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
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 reuters.com.
Four Rum Brands Vying to Become the Spirit of Cuba
Havana Club is Cuba’s top selling and most popular rum but three other brands are also competing for the island’s #1 spot.
BBC: Cuba says more than 700 charged over anti-government protests
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 bbc.com.
Reuters: U.S. returns 40 migrants to Cuba after intercepting two vessels
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 reuters.com
Euronews: Holiday cruise giant MSC using Cuban workers as ‘slaves’, says NGO
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 euronews.com.
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
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 usnews.com.
PetaPixel: Photo Series Captures the Vibrant Architecture of Cuba in the Late 90s
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 petapixel.com.
Common Dreams: ‘Historic Turning Point’: Cuba Issues Plan for Vaccine Internationalism
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 commondreams.org.
CNN: Cuba calls on Biden to restaff embassies, normalize relations following CIA ‘Havana Syndrome’ report
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 cnn.com.