Rui Ferreira

Rui Ferreira

Mi padre era actor y mi abuelo general. Una mezcla lo suficientemente explosiva como para generar un tipo que solo hace preguntas, no le gusta las respuestas a medias, y refleja todo eso en la mejor profesión del mundo. Por lo demás, me gusta viajar y fotografiar. A veces eso da plata, otras veces solo entretiene. Pero siempre vale la pena. Por lo que queda, dejémonos de pretensiones.

Businessman Máximo Álvarez at the Republican Convention. Photo: EFE.

Cuban-Americans’ honeymoon with Republicans is not what it used to be

Two decades ago, when the price of gasoline in the United States soared and surpassed the barrier of two dollars a gallon, there was speculation on how much more it would increase. The media was filled with specialists with all kinds of ideas. Some were right, as it would be seen later; others, absolute nonsense. One of the faces that became popular in those days on the small screen was that of Máximo Álvarez, owner of a fuel distribution company, a respected businessman of Cuban origin and with a fortune estimated at 80 million dollars. His explanations stood out for being accurate and professional, and for demonstrating that he had complete knowledge of the problem. But he never stood out publicly as a political figure. However, this week it came as a surprise when he was one of the speakers at the Republican Convention, fighting tooth and nail for President Donald Trump’s re-election. One of his most prominent phrases was: “Beyond defining ourselves by a political party, we must think that we are Americans and choose to defend the country.” Although it may seem like a call for unity―which the president never did―Álvarez finished off his thought by accusing the...

Daniella Levine Cava, a rookie in Miami politics, has a chance to be the first mayor of Miami-Dade County. It would be the return of the Anglos to that position. Photo: CBS.

In Miami, Cubans are beginning to stop voting for Cubans

Help us keep OnCuba alive The last local elections of the second decade of the 21st century in South Florida were expected to be the least attended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Big mistake, but not for the anticipated reason: that people would not go to the polling stations. The voters answered the call, but by mail. For the first time in the records, attendance was 28.23%. More than half exercised their right to vote by mail. The above showed an unprecedented participation. According to county data, published the day before the elections, 72,797 Republicans would have exercised their right in this way, 121,414 Democrats, 1,631 undecideds and 50,305 without political affiliation. Many other residents preferred to attend the precincts in advance. This is how 29,184 Republicans, 30,317 Democrats, 316 undecideds and 8,253 voters without political affiliation voted. “This makes for a very interesting reading. In the November elections, if we continue with the pandemic, voting by mail will have its importance. It is going to be a massive method of voting and it is going to become popular,” analyst Herminio Ramos explained to OnCuba. In their opinion, this reality tends to be reinforced in a state like Florida, where...

The respite from the decline in deaths in Florida didn’t last long. Hospitals are once again full because of a new surge of COVID-19 patients discovered thanks to increased testing. Photo: Cristobal Herrera / EFE.

Deaths from COVID-19 on the rise again in Florida

Help us keep OnCuba alive Florida's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has risen again after a three-day setback, the state Health Department confirmed Tuesday. The deaths have always been on the rise during the last seven weeks until the authorities interrupted the tests due to the near presence of Hurricane Isaías. As expected, the number of new cases dropped then. Resuming testing on Monday, the situation returned to normal and the statistics rose again. And with greater intensity in the Miami metropolitan area, where 1,507 new cases and 35 deaths were reported. In the rest of the state, on Tuesday the authorities revealed that during the last 24 hours there were 276 deaths, 185 more than on Monday, which points to a new record, reaching 8,553 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. In terms of new positive cases of coronavirus disease, Florida reports 5,831, which means 1,676 more than on Monday, for a global total of 542,792, the second-highest number of cases in the country, following California, which registered almost 575,000.

Photo: World Finance.

French company interrupts remittance transfers to Cuba and the United States places Cuban bank on blacklist

Help us keep OnCuba alive A French bank has decided to comply with an order from the U.S. Treasury Department and suspend the transfer of remittances to the island originating in the United States. The decision came after the Trump administration decided to include in the list of Cuban assets a London-based banking entity, Havana Internacional Bank (Havin), to which now other financial entities should not have access due to the danger of being sanctioned by Washington. The French bank Crédit Mutuel had a commercial relationship with Cuba: it transferred remittances directly in dollars to another Cuban bank, Fincimex, an entity under military administration subject to a strong U.S. embargo. Crédit Mutuel recently began that relationship through three companies with direct business with Havana, such as Havanatur, Cubapack and American International Service, the latter based in Panama. But the French bank’s decision barely affected remittances through the first two agencies. The Panama-based financial company normally continues its activities with other companies involved in bank transfers to Cuba, which obviously largely come from its emigrated citizens. Last May, Washington banned Western Union from facilitating transfers to Cuba from all countries except the United States. This policy is still in force, but...

