Antonio Quintana, one of the most important architects in Cuba before Fidel Castro took power in 1959, designed this building around the ruins of a structure built some 150 years earlier.
A Cuban woman talks into a broken public phone along Calle Obispo. The phone worked only when she spoke into the earpiece, instead of the mouthpiece. It has been replaced since the photo was taken.
ETECSA has a searchable database of phone numbers here.
Cubans line up to see if the phone company has finally given them a phone line.
A Cuban woman talks into a cell phone near the beach at Tarara, east of Havana.
The United States believes it has the sovereign right to conduct economic – its economic relationship with Cuba as determined by U.S. national interests.The embargo, he said, is aimed at allowing “humanitarian items” to reach Cuba while “denying the Cuban Government resources that it could use to repress its citizens.”
Sanctions is one part of the United States policy approach to Cuba. In recent months, as you know, we’ve reached out to the Cuban people. We’ve taken steps to promote the free flow of information, we’ve lifted restrictions on family visits, and we’ve expanded the kinds and amounts of humanitarian items that the American people can donate to Cuba. We’ve also taken steps to establish a more constructive dialogue with Cuba. We’ve reestablished dialogues on migration, and we’ve initiated talks to reestablish direct mail service.
We remain focused on the need for improved human rights conditions and respect for fundamental freedoms in Cuba, and we would need to see improvements in those areas before we could normalize relations with Havana
But, I mean, you have no opinion on the fact that the rest of the world thinks that this is a bad way to go?Kelly said:
The suggestion that we’re not assisting Cuba is just false. I mean, we are one of the major providers of humanitarian assistance to Cuba. But we don’t believe that we should – while there are repressive measures in place in Cuba, that we should reward the Government of Cuba by lifting the economic sanctions that could assist the Government of Cuba in its repression of its own citizens.
…we don’t think it’s time to lift that embargo.The exchange between Kelly and the reporter continued.
Reporter: How long has the embargo been in place now?
Kellly: I think it’s been in place almost 50 years.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Kelly: Well, that’s a long time to have a repressive system.
Reporter: Well, it’s also a long time to have a policy that has produced absolutely no results.
Parque Lenin, south of Havana, has a riding center where you can rent horses.
Parque Lenin opened in 1972.
These kids were playing at the riding center. There weren't a lot of people there when I went. Transportation problems at the time made it difficult for many Cubans to get there.
...the embargo now belongs to President Obama. That is a point the Cuban government likes to make internationally, reminding foreign governments that change has not reached all parts of U.S. foreign policy and that the embargo, with many of the elements added by President Bush, remains intact under President Obama.The Associated Press described the vote as "an annual ritual that serves to highlight near unanimous global opposition to America's hard-line policy toward the communist island, but which has done little to change Washington's stance, even with a new administration."
This year's vote was 187-3 in opposition to the embargo, with only Israel and the tiny Pacific island nation of Palau supporting the United States — just as they did last year. It was the 19th year in a row that the General Assembly has taken up the symbolic measure, with Washington steadily losing what little support it once had.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez ticked off a long list of grievances in his speech before the world body, saying the embargo — which the Cubans refer to as a blockade — had cost the island's fragile economy tens of billions of dollars over the years and prevented Cuban children from getting needed medical care.
"The blockade is an uncultured act of arrogance," Rodriguez said. He likened the policy to "an act of genocide" that is "ethically unacceptable."
Little was known about Douglas' plans for his four days in Cuba, but he was accompanied on his walk through Havana's old quarter by Patricia Rodriguez, an official at the city historian's office.
Among the sites he toured was a state-run tobacco shop, where employees showed the actor the finer points of rolling a Cuban cigar.
The Secretary-General has prepared a public report that catalogues what UN members and UN organizations say about the embargo.Jorge Bolaños, head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C., said the embargo hurts ordinary Cubans all over the island.
This document is a powerful reminder that the U.S. embargo is viewed internationally with great seriousness and in ways that are deeply damaging to U.S. interests and our image overseas.
Lest anyone think this policy is only provocative to nations in the non-aligned world, its opponents include Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Russia.
Various religious groups reported fewer restrictions on politically sensitive expression, the ability to hold religious activities even for organizations without official recognition, increased capacity to conduct charitable and community service projects, fewer import and travel restrictions, permission to repair buildings, and significant increases in membership.Restrictions on religion remain, however. The report said:
Religious groups complained about widespread surveillance and infiltration of their membership by state security agents.
* about 100,000 ChristiansBaptists "are possibly the largest Protestant denomination," said the report, without giving an estimate. Pentecostals, particularly members of Assemblies of God churches, follow close behind and their numbers are "believed to be rising sharply."
* 550,000 Protestants
* 1,500 Jews
* More than 90,000 Jehovah's WitnessesThe report said:
* More than 30,000 Seventh-day Adventists
* More than 22,000 Anglicans
* More than 21,000 Methodists
* More than 15,000 Presbyterians
* More than 300 Quakers
* 50 Mormons
The Muslim population consists of 6,000 temporary residents, mainly businessmen, students, and diplomats, and 300 native-born Sunni Muslims.
There are approximately 50 Shi'a Muslims. The Shi'a community directs the Al-Ma'sumin Islamic Center. In the fall of 2008 a hurricane extensively damaged the building, and the Center now operates out of an apartment. The Government is working with the Government of Iran to provide a replacement for the leader of the Shi'a community when the current leader, Miguel Aquila Cardenas "Hassan Felix," a native Cuban, travels to Iran to complete the studies necessary to obtain the title of Mufti.