August 2017
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New Zealand hopes to take another step this week towards being the first country to sign up to a trade deal with a group of Latin American and South American countries.Trade Minister Todd McClay heads to Cali, Colombia today for... Continue reading
An official says a Cuban military plane has crashed in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight people.A source briefed on the situation says the plane belongs to Aerogaviota, an airline run by the Cuban military that serves... Continue reading
1. AntarcticaOkay, it may not seem a typical summer destination. But if Antarctica is on your bucket list, this is the only time of year to go. The weather from November to March is just warm enough to allow ships through the ice... Continue reading
Argentina, Cuba and Brazil are among the fastest growing travel destinations for New Zealanders enjoying new air links and a growing appetite to get off the beaten track, according to a House of Travel survey.There has also been... Continue reading
Fidel Castro's long and powerful influence over Cuba produced many well-known geopolitical events, from the Bay of Pigs invasion to the Cuban missile crisis. The Castro years also included a unique but little recognised public-health... Continue reading
They came for salsa music and mojitos and ended up wandering through a city turned still and silent by nine days of national mourning for Fidel Castro.As Cuba prepares a massive commemoration for the leader of its socialist revolution,... Continue reading
To waving flags and some shouts of "Long may he live!", Fidel Castro's ashes began a four-day journey across the island on Wednesday, retracing the path of his triumphant march into Havana nearly six decades ago.A small, Cuban-flag... Continue reading
"Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me." Those were the words of Fidel Castro in October 1953, at his trial for the rebel attack which launched the Cuban Revolution, eventually overthrowing the government of Fulgencio... Continue reading
Fidel Castro once called George W. Bush a "functional illiterate".Ronald Reagan was "the worst terrorist in the history of mankind," Castro said, with ideas "from the Buffalo Bill era".Castro thrived on confrontation with US leaders,... Continue reading
To some Fidel Castro was a revolutionary hero who beat back American imperialists from the shores of Cuba.To others a ruthless dictator who suppressed human rights and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.But there's... Continue reading
Prince Harry was left in an awkward position when he was asked to take part in a moment's silence after the death of Fidel Castro - despite some describing the Cuban leader as a "murderous dictator".The silence was observed when... Continue reading

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Funeral preparations were under way in Cuba as the country readies itself for a gathering of world leaders not seen since the death of Nelson Mandela.Nine days of national mourning have been declared to mark Fidel Castro's death,... Continue reading
Fidel Castro, who has died aged 90, became a revolutionary hero when he overthrew the corrupt and brutal dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba in 1959.During nearly five decades in power his triumph increasingly appeared as... Continue reading
One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history roared over the open Caribbean Sea on a course that threatened Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba.Matthew briefly reached the top hurricane classification, Category 5, and was... Continue reading
A Cuban cigar maker has broken his own record by rolling the world's longest cigar at 90m, the length of a soccer field, dedicating the monster smoke to Fidel Castro ahead of the retired leader's 90th birthday.Castro, who took power... Continue reading
A two-metre-high chocolate sculpture, is one of many things you can feast your eyes on at the New Zealand chocolate festival this weekend. Held at te Papa, festival event manager Frank Stoltenberg said the aim was to showcase chocolate's... Continue reading
It's a hot Saturday morning and the crowd is churning at Nooo! Que Barato!, the sprawling discount store where many Cuban Americans buy cheap goods for their relatives back home. But lately, shoppers at the store, whose name roughly... Continue reading
Just before noon outside Ernest Hemingway's Havana estate, a metallic screech cuts through the chirping of tropical birds and the sound of a live band entertaining tourists.An American worker pulls open one door of a 12-metre shipping... Continue reading
In some destinations, tourist areas are located far from the rhythms of everyday life. But visitors who wander through Old Havana - Habana Vieja, as locals call it - can't help but get a sense of how ordinary Cubans live.You'll... Continue reading
Greeted with rum drinks and salsa dancers, the first passengers to cruise from the U.S. to Cuba in nearly 40 years streamed Monday into a crowd cheering the rebirth of commercial travel on waters that served as a stage for a half-century... Continue reading
Cardrona Alpine Resort boss Bridget Legnavsky anticipates a surge in visitors from China. "We were amazed to find out how quickly the country is developing world-class ski resorts," Legnavsky says of her trip to China in January.... Continue reading
