Cuba

Apps and Activists
11:31 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Hackathon For Cuba Developers Try To Free The Island's Internet

One of the competitors during his solo presentation to the judges.
Diego Saldana-Rojas WLRN

At LAB Miami in Wynwood this past weekend, local software developers and designers formed teams to compete for the best app that would give Cubans on the island uncensored Internet access, calling it the first ever “Cuba Hackathon.”

The event was organized by Roots of Hope, a network of young professionals working to “empower Cuba’s youth.”

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Latin America Report
10:37 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Alan Gross And The Vatican: Could The Keys Of St. Peter Unlock A Cuban Jail Cell?

Alan Gross, left, with his wife and two daughters at his Maryland home before his 2009 arrest in Cuba.
Credit Gross family

Can the Vatican free Alan Gross in Cuba? It helps first to consider how the Roman Catholic Church freed itself in Cuba.

Cuba has seen surprising turns in recent years. Fidel Castro handing the communist dictatorship to his younger brother Raúl. Raúl decreeing capitalist reforms to save the communist dictatorship.

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The Florida Roundup
12:15 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Handcuffs And A Handshake: A Roundup Of This Week In South Florida

Alex Saleh, owner of 207 Quickstop, a convenience store in Miami Gardens, had hours of video footage showing police questioning or arresting black customers, who, records show, had committed no serious crime.
Credit Alex Saleh

 

Allegations that Miami Gardens police harassed and intimidated black employees and customers at one convenience store has led to the resignation of that city’s police chief. Julie Brown from the Miami Herald says that the city's police chief, who is black, is actually a rarity: nearly all of the commanders and most squad officers are white and Hispanic, although Miami Gardens is predominantly black.

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Americas
10:22 am
Thu November 7, 2013

A Soft — And Prosperous — Landing For Cubans Is In The U.S.'s Interest

A private Cuban shop vendor
Credit Brookings Institution

There are two basic realities about Cuba’s communist dictatorship that U.S. policy, and the anti-Castro hardliners that shape it, prefer to ignore. The first is that the Castro brothers will almost certainly die in power. The second is that market-oriented economic reforms, albeit tentative, are as much a part of Cuba’s landscape today as 1956 Chevrolets.

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Americas
7:13 am
Wed October 30, 2013

U.N. Condemns U.S. Embargo Of Cuba, Again

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:02 pm

In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.

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Americas
7:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Cuba's Currency Correction: Will Castro Fall Short Again?

Cuban leader Raul Castro (middle) recently with other senior members of the Communist Party elite.
Credit Flickr

Last year I spoke by phone with a frustrated woman in Santiago, Cuba, who was trying to start a seamstress business. It’s the sort of small private enterprise that Cuban leader Raúl Castro claims to be encouraging as part of free-market reforms meant to salvage the island’s threadbare, communist economy. (But don’t dare say Raúl is copying China’s communist-capitalist system. That makes him mad.)

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Community Contributor
7:00 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Why Bridal Showers Remain A Rite Of Passage For Cuban Wives, Mothers

Mimosas, that sweet and sparkly celebratory concoction so popular at bridal showers, where women sip, whisper and share.

I recently attended a bridal shower, one of those consequences that I face as a result of accumulating too much bad karma. I am only half kidding. There’s just something awful about one hundred or so women in one room. There’s only so much gossip, small talk and platitudes that I can take.

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Americas
8:32 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the country— the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago — has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:21 pm

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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Americas
3:48 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Cuba To Phase Out Two-Peso Currency System

A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:09 pm

Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.

The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.

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Americas
7:30 am
Thu October 3, 2013

'Castrocare' Divides Doctors In Cuba, Brazil

Cuba is sending thousands of badly needed doctors to Brazil, but Brazil's medical establishment has sought to block the program. Here, Cuban Dr. Yocelin Macias treats a patient in the capital Brasilia on Aug. 30.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:48 am

Call it "Castrocare." Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro sent doctors abroad for decades to work throughout Latin America and as far away as Africa.

In some cases, like Haiti, the medical missions were seen as purely humanitarian. In other places, like Venezuela, it was a form of barter that provided Cuba with subsidized oil imports.

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The Florida Roundup
9:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Was The Miami Trial Of The Cuban Five Fair?

Credit Elaine Chen

On a special edition of The Florida Roundup, we discuss the controversial case of the Cuban Five, Cuban agents who were convicted in 2001 of espionage along with other charges.

In Cuba, they are called heroes, their faces on billboards across the island country. In the U.S., they are relatively unknown spies.  

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Food
7:58 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Beyond Cuba: Foods Of Latino-Caribbean Cuisine

Tom Gilbert for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:24 pm

Looking back on my history with Latino and Caribbean food, I can see that Cuban was a gateway cuisine. Powerless in my youth before moro rice (black beans and rice cooked together) and ropa vieja (shredded flank steak slow-cooked in a tomato-based sauce), in middle age I became hooked on the spicy and soulful cooking of the wider Caribbean, which led to eating adventures even farther south of Key West. All of these have left their mark on my backyard grilling style.

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Sports
11:11 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Slideshow: Swimmer Diana Nyad Finally Makes It From Havana to Key West, Sets World Record

Key West resident Tom Theisen points to Diana Nyad's flotilla, still a few miles offshore Monday morning.
Tom Theisen

"She freaking made it." That's what the note posted at 3:14 p.m. to the Google map on her website, where Diana Nyad's journey had been tracked in yellow dots and time stamps, said. Thirty-five years after her first attempt, Nyad did it -- she reached the shores of Smathers Beach in Key West Monday, after pushing off from Havana on Saturday. This was her fifth try, and her fourth in three years.

The 64-year-old swam 111 miles and now holds the world record for swimming the farthest without a shark cage. 

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Americas
7:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Why We Can't Blame Cuba For Our Doctor Shortages

Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha (right) welcomes Cuban doctors in the capital Brasília.
Credit Cadenagramonte

Millions of angry Brazilians have taken to the streets this summer to demonstrate against their government and political class. And right now we’re seeing a vivid example of why: the controversy over Brazil’s recruitment of 4,000 Cuban doctors to work in its remote regions.

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The Cuban Kitchen
11:44 am
Wed August 21, 2013

The Cuban Kitchen: How Nitza Villapol Brought Mother, Daughter Closer Together

Bren and Betty Herrera cook at Betty's house in Virginia. The Herrera children often have dinner at their parents' house.
Credit Bren Herrera

Bren Herrera, 34, grew up hearing her mother, Betty, 62, tell stories about life as a young wife and mother in 1960's and 1970's Cuba, when food shortages and rationing were part of life.

They would both laugh over a story about a drunken chicken Betty smuggled into Havana from the countryside. (Below is the full, translated story, as told by Betty Herrera. The story was edited for radio.)

  The Tale of the Drunken Chicken

We went to visit friends in Pinar del Rio, in the countryside. 

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