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Monthly Archives: December 2015

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Star Wars, Disney and myth-making Fly Title:  Sport and diplomacy Location:  HAVANA Main image:  20151219_CBP001_0.jpg Rubric:  The downside of warming relations with America LOOK for the Che Guevara mural on a pitch-black street corner in Lawton, a run-down district on the outskirts of Havana. Turn left, walk up the concrete steps and give the password (today it’s “I sell green dwarfs”). Inside, around 20 Cuban men sit silently. Despite the humidity, the ceiling fan is still, allowing puffs of sweet tobacco smoke to hover in the flickering fluorescent light. The newcomers are asked for a “solidarity contribution” of 25 Cuban pesos, or $1. After the customary first drops are spilled to sate the thirst of the saints, a $3 bottle of clear rum makes its way around. It could easily be a clandestine political gathering. But this group has far more important business: the first game in the Major ... Continue reading
UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Playing with fear Fly Title:  Bello Main image:  20151212_AMD002_0.jpg Rubric:  The fruits of a historic year for the United States and Cuba ON DECEMBER 17th 2014 Barack Obama and Raúl Castro surprised the world by announcing that the United States and Cuba had agreed to restore diplomatic relations, frozen since 1961. In Havana the news was greeted with euphoria—some residents unfurled the Stars and Stripes alongside the Cuban flag, and church bells rang out. Across the Florida Strait, the excitement was almost as great: businesses of many descriptions announced breathless plans to penetrate a long-forbidden market. A year on, the excitement is tempered by realism. On the diplomatic front, progress has been significant. After the reopening of embassies, talks have begun on substantive issues, ranging from law-enforcement co-operation to human rights, organised under the aegis of a new Cuba-United States steering committee. On December 8th officials from ... Continue reading