Pollo por pescado? These days Cubans are happy to get chicken period. And, according to Foreign Policy, the Cuban government is using that leverage to quell protests.
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Weekly Cuba News Roundup: December 10th, 2021

Wow! Last week, in the US’ post-Thanksgiving, tryptophonic (not a word, but should be) turkey induced coma we were searching for headlines to share with you. This week, we had so many in front of us that we had to leave a good half dozen or so on the cutting room floor. From the Omicron variant to Cuban tourism and from Russia threatening a Cuban missile crisis re-run to chickens being used as offense, there’s a lot to unpack.

Let’s start with the omicron variant: Cuba has confirmed its first case in a traveler from Mozambique. Not a shocker; eventually delta variant’s newly minted cousin is expected to be the dominant strain. In other news, Cuba’s economic reform is allowing more entrepreneurs to start businesses, the country is using inexpensive chicken to quell protests on the island and airlines are ramping up service to Cuba. Plus, opinion pieces on Biden’s diplomacy summit putting Cuba, Russia and China on the defensive and what Cuba’s dependency on Venezuela got them. Hint: Not a whole hell of a lot. This and more, in 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.

Reuters: Cuba’s economic reforms allow small entrepreneurs to dream big

An employee works inside the workshop of Dforja, a furniture company run by Cuban entrepreneur Luis Betancourt, in Alamar, Cuba December 2, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Natalia Favre

Cuban entrepreneurs Henry and Yendri Garcia have long peddled home-made ice cream in their small town of Bauta outside the capital Havana, but now they are dreaming big. Read more at reuters.com.

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Miami Herald: Biden’s democracy summit flawed, but it’s put Russia, China and Cuba on the defensive | Opinion

Protesters shout slogans against the government in Havana on July 11, 2021. Photo: Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters

I was a skeptic about President Biden’s 110-country “Summit for Democracy.” But after watching the unusually furious response to this meeting from China, Russia, Cuba and other dictatorships, I’m beginning to think it’s a good idea. Read more at miamiherald.com.

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Foreign Policy: How Cheap Chicken Stopped Protests in Cuba

A man sells fruits and vegetables on a street in Havana as Cuba faces food shortages. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP Via Getty Images

Food is power in a country where only a small portion of people are allowed to enter supermarkets. Read more at foreignpolicy.com.

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Travel Weekly: With Cuba tourism reopening, airlines ramp up service

American Airlines moved its Miami-Havana route from weekly to daily this month. Photo Credit: Yandry_kw/Shutterstock

U.S. airlines have begun ramping up Cuba service following the island nation’s reopening to tourists last month. Read more at travelweekly.com.

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Bloomberg: Cuba Confirms First Case of Omicron in Traveler from Mozambique

A Covid-19 testing laboratory in Varadero, Cuba. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

Cuba’s Health Ministry said it detected its first case of the Covid-19 omicron variant in a health worker returning from Mozambique. In a statement Wednesday, the agency said the man was part of Cuba’s international health outreach program and returned from Africa Nov. 27. The following day he developed a sore throat and fever and was isolated in a hospital. Read more at bloomberg.com.

The Jerusalem Post: Russia says Ukraine could turn into re-run of Cuban missile crisis

A Covid-19 testing laboratory in Varadero, Cuba. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine says it fears an invasion by tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered near its borders, while Moscow says its posture is purely defensive. Read more at jpost.com.

Wall Street Journal: Venezuela’s Fatal Embrace of Cuba

Castro and Chavez greet each other. Photo: Wall Street Journal

An oil-rich one-time ally of the U.S. has been quietly colonized by a much smaller, poorer neighbor. Now Venezuela is as wrecked and destitute as a country at war. Read more at wsj.com.

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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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