Cuba

Associated Press

Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90.

With a shaking voice, his younger brother, Raul Castro, announced on state television that his brother died at 10:29 p.m. on Friday night.

Luis Choy / Special to the Miami Herald

Next month marks the second anniversary of normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba – and things couldn’t look more uncertain. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to cancel normalization unless Cuba delivers more democratic reform. But even before Trump’s election, Cuba seemed to be closing rather than opening the door to U.S. business.

A Museum 10 Years In The Making Emerges For Cuban Exiles

Nov 18, 2016
Rebekah Entralgo / WLRN

Those who have driven on Coral Way in Miami over the past 10 years may be familiar with a banner across a building that read, "Cuban museum coming soon." Now that museum is finally complete.

Originally founded in 1996 as the "Cuban Museum," the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora has been undergoing a rebranding process. 

"The name 'Cuban Museum' could mean anything about Cuba," said founding director Ileana Fuentes. "We wanted this museum to be focused on the art of the exiles."

DIMENSIONS DANCE THEATRE OF MIAMI

Robin Thom / Insight Cuba

Last month they ran the Key Biscayne Half Marathon – with a big new prize.

“They said, 'You’re gonna go to Cuba,'" says Elliott Mason, who won the race and gets a paid trip to run in the Havana Marathon this Sunday. “I had no idea that Havana had a marathon.”

But like a growing number of U.S. runners, now that he knows, he wants to get to the starting line.

THE MIAMI HERALD

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Tom Hudson / WLRN.org

When the U.S. and Cuba normalized relations two years ago, hope sprang eternal that Americans could now do business on the island. But we got another reminder this week that it may also require eternal patience.

Last February, President Obama approved plans by an Alabama enterprise to build the first U.S. factory in Cuba in more than half a century.

The U.N. General Assembly votes every year on a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.S. has always opposed the symbolic measure.

But today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Samantha Power told the General Assembly that for the first time, the U.S. would abstain.

You might assume that with the thawing of relations between Cuba and the U.S., Cubans would see positive change at home, and less reason to attempt the perilous water crossing to Florida. You'd assume wrong.

U.S. law enforcement authorities are confronting a surge of Cuban migrants trying to make the journey by boat across the Florida Straits; it's the highest numbers they've seen in two decades.

ARIANNA PROTHERO / WLRN

This week on The Florida Roundup...

King Tides are a natural, seasonal occurrence when the sun and moon align to pull the tides higher than normal, typically by a couple of feet. But, with sea-level rise caused by climate change, this seasonal event may become a regular occurrence. So, how should we begin preparing for it in South Florida? WLRN's Kate Stein, Miami Herald reporter Jenny Staletovich and Broward County's Chief Climate Resilience Officer Dr. Jennifer Jurado address this concern.

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The product that helped define Tampa will face new competition under an executive order issued on Friday by the Obama administration.

The directive lifts the $100 limit on Cuban cigars that travelers can bring into the U.S., which could spell trouble for the last operating cigar factory in Tampa.

As of Monday, U.S. citizens who travel to Cuba will no longer be limited to bringing back goods worth up to $400 — including $100 worth of tobacco and alcohol. President Obama ordered the changes, which also clear the way for Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals to gain U.S. regulatory approval.

Instead of those special quotas, normal limits on Americans' importation of foreign products for personal use will apply.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Rain fell across much of Cuba Thursday as the arduous task of recovering from Hurricane Matthew's devastating march across the island's easternmost tip cranked up.

In Baracoa, where some homes were reduced to tinder and the power grid was severely damaged, work brigades, communications crews and linesmen began arriving from Las Tunas, Camagüey and Guantànamo soon after high winds subsided on Wednesday. 

Members of the Cuban military also were helping remove boulders and other debris that made some roads impassable.

Dieu Naleio Chery / AP via Miami Herald

The news from Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is certainly bad – especially on Haiti’s southwest peninsula. But it's perhaps not all as bad as it could have been for the rest of the western hemisphere's poorest country.

Matthew pounded southwest Haiti on Tuesday with winds of 145 miles per hour and more than 20 inches of rain. At least five deaths have been reported there - and low-lying cities like Les Cayes suffered catastrophic flooding that’s forced 15,000 people from their homes.

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