Cuba

Associated Press

Doctors treating the U.S. Embassy victims of mysterious, invisible attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain the hearing, vision, balance and memory damage, The Associated Press has learned.

It's the most specific finding to date about physical damage, showing that whatever it was that harmed the Americans, it led to perceptible changes in their brains. The finding is also one of several factors fueling growing skepticism that some kind of sonic weapon was involved.

Today on Sundial: Carlos Alvarez, known to college football junkies as the “Cuban Comet,” joined us to talk about his arrival to the United States, his love for the game and how he used it as a platform to break racial barriers.

Alvarez and his family arrived in the U.S. in 1960 when Alvarez was 10 years old. In Cuba, his dad attended law school with Fidel Castro and wanted no part of the Cuban communist revolution. When the family arrived in Key West, Alvarez’s dad advised him and his siblings to “become Americans” because they were never going back.

The Acoustic Attacks and Science / Gobierno de Cuba

We still don’t know what or who caused the alleged sonic attacks that injured U.S. diplomats in Havana. Which is why Cuba put its own scientists online this week to debunk the claims.

Some two dozen personnel at the U.S. embassy in Havana say they were victims of acoustic attacks. The high-pitched sonic blasts started last year and caused hearing loss and other illnesses.

Airbnb

Last June, President Donald Trump pledged to make it harder for Americans to visit Cuba and do business with the communist island. On Wednesday his administration released its new Cuba regulations – and ironically, private Cuban entrepreneurs may get hit worst.

Trump's New Restrictions On Financial Transactions, Trade And Travel To Cuba Go In Effect Thursday

Nov 8, 2017
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The days of Americans legally staying at Ernest Hemingway’s Old Havana haunt, the Hotel Ambos Mundos, or making purchases at Havana’s only luxury shopping arcade, will be over under new regulations the Trump administration issued Wednesday as part of a crackdown on U.S. business and travel to Cuba.

Cuba Policy On Cuban-American Travel To The Island Has Political And Economic Tentacles

Oct 31, 2017
Associated Press

New travel regulations that Cuba announced over the weekend appear designed to make sure a steady flow of Cuban-American visitors continues.

But the rules — which include welcoming back Cubans who fled the island through irregular means, such as by rafts, and eliminating some of the bureaucracy associated with visits by the diaspora — also seem to be a response to a chill in the U.S.-Cuba relationship and a stricter Trump administration policy on travel between the two countries.

Miami Herald

How much was the life of a Cuban communist worth in 1962? Depending on their rank within the party and the government, it could be worth up to a million dollars.

But there was one for which the CIA would only pay two cents: Fidel Castro.

The CIA considered giving rewards to those who murdered informants, officers, foreign communists and members of the Cuban government in a plan called “Operation Bounty,” detailed in one of the 2,800 documents declassified Thursday by the National Archives, related to the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Courtsey Carla Leon

Before Hurricane Irma ravaged Cuba’s north coast last month, Carla León’s private business – renting her family’s three-bedroom house in Havana through Airbnb – had already begun losing customers thanks to another force of nature: Donald Trump.

Playwright Nilo Cruz Talks Writing Influences

Oct 5, 2017
Nilo Cruz on a stage
Miami Herald / WLRN

In 2003, playwright Nilo Cruz won a Pulitzer Prize for drama with his play called "Anna in the Tropics." He's the first Latino to do this, and he's coming to Florida Atlantic University as part of the Playwright's Forum and Master Class Series on Sunday, Oct. 8. For Thursday's Sundial, Cruz sat down with WLRN Sundial host Luis Hernandez to talk about what influences his writing. 

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

ANALYSIS

Ever since former President Barack Obama normalized relations with Cuba three years ago – heralding the possibility of a new era after half a century of hostility – cold warriors on both sides of the Florida Straits have gnashed their teeth at the rapprochement.

And in the coming days and weeks, sources say the Trump Administration may well shelve a good chunk of the new normal in favor of the old normal the hawks prefer – in effect, the re-freezing of U.S.-Cuban relations.

Miami Herald

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that all visas for Cuban people would be suspended indefinitely. This action followed what appeared to be attacks on U.S. Embassy officials in Havana, Cuba.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday night announced it is looking for a Cuban athlete participating in the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.

Associated Press

The United States is warning Americans against visiting Cuba and ordering more than half of U.S. personnel to leave the island, senior officials said Friday, in a dramatic response to what they described as "specific attacks" on diplomats.

Associated Press

The Trump administration is considering closing down the recently reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana following a string of unexplained incidents harming the health of American diplomats in Cuba, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.

Tillerson's comments were the strongest indication to date that the United States might mount a major diplomatic response, potentially jeopardizing the historic restart of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The two former foes reopened embassies in Washington and Havana in 2015 after a half-century of estrangement.

R
Claudia Daut/Reuters

As Hurricane Irma churned toward Cuba last weekend, residents on the island switched on their televisions and radios, hoping to hear a familiar, reassuring voice. 

No, it wasn't the words of the late leader Fidel Castro they longed for — it was the forecast of esteemed Cuban meteorologist José Rubiera. 

But the beloved weatherman was nowhere to be found.

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