Cuban exiles

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.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald


I’m eating crow on both sides of the Florida Straits today.

I owe an apology on this side to the Carnival Corporation. And one al otro lado to the Cuban government.

I wrote a column this week predicting it would snow in Havana before Cuba changed a rule that barred anyone born in Cuba, including those living in the U.S., from entering or leaving the island by ship.

The fate of a German ocean liner in 1939 is one of the darkest moments in both American and Cuban history. The M.S. St. Louis was bound for Havana, carrying nearly a thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.

After Cuba and the U.S. both turned the ship away and it returned to Europe -- most of those passengers perished in the Holocaust.

And now, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz has raised the specter of that doomed voyage in his latest work, titled "Sotto Voce."  

Key West Reconnects With Its Cuban Roots Via Art Exchange

Mar 5, 2014
Christine Armario / AP

Sandra Ramos has never wanted to emigrate from Cuba, but in her more than four decades on the island, she has seen many people leave.

Their absence resonates throughout her work. The image of her as a 10-year-old is plastered behind a wall of palm trees, trapped on the island. In another piece, her school girl's body lies across a gaping space in the middle of a bridge, trying to connect two separate lands.

"It's a perspective on immigration from those who stay," Ramos said.

Real Time With Bill Maher / HBO

What does Charlie know that we don’t know?

Charlie Crist, Florida’s ex-Republican governor and now its leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, assumed a real political risk this month: He called on Washington to lift the 52-year-old U.S. trade embargo against communist Cuba.

In an interview with WLRN, Crist insisted his changed stance is a matter of common sense.