Raúl Castro to Step Down as Head of Cuba’s Communist Party

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.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #castro-raul, #cuba, #diaz-canel-bermudez-miguel

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US cuts trade ties to Myanmar, risking internet outages

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.

Myanmar (also known as Burma) and the U.S. began trading in 2013 following the easing of U.S. sanctions a year earlier after elections saw Suu Kyi’s party win by a landslide.

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.

#asia, #countries, #cuba, #government, #ibm, #internet, #internet-traffic, #iran, #linode, #myanmar, #president, #rackspace, #security, #spokesperson, #syria, #u-s-government, #united-states

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Cuban Soccer Is Stocking Up on Overseas Players. Why?

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.

#cuba, #defectors-political, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-2022-soccer

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Coronavirus Vaccine Nears Final Tests in Cuba. Tourists May Be Inoculated.

Amid bread shortages, Cuba gets one step closer to a scientific milestone: the mass production of a coronavirus vaccine invented on the island.

#clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #medicine-and-health, #united-states-international-relations, #vaccination-and-immunization

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An Inside Look at Cuba’s Constant Struggle for Clean Water

Across the country, battling water scarcity requires a vast array of workers, from inspectors and fumigators to truck drivers and pipe layers.

#cuba, #mosquitoes, #water

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Albor Ruiz, a Journalistic Voice for Latinos, Is Dead at 80

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.

#cuba, #deaths-obituaries, #el-diario, #hispanic-americans, #immigration-and-emigration, #new-york-daily-news, #news-and-news-media, #newspapers, #queens-nyc, #ruiz-albor-1940-2021, #writing-and-writers

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3 People Stranded on Uninhabited Island Are Rescued After 33 Days

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.

#anguilla, #cuba, #key-west-fla, #rescues, #united-states-coast-guard, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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How Cubans make island Internet work for them

Jaime Santos-Menéndez, a Havana-based documentary filmmaker, has a much different workflow than creatives in the United States.

Enlarge / Jaime Santos-Menéndez, a Havana-based documentary filmmaker, has a much different workflow than creatives in the United States. (credit: Cassandra Brooklyn)

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.

Read 38 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#biz-it, #cuba, #digital-divide, #features, #internet

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Pedro Gomez, a Pillar of Baseball Coverage for ESPN, Dies at 58

A son of Cuban refugees, he covered 25 World Series and 22 All-Star Games.

#baseball, #cuba, #deaths-obituaries, #espn, #news-and-news-media, #pedro-gomez, #television

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Why GameStop Reminds Mark Cuban of the ’90s

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.”

#cuba, #cuban-mark, #gamestop-corporation, #icahn-carl-c, #reddit-inc, #shark-tank-tv-program, #stocks-and-bonds, #yahoo-inc

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Dissidents First: A Foreign Policy Doctrine for the Biden Administration

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.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #china, #clinton-hillary-rodham, #cuba, #deripaska-oleg-v, #evin-prison, #ferrer-jose-daniel, #havel-vaclav, #hong-kong, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #iran, #lai-jimmy, #mandela-nelson, #navalny-aleksei-a, #political-prisoners, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #solzhenitsyn-aleksandr-i, #sotoudeh-nasrin, #south-africa, #tohti-ilham, #united-states-international-relations, #walesa-lech, #wong-joshua-1996

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Cuba, Though Angered by Terror Designation, Is Looking Past Trump

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.

#cuba, #diaz-canel-bermudez-miguel, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #international-trade-and-world-market, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

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Pompeo Returns Cuba to Terrorism Sponsor List, Constraining Biden’s Plans

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.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #cuba, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #obama-barack, #pompeo-mike, #state-department, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Pompeo Weighs Plan to Place Cuba on U.S. Terrorism Sponsor List

The move would complicate any effort by the incoming Biden administration to resume President Barack Obama’s thaw in relations with Havana.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #cuba, #meeks-gregory-w, #obama-barack, #pompeo-mike, #presidential-transition-us, #state-department, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Covert microwave weapon “most plausible” cause of Cuba “health attacks”

1950s cars driving past a Brutalist, multistory concrete building is peak Cuba.

Enlarge / Picture of the US embassy in Havana, taken on September 29, 2017, after the United States announced it was withdrawing more than half its personnel in response to mysterious health attacks targeting its diplomatic staff. (credit: Getty | AFP)

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.

Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#brain-injuries, #cuba, #diplomats, #health-attacks, #microwave, #science

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‘On Social Media, There Are Thousands’: In Cuba, Internet Fuels Rare Protests

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.

#censorship, #computers-and-the-internet, #cuba, #culture-arts, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #facebook-inc, #havana-cuba, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #human-rights-watch, #political-prisoners, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #whatsapp-inc, #youtube-com

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Report Points to Microwave ‘Attack’ as Likely Source of Mystery Illnesses That Hit Diplomats and Spies

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.

#americans-abroad, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-intelligence-agency, #china, #cuba, #microwaves-electromagnetic-waves, #trump-donald-j

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Cándido Camero, Conga Master Who Transformed Jazz, Dies at 99

He brought Afro-Cuban influences to American ensembles and dazzled audiences with his virtuosic multiple-drum technique.

#camero-candido, #cuba, #deaths-obituaries, #jazz, #latin-music, #musical-instruments

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How Trump and Bolsonaro Broke Latin America’s Covid-19 Defenses

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.

