Cuba

Surge in Irregular Migrants Has Tested Costa Rica’s Humanitarian Response and Diplomacy

-- Between 2013 to July 2017, 36,081 irregular migrants entered Costa Rica through Paso Canoas on the Panamanian border, according to immigration officials. Towards the end of 2015 and into 2016, Costa Rica faced a surge in irregular migrants for which it was not prepared, said the government press office today, and that forced institutions and communities to respond to the emergency. First th...

1,200 Cubans Turned Away by Costa Rica in 2016

By Wendy Anders The Minister of Communication Mauricio Herrera recently reported that Costa Rica returned 1,200 Cubans who were found in the country without legal documentation to Panama last year. He added that in January this year 120 additional undocumented Cubans were returned to Panama, and said he wished to make clear to all Cubans that Costa Rica was not open to receiving undocumented...

USA CUBA Obama expects Trump to respect new migration pact with Cuba

Part of President Barack Obama's motivation in ending a practice that gave undocumented Cuban migrants who reached US soil the right to remain appears to have been a desire to discourage Donald Trump from reversing the process of normalization with Cuba. Trump, who takes office Jan. 20, "will notice that the steps we've taken (with Cuba) make sense, they are serving our interests," Obama advise...

Cuban migrants Cuban migrants stranded in Central America ask US for exemption from new immigration ruling

The more than 70 Cubans at an inn operated by the Catholic charitable mission Caritas asked Friday for the United States to make an exception for those who had left the island and were already crossing Central America before the "wet foot/dry foot" immigration policy was revoked. "We only ask that they make an exception for those of us who were already on our way, that they let us continue and ...

More Cubans Rescued in Costa RIca, and also in Florida Straits

By Wendy Anders Costa Rican police made their second discovery this week of undocumented Cuban migrants in the country, this time in a boat in the southern Costa Rican border region. The Costa Rican border police intercepted a motor boat and detained the boat’s captain, a 53-year-old Costa Rican man from Puntarenas province named López, after discovering five Cubans aboard without entry stam...

Cubans and Other Migrants Continue Exodus Through Costa Rica

By Wendy Anders Police in southern Costa Rica Sunday discovered six undocumented Cubans traveling huddled in between gas cylinders in the back of a flat-bed delivery truck. Migrants from Cuba, Haiti, and other countries continue to risk over-land travel to reach the U.S., said the Costa Rican government earlier this month. From April 2016 until January 2017, the government said 18,000 mig...

Alaska Air Launches Service to La Havana, Cuba from U.S. West Coast

Havana, Jan. 6 — The U.S. airline Alaska Air began flying commercially to Cuba Thursday with daily flights linking Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California with the Cuban capital of La Havana, following the resumption of regular flights between the two countries in August 2016 after half a century. The new route makes Alaska Air the eighth airline authorized to operate regular flights to...

Cuban Cooperatives Produce Charcoal for First Export to the U.S.

La Habana, Jan. 5 — The Cuban Coabana Trading Company LLC, a subsidiary of Reneo Consulting, will export charcoal produced in Cuba from an invasive plant to the United States in a historic step as part of the countries’ improving relations. An agreement was signed Thursday with the state-owned Cuba Export company. The charcoal is produced by private cooperatives from marabou, an invasive pla...

Cuba Seeks to Pay International Debt with Rum

By Wendy Anders Last week, AOL.com reported that the Cuban government wants to settle a debt with The Czech Republic in a rather alternative, but perhaps attractive way: with liquor. Apparently a bit short on cash as the country emerges out of decades of communist rule, Cuba hopes to pay off this Cold War debt with none other than their famous rum. According to Bloomberg News, the debt is...

postpago cellphone contract costa rica NY Man Pleads Guilt in Sophisticated Caribbean Cell Fraud Scheme

MIAMI, USA -- A New York City resident pleaded guilty on Monday, December 12 in connection with a sophisticated Caribbean cell-phone fraud scheme that involved compromising cell-phone customers’ accounts and “cloning” their phones to make fraudulent international calls. The United States Department of Justice. Farintong Calderon, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire ...

