Cuba

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

President Trump will be in Miami Friday to unveil his new Cuba policy, which will reverse some of his predecessor’s normalization measures. The main targets are Cuba’s military – and wannabe American tourists.

Andrew Harnik / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

I don’t usually feel sorry for Central American heads of state. Too many of them, right-wing or left-wing, have done their damnedest to perpetuate the image of the corrupt, tin-pot strongman.

At first glance, it might seem like an old Midwest steel town like Cleveland wouldn’t have much in common with a tropical island capital like Cuba’s Havana. But, a group of urban designers from both cities are finding that they share some problems and can help each other find solutions.

David C. Barnett (@DCBstream) from Here & Now contributor WCPN ideastream reports.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

President Trump is preparing to announce changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, possibly tightening restrictions on travel and trade that were loosened under former President Barack Obama.

Trump is expected to announce the changes in Miami on Friday.

The move was confirmed by a congressional source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been leading the push for a more restrictive policy, along with his fellow Cuban-American, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.

Lisette Poole / Airbnb

In Miami-Dade County, Airbnb has become a big business and political controversy. But across the Florida Straits in Cuba, there are few complaints about the online lodging service.

In fact, Airbnb is urging the Trump Administration not to roll back normalized relations with Cuba. And it’s stepping into Cuba politics because it’s doing so well in Cuba business. This week Airbnb reports that Cubans have netted $40 million the past two years by using the online service to rent their homes and rooms to short-term visitors.

Cliff Owen / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

While South Florida breathlessly awaits President Trump’s decision on whether to roll back his predecessor’s normalization of relations with Cuba, something else is happening in Washington that could nudge normalization forward – or severely set it back.

Ross McDonnell

In 2000, the United States and Cuba were at war. Not over embargoes or political ideology,  but over the future of a 6-year-old Cuban boy.

  The child had been found months earlier clinging to an inner tube off Florida after his mother and others drowned trying to reach the United States. In Cuba, his father wanted him back; his family in Miami wanted to keep him here.

The boy is a man now — and when he appears at the start of a new documentary that bears his name, he says simply: "I'm Elián González. You may remember me, you may not ..."

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

This week on The Florida Roundup...

President Donald Trump embarks on his first overseas trip since taking office visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican before meeting with NATO and the G7. The trip comes as foreign policy talk has been dominated by  scandal surrounding the alleged administration links with Russia.  

Cuba is not an easy place to buy things. Food is rationed, wages are low, and the black market is a way of life.

But now, Cubans can buy shirts with those little alligators on them at Lacoste. Or at L'Occitane en Provence, face cream for $162.40 an ounce. Or watches in the $10,000s.

Ernest Hemingway liked to get up early.

He did his best writing in the morning, standing in front of his typewriter, plucking the keys as fast as the words might come to him. This was fortunate, because by 11 a.m., the Havana heat began to creep into his rented room at the Hotel Ambos Mundos. He couldn't think in the swelter, much less write.

Mark Hedden / WLRN

The end of the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allowed Cuban refugees who made it to U.S. soil to stay in the country, also means the end of another phenomenon in the Florida Keys: refugee boats that were abandoned in remote islands.

Courtesy

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.)

a
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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