Cuba

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UN Slams Our Cuba Embargo for 23rd Year in a Row

Resolution passes 188-2

(Newser) - The only thing different this year was Ebola: For the 23rd year in a row, the United Nations General Assembly passed a near-unanimous resolution condemning the long-standing American embargo against Cuba. The vote this year was identical to 2013, with 188 countries in support and only the US and Israel... More »

Hellish Ordeal in Caribbean: Migrants Drank Own Blood

Group spent 23 days adrift in Caribbean

(Newser) - Survivors who spent 23 days adrift in the Caribbean in an attempt to get to the US from Cuba have finally made it to America and have shared details of their hellish ordeal. "I'm happy I made it, alive, but it was something no one should have to... More »

Papers: Kissinger Made Plan to 'Smash' Cuba

Infuriated secretary of state sought airstrikes because of Angola incursion

(Newser) - The co-author of a new book about negotiations between the US and Cuba says Henry Kissinger was the secretary of state who tried the hardest, in secret, to establish normal relations with Havana, NPR reports. So when Castro launched a military mission in Angola in late 1975, Kissinger was "... More »

'Unresponsive' US Couple Crashes Plane Near Jamaica

US fighter jets followed plane as far as Cuba

(Newser) - A real estate developer and his wife flew "apparently incapacitated" on a 1,700-mile flight today before crashing off the coast of Jamaica, reports the AP . Rescue teams from the US are investigating, but the Democrat and Chronicle reports that Larry and Jane Glazer, both 68, have died. They... More »

What About the Other American 'Left Behind'?

Alan Gross has been imprisoned in Cuba for 5 years: Ruth Marcus

(Newser) - Regardless of where you stand on the controversy surrounding Bowe Bergdahl's release —Ruth Marcus calls herself "tentatively against the (prisoner) swap"—it serves as an argument for aiding another captive American. Alan Gross, a state department subcontractor, has been in a Cuban prison for almost five... More »

Book: Castro Traveled With Personal Blood Donors

Former bodyguard says Cuban leader lived like a king

(Newser) - Fidel Castro was not the spartan Socialist he claimed to be, says a former bodyguard. In fact, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez writes in Fidel Castro's Hidden Life that Castro lived very much like a king, reports the Guardian and Miami Herald . Among the claims:
  • Castro enjoyed a private island, Cayo
... More »

Cuba: We Busted 4 Miami Residents in Terror Plot

Exiles sought to attack military installations: officials

(Newser) - Four Cuban exiles based in Miami have been arrested for allegedly planning terrorist acts in Cuba, Reuters reports. The country's interior ministry says the suspects—Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos, and Felix Monzon Alvarez—were targeting military installations "with the objective of furthering violent... More »

American on Hunger Strike in Cuban Jail

Alan Gross has been jailed for 4 years, wants out

(Newser) - After four years cooling his heels in a Cuban prison, American Alan Gross has begun a hunger strike he says is a protest against his treatment by both Havana and Washington. Gross, 64, was arrested in 2009 while working for USAID as a sub-contractor to get Internet access to Cuba'... More »

US Tried to Sow Dissent By Building 'Cuban Twitter'

AP reveals secret program aimed at spurring Cuban Spring

(Newser) - The US in 2009 started work on a thoroughly 21st-century way to attempt to stir unrest in Cuba: It concocted a "Cuban Twitter" that it hoped would draw young people that it could prod toward dissent, an AP investigation has found. The text messaging platform, ZunZuneo—slang for a... More »

'Complicated' Cuban Art Heist Uncovered

Paintings from national museum turn up in Miami

(Newser) - They're not quite working together, but American and Cuban authorities are both looking into the theft of at least 70 artworks from a Havana museum. In the first such heist reported since the 1959 Cuban Revolution, paintings worth a total of around $1.5 million were apparently cut from... More »

Fidel Castro Makes Rare Appearance

He's out in public for first time in 9 months

(Newser) - A "frail-looking" Fidel Castro showed up in public for the first time in nine months last night, reports the BBC . The occasion was the opening of an art studio in Havana, and the AP notes that the state's official newspapers and websites showed the 87-year-old only from behind.... More »

Elian Gonzalez Is All Grown Up, and He's Mad

Says it's US' fault his mom died

(Newser) - Remember Elian Gonzalez? Well, he's not the little boy the US sent back to Cuba anymore. Gonzalez turned 20 last week, and he isn't happy with his almost-home. In an interview with CNN yesterday, Gonzalez said he blamed the US for the death of his mother, who drowned... More »

Is the Obama-Castro Handshake a Big Deal?

Right fumes over gesture at Mandela memorial

(Newser) - At Nelson Mandela's memorial, President Obama shook hands with the Cuban president, and the media is in a tizzy about it. "The handshake between Obama and Raúl Castro makes the stomach turn," writes Mona Charen at the National Review . "The nature of the Cuban regime... More »

'Homesick Hijacker' Returns to US After 29 Years

William Potts in FBI custody after return from Cuba

(Newser) - An American who hijacked an airliner to Cuba nearly 30 years ago as a self-described revolutionary was in custody today, a day after returning home on a charter flight from Havana. The FBI says agents took William Potts, 56, into custody shortly after his flight arrived at Miami International Airport.... More »

Why Oswald Tried Another Killing Before JFK

He tried shooting Gen. Edwin Walker through his window, say authors

(Newser) - President Kennedy wasn't the only target on Lee Harvey Oswald's list: Before JFK's death, Oswald took aim at a strident anti-Communist general and missed. A new book, Dallas 1963, looks back at how Gen. Edwin Walker's barnstorming tour across the South and Oswald's rising political... More »

Cuba to Let Athletes Play in Other Countries

But apparently not in the US, at least for now

(Newser) - Pro athletes in Cuba make all of $20 a month, which goes a long way toward explaining why so many baseball players, boxers, and others have been defecting of late. But now the government hopes to remedy that: New rules will let Cuban athletes sign contracts to play in foreign... More »

One Weird Thing North Korea Does Better Than the West

Pour a glass of its Asian pear juice, say 2 samplers

(Newser) - Is there anything North Korea can teach the US? Turns out ... juice drinks? At Foreign Policy , Justin Rohrlich got his hands on snacks and drinks from nations cut off from American junk food—North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Cuba. He enlisted food writer Mark Bittman to help him sample the... More »

Your Tax Dollars: $79K a Year for Grounded Plane

TV Marti plane for Cuba in sequester 'limbo': Washington Post

(Newser) - The Washington Post today has one of those logic-defying stories about government-spending, this one involving a plane that's not allowed to fly. The government is paying a Georgia contractor $6,600 every month to house the plane, originally intended to fly over Cuba and broadcast anti-Castro programming. The problem... More »

She Did It! Nyad Finishes Epic Cuba-Fla. Swim

Swimmer completes 110-mile journey on 5th, final try in 35 years

(Newser) - The fifth try was indeed the charm: Diana Nyad has completed her 35-year-old odyssey to become the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits Cuba without a shark cage. She was in the water roughly 53 hours, reports CNN . Nyad's team posted this message earlier on her website : "... More »

Secret Weapon Buoys Nyad's Final Cuba-Fla. Swim

Swimmer thus far avoiding jellyfish, thanks to special mask

(Newser) - American endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is "doing remarkably well" in her fifth attempt in 35 years to become the first person to successfully swim 103 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She made it through the first night without any of the jellyfish stings that have... More »

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