Castro Chavez Fortunes Chavez and Castro – Devoted to the people or to amassing wealth?

Shortly after Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez passed away, many news channels reported on the fortune he inherited by his family, from valuable properties, to car lots, mansions, planes, and a lot of money in offshore banks. According to Venezuelan news website Noticias Centro in an article published in 2015 “the late president’s family owns 17 country estates, totaling more than 100,0...

Where Does the Future of Cuba’s Leadership Lie?

Editor’s note: The views expressed by guest columnists are not necessarily those of The Costa Rica Star, its advertisers, or its staff.  By Britt Nelson Current Cuban leader, Raul Castro, talks with Elian Gonzalez. Welcome to a world without Fidel Castro. President-elect Donald Trump will be the first president since Dwight Eisenhower, who left office in 1961, not to have this Communist ...

Castro’s Legacy “A Tale of Two Worlds,” Says Amnesty International

London, Nov 26 — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro's human rights legacy is "a tale of two worlds," providing access to public services to the island's people while engaging in systematic repression, Amnesty International said Saturday. "Fidel Castro's legacy is a tale of two worlds. The question now is what human rights will look like in a future Cuba. The lives of many depend on it," Amnest...

Fidel Castro Wiki Commons Trump on Fidel Castro’s death: “It is my hope that today marks a move toward a future of freedom for Cuban people”

(EFE).- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement Saturday following Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro's death that he hoped the passing of the "brutal dictator" would usher in a new era of prosperity and freedom for the Caribbean island. Trump - whose first reaction was a brief tweet Saturday morning that simply read "Fidel Castro is dead!" - issued a full statement a few hou...

Fidel Castro Dies Fidel Castro dies aged 90

(EFE).- Cuban leader Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90, his brother, President Raul Castro, said Saturday in an address on state television. The Cuban revolutionary leader built a communist state, and for five decades defied the United States efforts to topple him. The leader of the historic Cuban Revolution died at 10.29pm Friday local time (3.29am Saturday GMT), and his remains will be c...

60% Chance of Late-Season Cyclone in Caribbean Say Forecasters

By Wendy Anders Hurricane Matthew Surface pressures are slowly falling over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, and a broad low pressure system is expected to form in this area during the next day or two. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for the slow development of this disturbance. This could lead to the formation ...

Cuba Offers Free In Vitro Feritlization to Boost Birth Rate

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Nov. 1 — Cuba is about to become the country with the oldest population in Latin America and the ninth-oldest in the world by 2050. It faces the double challenge of boosting the birth rate and caring for senior citizens, who account for more than 20 percent of the island's 11.1 million people. Elder care center in Cuba, from Facebook. Cienfuegos, one of the provinces most ...

Hurricane Matthew Slams Cuba, Heads North to Florida

Havana, Oct. 4 — Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful storm to strike the Caribbean in nine years, made landfall Tuesday in southeastern Cuba packing sustained winds of up to 240 kph (149 mph), the island's Insmet weather service said. Hurricane Matthew beating Jamaica, from Facebook. Authorities ordered nearly 900,000 residents of the provinces of Camagüey, Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago, H...

Hurricane Matthew Matthew continues to strengthen and is now a Category 5 in Caribbean

Although Costa Rica has not been affected yet by Hurricane Matthew and is expected to only receive an indirect effect, Costa Rica's National Emergency Commission (CNE) declared green alert for the South Pacific and Caribbean, heavy rain is expected as of Saturday night and throughout the weekend specially in the counties of Corredores, Osa, Golfito, Coto Brus, Buenos Aires and Pérez Zeledón. If yo...

Abe Paves the Way for Japanese Firms to Do Business in Cuba

CUBA JAPAN (Report) Source: Discovery Havana, Sept. 23 — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up Friday his two-day state visit to Cuba, during which he paved the way for Japanese companies to do business on the Caribbean island, where the thaw in relations with the United States has sparked renewed interest in the Oriental economic power. Abe's presence in Cuba is the first visit ...

