If you needed any reminding of how archaic and clueless U.S. policy on Cuba can be – and the extent to which it so often actually aids an oppressive communist dictatorship – look no further than Thursday’s excellent Associated Press article about the “Cuban Twitter” fiasco.
It may or not be a coincidence that Cuban leader Raúl Castro disclosed his new foreign investment law this week just as Venezuela was getting another big thumbs-down from the financial world.
Cuba’s threadbare communist economy depends on kindred benefactors like socialist Venezuela. But as that oil-rich country’s own economy continues to implode – the Fitch Ratings company downgraded Venezuelan credit to “Outlook Negative” on Tuesday – Castro has no choice but to open his island’s rusted doors more broadly to capital, capitalism and capitalists.
Sandra Ramos has never wanted to emigrate from Cuba, but in her more than four decades on the island, she has seen many people leave.
Their absence resonates throughout her work. The image of her as a 10-year-old is plastered behind a wall of palm trees, trapped on the island. In another piece, her school girl's body lies across a gaping space in the middle of a bridge, trying to connect two separate lands.
"It's a perspective on immigration from those who stay," Ramos said.
Talking about sugar in South Florida is like talking about politics and religion in polite company. Few people are without strong opinions about the sugarcane farms stretching across the eastern Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee. The industry is a mix of government price policies, environmental regulations, trade practices and the demand for food.
Charlie Crist, Florida’s ex-Republican governor and now its leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, assumed a real political risk this month: He called on Washington to lift the 52-year-old U.S. trade embargo against communist Cuba.
In an interview with WLRN, Crist insisted his changed stance is a matter of common sense.
The death -- or not -- of Wynwood is our most popular story this week, topping out with more than double the views of the other stories in this list. Perhaps the loss of Wynwood's "authenticity" resonates with more South Floridians than opening relations with Cuba, a move that according to recent surveys most Floridians would back. Read on to find out what else made our list this week.
At LAB Miami in Wynwood this past weekend, local software developers and designers formed teams to compete for the best app that would give Cubans on the island uncensored Internet access, calling it the first ever “Cuba Hackathon.”
The event was organized by Roots of Hope, a network of young professionals working to “empower Cuba’s youth.”
Alex Saleh, owner of 207 Quickstop, a convenience store in Miami Gardens, had hours of video footage showing police questioning or arresting black customers, who, records show, had committed no serious crime.
Allegations that Miami Gardens police harassed and intimidated black employees and customers at one convenience store has led to the resignation of that city’s police chief. Julie Brown from the Miami Herald says that the city's police chief, who is black, is actually a rarity: nearly all of the commanders and most squad officers are white and Hispanic, although Miami Gardens is predominantly black.
There are two basic realities about Cuba’s communist dictatorship that U.S. policy, and the anti-Castro hardliners that shape it, prefer to ignore. The first is that the Castro brothers will almost certainly die in power. The second is that market-oriented economic reforms, albeit tentative, are as much a part of Cuba’s landscape today as 1956 Chevrolets.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:02 pm
In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:
"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.