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This Is the Largest Cuban Athlete Defection in Years

9 baseball players defect during tournament in Mexico

(Newser) - While playing in a tournament in Mexico this weekend, nine members of a Cuban baseball team defected. While Cuban athletes have a history of defecting while competing in other countries, this was the largest athlete defection in years, the BBC reports. The Cuban government confirmed the defections Sunday, calling them...

Toddlers in Cuba Are Now Getting Homegrown Vaccines

Cuba is administering Soberana 2, not recognized by WHO, to kids as young as 2

(Newser) - With kids still out of school since March 2020, and one of the highest coronavirus rates worldwide, Cuba announced a bold new undertaking Monday: It has begun to administer a COVID vaccine to children, even toddlers, reports Voice of America . Kids ages 2-18 are receiving Soberana 2 and the booster...

Man Survives 10 Days Aboard This Makeshift Raft

He reportedly departed from Cuba with 3 others

(Newser) - A good Samaritan is being credited with saving the life of a man who survived for 10 days aboard a makeshift raft that reportedly departed from Cuba. The man, who was found in Biscayne Bay south of Miami, says he had three companions with him who perished along the way....

US Imposes New Sanctions on Cuba
US Imposes New
Sanctions on Cuba

US Imposes New Sanctions on Cuba

White House accuses regime of human rights abuses while quelling protests

(Newser) - The Biden administration announced sanctions Thursday against a Cuban official and a government special brigade that it says was involved in human rights abuses during a government crackdown on protests on the island earlier this month, per the AP . The Treasury Department listed Alvaro Lopez Miera, a Cuban military and...

US Diplomats are Falling Ill in Austria

Vienna's diplomatic community sees rash of 'Havana syndrome'-like mystery illness

(Newser) - The Biden administration is investigating multiple incidents of US diplomats in Austria suffering from a mystery illness not unlike what struck their counterparts in Cuba years earlier. Twenty officials in Vienna have reported symptoms since the president took office this year, the New Yorker first reported Friday. Per BBC , the...

Cuba Rallies Supporters
Cuba Counters Protest

Cuba Counters Protest

Raul Castro attends event 6 days after protesters took to streets

(Newser) - Cuban officials rallied tens of thousands of supporters in the streets on Saturday—nearly a week after they were stunned by the most widespread protests in decades. President Miguel Díaz-Canel, accompanied by 90-year-old former President Raul Castro, appeared on the seafront Malecon boulevard that had seen some of the...

For Cuba, Miami Protesters Block a Highway
Cuba Protests
Boil Over Into Miami

Cuba Protests Boil Over Into Miami

Protesters also blocked a road in Orlando on Tuesday

(Newser) - Florida protesters marching in solidarity with anti-government protesters in Cuba blocked major roads for about an hour on Tuesday. Traffic was halted in both directions along Miami's Palmetto Expressway, also known as State Road 826, near Coral Way at 1:35pm local time Tuesday, as dozens of marchers failed...

Biden: 'We Stand With the Cuban People'
Biden: 'We Stand
With the Cuban People'
the rundown

Biden: 'We Stand With the Cuban People'

President backs demonstrations, but critics say support didn't come fast enough

(Newser) - Rare demonstrations in Cuba on Sunday have drawn the public support of President Biden, along with criticism from Republicans who say the White House was too slow to weigh in. Coverage:
  • Biden: "We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic

Cubans Gather in Rare, Mass Protests

Demonstrations are the country's largest in nearly 30 years

(Newser) - Thousands of Cubans protested in the streets Sunday in what the New York Times calls an "astonishing" display of dissent in the repressive country. The demonstrations were Cuba's largest in nearly three decades, as anti-government protesters railed against food and medicine shortages and high prices against the backdrop...

