Entries by Havana Live

Stonegate Bank opens bank account for Cuban government (update)

HAVANA, Msay 20  (Reuters) – Stonegate, a small Florida bank, has opened an account for the Cuban government, according to a source familiar with the state’s banking industry, removing an obstacle in the way of Washington and Havana restoring diplomatic ties after more than 50 years. In December, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was […]

A U.S. bank account​ coming soon for Cuba

HAVANA, May 20  (Reuters)   The US State Department declined to the name the bank, but a senior official expressed optimism ahead of Thursday’s talks between the US and Cuba. Conditions are favorable for restoring diplomatic relations with the United States, Cuba said on Monday ahead of upcoming talks in Washington. The two longtime adversaries […]

Biennial Preview: Detrás del muro: En el Medio de la Nada

HAVANA, May 20  Debuting on Mother’s Day 2012, the public art project Detrás del muro brought together artists, Biennial visitors, and Cubans of all backgrounds for a celebratory art stroll along Havana’s waterfront promenade, the Malecón. And this year’s edition is even more ambitious.Opening Sunday evening, May 24, Detrás del muro: En el medio de […]

Panelist say Cuba will be the ‘powerhouse of the Caribbean’

HAVANA, May 19   At a conference focused on opportunities in emerging markets this month, Cuba found some love. A panel of investment professionals at the IFC EMPEA Global Private Equity Conference in Washington DC discussing opportunities in Latin American was optimistic about the chances of Cuba reforming enough to attract new investment dollars. The […]

Pernod prepares to take Havana Club to the US

HAVANA, May 19   (Reuters) French drinks giant Pernod Ricard is poised to sell its Cuban-made rum in the United States once a 53-year-old trade embargo is lifted, going head-to-head with Cuban-founded Bacardi which dominates the world’s biggest market. Pernod’s Havana Club will have to change its name to “Havanista” for U.S. customers, because Bacardi […]

Havana says conditions ‘favorable’ for restoring ties with U.S.

HAVANA, May 19  Conditions are favorable for restoring diplomatic relations with the United States, Cuba said on Monday ahead of upcoming talks in Washington. The two longtime adversaries are scheduled to meet on Thursday for their fourth negotiating session on re-establishing diplomatic ties, which were severed in 1961 amid Cold War tensions. The so-called interests […]

Elian Gonzalez wants to return to US

HAVANA, May 18 Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban at the center of a high-profile international custody battle more than a decade ago, wants to return to the United States. Gonzalez, now 21 and in college, said in an interview with ABC News aired Monday that, if he could visit anywhere in the world, it would be the […]

Drought affects over 1 mn people in Cuba

HAVANA, May 18  (EFE) The intense drought in Cuba is affecting more than 1 million people, the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper reported Sunday, citing specialists. The situation is being classified as “critical” in Cuba, where rainfall levels were insufficient in every region at the end of the February-April period, Weather Institute Climate Center researcher Cecilia […]

Minnesota Orchestra play to sold-out house in Havana

HAVANA, May 16   (AP) –  The Minnesota Orchestra played to a sold-out house Friday night in the first performance in Cuba by a full professional U.S. orchestra since 1999, coming just months after the two Cold War rivals announced a thaw in relations. Few of the visiting Americans speak Spanish, but “the universal language […]

Minnesota Orchestra performs in Havana

HAVANA, May 16   Minnesota Orchestra has returned to Cuba, for the first time in 85 years. It has become the first major orchestra from the United States to play in Cuba since December, 2014, when it was announced that diplomatic relations between the two nations would be restored. Cuban, Ana Maria Verdes, was in […]

Why the U.S. base at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay is probably doomed

HAVANA, May 14   If the United States and Cuba restore diplomatic ties in the coming weeks, as anticipated, the two countries will still be a long way from anything resembling a “normal” relationship, Cuban President Raul Castro has said repeatedly. His list of grievances is lengthy. But this week Castro said it boils down to two […]

Biennial Preview: Galleries and Studios

More to see and do in Havana, next week and after HAVANA, May 14  The Havana Biennial doesn’t officially open until next Friday, May 22. But the action starts long before that. Here are a few of the other openings next week, in chronological order. Monday, May 18 “Bienal, bienal! Are you my friend?” Sandra […]

Cuba,US announce new round of diplomatic talks

HAVANA,May 15   (AP) The U.S and Cuba say they will hold a new round of talks next Thursday in an attempt to remove barriers to the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana. The talks will be held in Washington, the State Department and Cuba’s Foreign Ministry announced separately. The two sides have been […]

