Cuba

Since President Obama opened a door to Cuba, there's been progress in the past year. Americans can travel there. The two countries reopened their embassies and have agreed to re-establish commercial air travel.

But on the financial front, progress has been slow. After a year, there's just one U.S. financial institution doing business with Cuba — and it's a small bank in Pompano Beach, Fla.

Noel López / Ocean Doctor

David Guggenheim fell in love with scuba diving and coral reefs in the 1970s when he attended a marine science camp in the Florida Keys. But over a career as a scientist and conservationist, he watched those coral reefs degrade and disappear.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

It’s been almost a year since President Obama announced the U.S. was normalizing relations with communist Cuba. Some Cuban dissidents embrace the move. But others - including artist Danilo Maldonado, known as "El Sexto" - say it’s done little to improve human rights on the island.

“El Sexto" (which means "the Sixth" in Spanish) just got out of prison in Cuba and is visiting Miami this week to convey that message.

PENAS BLANCAS, Costa Rica — As summer began to bake the central Cuban city of Sancti Spiritus, Elio Alvarez and Lideisy Hernandez sold their tiny apartment and everything in it for $5,000 and joined the largest migration from their homeland in decades.

The United States and Cuba signed an agreement Wednesday to join forces and protect the vast array of fish and corals they share as countries separated by just 90 miles (140 kilometers), the first environmental accord since announcing plans to renew diplomatic relations.

"We recognize we all share the same ocean and face the same challenges of understanding, managing, and conserving critical marine resources for future generations," said Kathryn Sullivan, chief of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA

  The marine environments of Cuba and the U.S. have always shared the same resources.

Now the managers of marine protected areas in both countries will start sharing information.

This week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Park Service signed an agreement with Cuba's Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

The easing of travel restrictions to Cuba could unleash a torrent of 'Yanqui' tourists, something that has the potential to transform a poor island that is rich in history, architecture and natural beauty.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Cuban culture has dominated Miami for decades. Cuban-Americans are the area’s largest Latino group and have loads of political representation.

 

But the number -- and influence -- of immigrants from other Latin American countries is growing. And there’s a tense debate over the immigration privileges Cubans enjoy -- because no other immigrant group gets them.

Spree Expeditions / PRNewsFoto

Fifteen years ago, when Frank Wasson bought the motor vessel Spree, the boat was based in Texas and mostly ran dive charters to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. But he had another destination in mind.

author’s collection / Carteles magazine

The 2015 Major League Baseball season has come to an end. For baseball fans that could mean following another sport, or catching up on baseball history. "Havana Hardball, Spring Training, Jackie Robinson and the Cuban League" has enough history and statistics for any die-hard fan.

Chabeli Herrera

Cuba is not foreign territory to American Airlines. It's been flying there from South Florida since 1991, though technically not as American Airlines. It flies an average of 22 of charter flights a week to the island from Miami and Tampa. It plans to launch another charter from Los Angeles before the year is over. And it wants more.

 

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8065/8266066249_2bac85a7c5_z.jpg
Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

  Howard Kass, Ubaldo Huerta and Hiram Centelles already are doing business in Cuba. They hope to do more next year as relations thaw and the Communist island opens itself up to more commerce with the United States. 

World Circuit Records

It’s been more than half a century since any musical artists living in Cuba have performed at the White House. But los cubanos will take the stage there Thursday night –  and it turns out many Americans will recognize the tunes.

Carnival Corp.

What would a U.S. tourist invasion of Cuba be without yanqui cruise ships – especially cruise ships owned by the Miami-based Carnival Corporation?

Last summer the Obama Administration gave U.S. cruise lines the green light to drop anchor for the communist island. Pending Cuba’s approval, Carnival plans to have its Fathom brand’s 710-passenger ship Adonia heading to Havana’s port by May. It will mark the first time in more than half a century that a U.S.-owned cruise vessel has docked there.

Credit O Cinema

There were no steadicams in 1964, no lightweight cameras or drone-cams.  Perhaps that's why film lovers watching “Soy Cuba” for the first time get understandably excited by what has become known as the “hotel shot.”   At the start of the film, a camera pans across the upper decks of a Havana hotel during a beauty contest, then descends straight down to the pool level as if held by ghostly hands.  The camera pans across bathing beauties basking in lounge chairs, then actually goes underwater in the hotel pool.

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