#amazon-river-basin, #bolsonaro-jair-1955, #brazil, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #ecuador, #epidemics, #florida, #foundation-for-human-rights-in-cuba, #guayaquil-ecuador, #humanitarian-aid, #hydroxychloroquine-drug, #mar-a-lago-palm-beach-fla, #medicine-and-health, #pan-american-health-organization, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Will Cuba Tip Florida to Trump?

Sixty-two years after the revolution, America’s relations with its neighbor to the south loom large.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #castro-raul, #cuba, #cuban-americans, #democratic-party, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #florida, #miami-fla, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

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U.S. Still Unsure of Havana Syndrome’s Cause Years Later

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.

#americans-abroad, #central-intelligence-agency, #china, #cuba, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #microwaves-electromagnetic-waves, #pompeo-mike, #russia, #state-department, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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U.S. Diplomats and Spies Battle Trump Administration Over Suspected Attacks

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.

#central-intelligence-agency, #china, #cuba, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #government-employees, #headaches, #microwaves-electromagnetic-waves, #russia, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-office-of-special-counsel, #united-states-politics-and-government, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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Randy Arozarena, the Rays’ Cuban Star, Was Honed in Mexico

“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.

#arozarena-randy, #baseball, #cuba, #mexico, #tampa-bay-rays

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Trump’s False Claims as He Resumes His Rallies After Hospitalization

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.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #florida, #nobel-prizes, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rumors-and-misinformation, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Trump Administration Adds to American Travel Restrictions in Cuba

Among other measures, Americans will no longer be able to import Cuban cigars or stay in hotels owned by the Cuban government.

#cuba, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #florida, #presidential-election-of-2020, #treasury-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

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Cuba’s Economy Was Hurting. The Pandemic Brought a Food Crisis.

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.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #shortages, #travel-and-vacations

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How to Win the Latino Vote

A podcast debate over the political future of the growing demographic of voters.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #cuba, #hispanic-americans, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2020, #reagan-ronald-wilson, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government

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‘Epicentro’ Review: They Are Cuba

The Oscar-nominated documentarian Hubert Sauper explores vestiges of foreign presence in Cuba, from the ground up.

#castro-fidel, #cuba, #documentary-films-and-programs, #epicentro-movie, #sauper-hubert

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Tropical Storm Isaias Forms in the Atlantic

The storm, which is expected to pass over Hispaniola on Thursday, is the ninth named storm system of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

#bahama-islands, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #florida, #hispaniola, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms

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When Miami Was Awash in Drugs, Crime and Social Unrest

“The Year of Dangerous Days,” by Nicholas Griffin, delves into the refugee crisis, race riots and drug trade that dominated the city in 1980.

#books-and-literature, #castro-fidel, #colombia, #cuba, #ferre-maurice, #florida, #griffin-nicholas-1971, #miami-fla, #miami-herald, #the-year-of-dangerous-days-riots-refugees-and-cocaine-in-miami-1980-book

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Trump Administration’s Nominee for Development Bank Chief Breaks With Protocol

Mauricio J. Claver-Carone would be the first president of the Inter-American Development Bank from outside Latin America.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #claver-carone-mauricio-j, #cuba, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #foreign-aid, #inter-american-development-bank, #latin-america, #mnuchin-steven-t, #moreno-luis-alberto, #national-security-council, #treasury-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela

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America Is Obsessed With Cuba. But What Do We Know About Its Citizens?

“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.

#books-and-literature, #castro-fidel, #cuba, #depalma-anthony, #immigration-and-emigration, #the-cubans-ordinary-lives-in-extraordinary-times-book, #united-states-international-relations

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How Cubans Lost Faith in Revolution

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.

#castro-fidel, #castro-raul, #cuba, #diaz-canel-bermudez-miguel, #discrimination, #elections, #granma-newspaper, #havana-cuba, #heart, #hospitals, #obama-barack, #santeria-faith, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #ussr-former-soviet-union, #youth

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How Italy Coped, and Will Keep Coping

As Italians move toward a less stringent regimen to minimize their exposure to the coronavirus, they can take pride in an unusual collective effort.

#bergamo-italy, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cremona-italy, #cuba, #deaths-fatalities, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #europe, #far-east-south-and-southeast-asia-and-pacific-areas, #france, #germany, #italy, #lombardy-italy, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #rome-italy, #shutdowns-institutional, #social-media, #videophones-and-videoconferencing

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I Can’t Bring Myself to Stand In Line for Food Again

Memories of empty shelves in Cuba come full circle.

#castro-fidel, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #florida, #shortages

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Trump’s Coronavirus Tactics Hurt Cubans, Too

For once, some Cubans look north and commiserate with Americans, even as Washington prevents needed help from reaching their island.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cuba, #do-it-yourself, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #europe, #granma-newspaper, #havana-cuba, #italy, #medical-devices, #new-jersey, #quarantines, #shortages, #shutdowns-institutional, #social-media, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Donald Trump and Florida, a Love Affair

South Florida is in some ways an America as Mr. Trump would have it, where his Republican support extends beyond his base and includes admiration from immigrants and Jewish voters.

#cuba, #florida, #presidential-election-of-2020, #sanders-bernard, #trump-donald-j, #voting-and-voters

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