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Cuba for Americans: Havana beckons with history, beauty

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Terry Cornelius - Jul. 13, 2011 01:27 PM. The Arizona Republic. It was mid-January and slightly humid on the edge of the city's historical district. I had settled in for an afternoon siesta when there came an urgent tapping on my door. "Terry, come look!" It was my host, Antonio Fernandez Rodriguez, who, with his mother, manages the boardinghouse in which I was staying on a narrow cobblestone street behind the old Cuban Capitol.I shuffled into the sitting room. Read More

In Cuba, reforms bring cheers but also jeers

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Marc Frank. HAVANA (Reuters) - Plumbing supplies salesman Luis Miguel is relieved he will finally be able to sell his Havana apartment and buy another under liberalizing reforms being introduced by Cuban President Raul Castro.But he is angry over the months he spent struggling with restrictive and labyrinthine bureaucracy as he tried to trade his property under the past strictly controlled housing regime on the communist-ruled island. Read More

Cuba Regulates Public Spaces for Setting up Private Businesses

<p style="text-align: justify;">Havana –&nbsp; The proliferation of newly legal small businesses almost everywhere has led Cuban authorities to launch a widespread campaign regarding specifically which public spaces may be used to set up such businesses with an eye toward maintaining order and "good taste." The Physical Planning Institute, or IPF, has printed thousands of brochures and posters to inform new entrepreneurs. Read More

Ex-Emcee hip hops all over the globe to chronicle worldwide music scene

<p style="text-align: justify;">BY Sam Levin. DAILY NEWS WRITER. Tuesday, July 12th 2011, 4:00 AM. After chasing hip-hop movements from Chicago to Havana, emcee-turned-professor Sujatha Fernandes ultimately found herself most at home in the genre's birthplace - New York City.Fernandes, an assistant professor of sociology at Queens College, recounts her 11-year global journey in a new book to be released in September, titled "Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation." Read More

Anthony Bourdain on taking 'No Reservations' to Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">Anthony Bourdain in Old Havana, Cuba.By Rebecca Ruiz, Senior editor, msnbc.com. In the season premiere of "No Reservations" airing tonight, host Anthony Bourdain visits Cuba for the first time. He spends the hour falling for Havana's old school charms, from its retro cars and architecture to its passionate baseball fans to its so-called "sleeping" beans, which are eaten only after they've sat overnight. U.S. tourists who have long dreamed of visiting the communist country should take note. Now that the Obama administration has issued new rules for traveling to Cuba, average Americans can visit the country provided they do so with tour operators that provide educational experiences. Read More

Getting to know Cuba

<p style="text-align: justify;">The colors, smells and energy are overwhelming. Sports remain the heart and soul of Havana. Children will use anything to kick around as a makeshift soccer ball. / TIMOTHY ALEX AKIMOFF | STATESMAN JOURNAL. Arriving in Havana by night is only fair for your five senses. They would be overwhelmed if you arrived in the middle of a clear-blue Caribbean day. Even still, you'll need all the olfactory, auditory and visual capacity you can muster to process a Havana night. Read More

What you need to know about bird flu found in Wright County

<p style="text-align: justify;">I was surprised Thursday evening when I came across a brief news story at the business news site www.Bloomberg.com. The first sentence: "Hong Kong, Cuba, Guatemala, Singapore and Taiwan have halted poultry exports from Wright County, Minnesota, after cases of low-pathogenic bird flu were discovered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Read More

Traveling to Cuba, as a Cuban

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Achy Obejas. Jul. 08, 2011. If things had gone according to plan, I’d be writing this from Havana, the first of what I hoped – and maybe still hope, I’m not sure now – would be a brief series of blogs from the city in which I was born. But instead I’m writing from a dreary non-beach hotel in Cancun, Mexico, listening to the rain come down like a machine gun on the roof. The streets are inundated from the avalanche of water, a fact I discovered on my little jaunt downtown to the Cuban consulate. Read More

Cubans eye prospect of being able to buy and sell homes

<p style="text-align: justify;">9 July 2011 Last updated at 13:42 GMT. Private property sales are about to make a comeback in Cuba for the first time since they were outlawed by the government after the 1959 revolution. The BBC's Michael Voss meets one couple desperate for a place of their own.Mario Perez and Lilian Carballo were married for 11 years before they broke up about 12 months ago.They still see each other every day. But out of necessity, not choice.Their story is not unusual in Cuba, where divorced couples stay under the same roof because they have nowhere to move to. Read More

In Cuba, Yes, but Only With a Purpose

<p style="text-align: justify;">By VICTORIA BURNETT. July 8, 2011. LINDA SLEZAK stood over a bed of delicate bean plants, tearing out tiny weeds and mounding loose, rust-colored earth around the stems.Jose Goitia for The New York Times. Maritza Miranda, a Cuban, tells tourists of her experiences. A hot June sun glared over the Arroyo Arenas organic vegetable garden at the edge of Havana where Ms. Slezak, a 68-year-old retired social worker from Long Island, and 16 other Americans were visiting as part of a “food sovereignty” progra.&nbsp; Read More

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