Protests, vaccines and a National Day of Defense as Varadero, Cuba's famed resort town gets ready to welcome visitors once again.
cuba news summary

Weekly Cuba News Roundup: October 8th, 2021

Cuba is getting ready to open its doors to tourism again, in November and Varadero, the country’s prized tourist resort town, about 95 miles to the east of Havana, is getting ready to roll out the welcome mat. It’s a much needed economic relief and oxygen line for the country that depends heavily on its tourism sector. At the same time the country has declared November 20th, National Defense Day. This happens to also be the day that dissident groups are planning to stage another, and a bigger demonstration throughout the country. Ummm…

Nicaragua is getting 7 million doses of Cuba’s COVID-19 vaccine and to the south a little bit, nine Cuban baseball players are taking up residence. They’ve defected to Mexico during the recent U-23 tournament. Back at home, artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has staged a hunger strike in prison. And, Cuba’s literacy rates are praised even though Cubans continue to experience censorship. See below for more from this week’s Weekly Cuba News Roundup.

By the way, none of the opinions in any of the stories shared on this page represent ours; we’re just sharing them with you. If you are a journalist or you have seen a story that you’d like us to consider for future weekly news roundups, please send us a note and a link to the story here. (Hero image: Karen Vierbuchen)

Miami Herald: Jailed Cuban artist Otero Alcántara is on a hunger strike, other activists join protest

Imprisoned Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, whose performances and hunger strikes have inspired a pro-democracy artists’ movement on the island, is again refusing to eat to call attention to the incarceration of hundreds of Cubans who protested against the government on July 11. Read more at

New York Times: Cimafunk’s Quest to Create One Nación Under a Groove

The Cuban musician’s new album, “El Alimento,” is a fresh take on funk that blends Afro-Cuban and African American rhythms using a cast of international collaborators. Read more at

Related Post: Cimafunk is Touring Again: Here’s The Show Schedule

AP: Cuba’s famed Varadero beach getting ready for tourists again

Little by little, vacationers are returning to one of the Caribbean’s most iconic beaches, which has been a nearly abandoned strip of glittering sand and turquoise seas for more than a year. Read more at

Passover is over but this Kugel Con Maduro Recipe Sure Isn’t

My kugel is sweet, savory, and custardy with a Latin twist that wows guests.

U.S. News: Cuba Calls National Defense Day on Date of Dissident Protest

Cuba announced Friday it would conduct annual military exercises on Nov. 18-19, leading up to a day of civilian defense preparedness on Nov. 20, the same date dissidents plan human rights protests around the country. Read more at

Axios: Cuba’s Revolution left legacy of literacy, as well as censorship

Cuba’s high literacy rates and the rapid rollout of the campaign that resulted in most residents learning to read and write has been a model for many other countries — even as Cubans continue to experience harsh censorship. Read more at

Amigo Skate Cuba Founder Plans to Skateboard Across Cuba

AP: Nicaragua to get 7 million doses of Cuban COVID-19 vaccine

Nicaragua said Tuesday it will get 7 million doses of Cuban coronavirus vaccines over the next three months.Read more at

What Happened to Cuban Rock Scene Upstart, Bandera Studio?

Inspired by the Rolling Stones’ visit to Havana, BandEra Studio was created to support the Cuban rock scene and prop up new musical talent. Where do things stand today?

NBC News: 9 Cuban baseball players defect in Mexico during U-23 tournament

Nine of the 24 players on Cuba’s national team at baseball’s U-23 World Cup defected during the tournament in Mexico, the Cuban government confirmed Sunday. Read more at

The Latest From Startup Cuba

The Hill: 26 Democrats Call on Biden to Expand Vaccine Cooperation With Cuba

Amigo Skate Cuba Founder Plans to Skateboard Across Cuba

5 Sustainable Tourism Tips for Those Planning to Visit Cuba 

LA Times: Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela Are Not at the Summit of the Americas — But Their Dissidents Are 

Ada Ferrer & Her Pulitzer Prize Winning Book Cuba: An American History

Baked Mango Brie: Put Those Mangoes to Good Use This Season

What Happened to Cuban Rock Scene Upstart, Bandera Studio?

How Pastelito Papi Is Reinventing the Traditional Cuban Pastry

Washington Post: Biden’s Revised Cuba Policy Creates More Options for U.S. Travelers

Havana World Music Festival 2022: Different but Better

Hola todo el mundo. Sometimes our stories are sourced from multiple people on our team. Or, we like to keep you guessing... You know... anonymous. And, for that, soy el escritora; "El Equipo." We exist to amplify the voices of writers, photographers, and content creators in the space between the United States and Cuba, and we also feature stories from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Latinx community in the US. Topics of interest are personality-driven and include pop culture and music, featured current events, climate and the environment, and travel and tastemakers. Oh, and of course we're always 100% independent. No governments, businesses or other influencing factors play a role in our work.

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