Actually, Cuba wants the embassy opened and relations normalized after the CIA put out their 'Havana Syndrome' report

Weekly Cuba News Roundup: January 28th, 2022

If you want to skip to the good part there’s a story below from photography publication, PetaPixel capturing some of Cuba’s architecture in the 1990’s. It’s worth a look. The images are stunning. If you just want to read about politics, inflation and threats of Russia setting up shop in Florida’s backyard, 90 miles off of Key West, read on.

Actually, it’s worth a read because CNN’s Patrick Oppmann is reporting on Cuba using the CIA’s Havana Syndrome report to justify re-opening the U.S. Embassy. And, they’re calling out Biden to do so. The Cuban government is acknowledging that they have prosecuted over 700 people in response to the J11 protests. There are plans in place to distribute Cuba’s vaccines to countries in the global south. And, MSC Cruises, along with others are being accused of using Cuban workers on their ships, illegally. Ugh. Oh, and the CUP (reminder, the CUC is gone) is losing value against the dollar, fast. All this and more in this week’s 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: Cuban peso in free fall against the dollar

Photo: Michael Freas

The Cuban peso was trading at nearly 100 to the dollar on the informal market Tuesday, according to a trader and online trackers, a depreciation of more than 30% in less than a month and four times the fixed official rate. Read more at

ConBAC: Cuba’s Blooming Craft Cocktail Scene

Top bartenders and mixologists from around the world pitched up in Cuba’s top beach resort last year to compete in the IBA World Cocktail Championship shining a spotlight on global drinks and craft cocktails.

BBC: Cuba says more than 700 charged over anti-government protests

housands joined rare anti-government protests across the island last July. Photo: Getty Images

Cuban officials say more than 700 people who took part in anti-government protests last year have been charged with crimes including sedition, vandalism, theft and public disorder. Read more at

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

Reuters: U.S. returns 40 migrants to Cuba after intercepting two vessels

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard on Friday said it has returned 40 people to Cuba after intercepting two vessels near Florida while two people were being investigated for human smuggling. Read more at

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Euronews: Holiday cruise giant MSC using Cuban workers as ‘slaves’, says NGO

The MSC Grandiosa cruise ship is harbored in Civitavecchia, Central Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Photo: Cecilla Fabiano/LAPRESSE

Human rights organisations and MEPs have claimed that European companies are using Cuban workers in conditions of semi-slavery. On Wednesday, the NGO Prisoners Defenders, with the support of Human Rights Watch, accused, among others, MSC Cruises, of taking advantage of the situation of workers from the Caribbean island. 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.

USNews: Russia and Cuba Will Keep Developing Technical Military Cooperation -RIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia October 29, 2019. Photo: Alexander Nemenov/Pool via REUTERS

For almost half a century, Spain’s EFE news agency has reported from Cuba, covering everything from the historic visit by President Barack Obama to the death of Fidel Castro. But its independent coverage in one of the world’s most censored societies could be about to end. Read more at

Is the Face of Havana Changing?

PetaPixel: Photo Series Captures the Vibrant Architecture of Cuba in the Late 90s

Teatro Campoamor. Photo: Andrew Moore

With a large-format camera in hand and a literal artistic license — issued by the Treasure Department — in his pocket, American photographer Andrew Moore was granted permission to travel to Cuba in 1998 to document the distinct and unique architecture. Read more at

Common Dreams: ‘Historic Turning Point’: Cuba Issues Plan for Vaccine Internationalism

Progressive International’s general coordinator David Adler (L) and Dr. Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director general of the Finlay Institute of Vaccines, talk during a press conference at the Finlay Institute in Havana, on January 24, 2022. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

At a Tuesday press conference convened by Progressive International, individuals from Cuba’s medical community explained their plan to deliver 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to low-income nations in the Global South—along with technology to enable domestic production and expert support to improve distribution. Read more at

CNN: Cuba calls on Biden to restaff embassies, normalize relations following CIA ‘Havana Syndrome’ report

A concrete Cuban flag is erected in front of the US Embassy in Havana in April 2021. Photo: CNN

A high-ranking official in Cuba’s foreign ministry is calling for the Biden administration to restore relations with the island in light of a recent CIA report that found most “Havana syndrome” cases were unlikely to have been caused by a foreign power. 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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