HAVANA, July 14th  (Reuters)  Cuba’s first new train passenger cars in more than four decades set off on their maiden…

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HAVANA, July 12th Three of the 34 bases to place the wind turbines of the La Herradura-1 wind farm, in the north of Las Tunas,…

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HAVANA, July 12th  (AFP) For decades, their songs were banned, and even called the “music of the enemy.” But Cuba’s rockers have finally found their place in a nation where salsa, rumba, and reggaeton usually reign.

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HAVANA, July 11 (Reuters)   Tourism to Cuba will likely drop 8.5% this year in the wake of tighter U.S. restrictions on travel to the Caribbean island,…

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HAVANA, July 11th “There are no timetables, only rumors.” Charles Nicholl’s assessment of Latin American travel happens to describe the railways of Colombia, but it sums up trains in Bolivia, Panama and all stations to Havana Central equally well.

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HAVANA, Jul 11th (PL) Habanos S.A. has notified in Havana Wednesday a special presentation for Switzerland on July 12 of the new brand of Punch, Short de Punch.

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HAVANA,  July 10th (Reuters)  The family of the former owners of a Cuban bank seized by Fidel Castro’s government nearly six decades ago sued Societe Generale (SOGN.PA)…

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Havana, Jul 10th (PL) With the opening in late 2019 of the Rainbow Muthu Cayo Guillermo Hotel, the Singapore-based MGM Muthu Chain will have its fourth hotel in Cuba and will reaffirm its commitment to tourism in the island.

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HAVANA, July 10th As its contribution to the XIII Bienal de La Habana—and as a preview of the city’s 500th-anniversary celebration this fall—in April the…

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HAVANA, July 10th A Cuban couple came up with an unusual idea for a destination wedding. Underwater off the coast of Havana.

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HAVANA, Jul 9th  (PL) The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will offer a concert next Sunday in this capital, in which it will have as guest the recognized Swiss conductor Emmanuel Siffert, announced this Tuesday the institution.

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HAVANA, July 8th  Cuban state telco Etecsa aims to have 4G mobile service coverage in all of the country’s 15 provincial capitals by year-end, said president Mayra Arevich.

In March, Etecsa started testing 4G in the northern district of capital Havana, just a few months after it commercially deployed 3G.

“3G is now available in Havana and the municipal capitals. We have started testing 4G in Havana and in the tourist hubs like Varadero and this year we aim to have 4G in all of the municipal capitals. Little by little, we are expanding mobile connectivity to more people,” Arevich said, speaking on the sidelines of a recent telecoms event organized by Asset.

Etecsa made access to 3G commercially available on December 6 with offers ranging from 7 to 30 Cuban convertible pesos (same in US$) per month for capacity in the range from 700MB to 4GB.

Cuba reportedly saw an uptake of 1.8mn users in the first 40 days.

The country had around 5mn mobile lines as of April 2018.

Most Cubans use the prepaid Nauta mobile internet card system, which last year had 1.7mn users.

Arevich said 3G now covers 85% of the population and Etecsa’s focus for this year is to continue expanding capacity to reduce prices and add more users, said Arevich.

However, access to mobile devices is a problem.

“It’s difficult due to the embargo. We don’t have any deals to buy phones at preferential prices, and people have to pay in cash. We have brought phones in but they are insufficient to meet demand,” he said.

However, Arevich underscored that besides basic connectivity, the government is implementing other types of connectivity programs for social and economic development.

Despite the US embargo, Cuba has developed a digital roadmap with 22 projects and two key strategic areas – ICT infrastructure rollout and the production of digital content and services.

Programs are focused on connecting educational and healthcare institutes and developing digital content.
(BNamericas)

HAVANA, July 8th Havana beautiful, decaying, perfumed by diesel fumes and sweet sea air—is a challenging place for an outsider to come to grips with, even after repeated visits: Read more

HAVANA, July 7th  (PL) Over 70 works from 26 countries are competing for the Lucia awards the jury of the 15th International Film Festival of Gibara will grant at the end of the event in Villa Blanca until July 13.

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HAVANA, July 6th (AFP) After making a fortune with his early antivirus software, then caught up in murder and drug cases in Belize, US millionaire John McAfee has added a new chapter to his tumultuous life story. Read more

HAVANA, July 5th   If a Cuban citizen residing in the country decides to start a blog on WordPress, Medium or any other free Internet service, he/she could be fined up to 1,000 pesos (CUP), around 40 USD.

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HAVANA, July 5th Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism has bought ads plastered across buses in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou encouraging Chinese tourists to visit  Cuba,…

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HAVANA, July 5th  (Xinhua) — Cuba opened four solar parks capable of powering some 7,000 households across the nation on Thursday as another step towards a future of sustainable energy.
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HAVANA, July 4th Caribbean Airlines will begin direct flights between Kingston to Havana, Cuba in a few months’ time.

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HAVANA, July 4th When Donald Glover announced back in April that he was releasing an hour-long music video starring Rihanna and Letitia Wright (and himself, of course), the internet pretty much lost its mind.

