Weekly Cuba News Roundup: July 1st, 2022
El Bocadito: Let’s start with the warm and
fuzzy mud-covered this week; Cuba’s national zoo welcomed a baby white rhino. This is super news since the species is endangered. Plus he (the gender reveal party, also known as “the rhino was birthed” = it’s a boy) is super cute.
Feel better? Good. Now back to reality because unfortunately, life isn’t too warm and fuzzy in the Florida straits: Cuba’s military is reporting a shootout and clashes with up to two dozen U.S. based speedboats in the waters there. On the dissident front, Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara and Maykel Castillo received five-year and nine-year terms, respectively, this week. The migration crisis is at its worst. American Airlines has requested permission to add additional flights to Cuba. And, the Cuban government is telling the United States to stop pointing fingers saying, “hey, not so fast buster… you’re pretty shitty on the human rights front yourself.” It’s all below…
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Yahoo! News: Cuba Zoo introduces newborn white rhino
Ale, the male white rhino was born on June 9 without assistance from the zoo’s vets, who were taken aback when they found out about its birth while on a normal tour on the African prairie at the zoo. Read more at news.yahoo.com.
Historian Peter Kornbluh pens this picture of the U.S. Embargo on Cuba, for Startup Cuba, now in its sixtieth year.
AP News: Cuban troops report fatal clash with Florida speedboat
Cuban authorities say they have intercepted more than a dozen speedboats arriving from the United States this year — including two shooting incidents and at least one death. They say U.S. authorities have handed over a suspect in the shooting of a Cuban coast guard officer. Read more at apnews.com.
Inspired by the Rolling Stones’ visit to Havana, BandEra Studio was created to support the Cuban rock scene and prop up new musical talent. Where do things stand today?
WSJ: Latin Grammy Winner Gets 9-Year Prison Sentence in Cuba
A Cuban court imposed prison sentences on two famous Cuban artists who took part in composing and recording “Patria y Vida,” the viral rap song that became the anthem for disaffected Cubans banned by Cuba’s Communist regime and won two Latin Grammys last year. Read more at wsj.com.
Simple Flying: American Airlines Eyes Return To Cuba
American Airlines has requested permission to engage in scheduled commercial services between Miami International Airport (MIA) and five Cuban cities following the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) lifting of flight restrictions established during the Trump administration. Read more at simpleflying.com.
El Pais: One dead as Cuba’s migration crisis hits new peak
Over 2,000 islanders who tried to reach Florida by sea have been deported by US authorities since early 2022. Read more at english.elpais.com.
Reuters: Cuba dissident leaders receive jail sentences following heavily-critiqued trial
A Cuban court sentenced a leading artist-dissident to nine years in jail on Friday and another to five years in a high profile case that human rights groups branded a “farce” but that Cuban state media said was a fair trial over “common crimes.” Read more at reuters.com.
OnCuba News: Cuban government suggests U.S. “refrain” from judging on human rights
“With its deplorable record on human rights, the United States government and its secretary of state would do well to refrain from judging Cuba and other countries,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said on Twitter. Antony Blinken criticized the day before, also from Twitter, the convictions of demonstrators in July 2021. Read more at oncubanews.com.
Washington Post: Opinion | With the world distracted, Cuba cracks down on dissident artists
It has been nearly a year since Cuba’s streets erupted in mass protests. July 11, 2021, sent a thrill through supporters of freedom around the world — and a fearful chill down the spines of Cuba’s rulers. The dictatorship brutally suppressed the revolt and has spent the months since systematically bolstering its apparatus of political control. Read more at washingtonpost.com.