Diplomats: Canada Is Hiding 'Havana Syndrome' Cases

They claim personnel are being sent to Havana without knowing the risks

(Newser) - A group of Canadian diplomats says their government is hiding cases of "Havana Syndrome," the mysterious illness affecting Canadian and US personnel in Cuba. In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, nine diplomats who reported strange symptoms say "at least three additional cases were identified...

Possible 'Havana Syndrome' Attack Hit Near White House

Federal agencies investigating at least 2 incidents in the US

(Newser) - Last year, GQ reported that strange, apparent attacks like those that sickened diplomats in Cuba had taken place inside the US . A month later, one such incident occurred just outside the White House. A National Security Council official was sickened near the Ellipse, the oval lawn on the White House'...

Castro Era Set to End in Cuba
Castro Era Set
to End in Cuba

Castro Era Set to End in Cuba

After 62 years under Fidel and Raul Castro, Cuba sees latter step down from most powerful post

(Newser) - For more than six decades, the Castro name has towered over Cuban politics and life. Now, that era is apparently coming to an end, with Raul Castro poised to step down Friday as the head of the country's ruling Communist Party, reports NBC News . The 89-year-old had taken over...

Trump Slaps Cuba With Terrorism Label

New sanctions could make it tougher for Biden to improve relations

(Newser) - The Trump administration on Monday redesignated Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism," hitting the country with new sanctions that could hamstring President-elect Joe Biden's promise to renew relations with the communist-governed island nation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the step, the AP reports. He cited...

Tropical Storm Eta Makes Landfall on Cuba, Eyes Fla.

Tropical storm warnings issued for southern Florida, Keys

(Newser) - A strengthened Tropical Storm Eta made landfall on Cuba early Sunday and had its sights set on the southern tip of Florida after leaving dozens dead and over 100 missing in Central America, where it hit last week as a major hurricane. Eta breached Cuba even as searchers in Guatemala...

Those Mystery Cuba Ailments? They're All Over the World
Suspected Culprit Emerges
in Mystery 'Havana Syndrome'

Suspected Culprit Emerges in Mystery 'Havana Syndrome'

Reports suggest Russia is behind alleged attacks on US diplomats around the world

(Newser) - Remember "Havana syndrome"? That's the term often used to describe the weird, inexplicable ailments that began affecting US diplomats in Cuba in recent years. Now two investigative pieces, one by the New York Times and the other at GQ , seek to shed more light on what's...

Cops: Man Fired AK-47 Into Cuban Embassy in DC

DC shooting is a 'suspected hate crime'

(Newser) - A man armed with an assault rifle was arrested after opening fire outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC, early Thursday, his bullets tearing holes into the walls and pillars near the front entrance in what authorities suspect was a hate crime. The gunfire broke out around 2am. outside the...

Ben Affleck Falls Into the Arms of a 'Knockout'

None other than Cuban actress Ana de Armas

(Newser) - "She's a knockout ... and, of course, Ben is Ben." That's how TMZ sums up sightings of Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas on vacation this week in her native country of Cuba. The pair were photographed walking, laughing, posing with fans and restaurant owners—pretty much...

Florida Democrats Furious About Sanders' Cuba Remarks

He said not everything was bad under Castro

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton in Florida's primary in 2016—and after his remarks on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, the Democratic frontrunner may again struggle to win the state this time around. Sanders, asked about his 1985 remark that Cubans didn't rise up against Fidel Castro...

7.7 Quake Triggers Tsunami Threat
7.7 Quake Triggers
Tsunami Threat

7.7 Quake Triggers Tsunami Threat

Buildings shook as far as Miami

(Newser) - The US Geological Survey says a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica on Tuesday, the AP reports. It was centered 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 87 miles west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba. It hit at 2:10pm EST and the epicenter...

US Bars All Flights Into Cuba, With One Exception

Planes from United States can only go into Havana in new travel ban

(Newser) - If you'd planned to travel to Cuba, you still can—but only one of the country's 10 main airports will be open starting next month. Per CBS News , at the direction of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the US has banned all flights to the island nation, save...

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