New audio shows made in Cuba are finding a rapt audience and upending the island’s hyperpartisan media landscape.
A group of older Cuban musicians recorded some of their favorite songs in 1996, and the album became an unlikely blockbuster. How do we hear it a quarter-century later?
The episodes, known as Havana syndrome, have left spies, diplomats, soldiers and others with brain injuries.
Insurgents who seize power tend to be authoritarian but pragmatic, desperate for legitimacy and ruthless toward classes they see as hostile.
“The funeral homes can’t cope, the hospitals can’t cope, the clinics can’t cope,” said a Cuban doctor who was fired for publicly lamenting the distressed state of medical care.
An undercover Central Intelligence Agency officer who helped hunt down Osama bin Laden will now lead the agency task force charged with investigating the mysterious health incidents that continue to plague US personnel, according to a report Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal.
The incidents, first reported in 2016 among US diplomats stationed in Havana, Cuba, tend to involve bizarre episodes of sonic and sensory experiences that are often described as directional. Afflicted diplomats develop symptoms including headaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), nosebleeds, difficulty concentrating and recalling words, permanent hearing loss, and speech problems. Medical experts examining some of the cases have found evidence of “injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma.” That is, sufferers appear to a have a concussion without a blow to the head.
Despite years of alarming reports and investigations into the cases, the cause of the incidents and who may be behind them remain a mystery—and cases continue to mount. News of the new task-force chief comes on the heels of a report from NBC News that the latest case count may be as high as 200. And though the incidents tend to be linked to Cuba—the condition is often referred to as “Havana Syndrome”—they have now been reported from every continent except Antarctica.
Many in the island had come to believe that the dictatorship would be eternal, that our only options were to flee or to remain silent. But the silence has been broken.
The rallies, widely viewed as astonishing for a country that limits dissent, were set off by economic crises worsened by the pandemic.
A father’s mysterious disappearance fuels one writer’s quest for identity.
Governments rooted in revolution like Tehran’s have proved to be among the world’s most stable, even drawing strength from crises.
The countries targeted by the ban, which will take effect on July 14, include the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, China, Russia and Ukraine.
Today words, ideas and a commitment to peaceful protest are no less powerful threats to the Cuban state.
Reports of mysterious health incidents that have led to brain injuries and caused a range of symptoms among government personnel continue to stream in. One of the latest cases occurred just within the last few weeks, and the total number of US personnel affected is now over 130, according to reports.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that at least three CIA officers have suffered serious health effects from enigmatic episodes that occurred overseas since last December, one of them within the last few weeks. All three of the CIA officers required outpatient treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center or other medical facilities, the Times noted.
Officials told the Times that the number of cases is now topping 130, up from the previously reported 60 cases, which were mainly among diplomats and their families stationed in Cuba and Guangzhou, China.
Once you can confidently go forward, it’s time to learn how to skate in reverse.
At least two US government officials in the Washington, DC, area have experienced mysterious health incidents that are strikingly similar to the brain-damaging “health attacks” that plagued US diplomats in Cuba beginning in 2016.
Last November, a National Security Council official reported being sickened while near the Ellipse, the White House’s large, oval-shaped southern lawn, according to a report by CNN. In a separate 2019 incident, a White House staff member said she also experienced something akin to a health attack while walking her dog in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. The 2019 incident, which occurred just after Thanksgiving, was first reported by GQ last year. The magazine wrote at the time:
According to a government source familiar with the incident, the staffer passed a parked van. A man got out and walked past her. Her dog started seizing up. Then she felt it too: a high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face.
The staffer also said she had experienced a similar incident just a few months earlier, in August of 2019, while she was traveling in London with then-National Security Adviser John Bolton. According to GQ, the staffer reported again feeling a tingling in the side of her head, which was facing the window of her hotel room, as well as intense pressure and ringing in her ears. All of those symptoms stopped when she left the room.
Raúl Castro is preparing to step down as head of Cuba’s Communist Party, leaving Cubans without a Castro to lead them for the first time in over 60 years.
Mr. Castro announced that he will step down and pass on control of the party to Cuba’s younger generation. His departure will leave Cuba without a Castro at its helm for the first time in 60 years.
The U.S. government has cut trade ties to Myanmar, two months after the country’s military staged a coup overthrowing the country’s president and also its de-facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and killed at least 200 protesters resulting from its offensive.
In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the trade suspension would be “effective immediately” and will remain in place “until the return of a democratically elected government.”
“The United States supports the people of Burma in their efforts to restore a democratically elected government, which has been the foundation of Burma’s economic growth and reform,” said Tai. “The United States strongly condemns the Burmese security forces’ brutal violence against civilians. The killing of peaceful protestors, students, workers, labor leaders, medics, and children has shocked the conscience of the international community. These actions are a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the efforts of the Burmese people to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future,” the statement read.
The trade suspension is designed to target the ruling military junta, but leaves millions of internet users across Myanmar in uncertainty as U.S. cloud and internet companies wrangle with the U.S. government order, at a time where protesters are struggling to stay online amid government-ordered internet shutdowns across the country.
Myanmar already blocked Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram “until further notice.”
Sanctions are designed to prevent the shipping of goods, money and certain services to other countries. Companies operating in the U.S. have to follow U.S. sanctions or face heavy financial penalties. ZTE pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating U.S. sanctions against Iran by knowingly shipping products to the country, and agreed to pay a near-$1 billion fine.
But cloud companies fall into a gray area and have different interpretations of the rules. Quartz reported in 2016 that internet users across Syria, Cuba, and Iran — all subject to U.S. trade sanctions — couldn’t access sites hosted by IBM, because the U.S. cloud host blocked visitors from those countries from accessing its services. Rackspace and Linode, two other large cloud providers, do not block internet traffic to users in embargoed countries but instead prevented users from those countries from signing up for their service.
