Stories written by Patricia Grogg
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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.

Cuban Doctors Bring Eyesight, Healthcare to Haiti

It's Saturday, and the entrance hall of a police station in front of the busy market in Salomon in the Haitian capital has become an improvised health post. In a few minutes there is a long queue of people waiting to be seen by the Cuban medical brigade.

Higher Temperatures, More Dengue

The spread of the virus that causes dengue fever has created an emergency situation for institutions, governments and scientists in Latin America seeking sustainable solutions for a health problem that could worsen as a result of climate change.

Hurricane Sandy Raised Risk Awareness in Eastern Cuba

Nine months after Hurricane Sandy, the worst disaster to hit this city in eastern Cuban in decades, local residents say they are now better prepared for catastrophes.


Q&A: Swiss Cooperation in Cuba Has Broad Focus

"The basic objective of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is people’s welfare, and I think that in this we have many affinities with what the Cuban government wants,” Regula Bäbler told IPS.

New Cooperatives Form Part of Cuba’s Reforms

More than 100 non-farming cooperatives this month joined the independent sector of the Cuban economy, which includes self-employed workers and farmers granted public land to work, as part of the policy outlined by the government for modernising the management of state property.

Q&A: Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger in the Caribbean

Rather than talk about forecasts for hurricanes at the start of this year’s season, Cuban meteorologist José Rubiera prefers to discuss the importance of reducing the country’s vulnerability and improving preparedness.

Getting Tough on Corruption in Cuba

As two separate trials of foreign businessmen continued amid extreme discretion, the Cuban government passed new anti-corruption measures, apparently indicating the Raúl Castro government’s desire to avoid loose ends with this thorny problem.

Redoubling Efforts Against Racism in Cuba

Jokes, songs, crude gestures and epithets that degrade people of African descent are still common in Cuba, despite the fact that the constitution prohibits discrimination based on skin colour, and in spite of more recent political measures, activists say.

Cuba Kicks Off Cyclone Season with ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Rains

The new cyclone season in Cuba is forecast to be highly active, and it announced its arrival with intense rains that caused rivers to burst their banks and flooded extensive areas in the western province of Pinar del Río.

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