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HAVANA, July 4th (AFP)  The United States on Wednesday sanctioned Cuba’s state-run oil firm, Cubametales, over continued importation from Venezuela amid an American embargo meant to undermine the Caracas regime.

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Santiago de Cuba, Jul 4 (PL) With a strong folkloric show, the 39th International Caribbean Festival began the eve at the Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba, which will be run until July 9, dedicated to the Uruguayan culture.

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HAVANA, July 3dt  The Cuban government has accused Brazil’s far-right president of depriving Brazilian smokers of “the best Habano cigars in the world” as part of a “servile and perverse” us-backed campaign against Cuba.

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HAVANA, July 3rd (Reuters)  Cuba’s government said on Tuesday it was studying the potential use of cryptocurrency as part of a series of measures to boost its economy amid a deepening crisis exacerbated by U.S. sanctions.
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HAVANA, July 1st (IPS)  The systematization and rise of eco-friendly projects will be one of the most important aspects of the 15th edition of the Gibara Film Festival,…

which will run from July 7th until July 13th, in this coastal city in Cuba’s Holguin province.

Alongside the environmentalist Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation and the Audiovisual Creative Group, “Wajiros Films”, composed of young filmmakers, the event will include actions dedicated to cleaning and conserving Gibara’s coastal areas, as well as workshops where local future film productions will emerge on eco-friendly practices.

The Foundation will give an award for the second time “For a Nature-inspired Culture” and also plans “to clean beaches in two different parts of Gibara,” engineer Yociel Marrero, an expert in Sustainable Consumption and Economy at the foundation, told IPS Cuba.

“Above all, we’re going to be giving a more environmentally-friendly touch to the Festival, bearing in mind the fact that Gibara is a fishing community with a very strong tie to the ocean,” Marrero explained.

This will be the follow-up to an activity that was held last year, when “El Guirito’s local community cleaned just outside of the center of Gibara, where environmental awareness is already present. They made wonderful signs themselves with phrases such as “Without the planet, there is no film,” he recalled.

This city in Holguin province is experiencing a tourism boom and was even declared a tourist destination in 2017.

“We need to raise awareness so that all progress is sustainable and we have eco-friendly tourism, which recognizes all of the natural and environmental assets of the local community,” Marrero added. He noted that Gibara has “very important caves such as Los Panaderos, and Tanque Azul, one of Cuba’s most important underwater caves, as well as cliffs and other important geographic features.”

The Antonio Nunez Foundation will also hold screenings of Cuban and international films that have to do with natural resources and their protection.

According to Marrero, the foundation has carried out other initiatives to support the Gibara people.

“Yamilet Luguera, who is a mammal specialist, recently carried out a friendly evacuation of bats from Gibara’s movie theater, as well as workshops with children and employees at the movie theater about the importance of these animals. It isn’t a matter of going somewhere and killing them,” he said.

“We are also going to join Wajiros Films on the “Introduction to documentary-making and new mediums linked to eco-friendly issues” workshop, so that people living in Gibara who sign up, can reflect their reality, the knowledge they have about Nature and learn about the different ways they can help to protect it.”

The workshop will be held from July 2nd-13th, beginning a week before the Film Festival kicks off.

Carlos Gomez, the founder of Wajiros Films, said that “we are growing and developing our documentary-making careers with the Gibara Film Festival. The simplicity of the event and the grandeur of community spirit has always attracted us.”

“Our socio-cultural actions include this first workshop as a starting point for what we want to become a film appreciation club for making documentaries, which will allow, at the same time, the films to reach a wider audience within the community year-round,” he said.

The workshop’s organizers hope that some of the materials produced and carried out by locals in Gibara will be able to be shown in the city’s main venues by the 2020 edition of the Festival.

Up until now, it is estimated that up to 20 teenagers and young people will sign up, who will learn the principles and basic skills of production, photography, sound and montage, from members of Wajiros Films, who have all graduated from the International Film and TV School in San Antonio de Los Banos on the outskirts of Havana and the University of Arts (ISA).

Gibara Film Festival Program

HAVANA, July 1th The airline Cubana de Aviación, has acquired two new ATR 72-600 model aircraft in an attempt to modernize its scarce and old fleet.

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HAVANA, July 1 From July 4 to July 6 Havana will host a ConBAC Havana’s Craft Cocktail Weekend for three days will put the city around the art of the canteen.

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HAVANA, June 30th  During the decade of the 1980s, Hip Hop landed in Cuba. It was frowned upon by the general public and the government, who viewed it as a cultural invasion from the United States.

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HAVANA, June 30th  IPS Cuba  Located on the capital’s outskirts, the plot is innovating with recycled materials to make the most of the water which used to be wasted.

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HAVANA, June 30th (AFP) Looking into a mirror, Delia Barrios applies blush and lipstick — she wants to look her best for her 102nd birthday celebration when she will be surrounded by loved ones.

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