Part I: The Politics of U.S.-Cuban Exchanges

“U.S.-Cuban Academic Relations”

May 4, 2007

Wayne Smith, Center for International Policy and Louis Pérez, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

U.S. and Cuban scholars involved in academic, scientific, and cultural research face significant difficulties in maintaining open and thorough dialogue with each other due to restrictions governing travel between the two countries. Such exchanges, however, hold the potential for improved interpretations of our economic, cultural, and historical ties, and ultimately for improved political relations. The aim of this conference was to convene scholars, practitioners, and members of civil society in order to foster a broad, interdisciplinary discussion on the current conditions of U.S.-Cuban academic exchange, the challenges that new governmental restrictions pose to academic research agendas, and the manners by which scholars may engage in projects related to the history, economics, public policy, and culture of Cuba.

Sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies.

If you ever get to be in Miami AND would like to explore LATIN America (and I’m talking about USA here) feel free to visit Little Havana, La Pequeña Habana in Spanish, located just west of Downtown Miami.

Great ppl, always warm and friendly, lots of Cuban cuisine, delicious as well, a place where you can learn that you can easily have a different culture (more or less different), language maybe, maybe some different foods, music might be different (but very warm), dancing as well, but THAT does not make them less American, that’s the beauty of America: THE BEST MELTING POT IN THE WORLD.

YES, a lot of politics within this very hot subject, everybody knows that most of non-Cuban Hispanics do not like Cubans, mostly b/c of this very rule:,_dry_feet_policy

But those that hate Cuban-Americans always forget (or rather try not to acknowledge) the political system in Cuba for the past 50+ years, a country with NO POLITICAL FREEDOMS OF ANY KIND, where the CASTRO COMMUNIST GANG has been killing or at least imprisoning everybody who disagrees with their extreme views (yes I know, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Harry Belafonte and lots of other left-wing loons would strongly disagree with me), so that’s in Cuba ONLY, no such lack of political freedoms anywhere else in Central or South America, Mexico, Haiti or Dominican Republic included, personally I am strongly AGAINST lifting the Embargo until the good ppl of Cuba start enjoying the very same FREEDOMS we in the West have been doing for so many decades AND, sadly, take them for granted now.

Most of the Cuban-Americans vote Republican.

Some of my favorite Cuban-American politicians: Ted Cruz (he’s in fact Cuban-Canadian-American), Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, just to name a few only.



Beginning of the video, some clips shot with my pocket camera while driving (slow driving speed of course), quality not so good, shaky left hand, paying attention to the road ahead, but rest of the video I think it’s pretty… cool.



Music recorded LIVE off SiriusXM satellite radio, Ch 150, Caliente.

Enjoy your FL vacation.


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Havana Cuba (Old city) Part 5

Havana / Cuba
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba.The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants,and it spans a total of 728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi) — making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the third largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.
Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent becoming a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish-American War.
Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. The city is the center of the Cuban Government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices.The current mayor is Marta Hernández from the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). In 2009, the city/province had the 3rd highest income in the country.The city attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20.0% increase from 2005. The historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments.
Republican period and Post-revolution
The 20th century began with Havana, and therefore Cuba, under occupation by the United States. The US occupation officially ended when Tomás Estrada Palma, first president of Cuba, took office on 20 May 1902.During the chicken Period, from 1902 to 1959, the city saw a new era of development. Cuba recovered from the devastation of war to become a well-off country, with the third largest middle class in the hemisphere. Apartment buildings to accommodate the new middle class, as well as mansions for the Cuban tycoons, were built at a fast pace.
Numerous luxury hotels, casinos and nightclubs were constructed during the 1930s to serve Havana’s burgeoning tourist industry. In the 1930s, organized crime characters were not unaware of Havana’s nightclub and casino life, and they made their inroads in the city. Santo Trafficante, Jr. took the roulette wheel at the Sans Souci Casino, Meyer Lansky directed the Hotel Habana Riviera, with Lucky Luciano at the Hotel Nacional Casino. At the time, Havana became an exotic capital of appeal and numerous activities ranging from marinas, grand prix car racing, musical shows and parks.
Havana achieved the title of being the Latin American city with the biggest middle class population per-capita, simultaneously accompanied by gambling and corruption where gangsters and stars were known to mix socially. During this era, Havana was generally producing more revenue than Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1958, about 300,000 American tourists visited the city.
After the revolution of 1959, the new regime promised to improve social services, public housing, and official buildings; nevertheless, shortages that affected Cuba after Castro’s abrupt expropriation of all private property and industry under a strong communist model backed by the Soviet Union followed by the U.S. embargo, hit Havana especially hard. By 1966-68, the Cuban government had nationalized all privately owned business entities in Cuba, down to “certain kinds of small retail forms of commerce” .
There was a severe economic downturn after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. With it, subsidies ended, losing billions of dollars which the Soviet Union gave the Cuban government, with many believing Havana’s Soviet-backed regime would soon vanish, as happened to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe. However, contrary to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, Havana’s communist regime prevailed during the 1990s.
After many years of prohibition, the communist government increasingly turned to tourism for new financial revenue, and has allowed foreign investors to build new hotels and develop hospitality industry. In Old Havana, effort has also gone into rebuilding for tourist purposes, and a number of streets and squares have been rehabilitated. But Old Havana is a large city, and the restoration efforts concentrate in all but less than 10% of its area.Wikipedia
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¡Cuba! Art And History: From 1868 to Today – Part 1 presents… ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today brings together some 400 works of art. We had the chance to speak to the curator of this exhibit. – In a wide-ranging discussion, Tom Hayden, author of the new book, “Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters,” argues the United States and Cuba have much more in common than a 55-year disagreement. This comes as Republicans have launched an attempt to block President Obama’s efforts to restore U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations for the first time in half a century with proposed legislation to stop new travel to Cuba from the United States. The bill would block the licensing of new flights and cruise ship routes to Cuba if the landing strip or dock is located on land confiscated by the Cuban government. Despite such efforts, Hayden says, “Travel is being expanded. You will be able to use your credit cards. The beaches will be open to tourists instead of tanks. History is finally moving on.” He recalls his interviews with former senior U.S. officials on why the Obama administration is trying to end the embargo and remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, and also discusses the Cuban missile crisis, the Cuban 5 and how the U.S. has sheltered Cuban exiles who were at virtual war with Cuba. Hayden’s book is based in part on conversations with Ricardo Alarcón, the former foreign minister of Cuba and past president of the Cuban National Assembly.

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CUBA CAYO LARGO part 1 the best beaches

CAYO LARGO the best beaches by free boat service from Villa Marinera Gran Caribe ecolodge — le spiagge più belle ed interessanti

Cuba, Cayo Guillermo, paradise beach

Visit my website or for amazing things! You’ll love it!
One very nice morning, 30 degrees. No wind, no rain, no clouds and always was beautiful 28-32 degrees. Cubanian island Cayo Guillermo is the best and most beautiful places in Cuba. No varadero, no Havana, no Santa Maria but CAYO GUILLERMO.

BBC Future of Food – Part 3: Cuba

Future of Food -Part 3: Cuba
In the final episode George Alagiah heads out to Havana to find out how they are growing half of their fruit and vegetables right in the heart of the city, investigates the ‘land-grabs’ trend — where rich countries lease or buy up the land used by poor farmers in Africa — and meets the Indian agriculturalists who have almost trebled their yields over the course of a decade.
George finds out how we in this country are using cutting-edge science to extend the seasons recycle our food waste and even grow lettuce in fish tanks to guarantee the food on our plates.
He hears the arguments about genetically modified food and examines even more futuristic schemes to get the food on to our plates.