Stories written by Patricia Grogg
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U.S. Flag Can Be Seen Again in Cuba

The announcement that the United States and Cuba would reestablish diplomatic relations took most Cubans by surprise. Over half of the population was born after the severing of ties in 1961 and the start of the embargo that has marked their lives.

Cuba’s Reforms Fail to Reduce Growing Inequality

One of the major challenges assumed by President Raúl Castro when he launched a series of reforms in Cuba is improving living standards in a country still suffering from a recession that began over 20 years ago and has undermined the aim of achieving economic and social equality.

Boosting Incomes and Empowering Rural Women in Cuba

Leonor Pedroso’s sewing machine has dressed children in the Cuban town of Florida for 30 years. But it was only a few months ago that the seamstress was able to become formally self-employed.

Cuba’s Sugar Industry to Use Bagasse for Bioenergy

Cuba’s sugar industry hopes to become the main source of clean energy in the country as part of a programme to develop renewable sources aimed at reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels and protecting the environment.

Cuba Sees Its Future in Mariel Port, Hand in Hand with Brazil

The Mariel special economic development zone, the biggest construction project undertaken in decades in Cuba, emerged thanks to financial support from Brazil, which was based on political goodwill, a strategy of integration, and business vision.

Caregiving Exacerbates the Burden for Women in Cuba

Hortensia Ramírez feels like she needs more hands to care for her 78-year-old mother, who suffers from arteriosclerosis, do the housework, and make homemade baked goods which she sells to support her family.

Cuba’s Youth Were the Target of USAID’s ZunZuneo

The generations born in Cuba in the last two or three decades, permeated by the influences of societies that differ radically from the one their government is trying to build, are in the eye of the ideological storm that feeds the conflict between Havana and Washington.

Wanted: Foreign Investment in Cuba

A new law opening Cuba up to foreign investment and a shift in the country’s relations with the European Union are aimed at seeking outside support to overcome the chronic crisis plaguing the country since the early 1990s.

CELAC Summit Targets Inequality

Heads of state and government at the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) made a joint commitment to reduce poverty, hunger and inequality, and declared their region a “zone of peace”.

Cuba’s Reforms Don’t Believe in Tears

The landscape is changing in Cuba’s cities and towns, with political slogans giving way to lighted signs  advertising the best of local and international cuisine and air-conditioned lodgings – signs of an emerging private sector that was inconceivable until recently.

Taking Efforts to Fight Prejudice in Cuba to the Barrios

From a very young age, Irma Castañeda has braided her curly hair and cared for it with natural recipes inherited from her mother, ignoring the widespread conception that black women’s hair is “ugly” or “bad”.

Cuba’s Dual Currency System: A Death Foretold

An end to the country’s dual-currency system is one of the reforms most anxiously-awaited by Cubans, who nevertheless reacted with scepticism and doubt to the announcement of a timeline for eliminating the system, blamed for exacerbating social inequalities in the country.

Private Initiative Finds Garbage Profitable in Cuba

As self-employment and cooperatives expand in socialist Cuba, they are making incursions into new areas, such as waste picking and recycling – for many a means of subsistence, but for others, a gold mine.

Rising Temperatures Hurt Pollination – and Food Production

A rise in temperature modifies the physiological features of some plants – a consequence of climate change that is less perceptible than stronger and more frequent hurricanes, but just as harmful to food production.

Cuba Streamlines Public Health System

One challenge faced by the Cuban government, and a high priority for citizens, is improving the efficiency and sustainability of public health services, a constitutional right that the state is supposed to ensure for all.

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