promote his new compilation album ”Soy”, which targets the international market. The band will perform on June 26, 27 and 28 with a repertoire including several of […]

What Cuba can teach America about organic farming

HAVANA, June 20   Many people in America are proponents of the organic food movement, and worried about the potentially harmful effects of pesticides on their health or the environment. In Cuba, farmers have gone organic for a very different reason – they had to. In this final instalment of our series “The Cuban Evoltion” […]

The Cuba factor in the Caribbean equation

HAVANA,  June 19  What does Cuba mean to the destination and tourism market as it comes off a five-decade U.S. visitor embargo? What other destinations are at risk? Which tourists will go? What will drive its growth in travel and tourism? Cuba was, for many years, the jewel of the Caribbean, the destination of choice […]

Art sales paint a rosy picture of Cuba’s future

HAVANA, June 19   Since late May, art ­collectors and dealers from all over the globe have been flocking to Havana for the month-long exhibition called the Biennial. Virtually every inch of outdoor space in Havana has been converted into a gigantic gallery where artists from about 40 countries are exhibiting. Since it’s the first […]

Diver’s dream: Maria La Gorda’s coral reefs

HAVANA,  June 19  (AP) — The coral reefs and gin-clear waters off the coast of Cuba offer some of the best diving in the Caribbean and some of the best-preserved reefs on earth. And if travel restrictions on U.S. tourism to Cuba are ever lifted, the remote Peninsula of Guanahacabibes could well become a popular […]

Cuba to create first Wi-Fi signals for the public

HAVANA, June 18 (Reuters) – Cuba plans to beam Wi-Fi signals at 35 public spaces in the first such offering for the population at large, whose Web access has been mostly limited to desktop rentals in state-owned Internet parlors. Cuba will also cut the price for surfing the net from $4.50 to $2 per hour, […]

The Fixer’s Tour Guide to Havana

HAVANA,  June 18 Behind every good reporting trip is a good fixer — the women and men who live and work in the country you’re visiting, speak the language, and know how to work the system to get you the people and footage you need. “It’s not gonna be a problem!” We must have heard […]

Cuba second tourist destination in the Caribbean

Havana, Jun 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuba was selected by the Caribbean Tourism Organization as the 2nd most relevant tourist destination in the start of 2015, behind the Dominican Republic, press media reported here Wednesday. A report by Cuban nwespaper Granma said that the difference between Cuba and the Dominican Republic is getting shorter, since Cuba […]

For first time, international university admissions tests coming to Cuba

U.S. universities show appetite for recruiting students in Cuba HAVANA,  June 18  Two popular university-entrance exams will soon be offered in Cuba for the first time, a development that signals U.S. educational institutions’ appetite for recruiting prospective students in the newly opened communist nation. Four Cuban students will sit on June 27 in Havana for […]

Twitter wants a way into Cuba

The company has talked with the Cuban government about letting its citizens tweet through cheap and easy text messaging. HAVANA, June 17   Twitter says it’s talked with the Cuban government about expanding access to its service, the latest sign of U.S. tech companies exploring digital possibilities on the island after President Barack Obama’s announcement […]

How to cruise around Cuba without breaking the bank

HAVANA,  June 17  You did it — you bought your ticket to Cuba! Hello sunshine, fancy cigars, and Cuba Libre cocktails. Booking the trip is off the To-Do list, but what about getting around town? We’ve put together a list of Cuba’s most popular and affordable transportation options, so all you have to do is […]

In Havana with Pamela Ruiz

HAVANA,  June 17   For one couple, realizing their dream house as a cultural salon in Havana has been more than a labor of love. It’s been a lesson in patience, perseverance and wild invention. About once a month, the Havana villa that Pamela Ruiz and Damian Aquiles brought back to life amid obstacles that […]

Spanish player Sergio Ramos excites fans on Cuba visit

HAVANA, June 17   Spanish international and Real Madrid stalwart Sergio Ramos is in Cuba as a Unicef goodwill ambassador, a presence that excited soccer fans on the island this Tuesday. Ramos visited the Vo Thi Thang school Tuesday morning in Havana, where the kids welcomed him with dancing and music, while dozens of fans, […]

