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
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.
Miami Herald: Biden’s democracy summit flawed, but it’s put Russia, China and Cuba on the defensive | Opinion
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.
Here are 10 famous people you may not have known were Cuban-American but you’ll want to.
Foreign Policy: How Cheap Chicken Stopped Protests in Cuba
Food is power in a country where only a small portion of people are allowed to enter supermarkets. Read more at foreignpolicy.com.
Travel Weekly: With Cuba tourism reopening, airlines ramp up service
U.S. airlines have begun ramping up Cuba service following the island nation’s reopening to tourists last month. Read more at travelweekly.com.
Samuel Riera’s Art Brut Cuba opens channels for Outsider Artists to sell their art when they otherwise couldn’t earn a living from their work.
Bloomberg: Cuba Confirms First Case of Omicron in Traveler from Mozambique
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
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
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.