Cuba

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Three groups of Cuban migrants, totaling 29 men, arrived in the Keys  Sunday and Monday. 

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, 13 men came ashore on Key Largo near mile marker 99 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Felipe Marrou / WLRN TV

Billy Causey has a keen eye for recreational boaters doing dumb things around vulnerable coral reefs in the Florida Keys.

Especially on heavy boating holidays like the Fourth of July.

“Lookee there,” says Causey as his boat heads out from Big Pine Key. He points to a nearby cluster of party boats. “A lot of them are up on the sea grasses and people are walking around on top of small colonies of coral.”

Spencer Parts

 A Florida bank is now offering credit cards that work in Cuba. Stonegate Bank, based in Pompano Beach, began accepting applications for the cards on Tuesday night.

Previously, no U.S. bank offered credit cards that worked on the island, which meant that American businesses, professors and tourists had to carry wads of cash to pay for everything from hotel stays to teacher salaries.

They call her Cuba's Julia Child.

You may not have heard of Nitza Villapol, but for millions of Cubans both on the island and abroad, her recipes offer an abiding taste of home. In many Cuban-American homes, dog-eared, decades-old copies of her cookbooks are considered family treasures.

The Department of Transportation has authorized six U.S. airlines to schedule round-trip flights from the U.S to Cuba — starting as early as this fall.

Star Cuban Ballerinas Ready for Their U.S. Debut

Jun 8, 2016
Spencer Parts

Three of Cuba’s best dancers will make their U.S. debuts in the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami’s performance next Saturday. The dancers came to the U.S. for the chance to expand their repertoire beyond classical ballet, but they start next Saturday with Giselle, a classic romantic ballet they knew well in Cuba.

Mayrel Martinez and Masiel Alonso were soloists in the Cuban National Ballet before they defected last month during a Cuban National Ballet tour in Canada. They arrived in the U.S. on May 9th. 

Surge In Cuban Migration Shows Up At MDC

May 31, 2016

The wait began long before daybreak: By sunrise, more than 100 people had shown up. At 8 a.m., the line stretched down past the end of the building and snaked across the parking lot. Tickets to Hamilton? The new Star Wars movie?

No. The prize today was a coveted spot in English classes through Miami Dade College’s REVEST program, or Refugee/Entrant Vocational Education Services Program. George Delacruz brought his wife to sign up at 4:30 a.m. “Everybody knows, you know, ‘Hey, you have to be early. If not, you’re out!’”

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Last month we thought Cuba’s communist hardliners had put the brakes on growing the island’s private sector. But you never know with Cuba.

Today Havana issued a hopeful reform that Cuba’s half a million fledgling entrepreneurs – or cuentapropistas – have long waited for. The island’s communist government announced that small private businesses may now become genuine legal entities.

  The St. Petersburg Museum of History wants residents’ personal photos of Cuba for their upcoming exhibit “Experience Cuba.”

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Few entrepreneurs straddle the Florida Straits as masterfully as Hugo Cancio.

Cancio arrived in Miami from Cuba 36 years ago during the Mariel boatlift. Today he's one of America’s most high-profile business liaisons to the island. His flagship company, Fuego Enterprises, deals in publishing – it's launched a new magazine, ART OnCuba – as well as music promotion, telecom and finance.

WhiteHouse.gov

A large majority of Miami-Dade voters agree with President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba. But Miami-Dade Cubans are still divided – even if they applaud the President’s recent performance in Havana.

Those are some of the findings of a survey conducted by WLRN, Bendixen and Amandi, the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Univisión 23.

What Went Right And Wrong On Historic Miami-to-Cuba Cruise

May 11, 2016
Patrick Ferrell

The Fathom Adonia returned to Miami shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday; finishing a voyage that circumnavigated Cuba and sailed into the history books as the first regular cruise to travel directly from the United States to Cuba in more than half a century.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Six small catamarans lined up on the beach in Key West at sunrise Tuesday, heading into 17 mph winds to cross the Straits of Florida.

  It was the second edition of the Havana Challenge, where sailors from Key West ventured into the Gulf Stream to visit Cuba.

In last year's race, one boat sank, one broke apart and three others limped into the harbor. Rio O'Bryan was hoping for better luck this year.

"We sank on the way over last year, so we're trying to make it all the way this time," he said.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians / Via Instagram

This week Chanel brought its haute couture fashion show to Havana. But if you think the whole Cuba chic trend has become a bit too much, a prominent Miami politician has the quote of the week for you.

Ricardo Arduengo / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

As the waters of the Florida Straits warm up again, a new surge of Cuban rafters is landing in Florida. Sixty arrived in Key West in just the past week, in large part to escape the island’s moribund economy.

But Cubans aren’t the only panicked wave hitting our peninsula. Florida’s Puerto Rican population now tops 1 million, more than double the number in 2000. And they keep coming, thanks to a massive economic crisis in Puerto Rico that forced the government to default on a big chunk of a $422 million debt payment that was due Monday.

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