The fuel shortage that threatens Cuba

The fuel shortage that threatens Cuba

The Special Period of 1990:  Will hunger, suffering and austerity return?

The US Government will end up causing the destruction of Cuba if the country does not withdraw the support for the Venezuelan Government of Nicolás Maduro. Certainly, President Trump has caused the fuel shortage that threatens Cuba in recent times. On the other hand, Cuba has been forced to take emergency measures to curb the impending shortage.

The new US restrictions and the Cuban emergency measures

The US government blames Cuba for the Venezuelan situation due to its support for the current president. For this reason, it is trying to cut off the oil supply from Venezuela. In addition, they have threatened to impose sanctions on all those ships and companies that transport fuel to La Havana.

Given this situation, the Cuban government has announced the following emergency measures:

  • Cuts in public transport (crowded buses, trains, etc).
  • Prioritize the distribution of food and other primary goods.
  • Reduce activity levels in some sectors and avoid developing the activity in times of more energy consumption.

Cuba is launching the emergency plan to avoid blackouts and curb the serious fuel shortage that threatens the country.

Unfortunately, the current situation has caused other negative consequences related to crime. This situation has caused the theft of hundreds of liters of fuel, most of them have taken place in the province of Villa Clara. The main protagonists have been private drivers, company managers, piperos, security agents, etc.

The Special Period of 1990

The end of the USSR in 1990 and the end of relations between Cuba and Moscow, triggered serious problems. Cuba was importing 98% of oil from the USSR, but unfortunately, this changed.

The rupture of the relationship between both countries triggered serious feeding problems intensifying diseases such as optic neuritis (temporary blindness).

Fidel Castro imposed several measures to reverse the situation. He opened the country to tourism, he permitted that expatriates send remittances to family members, he partially liberated the agricultural market and he encouraged self-employment.

A few years later, with the arrival of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, both presidents agreed to an exchange agreement between the countries. Venezuela provided Cuba with oil and in return Cuba gave doctors and teachers.

Finally, Cuba is trying to avoid a situation as critical as that experienced in the 1990s. Certainly, if the situation does not change, Cuba will end up being a US-led country.

If you are thinking to visit Cuba, we will continue to inform you about the situation. Also, do not forget to apply for the Cuban visa to avoid problems on arrival.

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EEUU imposes new restrictions on Cuba

EEUU imposes new restrictions on Cuba

The negative consequences because of the new restrictions

We would like to inform you about the latest events between Cuba and the United States. Unfortunately, EEUU imposes new restrictions on Cuba that will be effective from October. Certainly, there will be restrictions on sending remittances: Cuban immigrants will no longer be able to send remittances to their country of origin whenever they want.

In other words, it seems that President Trump does not think about the economic crisis that Cuba is suffering and the consequences it is having for the population.

“The new rules of the game”

Trump has announced that he will limit family remittances and financial transactions starting in October. Some of the restrictions will be:

  • The total amount of money that immigrants can send will only be $ 1000 per quarter.
  • Remittances to close relatives of Cuban officials and members of the Communist Party of Cuba will be illegal.
  • Bank transactions subject to the jurisdiction of the United States will not process certain transfers to Cuba.

Through these measures, US wants to financially isolate the Cuban regime due to the existing oppressive government. The Cuban government is blamed for being responsible for the oppression of its own people and for supporting other dictatorships such as Venezuela.

Also, together with these new measures, there are those that were imposed in June. Trump banned the cruises and limited the trips of US citizens to Cuba. Certainly, everything that Barack Obama built, who withdrew the limits of remittances after the Cold War, has been destroyed.

After that, Trump thinks that imposing these restrictions, the Government of Cuba will withdraw its support for Maduro. He does not think about the negative consequences that the population will suffer.

On the other hand, Cuba has said that the new sanctions are an opportunistic attempt to divide the Cubans.

In conclusion, EEUU imposes new restrictions on Cuba in order to solve a problem but at the same time appears a new one. Unfortunately, Trump has destroyed the advances that Barack Obama had left in his passage through the United States Government.

We hope you visit Cuba in the future because is a great country despite the current situation. Keep in mind that you need to buy a Cuban visa to legally enter the country. It is mandatory for all nationalities.

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Trinidad, the treasure of Cuba

Trinidad, the treasure of Cuba

A small but very attractive town

Trinidad, the treasure of Cuba, is a small city in the central territory known for being the most beautiful colonial city in Latin America. You can visit the city in one or two days since the historic centre is very small and everything is very close. Certainly, the best is its sunset.

The most important things to see in Trinidad

First of all, one of the essential stops is the old town. You must wander around the city to discover each of the wonderful corners. Also, during the morning you can see groups playing the typical Cuban songs.