Havana to Host Intl. Colloquium on Ernest Hemingway

HAVANA, Jun 15 (acn)  Researchers and experts on the work of Ernest Hemingway will participate in the 15th edition of the International Colloquium dedicated to the Nobel Literature Prize winner, scheduled for June 18-21. The program includes the 3rd meeting of organizations devoted to study and safeguard Hemingway’s legacy to the world, in addition to […]

Cuba likely to end dual currency system

HAVANA, June 16  Cuba is likely to eliminate its dual currency system by the end of this year in a first step to simplifying a multiple exchange system that investors view as a serious obstacle to business. Cuba currently operates two currencies: the peso (CUP), which largely circulates in the domestic economy, and the so-called […]

Sprint and T-Mobile open calling plans to Cuba

HAVANA,  June 16  Both Sprint and T-Mobile are making it easier to contact friends and family members living in Cuba. On Monday, both wireless providers introduced options to dial the island nation. Sprint has announced the immediate availability of a new Sprint Cuba 20 Plus add-on feature. Priced at $10 per month, it provides 20 […]

Mexican navy school ship visits Cuba

HAVANA,  Jun 15 (acn) Huasteco school ship, belonging to the United Mexican States Navy, will hold its second official visit to Cuba, which began on Sunday when arriving at the port of Havana and will last until June 19, Granma newspaper reported. This visit is part of the 2015 training trip of the vessel with […]

Havana sold out !

HAVANA,  June 15  With so much attention and apprehension focused on whether the U.S. government will or will not allow travel to Cuba, and how the politics will play out, there has been little attention paid to the issue of capacity. But with demand for Cuba growing by leaps and bounds, that issue cannot be […]

Havana artist puts on hair competition to bolster black pride

HAVANA, June 14   (AP)    A young Afro-Cuban performance artist transformed a Havana cultural center into the stage of a black hairstyle competition this weekend in a rare public commentary on racial beauty standards in Cuba, where prejudice remains widespread and largely undiscussed. Politics, particularly detente with the U.S., is a common subject matter […]

Air China prepare’s direct flight to Havana

HAVANA, June 14  China and Cuba are planning a direct flight linking the two’s capitals across the vast Pacific Ocean, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Saturday. Air China will operate the flight. Details of when the flights will be launched and how frequent they will be has not been revealed. CAAC does […]

Sirius XM Radio broadcasts from Havana

HAVANA, Jun 13 (acn) The US radio station Sirius XM Radio was the first to broadcast a live program for the entire United States from Cuba in over 50 years, taking advantage of a visit of its team to the island, where it will stay for seven days. The host of the program, civil rights […]

Cuba undergoes a religious revival

HAVANA, June 13  (By NICK MIROFF The Washington Post ) – Raul Castro was a Jesuit schoolboy before turning to communism, and after a lengthy meeting with Pope Francis last month, he told Vatican reporters he was so impressed he was considering a return to the church. They laughed. “I’m serious,” said Castro, 83. If […]

U.S.- Cuba deal expected in early July to reopen embassies

HAVANA, June 13  (Reuters)  The Obama administration is expected to announce an agreement with Cuba in early July to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations severed more than five decades ago, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. The two sides hope to conclude the deal by the first week of next month, […]

Plans to broaden internet access in Cuba leaked

HAVANA,  June 12  (Oncuba)  Replacing the current low-speed dial-up systems with broadband Internet connections during 2015 and 2016 – and taking these services to at least 50 % (or 1,942,950) homes by 2020 – are two of the noteworthy aims of Cuba’s Ministry of Communications, part of a “National Strategy for the Development of Broad […]

Senators introduce bill seeking to lift U.S.-Cuba trade embargo

HAVANA, June 12  Three months after a group of Kansas agricultural officials visited Cuba to check out trade opportunities, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from the Sunflower state, has introduced legislation that would restore trade with Cuba. The bill, which Moran introduced with U.S. Senator Angus King, an Independent from Maine, seeks to pave […]