As Internet access comes to Cuba, busy squares in Havana are crowded with people hungry to connect online. These are the big-city young generation waiting patiently for their society to break open. When it does... Look out!
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.
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.
The people, the same people that the president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) invoked from the platform to justify his misdeeds, has said no to 21st-century socialism and the national project promoted by the ruling party.
Colombia has paired the economic momentum with institution building. The country's democracy has rapidly matured. Yet, there is no guarantee that this momentum will continue. Any future success would greatly benefit from Colombia successfully implementing a peace agreement with domestic guerillas.
In truth, so much has changed in Cuba recently that it is hard for someone like me, who has been traveling to the island since 1978, to keep track of it all. And yet it is also evident that much there hasn't changed at all.
The next time you see a Cuba news story or photo shoot that chooses to use yet another picture of an old car, remember it's more than the cool "caught-in-time" beauty of Havana -- it's somebody's lived reality and daily hustle.
It celebrated the completion of the Lyceum's first six-year phase, and made an important statement of commitment to classical music in a country where young musicians still suffer from limited access to the classical music resources.
This country is not going to change itself into a new nation because John Kerry visited, nor because of the third visit by a pope. But Cuba is changing when people like this British rocker, icon of good music and of the greatest possible irreverence, touch down in Havana.
Clowning is a compulsion. The pull of clowning is inescapable. So it was for Joan Fernández Cabrera. "I feel a little magic," is how Joan Fernández Cabrera describes his transformation into his clown alter ego, Cantaleta -- a hyperactive blend of mischief, athleticism and a hapless romantic.
With all of the excitement around U.S. and Cuban relations finally opening up there is a host of questions around race and religion that are fundamental to the lives of Afro-Cuban religious practitioners left to be asked.