In addition, we recommend you go up to the roof of the Municipal Historical Museum to enjoy the best views of the city.

On the other hand, you have tu visit The Main Square of Trinidad. There, you can see the Main Church of the Holy Trinity and the typical Bell Tower of the Convent of San Francisco de Asís, one of the symbols of Trinidad.

Also, you can make a small trip (11 Km) to the Ancón Beach. It is not the best beach but it is close to the city.

Where to sleep in Trinidad?

There are several types of accommodation in Trinidad, from more expensive hotels to very cheap hostels.

On the one hand, if you want to stay in a hotel, we recommend you the Iberostar chain or the Hotel Memories Trinidad. On the other hand, if you prefer to live a totally authentic experience, you must stay in private homes. Some of them are: Casa Zenia Wanda, El Ceramista, Casa Barmarin, etc. Choose one option or another, you must make the reservation in advance.

Where to eat in Trinidad?

Some of the best restaurants are: San José restaurant, Bistro Trinidad, Cubita restaurant, the Taberna la Canchánchara and the Redacción Cuba. Also, there are other interesting options.

Finally, there are other activities and attractions to see in Trinidad but we think that these are the main and essential. We can confirm that Trinidad, the treasure of Cuba, is a very peculiar and beautiful town.

If there comes a day that you decide to visit this charming country, don’t forget to buy a visa card for Cuba. Today, the visa has a fairly high cost and is mandatory.

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Rest and relax in Viñales, Cuba

Rest and relax in Viñales, Cuba

Viñales: a small but extremely touristy place

This small town is located in the province of Pinar del Río, in western Cuba. The Viñales Valley is a very attractive place for tourists due to its natural wonders, the cultivation of coffee, sugar cane, avocados and bananas, and especially for its tobacco plantations and its peculiar limestone rock formations, called “mogotes“. If you are looking for a totally cozy and quiet place, the best option is to enjoy a few days of rest and relax in Viñales.

Certainly, it is necessary to mention that the entire Valley is considered and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Next, we explain you some activities and useful advices if you visit this wonderful place.

Magical places in the middle of the Viñales Valley

  • The Jasmine Viewpoint: the viewpoint offers the best views of the area where you can see the characteristic mogotes.
  • The Mural of Prehistory: this work of art consists of a 120 meters high fresco in the open air, made on the Mogote Pita, which shows the life of the first inhabitants of the Cuban archipelago. It was created in 1959 and is one of the largest murals in the world.
  • The Palenque of the Maroons: this place was created at the beginning of the 90s and is currently a living museum that reflects the legend and history of the passage of Afro-descendants through the Cuban west.
  • The Great Cavern of Santo Tomás: it is the largest cave system in Cuba and the second in the Americas.
  • Veguero House: it is one of the most famous tobacco plantation in Cuba where you can see the cigar manufacturing process.

We could list many other places since the beauty of its fauna and flora, and the rich landscape call this area as “The Cathedral of Nature“.

Adventure activities and sports

You can do thousands of activities since the fan is very large. Among the most interesting activities stand out: rent a bike and visit the surroundings; the excursion to Cayo Maria la Gorda; buy tickets for the bus tour; etc.  We recommend you to ask for information when you get there.

The best restaurants to eat

If you wish to enjoy a traditional and good quality meal, we recommend that you go to the “Paraíso Agroecological Farm”, the “Balcón del Valle”, the Cueva Restaurant or the “Casa Verde”. We assure you that in all these places you can taste typical specialties of the national food.

Finally, we confirm again that if you want to know something different and spend a few days away from the crowd, the best choice is to rest and relax in Viñales.

Please, keep in mind that if you travel to Cuba, you have to buy a Cuban visa. Currently, the visa is mandatory, so your airline will require it. Good luck on your trip!

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Guardalavaca, one of the most beautiful spots in Cuba!

Guardalavaca

Guardalavaca, a popular destination among Cubans

Firstly, we can say that Guardalavaca is a holiday area especially for Cubans. For this reason, very few tourists frequent the area. Next, we recommend you some places to sleep, some curiosities and advices, etc.

Where to sleep in Guardalavaca?

There are many places where you can sleep. Certainly, when you get to Guardalavaca you will see that there is an area of buildings, many of them with the characteristic symbol of the houses of rent. This area is about 10-15 minutes walk from the beach and offers accommodation for a very reasonable price.

What activities can be practiced?

Guardalavaca Beach is characterized by its shell shape, white sands and crystal clear waters. In addition, the beach has a barrier of coral.

In this territory, you can perform different activities. On the one hand, you can make excursions and know the points of greatest natural, historical and cultural value. On the other hand, you can do water sports such as windsurfing, diving, kayaking and boating, among many others.

