~ 1 year ago, on Jan. 14, 2013, Raúl Castro and the Cuban government relaxed foreign travel
policies for its citizens...
~ Between Jan. 14 and Nov. 30, 2013, more than 184,000 islanders had gone abroad.
* Many on more than one trip (257,518 trips total according to Cuba’s foreign
and migration department)
In Cuba, a country with restricted internet access, those who have found a way around the government’s access barriers have been labeled as dissidents. One of these, blogger Yoani Sánchez, has consistently been active in portraying and critiquing daily life in communist Cuba. She is most famous for her blog Generación Y, which she is able to maintain by emailing friends outside the country for publication.
“I’m afraid that something will happen to me…that they’ll kidnap me, I don’t know.” These are the fearful words of Ramona Rodríguez, the 51-year old Cuban primary care physician stationed in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pará. She has since left her position last week to seek asylum in the United States embassy in Brasilia and has sought refuge in Brazil in an attempt to establish her residency there while Washington looks over her request.
In Havana this past weekend, Cuba passed a new law to open the country to foreign investment. The latest in a series of reforms by Raul Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel in 2008, this law encourages foreign capital in an effort to advance Cuba’s development and struggling economy.
“Brother Obama,” wrote Fidel Castro in a public letter to the American president, “we don’t need the empire to gift us anything.” The article was published on the 28
The US-Cuba embargo, installed in the early 1960s, has been in place for over 50 years. Its ultimate goal of destroying Fidel Castro’s reign has not been accomplished, and its motivation, fear of a worldwide expansion of communism and a Soviet-aided Cuban military attack on the US have diminished. As Castro passes, the major source of US/Cuban political obstruction will, too. In terms of the US ending the embargo, we can ask ourselves, what are we waiting for?
In recent years, tourist income from all over the world has been flowing into the Cuban economy as visitors take in the sights of Havana and stroll along the sunbaked sands of small beach towns such as Baracoa Varadero and Guanabo that lay on Cuba’s golden coasts.
Recently, a group of seven cuban immigrants found themselves on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.1 This group of seven was attempting to traverse the 90-mile stretch of ocean from Cuba to Florida, but instead ended up in Mexico. Due to this longer than expected journey, two died, while the rest were in critical condition upon rescue by the Mexican Navy who found them off the coast of the peninsula. After recovery, the Cubans were deported back to Cuba, while their hopes of making it to the United States remain unfulfilled.
Cuba asegura que el embargo de Estados Unidos le ha costado alrededor de $116.000 millones (USD) a la isla desde que se estableció, en 1962. En una declaración realizada el nueve de septiembre en la ONU, la nación caribeña añadió que sólo en el último año el embargo le reportó pérdidas por $3.900 millones (USD). El viceministro de relaciones exteriores, Abelardo Moreno, aseguró que en promedio Cuba pierde $2.000 millones anuales (USD) como consecuencia de las restricciones de viajes entre los dos países.1