U.S and Cuba to resume embassy talks

HAVANA, May 14  (CNN)  Senior officials from the United States and Cuba will resume meetings next week with the goal of finalizing the diplomatic thaw that both sides hope will lead to the re-opening of embassies in each country. The talks, set to take place in Washington, come after President Barack Obama recommended Cuba be […]

Container shipping in Cuba receives logistics boost

CMA CGM announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement with the Cuban government and Almacenes Universales SA (AUSA) for a 17 hectare facility that will handle the warehousing of goods as well as full and empty container storage. Matthieu Friedberg, a vice-president of the shipping giant stated, “The platform of Mariel’s is a first […]

Havana negociating with Florida bank to open account in U.S.

HAVANA, May 13  (EFE) The Cuban Interests Section in Washington is studying opening a bank account in Florida after Havana was left without banking abilities in the United States in 2014, a local media outlet reported Wednesday. The head of the Cuban Interests Section in the United States, Jose Ramon Cabañas Rodriguez, told members of […]

Car enthusiasts ponder future for Cuba’s vintage classics

HAVANA, May 13 (By Alasdair Sandford)  They are iconic symbols of Cuba like cigars and rum: pre-revolution 1950s American classic cars. But the Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles are not nostalgic collectors’ items on the island; they are necessities for Cubans who have no modern alternatives – and breakdowns are frequent. Maintenance can be a nightmare […]

US and Cuba ambassadors to be named end of may

HAVANA, May 12   (AP) Cuba and the U.S. will name ambassadors to each other’s countries after the island is removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism later this month, Cuban President Raul Castro said Tuesday. Castro spoke to journalists at Havana’s international airport after seeing off visiting French President Francois Hollande. The […]

Havana has a lung cancer vaccine – and America wants it

HAVANA,  May 11  CUBA HAS FOR several years had a promising therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer. The 55-year trade embargo led by the US made sure that Cuba was mostly where it stayed. Until—maybe—now. The Obama administration has, of course, been trying to normalize relations with the island nation. And last month, during New York […]

Hollande becomes first French president to visit Cuba

HAVANA,May 11  (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande is making the first visit to Cuba by a French head of state on Monday, attempting to carve out a larger role  at the time of Cuba’s historic opening with the United States. Hollande was scheduled to meet Cuban President Raul Castro, deliver a speech and participate […]

Not only tourists visiting Cuba

HAVANA ,May 10  (AP) –  Tourists in shorts and sandals aren’t the only foreigners flooding Havana these days. Top diplomats from Japan, the European Union, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia have visited the island in recent months in bids to stake out or maintain ties with an island that suddenly looks like a brighter economic […]

Castro: This pope’s so impressive, I might return to church

Pope Francis meets Cuban President Raul Castro during a private audience at the Vatican, Sunday, May 10, 2015. Cuban President Raul Castro has been welcomed at the Vatican by Pope Francis, who played a key role in the breakthrough between Washington and Havana aimed at restoring U.S.-Cuban diplomatic ties. | GREGORIO BORGIA, POOL AP PHOTO […]

Trip to Cuba represents Minnesota orchestra’s revival

HAVANA, May 9  (AP)  When the Minnesota Orchestra plays in Cuba this week, the visit will not only symbolize the reopening of relations between the United States and Cuba, but also healing for an acclaimed ensemble that was “almost destroyed” by a long and bitter lockout. The orchestra, led by music director Osmo Vanska, will become […]

Cuba and China develop 18-hole golf course

HAVANA, May 9 In the early days of the Cuban Revolution, the government regarded golf as a bourgeois hobby and the island’s few golf clubs were allowed to languish. But on the closing day of this year’s International Tourism Fair, Cuba signed a letter of intent to build what would be only its second 18-hole […]

Cuba expects record number of tourists in 2015

HAVANA, Mai 9  (EFE)  Cuba expects to surpass this year the record sum of foreign tourists and revenues it attracted in 2014, a year when the island’s tourism industry took in $2.7 billion, according to figures released this week at the International Tourism Fair, or FitCuba. Last year for the first time Cuba crossed the […]

Netherlands offers to mediate to spur Cuba-EU negotiations

HAVANA, May 8  (EFE) Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said Thursday in Havana that his country is ready to act as a mediator to “stimulate” the negotiations between Cuba and the European Union for a bilateral accord on the basis of the “solid relationship” The Netherlands has with the island. Holland’s top diplomat noted that […]