Cuba Drastically Reforms Fishing Laws to Protect Coral Reef, Sharks, and Rays

HAVANA, Aug. 26th  Cuba has introduced sweeping reforms of its fishing laws in a move seen as smoothing the way for possible collaboration with the US on protecting their shared ocean, despite Donald Trump’s policy of reversing a thaw in relations.

The move is the first time the text of environmental law in Cuba specifies the need for scientific research, which experts say will mean greater reliance on state-of-the-art US technology. Read more:

Tourism to Cuba Plunges After Trump’s Tightening of Travel Ban

HAVANA, Aug. 22th  (Reuters) – Tourist arrivals to Cuba plunged 23.6% on the year in July, official data showed on Wednesday, confirming the blow dealt with the sector by the Trump administration’s tightening of U.S. restrictions on travel to the Caribbean island. Read more:

Cuban Sugar Harvest Set to Disappoint

HAVANA, May 15 (Reuters) – The Cuban sugar harvest will weigh in at no more than 1.3 million metric tons this year, according to Reuters estimates, in the latest bad news for the struggling economy and well below the government’s forecast.

The industry had planned to produce 1.5 million metric tons of raw sugar during the harvest and export 920,000 metric tons, according to a presentation by Economy Minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez at a government meeting in December. Read more:

Canada Closes a Door on Cuban Culture

HAVANA, May 19th— Good bye, Cuba. The Canadian government suspended visa-processing services at its embassy in Havana. No more visiting Cubans to Canada — unless they can get themselves to another country with a functioning embassy.

No more Cuban musicians, no more visiting professors, no more family visits, and no more Cuban students studying in Canadian universities.

I got this news while spending two weeks in Havana with 35 Queen’s University students. It’s part of an exchange program Queen’s has had for over 10 years with the University of Havana. Read more:

Cuba Launches Widespread Rationing In Face of Crisis

HAVANA, May 11th, 2019,  (AP)  The Cuban government announced Friday that it is launching widespread rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products in the face of a grave economic crisis.

Commerce Minister Betsy Díaz Velázquez told the state-run Cuban News Agency that various forms of rationing would be employed in order to deal with shortages of staple foods. She blamed the hardening of the U.S. trade embargo by the Trump administration. Economists give equal or greater blame to a plunge in aid from Venezuela, where the collapse of the state-run oil company has led to a nearly two-thirds cut in shipments of subsidized fuel that Cuba used for power and to earn hard currency on the open market. Read more:

The dark, polluted and unfit water on the right is what was available to the Cuban people prior to the water purification systems. The water on the left is what is available now.

The dark, polluted and unfit water on the right is what was available to the Cuban people prior to the water purification systems. The water on the left is what is available now.

Engineering a future with clean water

A miracle in Cuba

By Joe Henderson | FLUMC

In November 2013, Dan Christopherson was at a remote village in Cuba when he saw a tractor pulling a tanker filled with fresh water to fill a nearby well. Curious, Christopherson asked his Cuban host what was going on.

“The pastor told me, ‘We’re bringing in that fresh water so you don’t have to use the water we use,’” Christopherson said. “I asked him why that was.”

The pastor took Christopherson inside his home and filled a glass with water from the tap. It was dark, polluted and unfit to drink. Read the rest of the story: Water Purification.