Plus on the warm, fuzzy side of things, Cuba's national zoo welcomed a baby white rhino. He (gender reveal party = a boy) is super cute.

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…

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.

Yahoo! News: Cuba Zoo introduces newborn white rhino

A newly-born white rhinoceros is seen beside its mother at the National Zoo in Havana, Cuba, June 24, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

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.

The Continued Effort to Restore Havana’s Historic Neon Glow

In 2015, López-Nieves began bringing these luminous icons back to life when he repaired vintage neon signs on ten pre-revolutionary cinemas.

AP News: Cuban troops report fatal clash with Florida speedboat

The Cuban coast guard patrols the waterfront in Havana in a file photo from March 19, 2016. Photo: ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Check Out Five of Cuba’s Best Art and Music Festivals

Cuban art has been known to be expressed through celebration—here are some of the best annual art and music festivals the island has to offer.

WSJ: Latin Grammy Winner Gets 9-Year Prison Sentence in Cuba

The viral rap song ‘Patria y Vida’ won two Latin Grammys at last year’s ceremony in Las Vegas. Photo: KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES

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.

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Simple Flying: American Airlines Eyes Return To Cuba

Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martinez via @gquimar.

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

A group of Cuban migrants crossing the Suchiate River, the natural border between Guatemala and Mexico. Photo: PEP COMPANYS

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.

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Reuters: Cuba dissident leaders receive jail sentences following heavily-critiqued trial

Organizer of the “00Biennial” Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara speaks during an interview at his home in Havana, Cuba, May 2, 2018. Photo taken May 2, 2018: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/File Photo

 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

Cuba protests on July 11th, 2021. Photo: Getty Images via BBC/Archive

“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

Relatives of Cuban dissident artists Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo wait outside the Marianao Municipal Court (background) in Havana on May 30, 2022, where the trials against them are being held. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

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.

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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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