JetBlue Costa Rica First U.S. – Cuba Commercial Flight Lands in Santa Clara

Santa Clara, Cuba, Aug 31.- The first regularly scheduled commercial flight between the United States and Cuba since 1961 landed today, Wednesday, August 31, at this central city's Abel Santamaria airport at 10:57 a.m. local time (1457 GMT). U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro shake hands during their first meeting on the second day of Obama's visit to Cuba, in Havan...

Breaking: Colombian Govt and FACR Rebels Reach Historic Agreement

By Wendy Anders This afternoon, the Washington Post reported from Havana, Cuba that an agreement was reached by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leftist rebel group to end the continent’s longest conflict after after 52 years of fighting. After nearly four years of negotiations and a ceasefire announced in June, “'We have finished fighting with w...

Record Numbers of Cuban Migrants Enter the U.S.

The number of undocumented Cuban migrants arriving in the U.S. has quintupled over the past five years, increasing dramatically after the December 2014 announcement by Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro of a normalization of relations between Washington and Havana. Fewer than 8,000 Cubans reached the U.S. in the 2011 fiscal year, compared with more than 44,000 so far in fiscal 2016, which ...

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif will begin a diplomatic tour of Latin America on Sunday. (Archive/Reuters) Iranian foreign minister heads to Nicaragua, Latin America this weekend

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif will begin a diplomatic tour of Latin America on Sunday. (Archive/Reuters) Iran’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will begin a diplomatic tour of Latin American states on Sunday, May 8, according to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The Iranian foreign minister’s 6-day-long visit to Brazil, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela a...

Nicaragua's Army 50 Russian battle tanks headed to Nicaragua, sparking concerns in Central America

A Russian T-72 battle tank, similar to those heading to Nicaragua. (CC) Russia will deliver 50 new T-72B1 battle tanks to Nicaragua this year, in a deal worth some US $80 million, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency and Nicaraguan media. The first batch of 20 tanks is ready for shipment, and the remaining 30 are to be delivered by the end of the year or early 2017, according to th...

Fidel Castro: I may die but communism will live forever

Fidel Castro pictured in July 2014. (Russian state media) (VOA) In a rare public speech Tuesday, former Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro told a crowd of party loyalists that while he is close to the end of his life, “the ideas of Cuban Communists will remain” long after he is gone. Castro was speaking during the closing of the Cuban Communist Party congress in Havana, which had just re-a...

Cuba’s Raul Castro to Lead Communist Party for 5 More Years

U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro walk past honor guards during their first meeting on the second day of Obama's visit to Cuba, in Havana March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria By Lou Lorscheider (VOA) Cuba's Communist Party says 84-year-old President Raul Castro will hold the party's highest post for another five years, alongside his chief lieutenant, 85-year-old ...

Miami Beach Tells Cuba: “No Consulate for You”

Wikimedia Commons Miami, Apr 13 (EFE).- The Miami Beach City Commission voted against the opening of a Cuban consulate until significant human rights reforms have been made in that country, local media reported Wednesday. With four votes in favor and three against, the commission "has thrown cold water on their mayor's hotly debated idea of a having a Cuban consulate in the city," according...

Thirsty Tourists Create Major Beer Shortage in Cuba

Wikimedia Commons Havana, Apr 9 (EFE).- Beer production in Cuba is far from meeting the country's growing demand in stores, inns and hotels, due to the large increase in tourism, a demand that can only be met by building a new brewery, the island's producers said. The current demand for beer is beyond the capacity of Cuba's existing breweries, which have signed contracts for more than 33 mi...

Iran announces plans to deploy warships, destroyers in Central America, LatAm waters

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega listens during an official meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during an official state visit by the Nicaraguan president to Iran in 2007. (Iranian state media) Iran's Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi has announced plans to deploy warships and destroyers in Central American and Latin American waters, Iran’s semi-official FARS...

