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Friendly Cuban Welcomes

Rick Steves | Posted 02.08.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Some of my favorite hours in Havana were spent simply strolling down the streets, venturing into back lanes, and popping into courtyards, shops, schools, and bakeries...anything that was open.

Photo Essay: Old Town Scenes

Rick Steves | Posted 02.08.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Beyond the cute tourist zone of Old Havana (Havana Vieja), the rest of the city provides a jarring contrast. The cityscape is three layers of architec...

A Cocotaxi Ride Across the River

Rick Steves | Posted 02.08.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

In this clip, our cocotaxi driver, Emma, zips us (as if in a coconut shell on a motorcycle) over the river with my partner Trish and son Andy. A 15-mi...

Cuba's Classic (and Not-So-Classic) Cars

Rick Steves | Posted 02.08.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Havana traffic is a mix of classic American cars (from before the Revolution), Russian Ladas (those infamous tin cans on four wheels, from the Soviet ...

Tourism in Havana

Rick Steves | Posted 02.08.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Havana Vieja (Old Havana) is polished, nicely cobbled and touristy. Rather than beggars, you find jaunty old men with giant cigars eager to pose for a dollar. Rather than begging, panhandlers find an excuse to make business.

Blockade, Bureaucracy, and Groceries

Rick Steves | Posted 02.08.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

During my time in Cuba, I encountered no animosity toward Americans. There are plenty of pro-Revolution billboards, but no anti-USA or anti-Imperialis...

The Great Christian Rapprochement, Cuban Style

R. Andrew Chesnut | Posted 02.07.2016 | World
R. Andrew Chesnut

Pope Francis's dynamic papacy has been one of many firsts, the latest being the monumental meeting in Havana on February 12 with Russian Orthodox patr...

Friday Talking Points -- Toss of a Coin

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.05.2016 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Democrats are down to a head-to-head contest, which was on full display last night. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made their respective cases fairly well, and the jostling between them for position was notable.

Facts Prove Obama's Cuba Policy Counter-Productive

Mauricio Claver-Carone | Posted 02.05.2016 | World
Mauricio Claver-Carone

President Obama announced a new Cuba policy on Dec. 17, 2014. It gave diplomatic recognition to the sole remaining dictatorship in the Western Hemisph...

The USA, the USSR, and Cuba

Rick Steves | Posted 02.05.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Two of the most striking buildings in Havana are the embassies of Russia and the USA. Immediately after Castro's victory in 1960, there was hope of a ...

A Havana Neighborhood Farmers Market

Rick Steves | Posted 02.05.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Although it's a huge city, Havana feels like a collection of neighborhoods -- each with its own small-town character and vibrant market. And a delight...

Communism in Cuba

Rick Steves | Posted 02.04.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Part of being a tourist in Cuba is sorting out the puzzle of its ideology and its struggling economy. With the country opening up to tourism, softening its controls on society, and preparing for the inevitable end of the Castro era, traveling here is filled with fun and curious insights.

Havana: The Caribbean's Mightiest Port, 500 Years Ago

Rick Steves | Posted 02.04.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

A first stop for any sightseer in Havana is the fort.

Despite Opening to U.S., The Castros Continue to Persecute Cuban Christians

Doug Bandow | Posted 02.04.2016 | World
Doug Bandow

Americans should forthrightly encourage freedom in Cuba. Religious believers here should be particularly vocal in supporting people seeking to live out their faith under Communist oppression. Some day autocracy will give way to liberty even in Cuba.

Welcome to Havana

Rick Steves | Posted 02.03.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Flying into Havana after dark, I was struck by how dimly lit the city was. Touching down, it was the darkest airstrip I'd ever landed on. For such a b...

Rick Steves' Cuba Report

Rick Steves | Posted 02.03.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

One of the hottest topics among American travelers lately is Cuba. Can we visit now? Is it legal? How does it work? I just got back from a (fully lega...

Two Little Piggies: How a Cuban Artist's Protest Went Viral

Barbara E. Joe | Posted 02.01.2016 | Arts
Barbara E. Joe

He had carefully painted, using bright red capital letters, the names "FIDEL" and "RAUL" onto two squirming piglets. It's traditional in Cuba between Christmas and New Year's to release pigs to be kept by anyone who can catch them. But Danilo never got to release his pigs.

Hollande And Castro: Plenty of Wine But No Democracy / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 02.01.2016 | World
Yoani Sanchez

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Washington, 1 February 2015 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cancelled his lunch with François Hollande because the latter didn't want to take the wine off the table

The Death of Cuba's Railroads

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 01.29.2016 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Now, when I stand in front of the lines at La Coubre terminal in Havana and observe the disaster that is rail transport in Cuba today, I ask myself if the era of the "sons of the railroad" will come to an end.

Lifting the U.S. Trade Embargo on Cuba: Using Diplomacy to Sway Congress

Michael Parmly | Posted 01.29.2016 | Latino Voices
Michael Parmly

The U.S. work to normalize relations with Cuba is still just beginning. The U.S. certainly cannot rest on its laurels, and the President indicated as much in his recent State of the Union address when he repeated his call to Congress to support the new policy with Cuba.

Peeling the Onion: U.S.-Cuba Economic Normalization

Margaret E. Crahan | Posted 01.28.2016 | Latino Voices
Margaret E. Crahan

Implementation has proceeded slowly, and both U.S. and Cuban officials have described the process as akin to peeling an onion arduously, layer after layer.

Everyday Cubans

Chris Morrow | Posted 02.04.2016 | Travel
Chris Morrow

Silvio and his wife Julia started the very first​ casa particular in Cuba - before the government even started regulating what is now classified as a "casa particular."

Cuba's Irreversible Internet

Emily Parker | Posted 01.27.2016 | Latino Voices
Emily Parker

This is not to say that the Internet will open the floodgates of information. China has hundreds of millions of people online but it also has systematic censorship. It is too soon to know to if Cuban authorities will emulate this model. But even if they do, the Internet can still have a transformative effect.

So You Want to Visit Cuba 'Before It's Ruined'?

Tomas Bilbao | Posted 01.26.2016 | Latino Voices
Tomas Bilbao

This view ignores the very real possibility that many of the qualities that make Cuba such a special destination can be maintained and even enhanced through sustainable development.

Sean Penn: Spokesman For Drug Lords And Generals

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 01.25.2016 | World
Yoani Sanchez

The actor-journalist gave himself up to the interviewee, joking with him, offering his hand. In their conversation, it is the other who sets the pace and dictates the topics.