Cuba

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.

c
Deepa Fernandes

When Cuban American Osmel Hernández recently arrived back in Havana after years living in Los Angeles, he was struck by the lack of commercialization. “Everything is virgin here,” he said, referring to the lack of big-box chain stores and fast-food outlets.

“You can tell that today in this country [where] you don’t see a McDonald’s [on] the corner, it’s a virgin country,” Hernández said.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Last summer the first U.S. commercial flights to Cuba in more than half a century took off to jubilant fanfare - and landed to cheers and water cannon salutes. U.S. airlines were giddy about resuming commercial flights to the communist island.

Maybe too giddy.

PETA

The Kardashians have visited Cuba. So have Chanel models. So it was just a matter of time before animal rights activists showed up wearing bikinis made of lettuce. Right?

They did indeed fly to Cuba on Tuesday – but something might be wrong with this picture.

Most people want Cuba to be democratic. They want it to be Internet accessible. Now the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, wants the island to get vegan.

These Cuban Americans are spending their own money to send others to Cuba

Feb 17, 2017
O
Maria Murriel/PRI

For decades, some Cuban exiles have felt disdain at the thought of visiting their home island. That's meant some Cuban Americans have only stories, or maybe a few photos or keepsakes, from their families' native land. But now, four children of exiles are trying to help young Cuban Americans form their own memories of Cuba.

Tornasol Films/Netflix

Veteran actor Jorge Perugorría was a smart choice to play detective Mario Conde – if only because Perugorría is 51 years old.

 

A Cuban trade delegation visited Port Everglades in Broward County on Thursday - and the port and the Cubans were supposed to sign an agreement. But Florida’s governor made sure that didn’t happen.

Scott Warns Ports About Trading With Cuba

Jan 26, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott is using Twitter to threaten funding cuts for port operators that do business with Cuba, as legal cargo arrived Wednesday at Port Everglades from the island nation.

Pages