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Apr

30

A Deep Dive into a Dual-Currency Economy

I remember on a windy evening in Havana I waved down one of Havana’s many informal, unlabeled taxis and was surprised to find a man sitting in the shotgun seat. I asked the driver, Carlos, about his extra passenger. Pablo turned to introduce himself. As we drove, Carlos and Pablo explained to me that they were friends and business partners. By day, Carlos was a family physician and Pablo was a vet. But Carlos had a car, so they spent their evenings taking turns driving it as taxi to make some extra cash in CUC.  


Dec

16

My Cuba Diaries: Walking through history at Museo de la Revolución

Every time I reach for my phone, a Cuban flag stares back at me. But it’s not just the red, white and blue that captures my attention, but the memory it evokes - a steamy morning overlooking the Havana streets from a palatial balcony, old time Chevys and locals crossing hurriedly along.


Nov

11

Café Cubano: A Taste of Cuban Hospitality

At cafes and takeout windows throughout the island, coffee and conversation flow together like longtime amigos. In private homes, every host, however humble, offers the beverage. Seldom drunk in seclusion, coffee forms the cornerstone of Cuba’s social interactions. The flavor of Cuban hospitality is coffee.


Oct

28

Why there aren’t any Castro statues in Cuba

The face of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, born in northern Argentina in 1928 and killed in Bolivia in 1967, is plastered on government buildings and billboards across Cuba. Tourist markets are awash with Che t-shirts, paintings, and replicas of the Argentine’s token beret with the single star across the front. A giant Che likeness, depicting his shoulder-length hair under the famous beret, overlooks Cuba’s iconic Revolution Square in Havana from the side of the Interior Ministry building.


Sep

16

My Cuba Diaries: Restaurante Museo 1514

In the small Trinidad, located in central Cuba, pretty museums are the norm. Known as Cuba’s Museum City, colonial architecture looms on every cobblestone street. Lucky me, I realized, as I first set my eyes on the antiques of Trinidad. A well-preserved living testament of the sugar trade opulence of two centuries ago, Trinidad is laden with heirlooms like no other city.


Aug

26

The state of U.S. - Cuban relations

July 20th marked the anniversary of a historic day for both Cuba and the United States; one year ago, the former Cold War adversaries reopened embassies and officially restored diplomatic relations for the first time in over half a century. Huge crowds swarmed Cuba’s embassy in Washington, DC (and the U.S. embassy in Havana a month later) as the countries’ leaders took part in the flag raising ceremony.


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