Latest Cuba News

Customers enter through the back of Mercabal wholesale market, to load their merchandise in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, July 30, 2020. The government is letting private businesses buy wholesale for the first time. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco)

Economy tanking, Cuba launches some long-delayed reforms

Aug. 6, 2020 10:47 PM EDT

HAVANA (AP) — With its airports closed to commercial flights and its economy tanking, Cuba has launched the first in a series of long-promised reforms meant to bolster the country's struggling private sector. The island's thousands of restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, auto mechanics and dozens of other...

In this photo provided by Robert Lewis, Lewis takes a selfie in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Until recently, Lewis had never heard of Karen Bass, the California congresswoman in contention to be Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate. But the recent college graduate had long heard stories from his grandfather recounting the days of oppression in Cuba under Fidel Castro. (Robert Lewis via AP)

VP contender Karen Bass' Cuba baggage a burden in Florida

Aug. 6, 2020 7:20 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — Until recently, Robert Lewis had never heard of Karen Bass, the California congresswoman in contention to be Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate. But the recent college graduate had long heard stories from his grandfather recounting the days of oppression in Cuba under...

FILE - Dec. 12, 2019, file photo Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., listens during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington. California Congresswoman Bass has emerged a leading contender to be Democrats' vice presidential candidate. Allies say her reputation as a bridge-builder would make her a strong partner to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Leading Democratic VP contender Bass defends stance on Cuba

Aug. 6, 2020 12:11 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, one of the top contenders to be Joe Biden's running mate, on Sunday defended her past travel to Cuba and the sympathetic comments she made after the death of Fidel Castro, the dictator who ruled the communist country for decades. Bass said she was trying to...

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden smiles as he takes a question from a reporter at a campaign event at the William

Joe Biden nears final decision on running mate

Aug. 1, 2020 6:41 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Joe Biden nears the announcement of his vice presidential choice, the top contenders and their advocates are making final appeals. The campaign hasn't finalized a date for naming a running mate, but three people who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plans said a public...

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2018 file photo, Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal Spengler walks in the courtyard of the City Museum in Havana, Cuba. Leal, who oversaw the transformation of crumbling Old Havana to an immaculately restored colonial tourist attraction, becoming the de-facto mayor of the historic city center and one of the nation’s most prominent public intellectuals, has died according to state media on Friday, July 31, 2020, after a long battle with cancer. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)

Eusebio Leal, who oversaw renewal of Old Havana, dies at 77

Jul. 31, 2020 6:41 PM EDT

HAVANA (AP) — Eusebio Leal Spengler, who oversaw the transformation of crumbling Old Havana to an immaculately restored colonial tourist attraction, becoming the de-facto mayor of the historic city center and one of the nation’s most prominent public intellectuals, has died. He was 77. He had been...

FILE - In this June 25, 2020, file photo Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on the House East Front Steps on Capitol Hill in Washington ahead of the House vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. California Congresswoman Bass has emerged a leading contender to be Democrats' vice presidential candidate. Allies say her reputation as a bridge-builder would make her a strong partner to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

'Building bridges': How Bass became a leading VP contender

Jul. 31, 2020 5:49 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's leaders were deadlocked and on the verge of financial catastrophe in 2008. Five negotiators, including Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, couldn't agree on a budget that would guide the nation's most populous state through the Great Recession. Enter Karen Bass,...

Isaias causes floods, slides, then grows into hurricane

Jul. 31, 2020 12:06 AM EDT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power and caused flooding and small landslides across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Thursday, then strengthened into a hurricane late in the night while moving toward the Bahamas and U.S. East Coast. The storm's rain turned several...

Shoppers wearing protective facemasks amid the spread of the new coronavirus load groceries from a dollar store in Havana, Cuba, Monday, July 20, 2020. Cuba has expanded the types of stores that accept dollars for payment to include food stores, as part of the government’s effort to capture much needed hard currency to shore up the island’s ailing economy. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuba opens foreign currency-only shops, ends tax on dollar

Jul. 20, 2020 7:02 PM EDT

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba opened shops Monday that accept only foreign currencies and eliminated a special tax on the U.S. dollar, deepening a process of collecting stronger currencies to face the country's economic crisis. By morning, long queues had formed in a half-dozen such shops in Havana dedicated to the...

FILE - In this June 25, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, center, speaks to Stacie Ritter, right, and her son, Jan, during a meeting with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act in Lancaster, Pa. Biden is hoping to capture Florida and other pivotal states by pushing Latino turnout rates higher than when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

1 ad, 3 accents: How Democrats aim to win Latino votes

Jul. 6, 2020 6:17 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Spanish-language ads for Joe Biden used the same slogan to contrast him with President Donald Trump — “los cuentos no pagan las cuentas,” a play on words that roughly means “telling stories won't pay the bills.” But the narrator for the version that...

Hotel Nacional stands tall near the empty intersection of 23rd Street and the Malecon seawall, amid a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, June 20, 2020. Like other Caribbean islands, Cuba is highly dependent on tourism. It also earns hard currency from the export of medical and other professional services, remittances, and subsidized petroleum from Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco)

New Cuban tourism system to isolate visitors from population

Jun. 30, 2020 11:36 AM EDT

HAVANA (AP) — With the coronavirus waning in Cuba, the government plans to restart its tourism industry by sending visitors to five narrow islands that will offer all-inclusive vacations and keep foreigners isolated from the rest of the nation. The state-run system scheduled to debut Wednesday is designed...