Where to eat?

The only inconvenient of this area is that there is not much gastronomic variety. We recommend you to eat in the restaurants of the hotels or taste the food of a state restaurant (good options: El Ancla and La Uva).

In conclusion, Guardalavaca area was an unknown place until the end of the 20th century, when it developed rapidly due to the creation of large tourist complexes.

We hope you have the opportunity to visit Cuba and especially Guardalavaca area. In the current situation, it is important to obtain a visa for Cuba before your travel date due to is a mandatory requeriment to enter the country.

We wish you good luck in your new adventure discovering unimaginable and beautiful places!

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Josone Park in Varadero

Josone Park, Varadero

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The music of the Varadero Josone Festival

The music of the Varadero Josone Festival

The music returns: rumba, jazz and son

We inform you that Varadero will be the main city of this summer. The Varadero Josone Festival will be held from August 22nd to 25th. It is an event full of people, live music and concerts, and the beach. The location is perfect since Varadero has been one of the favourite destinations for tourists for years.

The music that will predominate will be rumba, jazz and son, the typical Cuban sounds. On the other hand, fortunately this year is celebrated in the largest resort on the Island.

Who will participate?

Obviously, after the first edition that was attended by artists such as Gilberto Santa Rosa, Álvaro Torres and José Alberto “El Canario”, the Varadero Josone Festival is celebrated again. The Honorary President Issac Delgado wants to consolidate the event as one of the largest internationally.

Also, the festival is supported by the Music Recordings and Editions Company (EGREM), the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, the Ministry of Tourism, the Cuban Institute of Music and the Palmares Extrahotelera Company.

On the other hand, there will be many music groups at the festival. For instance: Formell and Los Van Van, Ivette Cepeda, Pupy and those that are Son, Francisco Céspedes, Yoruba Andabo, Eme Alfonso, Paulo FG and his Elite, Descemer Bueno, Haila María Mompié, Buena Fe, Muñequitos de Matanzas, Issac Delgado and his Orchestra.

In addition, there will be artists from other countries like Eva Ayllón, Weedie Braimah and The Hands of Time.

Where should you buy tickets?

After that, if you wish to come to live this unique experience, you can buy tickets to access the concerts at the various points of the Cultural Tourism Agency Paradiso (La Habana and Varadero). In addition, you can obtain tickets in the multiple spaces of the Palmares ExtraHotelera Company, in the EGREM Music House and in the Josone Park itself.

Festival Program

August 22:

  • Emilio Vega and his Step to the Front (09:00 pm)
  • Yoruba Andabo (10:00 pm)
  • Eme Alfonso (11:00 pm)
  • Alain Pérez and the Orchestra (12:00 am)
  • Formell and Los Van Van (01:00 am)
  • Jacob Forever (02:00 am)

August 23:

  • Kono and the Boys of Cuba (09:00 pm)
  • Weedie Braimah and The Hands of Time (10:00 pm)
  • Ivette Cepeda (11:00 pm)
  • Lazarito Valdés and Bamboleo (12:00 am)
  • Issac Delgado and his Orchestra (01:00 am)
  • Manolito Simonet and his Trabuco (02:00 am)
  • Paulo FG and his Elite (03:00 am)

August 24:

  • Saxophone Quartet (09:00 pm)
  • Quintero’s Latin Jazz Project (10:00 pm)
  • Haila María Mompié and her Orchestra (11:00 pm)
  • Good faith (12:00 am)
  • Descend Good (01:00 am)
  • Pupy and the Son Son (02:00 am)
  • Alexander Abreu and Havana D’Primera (03:00 am)

August 25:

  • Gastón Joya and The New Cuban Trio (09:00 pm)
  • Eva Ayllón and Jorge Reyes feat Muñequitos de Matanzas (10:00 pm)
  • Pancho Céspedes (11:00 pm)
  • The Child and The Truth (12:00 am)
  • Adalberto Álvarez and his Son (01:00 am)
  • Divan (02:00 am)

Finally, we hope you can attend in the Varadero Josone Festival and enjoy a great experience. When you are entering Cuba, you need a Cuba tourist visa. For this reason, we recommend you to fill out the cuba visa application form before your travel date.

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Escambray and Sierra Maestra

Escambray and Sierra Maestra

Cuba, much more than beaches!

Cuba is known for its beaches. However, the island is also a beautiful destination for mountain lovers. For this reason, in this article we want to talk you about two specific mountains: Escambray and Sierra Maestra.

