Eight things to know when visiting Cuba
January marks exactly one year since President Barack Obama expanded the categories of authorized travel to Cuba thereby inspiring an increasing number of Americans to add the largest – yet previously forbidden – Caribbean island to their adventure … Read more on Houston Chronicle
What pregnant women need to know about Zika virus and travel
WATCH ABOVE: Two cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Alberta: one in 2013 and one earlier this month. The biggest risk is to pregnant women travelling to affected areas. Su-Ling Goh reports. Read more on Globalnews.ca
Cuban baseball stars the Gurriel brothers defect during Caribbean tournament
There were a record 150 baseball defections in Cuba in 2015, according to Cuban journalist Francys Romero, but the Gurriel brothers would be an exceptional loss because of their fame and because Yulieski had always been seen as a loyal player who had … Read more on The Guardian
Why So Many Cubans Grow Their Own Food
This was during the “Special Period in Time of Peace,” when Cuba's food security dropped precipitously following the fall of the Soviet Union. Figueroa and Lama hosted classes for Cubans who wanted to learn how to garden, cook, and preserve food for … Read more on CityLab
Neighbors, business partners fuse Greek, Cuban cuisine
Harris calls his business partner Kallas the “secret sauce” to their success, thanks to the Greek and Cuban family recipes Kallas has been using since 1997. After selling his original establishments in Brandon and New Tampa, Kallas decided to team up … Read more on TBO.com
Ships ahoy: 2016 will see a bonanza of new cruise ships
… Caribbean cruises. ▫ Features: Custom staterooms with a Cuban theme, a sky ropes course, a 3-D Thrill Theater, family-focused hangout area. ▫ For more: www.carnival.com/cruise-ships/carnival-vista. … Europe, then the Caribbean out of Fort … Read more on Miami Herald
A new Cuban revolution and the stark divide between rich and poor
Stephanie Nolen reports from a country in transition: 'I didn't go to Cuba planning to report on inequality. But it kept coming up, a source of comment and concern. Not many people study inequality in a place where, in theory, the political system has … Read more on The Globe and Mail
Cuba's Revolution Enters New Phase
As Cuba's Revolution celebrates 57 years since rebels forced out the U.S.-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista, the country is deep into a process of normalizing relations with the United States. Cubans are hopeful that the changes on the island will … Read more on teleSUR English
The Victory of the Cuban Revolution
Since the triumph of its Revolution in 1959, Cuba has inspired millions to fight for a better world through the achievements and sacrifices of its people. The revolution that no one said could survive due to its proximity to the United States has not … Read more on teleSUR English
Amid a historic wave of emigration, some Cubans are returning home
Cubans returning from Spain, for example, do not have to renounce their Spanish citizenship and the all-important European Union passports that come with it, allowing them to travel far more freely than ordinary Cuban passport holders, who need visas … Read more on Washington Post
Traveling to Cuba is easier than ever. Will that change if a Republican …
Since Obama's announcement, Americans in the tens of thousands have flocked to the once off-limits island for a new glimpse into its culture and — because this is America — its potential for business ventures. (Vox just recently published a helpful … Read more on Vox
2016 travel highlights: Rio, Indy 500, German beer, Shanghai Disney
Tourists ride a vintage American convertible during sunset on the Malecon in Havana, Cuba. Tourism to Cuba has surged in the wake of improved relations with … Cuba Mania. Cuban tourism will likely keep booming after a year in which visits by … Read more on azcentral.com
Growing interest in traveling to Cuba
Group tours have focused on culture and agriculture, she said. "They show you tobacco farms and Cuban cigars." Elite Travel's Carolyn Sandgren, formerly Kempf, said Americans have traveled to Cuba for years. "I have been sending people to Cuba for … Read more on Southeast Missourian
Billy Gibbons embraces 'unexpected turn' from ZZ Top to Latin music
Puente schooled the young Gibbons in Latin music and in the importance of clave, the recurring rhythmic pattern that anchors myriad Afro-Cuban music styles. "When I met Tito, he smiled, handed me some drum sticks, and said: 'Let me hear what you want … Read more on The San Diego Union-Tribune
… Buena Vista Social Club, has been touring the world and will soon take to the road one last time to bid “Adios” in a series of farewell concerts and related cultural events that will celebrate the Orquesta's storied journey as an ambassador for … Read more on Times of Oman
Encore: Picadillo, the New York Times, and Nitza Villapol
Born in New York City to Cuban parents, Villapol moved to the island with her family when she was nine. She had fond memories of the food in her Washington Heights neighborhood—Fig Newtons, Good Humor ice cream—but nothing good to say about … Read more on Cuban Art News
Holiday book gift guide
The blogger-turned-lifestyle-guru has traveled much of the globe, and these are the recipes she's collected from Morocco, Japan, Italy, France and India, juxtaposed next to the dishes that make up her everyday San Francisco life. The Mission … Read more on SFGate
Books for Long Winter Nights
—Beatrice Rogers, professor of economics and food policy, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy … As the son of a Cuban immigrant and friend to several more recent arrivals, I've heard both the dark and the sunny takes on the revolution … Read more on Tufts Now
A restaurant that has newly opened in Havana aims to highlight the nostalgia for former Cuban-Soviet ties during the Cold War, when Moscow was the island’s main source of trade.
