Cuba

WLRN

Sundial's guests for Wednesday, April 18:

Cuba's Raul Castro stepped down and the new leader of the communist island is Miguel Diaz-Canel. WLRN's Tim Padgett discusses what the new president means for U.S.-Cuba relations.

AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Covering Cuba, I’ve long followed this maxim: If both the communist leadership in Havana and the exile leadership in Miami are angry at you, you’ve probably done your job right.

I felt that way 10 years ago this very week, when I wrote that Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl disagreed on economic policy.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has been elected president of Cuba, officially ending the Castro family's decades of domination of the country's highest office. The Communist Party formally announced the presidency's transition from Raúl Castro on Thursday, in what might better be described as a coronation than an election.

Cuba's New President Is The First Non-Castro In 42 Years. How Much Power Will He Have?

Apr 19, 2018
Associated Press

Cuba's new President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel grew up in the Cuban revolution and it's clear his mission is to make sure it survives.

Ismael Francisco / AP via Miami Herald

Updated April 19, 2018

Cuba’s likely new president is a good generation younger than the Castro crowd he’s replacing. The younger generation of Cuban exiles here doesn’t expect that to mean change on the communist island. But many say it’s better than what Cuba has now.

Miguel Díaz-Canel Is The Only Official Candidate For Cuba's Next President

Apr 18, 2018
Associated Press

Miguel Díaz-Canel, who wasn't even born at the time of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, is the only candidate proposed for president by Cuba's National Assembly, which voted Wednesday on a successor to the retiring Raúl Castro.

Cuba's parliament, however, won't officially reveal the results of the vote until it readjourns Thursday.

Ismael Francisco / AP via Miami Herald

On Wednesday, Cuba may have a new president, elected by the National Assembly. (The election session had been scheduled to start Thursday, but the government moved it up a day.)

“Election” is a relative term here – Cuba is a communist state – but something does set it apart.

Associated Press

Cuba moved up by a day the historic legislative session in which Raúl Castro will leave the presidency. The session of the National Assembly will be on Wednesday instead of Thursday, official press reported Monday.

The Council of State said it was moving up the meeting of the National Assembly in order to “facilitate the development of the steps that such a transcendental session requires.” The National Assembly session will begin at 9 a.m. in Havana’s Convention Palace.

Katie Lepri / WLRN News

Guests for Sundial Tuesday April 10, 2018:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that he will run for the Senate. He will be challenging  incumbent democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.  Politico Florida Senior Editor Sergio Bustos joined the program via Skype to discuss Scott's announcement .

Holocaust Survivor

U.S. Attorney Southern District of Florida

The Bay of Pigs is one of the darkest episodes of Cuban-American history. But that failed 1961 attempt by Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro had another dark result. Some of its resentful veterans came back to the U.S. to form a violent Cuban-American mafia called The Corporation.

Evan Vucci / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

When Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died two years ago, then U.S. President Barack Obama issued a lame response: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Mister Rogers would have offered a tougher assessment of Castro, a communist caudillo whose repressive revolution has ruled Cuba for 59 years. When Obama’s statement reached Havana, you could hear regime apparatchiks high-fiving each other all over the island.

A construction crew from Detroit did something last week that might have been hard to imagine in a different era: board a plane to meet a team of Cuban architects and engineers outside Havana.

They gathered at a hillside home that overlooks the capital city, and worked together on a project to protect literary artifacts and the personal belongings of a famous American writer.

Associated Press

For Rene, Miami has been a lonely place since his wife died eight years ago.

Although the 78-year-old from Guantánamo, Cuba, lives with his daughter and granddaughter, he’s alone most of his time. So in July, he asked for Cuban government permission to return.

“The loneliness kills me,” said Rene. “The end of the road for old people here is an institution because the family cannot take care of us,” he said. “And that would be the worst that can happen to me.”

Associated Press

The United States has decided maintain a reduced staff at its embassy in Havana, the Department of State announced Friday.

“The embassy will continue to operate with the minimum personnel necessary to perform core diplomatic and consular functions, similar to the level of emergency staffing maintained during ordered departure,” the State Department said in a statement. “The embassy will operate as an unaccompanied post, defined as a post at which no family members are permitted to reside.”

It’s a mystery fit for a Cold War-era spy novel. In late 2016, officials with the US embassy in Havana started hearing strange noises that seemed to be directed right at their homes or hotel rooms.

Most called it a high-pitched sound. Some said it sounded like grinding metal, while others compared it to a kind of hum. Many said they felt pressure changes too, like the feeling of driving down a highway with only one car window open.

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