Last week, we saw bit of encouragement in U.S.-Cuban relations. Here are five pictures in the week that was for U.S. and Cuba. The handshake between Obama and Raul Castro was under the international spotlight, but the other four images went largely unnoticed.
Barack Obama and Raul Castro embrace at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela
Student ball players greet a U.S. People-to-People Tour bus. The Cuban Interests Section in Washington announced that it would return to issuing visas to licensed U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba, after a weeklong scare just before the high season.
For the first time since 2004, 500 U.S. university students make a port call in Havana, as part of their Semester at Sea experience. Two nights of partying and crashing a rural baseball game led to just a few incidents and hospitalizations. According to a Cuban guide and friend, just two students had to get their stomachs pumped (Two out of 500 isn’t bad for a college trip!). The program was frustrated that their insurance didn’t cover irresponsible drinking, and the students had to pay 50 dollars each.
The Cuban government removes anti-U.S. propaganda billboards at the entrance to the Havana International Airport. The billboard below replaced a longstanding billboard which equated U.S. foreign policy to “genocide.”
The billboard below (photo taken in 2006, just outside the U.S. Interests Section in Havana), shows how heated the propaganda was during the Bush era.
The author gets invited to a hip-hop party in the edgy neighborhood of Lawton, Havana. Cubans honor the Bronx, playing N.Y. style hip-hop all night. The other takes one for the team, and teaches them how to Dougie.