It evokes a time when hundreds of thousands of Cubans travelled to the Soviet bloc as diplomats, artists and students.
At “Nazdarovie”, named for the popular Russian toast, there’s no rice, beans or fried plantain — common staples of Cuban cuisine
The owners say the restaurant, which opened Friday, is an homage to the old country serving minty mojitos mixed with vodka instead of the traditional white rum, bowls of blood-red borscht and stuffed Ukrainian varenyky dumplings, among others.
“What we want to do with Nazdarovie is really celebrate a unique social and cultural link that existed and to a same degree still exists today between Cuba of 2014 and what was once the Soviet Union,” said restaurant co-founder Gregory Biniowsky.
Biniowsky, a 45-year-old Canadian of Ukrainian descent has lived in Havana for two decades and launched Nazdarovie with three Cuban partners.
He added that most of the ingredients can be found on the island, with some exceptions such as flour for black bread, and caviar, for which they’ll rely on tins imported in the personal luggage of friends and family.
The waiters speak Russian and clients are expected to order in that language if they want to get served.
The menus at this retro-Soviet restaurant come with translations and pronunciation guides for the non-initiated.
Behind the bar, Russian nesting dolls and a bust of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin perch next to bottles of high-end vodka.
Reproductions of Soviet propaganda posters line one wall in an attempt to spark conversation among customers sitting at a long communal table.
The menu also includes pelmeni, dumplings filled with meat, sour cream and dill; golubtsy, stuffed cabbage rolls slow-cooked in a tomato sauce; pork Stroganoff (beef is often scarce in Cuba); and for dessert, savoury-sweet blintzes, called “blinchiki” in Russian.
One of the cooks, Irina Butorina, moved to Cuba in 1984 after falling in love, from her native Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic, now Kyrgyzstan.
“For the comrades, it’s been a dream for years to start this restaurant. It was good for us too, since they called us to work here. It became our dream too,” she said.
Authorities say of the estimated 3,000-4,000 islanders who were born in the Soviet Union or descended from them, most are cases of Soviet women who married Cuban university students and moved to the Caribbean nation.
The collapse of the Soviet bloc largely ended the Havana-Moscow connection and sent Cuba into an economic tailspin.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has talked recently of renewing the relationship.
He made a state visit last month.
Russian navy ships periodically dock in Havana’s harbour and Cuba has backed Russia in its dispute over Ukraine.
You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/f0733b09898c3b2e1b8e8455499ccc54
Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork Video Rating: / 5
To Renounce US Passport, Get In Line — Or Just Don't Pay Your Taxes
You have to love the irony. In recent years, there has been a big spike in Americans handing in their passports. The fees to renounce U.S. citizenship spiked too, by 422%. With dual State Department and IRS filing protocols, many people trip during the … Read more on Forbes
U.S. Passport Holders Can No Longer Add Extra Pages In 2016
Under the current system, U.S. travelers who need extra passport pages for visas can have them added in 24-page packets, which costs $ 82 (you can request up to two packets at one time). But starting in 2016, they'll have to request a whole new passport … Read more on Huffington Post
Visit from Cuba's arts leaders sparks hope for cultural exchanges with St …
A year later, nine Cubans prominent in the country's arts community, including representatives of Cuba's Ministry of Culture, took advantage of new travel opportunities to visit St. Petersburg. Their hosts are the city's Downtown Partnership and St … Read more on Tampabay.com
Tania Bruguera: Rebel With a Cause
More positive was the hiccup of free expression that artists in Cuba enjoyed in the 1980s. Bruguera, then in her late teens, joined Paideia, an interdisciplinary group that strove to establish an alternative to state-sponsored culture. “Art became part … Read more on W Magazine
Gloria Estefan hopes Cuba will get more art, culture with loosening embargo
Gloria Estefan says she hopes that the recent loosening of the United States' embargo will bring the art and culture she has seen around the world to her native Cuba. “Cubans don't really know what the world is like,” Estefan told the New York Post at … Read more on Fox News Latino
Cuba Imposes Travel Permit for Doctors to Limit Brain Drain
The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it is re-imposing a hated travel permit requirement on many doctors, requiring them to get permission to leave the country in an attempt to counter a brain drain that it blames on the United States. It is the … Read more on ABC News
MLB's Cuba trip to include Abreu, star who defected
In mid-November, with numerous major league teams clamoring to be the one chosen to go to Cuba for the spring training game, Manfred resorted to picking a ball out of a bin to decide. The winner was the Tampa Bay Rays, a selection that carried extra … Read more on MyAJC