Cuba

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COMMENTARY

If you’ve lived in Miami long enough, you’re used to seeing all things Cuban – all things – refracted through a political prism.

Music. Art. Baseball. Rum. Animal rights activists in lettuce bikinis promoting veganism in Havana. (Yeah, see the angry comments on my report about that last month.)

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Deepa Fernandes

At a recent bolero concert at Havana’s Cine Acapulco, emcee and lead crooner, Alberto, had the audience entranced. He poked fun at himself and them. He also recited a love poem. Later, three other dapper men joined Alberto onstage, and together, they sang traditional Cuban love songs.

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Deepa Fernandes

When Cuban American Osmel Hernández recently arrived back in Havana after years living in Los Angeles, he was struck by the lack of commercialization. “Everything is virgin here,” he said, referring to the lack of big-box chain stores and fast-food outlets.

“You can tell that today in this country [where] you don’t see a McDonald’s [on] the corner, it’s a virgin country,” Hernández said.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Last summer the first U.S. commercial flights to Cuba in more than half a century took off to jubilant fanfare - and landed to cheers and water cannon salutes. U.S. airlines were giddy about resuming commercial flights to the communist island.

Maybe too giddy.

PETA

The Kardashians have visited Cuba. So have Chanel models. So it was just a matter of time before animal rights activists showed up wearing bikinis made of lettuce. Right?

They did indeed fly to Cuba on Tuesday – but something might be wrong with this picture.

Most people want Cuba to be democratic. They want it to be Internet accessible. Now the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, wants the island to get vegan.

These Cuban Americans are spending their own money to send others to Cuba

Feb 17, 2017
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Maria Murriel/PRI

For decades, some Cuban exiles have felt disdain at the thought of visiting their home island. That's meant some Cuban Americans have only stories, or maybe a few photos or keepsakes, from their families' native land. But now, four children of exiles are trying to help young Cuban Americans form their own memories of Cuba.

Tornasol Films/Netflix

Veteran actor Jorge Perugorría was a smart choice to play detective Mario Conde – if only because Perugorría is 51 years old.

 

A Cuban trade delegation visited Port Everglades in Broward County on Thursday - and the port and the Cubans were supposed to sign an agreement. But Florida’s governor made sure that didn’t happen.

Scott Warns Ports About Trading With Cuba

Jan 26, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott is using Twitter to threaten funding cuts for port operators that do business with Cuba, as legal cargo arrived Wednesday at Port Everglades from the island nation.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Three years ago, arts groups in Key West and Cuba started an exchange with visual artists displaying their works on both islands. Now that exchange has moved onto the stage.

"Eclipse" was written by Jazz Vilá, a Cuban actor and director known for his work in movies like "Juan of the Dead." He also appears in one episode of the new Netflix series "Four Seasons in Havana."

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Donald Trump becomes President on Friday – and now here we wait to see how he plans to keep his pledge to roll back normalized relations with Cuba.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

When Donald Trump becomes President on Friday, what we’ll be asking in South Florida is: Will he cancel normalized relations with Cuba? And will he still let Americans travel there?

But here's another question: If Trump does allow Americans to visit Cuba, will they reconsider how they visit the island? Will they think about something Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco told me a couple years ago:

Miami Herald-Jennifer Smits

This week on The Florida Roundup...

The Obama administration repealed the "wet foot, dry foot" policy for Cubans. This ends a special privilege that allowed Cubans who make it to U.S. sand or soil to stay. 

There's a popular saying in Spanish — O todos en la cama, o todos en el suelo. It conveys a selfless commitment to equal treatment, and translates roughly like this: Either we all get the bed, or we all get the floor.

Among many immigrants in the U.S., there's been a feeling that when it comes to the spoils of U.S. immigration policy, the government has given Cubans the bed all to themselves, while it has relegated others — Mexicans, Haitians, Central Americans — to the floor.

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