Oil-Rich Kazakhstan Seeks Diplomacy With Cuba

Havana, Apr 1 (EFE).- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will arrive in Cuba on Saturday afternoon for an official visit that will include a meeting with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, the Caribbean island's state-run media said. Prior to his meeting with Castro, Nazarbayev is expected to pay tribute to Cuban independence hero Jose Marti - a tradition for visiting heads of state and other di...

U.S. Coast Guard Intercepts Cuban Rafters Who Had Been Shot

Wikimedia Commons Miami, Mar 27 (EFE).- The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a group of 26 Cuban migrants on a raft near the Florida coast, seven of whom had bullet wounds, spokesmen for the force told EFE on Sunday. The group of Cubans was discovered on their raft near Key West, where they were attempting to land, on Saturday. Seven of the migrants had been shot and six of them were taken t...

Colombian Guerrilla Leader Met with John Kerry in Cuba

Wikimedia Commons Bogota, Mar 22 (EFE).- The top leader of Colombia's FARC on Tuesday described the meeting the day before in Havana between the rebel group's peace negotiators and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as historic, "unprecedented and unthinkable." "(It was) a historic meeting with the U.S. secretary of state, something unprecedented and unthinkable. We received support from hi...

Obama meets Castro in the heart of revolutionary Havana

U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro shake hands during their first meeting on the second day of Obama's visit to Cuba, in Havana March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria By Daniel Trotta and Matt Spetalnick HAVANA (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama was received by Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana on Monday at the start of historic talks where the U.S. leader ...

Obama cheered in Havana at start of historic Cuba visit

U.S. President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and their daughters Malia and Sasha, exit Air Force One as they arrive at Havana's international airport for a three-day trip, in Havana March 20, 2016. REUTERS/stringer By Matt Spetalnick, Daniel Trotta and Jeff Mason HAVANA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama arrived to small but cheering crowds on Sunday at the start of a historic visit to C...

Nine Cuban Rafters Found Dead Off Florida Coast

Wikimedia Commons Miami, Mar 19 (EFE).- The U.S. Coast Guard said nine undocumented Cuban migrants died while trying to complete a perilous journey by boat to the Florida coast. "Our deepest condolences to the families of the nine people who recently did lose their lives," Capt. Mark Gordon, the head of enforcement for the Coast Guard's 7th District, said Friday. "Unfortunately, tragedy ...

Despite Cuba’s hardline stance, Obama promises dissidents to raise rights issue during visit

(FILE / White House photo) Editor's note: This story was updated on March 14, 2016 at 3:48 p.m. (GMT -6) with quotes obtained by the EFE news agency. Despite a long editorial by the Cuban government last week in state media stating that the communist island has no intentions of changing its policies and demanding that Washington cease meddling in its internal affairs, U.S. President Barack ...

Cuba Easily Surpasses Costa Rica in Tourism

Source: Discovery Havana, Mar 12 (EFE).- Cuba has welcomed 1 million foreign tourists to date in 2016, a 14.6 percent surge over the same period last year, the Tourism Ministry, or Mintur, reported. The year in course has been characterized by "continuous growth" in the number of tourists to Cuba from such markets as Germany, Britain, the United States, France, Italy and Argentina, a Mintur...

Cuba, awaiting Obama visit, says it has no intentions of changing policies

(FILE / White House photo) //TRW// HAVANA (Reuters, with additional reporting by The Costa Rica Star) Cuba said it would welcome President Barack Obama to Havana later this month, but the Communist government had no intention of changing its policies in exchange for normal relations with the United States. In a long editorial on Wednesday in Communist Party newspaper Granma and other off...

Cruise Ships Rescue Cuban Rafters Adrift in the Caribbean

Source: James Harrison Instagram Miami, Feb 28 (EFE).- A cruise ship on the weekend rescued 16 Cuban migrants trying to sail to the United States on a homemade raft, the U.S. Coast Guard told EFE Sunday. The rafters were taken on board the Carnival Sensation before being turned over to authorities in Cozumel, Mexico, the Carnival Sensation's next port of call after setting sail from Miami o...