The Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, the newly remodeled theater which houses the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, is a striking building both inside and out.
In Cuba, a country where omnipresent political propaganda makes nationalism seem to be less of an option and more of a legal obligation, the streets are filled with images of historical figures.
You are watching a group of dancers perform at an outdoor salsa club when someone standing beside you asks in Spanish, “Where are you from?” You answer, “Los Estados Unidos,” and the young man’s face lights up. He exclaims in rapid, clipped Spanish that you can’t quite understand, and jokingly introduces himself as “Robin Hood.” You laugh.
If you walk down the Calle 1 in Havana, Cuba, you will come across a wrought-iron gate fixed with the Star of David in the center. Beyond the gates is a geometric 1950s-era building whose front doors are marked with gold menorahs. Since 1953, the Synagogue Bet Shalom (also known as El Patronato) has been a reminder of the Jewish population throughout Cuba.
This October, the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami put out a report that Cuba may have sent military personnel to Syria, to help Russia support Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
On October 27th for the 24th consecutive vote on the matter, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of Cuba to condemn the United States for continuing the embargo between the two nations. However, this particular vote comes less than a year after President Barack Obama renewed relations with the island nation after 54 years, and is Cuba’s biggest victory at the General Assembly yet.
In most countries labeled as “developing country,” it is typical for birthrates to be extremely high, while health and education levels are low. But Cuba is an exception to the developing country rule: ever since the Castro Revolution in 1959, even with the label of “developing country,” Cuba has had extremely high levels of education and a world renowned health care system. Another aspect in which Cuba remains an outlier is their birthrate.
Costa Rica has suspended participation in the Central American Integration System (SICA) in response to the unwillingness of fellow Central American countries—specifically, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize—to work together to find a solution to the Cuban migrant crisis in Costa Rica.1 Upwards of 6,000 Cuban nationals intending to travel through Central America to the United States have been stranded in Costa Rica since November, when Nicaragua refused them entry.2
This article focuses on the current shifts in expressions of Cuban national identity by considering the articulations of cubanidad and cubanía in recent films from Cuba’s Muestra joven, a showcase for new filmmakers organised by the state film institute (ICAIC).
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Obama Administration announced that it would loosen trade agreements between the US and Cuba.1 While the embargo between the two countries is still in place, and not likely to be overturned by congress anytime soon, restrictions on exports and shipping have been eased. The new trade agreements will take effect on February 3, 2016 and will allow for goods from the US to go directly to Cuba.