Discovering Escambray

This place has three important sites of Cuban nature with a high degree of biological diversity: the “Topes de Collantes”, the “Valle de los Ingenios” and the Caguanes National Park. This territory is declared a Protected Natural Landscape, a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

  • The “Topes de Collante” is a forest formation where you can find lionas, epiphytes, mosses, lichens, orchids, and arborescent ferns. Also, there are waterfalls and rivers, green landscapes and a healthy environment.
  • The “Valle de los Ingenios” offers fertile lands between the mountains of Trinidad and Sancti Spíritus bathed by the Agabama River. One of the most important buildings is the Iznaga Tower.
  • The Caguanes National Park is located in the north of Yaguajay. It offers unique stone formations in Cuba, coastal cliffs, abrasive natural arches, bird species and vegetation.

Discovering Sierra Maestra

This impressive mountain range extends along the entire southern coast of eastern Cuba, and measures about 30 miles at its widest, from north to south.

The territory has a great variety of flora and fauna. Certainly, there are few mammals, the mountains are full of reptiles, amphibians and a large number of tropical birds.

It is important to keep in mind that some parts of the mountains are sometimes closed due to rockfalls or dangerous trails. The main path begins at the Alto de Naranjo viewpoint and from there you can try to climb the Turquino Peak, a strenuous hike to the highest peak in Cuba.

We recommend you to go well equipped: walking boots; sunscreen; sweater for the highest altitudes; and waterproof for high humidity and frequent rains.

Finally, also, you can visit “El Cobre“, the main attraction of this imposing basilica located in the surroundings of the Sierra Maestra. It is the statue of the Virgin Mary, with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, which is the subject of pilgrimages of Cubans. On the other hand, you can visit the “Parque Nacional Baconao“, an extensive biosphere reserve that covers more than 200 thousand acres.

It is a fact that Cuba has more than beaches. The country has beautiful places like Escambray and Sierra Maestra to visit and enjoy a pleasant holiday.

If after reading this article you have decided to undertake a trip to Cuba, do not forget to request a Cuba tourist card. The visa is necessary to enter the country.

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International Timba Festival 2019

International Timba Festival 2019

The Timba Festival in Cuba

We inform you that the International Timba Festival 2019 will be held in Cuba from August 2 to 4 in homage to the 50 years of the Los Van Van orchestra and its founder, Juan Formell. Certainly, Samuel Formell, director of Los Van Van after the death of his father in 2014, gave the great news.

During the festival you will see famous Cuban groups such as: Anacaona; Alexander Abreu and Havana de Primera; Manolito Simonet and Trabuco; Leonel Limonta and Azúcar Negra; Formell and los Van Van; Issac Delgado; etc.

The main objective of the festival is to promote and encourage Cuban popular music and traditional orchestras, and with it the most popular dances.

In addition, during the festival there will be numerous activities, such as workshops, concerts, conferences, projections and tours of cultural institutions. All this with the help of the Agency of Artistic and Literary Promotions (ARTEX).

On the other hand, there will be other initiatives such as national tours and concerts. Also, the campaign includes making the material in DVD format and a new video clip.

The famous timba has a long tradition that goes back to the colony, to the Cuban rumbas and congas, an essential source of Cuban culture. Certainly, the timba of the 90s is influencing almost all the music that is made today.

Finally, we encourage you to enjoy this festival with your friends or family and also to visit the wonderful country. For this reason, we remind you that you will need a Cuba travel visa if you want to visit the territory.

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The impressive fauna of Cuba

The impressive fauna of Cuba

Exotic animal species

First of all, Cuba has a great variety of flora and fauna that makes the country unique. In addition, it has a tropical climate with favorable temperatures for the development of plants and animals. Below, we have listed some of the species that are part of the impressive fauna of Cuba.

1. The Tocororo is a species of bird of the Trogonidae family. For this reason, his natural habitat is dry forests, humid forests and old degraded forests.

tocororo

2. The Chipojo is similar to the chameleon. These species come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change the color.

Chipojo

3. The Cuban crocodile is a small species of crocodile found only in Cuba. The common length is 2.1-2.3 m and a weight of 70-80 kg. Anyway, he is a very aggressive and dangerous animal for humans. Also, the scientists defend that they have unique physical and behavioral traits.

Cuban crocodile

4. The Capromyids are a subfamily of rodents of the Echimyidae family. They have a robust body and large heads. Many species are herbivores, although some eat small animals.

Jutía

5. The Flamingos are a large birds with a very long neck, legs shaped like sticks and pink feathers. They eat larva, small insects, blue-green and red algae, mollusks, crustaceans and small fish.

Flamingos

In conclusion, this country has great natural and animal wealth. We hope that this article related to the impressive fauna of Cuba has helped you to know a little more.

Finally, we want to remember you that if you travel to Cuba do not forget to apply for a Cuba holiday visa.

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