Cuba

After Thaw, Minnesota Orchestra Returns To Cuba

May 17, 2015

The Minnesota Orchestra plays Havana this weekend. It's the first professional U.S. orchestra to perform in Cuba since the United States and the island nation began the process of normalization last December. For the musicians, this trip is about healing — both diplomatically and for themselves.

Cuban leader Raul Castro, on a visit to the Vatican, where he thanked the pope for helping broker a thaw in relations between Havana and Washington, said he was so impressed with the pontiff that he might return to Catholicism, the faith he grew up in.

"I will resume praying and turn to the Church again if the Pope continues in this vein," Castro, the 83-year-old younger brother of Fidel, told reporters, adding, "I mean what I say."

Texas Businesses Stand Ready For Trade With Cuba

Apr 20, 2015

From Texas Standard:

Two years ago, the WestStar Food Company’s business with Cuba was good. Patrick Wallesen, the company’s president, says WestStar exported agricultural products through the port of Corpus Christi for more than a decade.

“We averaged about 5,000 metric tons a year of product. Primarily into beans, black beans, great northern beans,” Wallesen says.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is running for president and spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep on Monday ahead of his big announcement.

Rubio talked about how he hopes to stand out in the 2016 presidential field, Indiana's religious freedom law, the president's deal with Iran, immigration policy, and America's warming relationship with Cuba.

It was nearly 20 years ago, back in 1997, that the Buena Vista Social Club became an improbable worldwide sensation: a group of mainly elderly (and some younger) Cuban musicians, performing traditional son music for an album produced by Ry Cooder.

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