US House Democrats want restrictions lifted, Cubans are trying to leave, Yotuel was surprised by Patria y Vida's win, y más this week.

Weekly Cuba News Roundup: December 17th, 2021

Tourism is starting to slowly pick up in Cuba. Whether you support that or not (uh, hello hot hottest button issue), there is no denying the facts that the island’s cuentapropistas will benefit. These casa particular, paladar and taxi entrepreneurs stand to improve their quality of life, even if only incrementally, as tourist dollars arrive. So, this week’s news that the Cuban economy is expected to see recovery in 2022 is encouraging.

In other news, US House Democrats urge President Biden to lift the restrictions on Cuba in the face of the ongoing crisis. The group of 100 led by Jim McGovern (Mass.), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Bobby Rush (Ill.) want to support getting needed supplies and bank transactions through. CNN’s Patrick Oppmann reports about the large numbers of Cubans trying to leave the island, 30 migrants who managed to leave have been sent back, YoTuel never expected to win Song of the Year and the recent JFK documents tie Oswald to Cuba. That y más in this week’s Weekly 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 sees slow economic recovery at 4% in 2022 – official

A vendor shows Cuban pesos notes in a public market in Havana, Cuba, June 12, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

A cash short and crippled Cuban economy will grow 4% next year as the Communist-run country struggles to recover from an economic crisis, according to a report by the prime minister posted over the weekend. Read more at

Is the Face of Havana Changing?

The Hill: More than 100 House Democrats urge Biden to lift restrictions on Cuba amid crisis

James McGovern, Massachusetts. Photo: Congressman McGovern

More than 100 Democrats in the House have called on President Biden lift U.S. regulations on Cuba in order to help address “the worst economic and humanitarian crisis in recent history.” Read more at

10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Cuban-American

Here are 10 famous people you may not have known were Cuban-American but you’ll want to.

CNN: As Cuba reopens to the world, many of its own look to leave

Cuban migrants wait to be transported to a US Border Patrol processing center in Yuma, Arizona on December 9, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Hours before the airline offices open for the day, hundreds of Cubans wait in line, hoping to snag a hard-to-find ticket off the island. For many Cubans, it is only the beginning of a long and often dangerous journey to the United States. Read more at

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Newsweek: New Documents on JFK Assassination Shed Light on Lee Harvey Oswald’s Ties to Cuba, Russia

The National Archives made public on December 15 nearly 1,500 documents related to the U.S. government’s investigation into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Photo: Jon Elswick, File/AP Photo

The National Archives released to the public almost 1,500 documents related to the November 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy Wednesday, revealing information on the U.S. government’s investigation into his killer. U.S. airlines have begun ramping up Cuba service following the island nation’s reopening to tourists last month. Read more at

Here’s How You Can Support Art Brut Cuba: Cuba’s Outsider Artists

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.

NPR: Latin Grammy winner to Cuban leaders: ‘We’re done with your lies and indoctrination

Randy Malcom, from left, Alexander Delgado of Gente De Zona and Yotuel sing Patria y Vida at the Latin Grammy Awards on Nov. 18, 2021, in Las Vegas. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

When Cuban-born rapper Yotuel went on stage at this year’s Latin Grammys, he couldn’t believe he was getting one of the most coveted awards of the night: Song of the Year. “I was really surprised because … we were competing against songs that were much more popular than Patria y Vida and artists who are at their peak,” the singer, whose full name is Yotuel Romero, said recently in an interview. Read more at

WSVN: 30 migrants repatriated to Cuba after interdictions near Key West

Photo: Twitter

After being stopped at sea near Key West, a large group of migrants has been sent back to Cuba. The U.S. Coast Guard took custody of 30 migrants after three interdictions. The migrants were repatriated to Cuba on Tuesday. Read more at

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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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