The thing you probably know about my country is ... good music and salsa dancing, delicious rum and mojitos - as well as the best cigars in the world.But the thing you really should know is ... that people are really friendly... Continue reading
He portrayed himself as a man of the people who shunned the trappings of wealth.But in reality Fidel Castro, the longtime communist leader of Cuba, lived a life of pampered luxury and had a fortune of hundreds of millions.Away... Continue reading
I love Cuba. The place reeks of sun and mangoes, mystery and tobacco and sex. Cubans eat icecream like we drink long blacks and rum is as cheap as bottled water.Cuba is like nowhere else. When you arrive at Customs they don't mark... Continue reading
United States President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday (local time), a key step in his bid to normalise relations between the two countries.The terror... Continue reading
Cuban President Raul Castro demanded yesterday that the United States return the US base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal... Continue reading
In 2013 Pope Francis had a lot to celebrate. Not only was he named Time magazine person of the year, but was also awarded the title of Esquire's best-dressed man.But the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics had a very eventful... Continue reading
Miami's Southwest 8th street, known locally as "Calle Ocho", is like no other in America.Elderly Cuban men hunch over domino tiles in Maximo Gomez Park, grunting at each other in Spanish through cigars clenched between their teeth.Rumba... Continue reading
Here are four reasons why President Barack Obama's decision last week to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba was a good idea.1 . The US attempt to bring down the Castro regime by isolating the country economically and d... Continue reading
One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.It's a prospect welcomed... Continue reading
Celio Roques wears his patriotism proudly.A veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion, he fought alongside Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, and has a treasure trove of anecdotes - how Fidel rallied his troops, how Che... Continue reading
Dreaming of carrying armloads of cigars out of Cuba now that the US is thawing relations? Not so fast.At least initially, American visitors who treasure the scarce luxury smoke won't be able to bring back home more than US$100 ($129)... Continue reading
Fresh off his 2012 re-election victory, President Barack Obama summoned senior advisers to a series of meetings, asking them to "think big" about a second-term agenda, including the possibility of new starts with long-standing US... Continue reading
Colombia's Farc guerrillas have declared an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire in the 50-year conflict, saying they will use weapons only if they come under attack.The announcement - the third year running the leftist rebels have... Continue reading
It may seem hard to believe, after so many decades of rancour, that Fidel Castro first came to power with the aid of the US Government.In March 1958, the Eisenhower Administration suspended arms shipments to the Havana regime led... Continue reading
Cubans cheered the surprise announcement that their country will restore relations with the United States, hopeful they will soon see expanded trade and new economic vibrancy even though the 53-year-old economic embargo remains in... Continue reading
US President Barack Obama says the U.S. will end its outdated approach to Cuba that has failed to advance U.S. interests.Obama this morning announced that the U.S. and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open... Continue reading
Cuba is releasing a US spy imprisoned for nearly 20 years in the communist country, Obama administration officials said, as part of the effort to restore diplomatic relations.The spy is a non-American man whose identity remains... Continue reading
With their smartphones and tablet computers, they look like young people anywhere in the world.But these Cubans have to go to extremes just to get an internet connection and somehow get around the strict control of the Communist... Continue reading
Call it "Eau de Revolution."Cuba's biggest producer of natural products has come up with a pair of colognes for the discerning supporter of international socialism who wants something more than just the iconic "Che" T-shirt.A... Continue reading
An American soldier who was held captive by Afghan insurgents for nearly five years is returning to military duty after more than a month of counselling.Following his release on May 31 in a swap with the Taliban, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl... Continue reading
In the first details of his captivity, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has told medical officials that his captors locked him in a metal cage in total darkness for weeks at a time.The New York Times reported the action was punishment for... Continue reading
The head of the US Chamber of Commerce toured an auto repair co-operative and talked to newly-minted private entrepreneurs yesterday during the first American trade mission of its kind to Cuba in 15 years.Chamber president and chief... Continue reading
Cuban lawmakers have approved a law aimed at making Cuba more attractive to foreign investors, a measure seen as vital for the island's struggling economy.Meeting in an extraordinary session, Parliament replaced a 1995 foreign investment... Continue reading