Myamnar has about 17 million internet users, some 30% of the wider population. A spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately return a request for comment.
Cuba’s soccer team has called up a handful of players who developed outside the country’s sports system for its World Cup qualifying matches, a subtle but potentially significant shift in policy.
Amid bread shortages, Cuba gets one step closer to a scientific milestone: the mass production of a coronavirus vaccine invented on the island.
Across the country, battling water scarcity requires a vast array of workers, from inspectors and fumigators to truck drivers and pipe layers.
As a columnist for The Daily News, he wrote passionately about the issues facing immigrants and lobbied for the U.S. to lift its trade embargo of his native Cuba.
During a routine flyover, a surveillance crew spotted the people waving a makeshift flag on an island in the Bahamas. They had survived on conchs and rats, the Coast Guard said.
As countless Cubans have proudly told me over the years, “Cubans invent.” They use creative workarounds to get by in an environment with limited access to outside resources. Glass beer bottles are sawed off to become drinking glasses; helmets transform into flowerpots; shoestrings and bottle caps are affixed to doors as makeshift locks.
And with a growing need for online access to function in the modern world, Cubans have been inventing new ways to connect to the Internet, too.
Jaime Santos-Menéndez, a Havana-based documentary filmmaker, has often lacked the money to pay for Wi-Fi cards, and so, like most Cubans, he came up with a workaround. For years, Santos-Menéndez relied on his mother, a state-employed biochemist, to receive messages for him at her office via her government email account. Friends were instructed to email his mother’s work account, she downloaded the messages to a USB drive, and she gave it all to Santos-Menéndez to view on his home computer. He would then respond to messages, load his outgoing emails onto the USB drive, and rely on his mother to send them from her office the next day.
A son of Cuban refugees, he covered 25 World Series and 22 All-Star Games.
The billionaire says the current stock market is reminiscent of the first dot-com boom. “Everybody’s a genius in a bull market — until they’re not.”
A dissident is to a dictatorship what a bald fact is to an edifice of lies, the revelation of which causes the whole thing to crumble.
The U.S. decision was made in “the death throes of a failed and corrupt administration,” Cuba’s president said. For Cubans, the change in administrations in Washington can’t come soon enough.
In announcing the move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited Cuba’s hosting of American fugitives and Colombian rebels and its support for Venezuela’s authoritarian leader.
The move would complicate any effort by the incoming Biden administration to resume President Barack Obama’s thaw in relations with Havana.
In late 2016, US diplomats in Cuba began reporting bizarre and alarming episodes in their homes and hotel rooms. They spoke of irritating or piercing noises—buzzes, squeals, or clicks—that seemed to come from a particular direction but weren’t always dampened when they clasped their hands to their ears. Some described feeling pressure and vibrations, too.
With the disturbances came a constellation of debilitating symptoms: dizziness, nausea, headaches, balance problems, ringing in their ears, visual disturbances, nosebleeds, difficulty concentrating and recalling words, hearing loss, and speech problems.
Since the first 2016 reports, the mysterious episodes seemed to afflict more than 50 US diplomats and their families; more than 40 in Havana and at least a dozen more at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China. Some CIA officers working in Russia have also reported similar cases.
Artists gathered by the hundreds in Cuba’s largest protest in decades after seeing videos of police detentions that were filmed on cellphones and circulated online.
A government-commissioned report provides the most definitive explanation yet for “Havana syndrome,” which struck scores of American employees, first in Cuba and then in China, Russia and other countries.
He brought Afro-Cuban influences to American ensembles and dazzled audiences with his virtuosic multiple-drum technique.
The two presidents drove out 10,000 Cuban doctors and nurses. They defunded the region’s leading health agency. They wrongly pushed hydroxychloroquine as a cure.
Sixty-two years after the revolution, America’s relations with its neighbor to the south loom large.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said officials continued to investigate the episodes, which began in 2016, but diplomats and C.I.A. officers have accused the administration of a cover-up.
American officials in China, Cuba and Russia say U.S. agencies are concealing the true extent of the episodes, leaving colleagues vulnerable to hostile actions abroad.
“I’m Cuban, but it’d be an honor for me to represent Mexico,” said Randy Arozarena, the rookie who has taken the postseason by storm.
In Florida, the president made a series of inaccurate claims about his election opponent, the coronavirus pandemic, the Nobel Peace Prize and Cuba, among other topics.
Among other measures, Americans will no longer be able to import Cuban cigars or stay in hotels owned by the Cuban government.
The island was able to control the coronavirus, but the dearth of tourists in the pandemic’s wake strangled an economy already damaged by mismanagement and U.S. sanctions.
A podcast debate over the political future of the growing demographic of voters.
The Oscar-nominated documentarian Hubert Sauper explores vestiges of foreign presence in Cuba, from the ground up.
The storm, which is expected to pass over Hispaniola on Thursday, is the ninth named storm system of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
“The Year of Dangerous Days,” by Nicholas Griffin, delves into the refugee crisis, race riots and drug trade that dominated the city in 1980.
Mauricio J. Claver-Carone would be the first president of the Inter-American Development Bank from outside Latin America.
“The Cubans,” by Anthony DePalma, paints a detailed, novelistic portrait of a handful of ordinary Cubans — their hopes, political beliefs and struggles to get by.
In this election year, the key for American politicians to understanding Cuba’s politics is understanding its people and the promises of a better life that were not kept.
As Italians move toward a less stringent regimen to minimize their exposure to the coronavirus, they can take pride in an unusual collective effort.