Cuba

Deputy John Allen, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

A group of nine Cuban migrants arrived on Grassy Key, at mile marker 57.6 of the Florida Keys, around 2:20 a.m.  Tuesday after a 10-day journey from the island, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. 

Authorities indicated that the group was traveling in a boat that was found later behind the Rainbow Bend Resort.  

All the migrants were turned over to agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Travelers to Cuba get something extra with the cost of their tickets -- health insurance.

Cuba doesn't accept American health insurance, so airlines purchase policies for travelers.

Brittany Peterson / McClatchy via Miami Herald

Only 5 percent of Cuba’s population has home Internet access. It’s one of the world’s lowest connectivity rates – but the island’s communist government may finally be moving this week to rectify that.

Travelers to Cuba should bring lots of mosquito repellant -- not just for themselves.

The Zika virus is being spread by mosquitos in Cuba, so travelers are being told to bring bug spray to protect themselves.

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Rolando Pujol Rodriguez

When President Barack Obama arrived in Cuba, it was the latest turn in a major shift in US-Cuba relations away from animosity and skepticism.

However, it will take more than a presidential visit to totally defuse the decades-old tension. Leaders of both countries will have to address many existing policies and laws that have not changed for years, including the trade embargo and the quirk in US immigration policy that almost encourages Cubans to migrate here.

Mote Marine Laboratory

A rare species of shark swims past the Florida Keys, Cuba and the Bahamas as it journeys between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, a new study has found.

The study was conducted by American and Cuban scientists working together and provides a rare glimpse at the behavior of the longfin mako shark.

Two sharks were tagged with satellite trackers, one in 2012 and one in 2015.

AP

Cuba’s communist leadership remains reluctant to open the island to more free market reforms and foreign investment. But Cuba’s latest economic data for 2016 might make those hardliners reconsider.

Just a few months ago, Cuba’s economy was forecast to grow 1 percent this year. It wasn’t much; but at least it was growth. This week, President Raúl Castro has admitted even that was an illusion: Cuba’s GDP, he said, will actually shrink 1 percent in 2016 - the first economic contraction in more than 20 years.

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Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Cuba. The four-letter word carries a lot of meaning here in the United States: Communism. Exile. Cigars. Rum. For the Kennedy administration, it probably just meant ... a four-letter word.

But for many others countries, Cuba means something different. To understand it, all you have to do is change the lens through which you view the country.

Remove the US and a whole different island appears.

Virtual Reality Takes You To Cuban Raves

Dec 26, 2016
Courtesy of Joyce Lanxin Zhao

Fifer Garbesi is creating a virtual Cuban rave.

She’s making a virtual reality film about the Cuban electronic music scene which so impressed her when she studied filmmaking on the island in the Spring of 2015, because she thinks there’s something special about electronic music concerts in Cuba.

 

JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES

This week on The Florida Roundup...

2016 was a big year. It played host to a long contentious and historic election with Donald Trump winning the presidency--with a big hand from Florida. 

YouTube/Empty Head Games

HAVANA – At a relative’s house in Miami's Coconut Grove, Cuban artist Josuhe Pagliery is showing me something on his laptop that looks what he calls "super cool." (That's the English translation. I can't print the Spanish expression.)

Associated Press

What started with a phone call two years ago may end in a tweet early next year.

The changes in the relationship between the U-S and Cuba have been dramatic and quiet, slow and significant since Dec. 17, 2014 when President Barack Obama began a new strategy of engagement with Cuba.

Alan Diaz / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

In June I moderated a Miami panel on renewed U.S.-Cuba relations. The panelists, all  Cuban-Americans, represented the pro- and anti-normalization sides. But the normalization team had the momentum.

Washington-Havana détente “is the new normal,” one pro-engagement panelist assured the audience. “There’s no going back,” he insisted.

Except there is.

Is Obamacare really a creation of the "liberal elite?"  And have things gotten worse in Cuba for dissidents since Fidel Castro stepped down from office? WUSF's Steve Newborn digs into those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

HAVANA – In a eulogy last week in Havana for his brother Fidel Castro, Cuban President Raúl Castro often saluted los jóvenes – young people. But it couldn’t hide the fact that communist Cuba is still run by much older people. Like Raúl, who’s 85.

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