Havana

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Sonic Weapon? Cuba Calls US Accusation 'Science Fiction'

Officials label US allegation 'slander'

(Newser) - Cuban military officials have a few words to describe the notion that Havana has some kind of sonic weapon it has used against American diplomats: "science fiction" and "slander." In interviews with reporters, Cuban officials say they have investigated thoroughly and cannot find the source of the... More »

US Tourists Who Visited Cuba Think They Got Hit, Too

South Carolina's Chris Allen suffered ailments similar to 'sonic' victims back in 2014

(Newser) - Chris Allen's phone started buzzing as word broke that invisible attacks in Cuba had hit a US government worker at Havana's Hotel Capri. Allen's friends and family had heard an eerily similar story from him before. The tourist from South Carolina had cut short his trip to... More »

Tillerson: Diplomat Injuries in Cuba May Lead to Big US Move

Secretary of state says US Embassy there may be shuttered due to mystery 'incidents'

(Newser) - No one knows what's injuring US diplomats in Havana, not even (ostensibly) Raul Castro . And so Rex Tillerson said on Sunday's Face the Nation that the US government is considering closing the US Embassy there in response to this "serious issue," per the AP . "We... More »

Weird Cuba Incidents Left US Diplomats With Brain Injuries

This is being taken very seriously, State Dept. says

(Newser) - American diplomats treated after a series of unexplained incidents in Havana had health problems including mild traumatic brain injury and central nervous system damage, according to medical records seen by CBS News . The diplomats, some of whom ended up having to leave Cuba, were treated by an American doctor after... More »

US Expels Cuban Diplomats After Strange Incidents

US diplomats in Cuba 'suffered severe hearing loss'

(Newser) - The State Department has expelled two diplomats from the Cuban Embassy in Washington following a series of unexplained incidents in Cuba that left US officials there with physical symptoms that one official said includes potentially permanent hearing loss. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the two Cubans were asked to leave the... More »

Cuba's Capital Now Has a Luxury Mall

It's run by the military's tourism arm

(Newser) - The saleswomen in L'Occitane en Provence's new Havana store make $12.50 a month. The acacia eau de toilette they sell costs $95.20 a bottle. A few doors down, a Canon EOS camera goes for $7,542.01. A Bulgari watch, $10,200. In the heart of... More »

Tourists in Cuba Find Themselves in Historic Moment

Havana is suddenly extremely subdued

(Newser) - They came for salsa music and mojitos and ended up wandering through a city turned still and silent by nine days of national mourning for Fidel Castro . As Cuba prepares a massive commemoration for the leader of its socialist revolution, tens of thousands of high-season travelers have found themselves accidental... More »

Pope Sits Down With Fidel Castro

Francis delights crowd in Cuba ahead of his US visit

(Newser) - Pope Francis and Fidel Castro, the man who transformed his country through decades of Communism, met today at the revolutionary leader's home shortly after the pope told tens of thousands of Cubans to focus their lives on service to others instead of ideology. Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi says during... More »

US, Cuba to Reopen Embassies This Summer

It could happen in a matter of weeks

(Newser) - It's another step toward normal relations between the US and Cuba, and it's a big one: The two countries will reopen embassies in each other's capitals this summer. Cuba says the move will happen July 20, though President Obama didn't provide a specific date in his... More »

US Removes Cuba From Terror List

Move paves way for reopening of embassies

(Newser) - President Obama's push to normalize relations with Cuba keeps steamrolling ahead: The State Department has officially removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, reports the BBC . The expected move will likely be followed by the reopening of embassies in the two countries. Obama notified Congress of... More »

3 Freed Spies Get Heroes' Welcome in Cuba

Still no sign of Fidel in wake of US deal

(Newser) - Three men who served long US prison terms for spying received a standing ovation in Cuba's parliament today, shaking their fists in victory as President Raul Castro declared that detente with Washington won't change the communist system he leads. The last imprisoned members of the "Cuban Five"... More »

Obama: Time for 'New Chapter' With Cuba

President says current approach is 'outdated,' needs to go

(Newser) - President Obama today confirmed that the US is going to play nice with Cuba after a half-century of frosty relations. "We will end an outdated approach that has failed to advance our interests," said Obama, speaking after Havana released US prisoner Alan Gross . "Neither the American nor... More »

Russia Sends Spy Ship to Cuba

It's docked in Havana, without explanation

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin continues to be a busy boy in the wake of the Olympics. AFP reports that a Russian spy ship docked in Havana yesterday without explanation. The Viktor Leonov carries 200 sailors and is presumably chocked not only with high-tech weaponry but electronic eavesdropping equipment as well, notes the... More »

Cuba Gets First English-Language Bookstore

American ex-pat opens co-op

(Newser) - Cuba's first English-language bookstore, cafe, and literary salon opened in Havana yesterday. The brainchild of a longtime US expat, Cuba Libro launched with just 300 books on offer, about what you'd expect to find in the lobby of an average US bed & breakfast. Next to what's... More »

Rubio Joins Brouhaha Over Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba Trip

US Treasury authorized 'people-to-people' visit: report

(Newser) - Now Marco Rubio is questioning Beyonce and Jay-Z's recent anniversary trip to Havana , a trip which an insider tells Reuters was licensed by the US Treasury department. Traveling to Cuba is normally forbidden for US citizens, with a potential punishment of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in... More »

Beyonce, Jay-Z in Hot Water Over Vacation

Florida lawmakers unhappy with the destination: Cuba

(Newser) - Two Florida lawmakers want to know why Beyonce and Jay-Z were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba—where most Americans are still forbidden to travel, CNN reports. "Numerous press reports described the couple’s trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda,... More »

Fidel Castro Surfaces for Cuban Election

He makes first extended public appearance since 2010

(Newser) - A frail but definitely alive Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance in Havana yesterday to vote in Cuba's parliamentary elections. The 86-year-old former leader, who is often rumored to be dead or seriously ill, chatted with reporters and other voters in his first extended public outing since 2010,... More »

FARC Calls Unilateral Ceasefire

As a sign of goodwill ahead of peace talks

(Newser) - FARC declared a unilateral ceasefire in its ongoing war against the Colombian government as a sign of goodwill ahead of the peace talks that begin today in Cuba. The Marxist rebels have pledged to stop all military operations until Jan. 20, CNN reports. The government hasn't said if it... More »

Power Outage in Cuba Leaves Millions in Dark

Havana hit hardest, but outages reported around country

(Newser) - A power outage last night in Cuba left millions in the dark and sweltering heat, reports the AP . The outage hit around 8pm, affecting large parts of Havana for more than five hours, as well as the beach resort of Varadero, and there were even reports of brief power problems... More »

50 Cubans Infected in Cholera Outbreak

1 case turns up in Havana, far from outbreak source

(Newser) - Just days after cholera broke out in Cuba's southeastern city of Manzanillo, a case has been discovered in the capital, Havana, reports the BBC . Authorities say a contaminated well was responsible for the outbreak, which has killed three people and infected 50 so far. Another 1,000 are being... More »

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