Things heat up as Russia suggests that it could send a military deployment to Cuba, the island's vaccine is inspiration to low-income countries and more in this week's roundup.

Weekly Cuba News Roundup: January 14th, 2022

It seems that the first two weeks of each new year are slow on the news front. The people who make the news, the people who report it, and those who read it are awakening from their post holiday slumber. Them, BAM! By mid-January, things start heating up and just like that we’re back in it with all cylinders firing.

This is certainly the case this year and the Startup Cuba Roundup headlines prove it both on a regional and global scale. For starters, Iran met with Diaz Canel. They propose strengthening relations to thwart US efforts. At the same time, Russia is threatening to put troops in Cuba and throughout Latin America. Cuba’s July 11th protestors are going on trial with some facing 30-year sentences. And, rounding out the political game, Cuba put out a statement demanding that Guantánamo by shutdown. On the positive side low-income countries are looking to Cuba for vaccine inspiration, Central America is funding Cuban vaccines and Helen Yaffe’s new documentary shares Cuba’s Tarea Vida. It’s a story on how Cuba is tackling climate change. All this and more, below.

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.

CNBC: Why Cuba’s extraordinary Covid vaccine success could provide the best hope for low-income countries

Workers transport a shipment of the Cuban Soberana Plus vaccine against Covid-19, to be donated by the Cuban government to Syria, at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, on Jan. 7, 2022. Photo: Yamil Lage | AFP | Getty Images

Cuba has vaccinated a greater percentage of its population against Covid-19 than almost all of the world’s largest and richest nations. In fact, only the oil-rich United Arab Emirates boasts a stronger vaccination record. Read more at

Is the Face of Havana Changing?

NBC News: In Cuba, people arrested during protests go on trial; some face 30-year sentences

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

Relatives of Cubans arrested during the largest demonstrations in decades across the island said that at least 57 protesters are scheduled to go on trial this week, some facing sentences of up to 30 years in prison. 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.

PressTV: Thwarting US: Iran’s vice president meets Cuban president on LatAm visit

Iran’s Vice President for Economic Affairs Mohsen Rezaei (L) meets with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in Managua, Nicaragua, January 11, 2022.. Photo: PressTV

Iran’s vice president for economic affairs has called for strengthening relations with Cuba in order to counter the enemies’ illegal campaign of pressure and sanctions targeting both nations. Read more at

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Yahoo! News: Central American bank funds Cuban COVID-19 vaccine drive

Soberana is one of Cuba’s homegrown vaccines Photo: Yahoo! News file

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration said it would give Cuba a loan of 46.7 million euros ($53.1 million) to help bolster the communist-run country’s COVID-19 vaccine program as it seeks to ramp up production for both domestic use and export. 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.

WSJ: Russia Suggests Military Deployment to Venezuela, Cuba if Tensions With U.S. Remain High

Russian Flag

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said talks with the U.S. over the security situation in Ukraine had stalled and suggested that Moscow could dispatch a military deployment to Venezuela and Cuba, as the Kremlin seeks to pressure Washington to meet its demands to halt Western military activity that Russia claims poses a threat. Read more at

ConBAC: Cuba’s Blooming Craft Cocktail Scene

Newsweek: Cuba Slams 20 Years of U.S. ‘Occupation,’ ‘Abuses’ at Guantánamo Bay, U.N. Calls for Closure

Guantanamo Bay Camp 5. Photo: Thomas Watkins/AFP/Getty Images

Cuba officials have slammed the ongoing U.S. military presence on the shores of Guantánamo on the 20th anniversary of the opening of a controversial detainment facility there that U.N. experts and other analysts want shuttered immediately. Read more at

WSJ: Tarea Vida: Inside the Cuban Way To Confront Climate Change

A view of Cuba. Photo: Tiago Claro/Unsplash

Cuba may be responsible for only 0.08% of global COemissions, but this Caribbean island is disproportionately hard-hit by the effects of climate change. Read more at and read our review of the film, here.

(Hero image: Tiago Claro/Unsplash)

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of and Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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