A group of people line for the COVID-19 test carried out by the Florida National Guard in North Miami. Photo: CRISTOBAL HERRERA/EFE.

Florida county banned from disclosing COVID-19 contamination figures in school district

Help us keep OnCuba alive Employees of the Broward County Education District, bordering Miami-Dade, have been given strict orders not to speak to anyone about the impact of COVID-19 on the system, be they teachers, students, or administrative workers. This Monday, District Chief Security Officer Brian Katz sent out a memo called “Employee Confidentiality and COVID-19,” instructing them to “respect the medical rights of other employees and not reveal who may be contaminated with the pandemic.” “As district representatives, employees must also refrain from disclosing their own situation, both at their workplace and on social media,” the document said. The reaction of the teachers and the union was immediate. They consider this to be a violation of workers’ rights. “It’s very difficult to understand. If I can tell anyone that I am diabetic or have a cold, why should I not tell others that I am contaminated with the coronavirus?” asked Sonja Lacourciere, a teacher at Forest Hills Elementary, in the city of Coral Springs. “After all, the school district cannot control my First Amendment rights just because I work for them.” Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union, told the local Fox network...

A person wearing a mask walks along Miami Beach, Florida, on Saturday, July 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

People’s reaction to COVID-19 depends on origin and respect for authority, but also on ideology

Help us keep OnCuba alive George is a Miami City police officer. In recent weeks, he has a new responsibility. In addition to his daily patrols in the eastern part of Little Havana―an area that has more and more Central American immigrants every day, where he deals with petty crimes, domestic disputes, young people roaming the street during school hours and fights in the markets―, he has now been ordered to fine people who go outside without a mask to protect themselves from COVID-19. The mayor of Miami the mandatory use of the facemask two weeks ago, but the measure didn’t have great results because they were sold out in pharmacies. The authorities were not demanding enough when applying the fines, a first one of 50 dollars, followed by 150, 500 and jail time. In both the city and the county, there was no ordinance approved by commissioners and councilors, but only an order from the mayors. As a consequence, the epicenter of the pandemic moved to South Florida and the contaminated and deaths increased. Not only because of that, but also because the political authorities in the area, pressured by Governor Ron DeSantis, decided to open the economy and...

People wait outside Hialeah Hospital in Florida. EFE/CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH

COVID-19 cases reach new all-time record in Florida in one day: 15,300

Help us keep OnCuba alive Some 15,300 new COVID-19 cases were detected in the state of Florida in 24 hours. This is the highest number in the United States in a single day. The previous record was 12,274 in New York and was recorded on April 4. In turn, on July 4, Florida had reached 11,458 new cases in one day. In total, this hot summer the sunshine state has already recorded 269,811 coronavirus cases since they started being counted in March. The increase started being consolidated last week in Florida with 119,700 cases and an overall positive test rate for the disease that has increased from 9.1% to 10.5%. The Center for Disease Control and Detection maintains that economic activities should close when the rate exceeds 10%. The state’s daily average positive assessment rate for the past seven days was 14.2%. The week before it was 14.5% and 9.9% before, the Florida Department of Health reported this Sunday. Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties accounted for 6,547 of the new cases and 28 of the 45 recently reported deaths, bringing the total deaths to 4,346. The numbers may drop slightly earlier in the week because throughout the pandemic,...

People line up to get the COVID-19 screening service from the National Guard in Florida, in collaboration with the City of Miami and the Department of Health at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

South Florida closed again due to increase in COVID-19

Help us keep OnCuba alive Given the unstoppable increase of COVID-19 cases in Florida, local authorities will close public spaces starting this Wednesday and the curfew will be maintained indefinitely. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez announced this Monday that restaurants will be closed as of Wednesday until further notice, including outdoor service―not takeaways―, bars, gyms, clubs and apartments for rent. The curfew is still in effect from 10 pm to 6 am. The beaches, closed last weekend, will be reopened on Tuesday. But “but, if we see crowding and people not following the public health rules, I will be forced to close the beaches again,” warned the mayor. For their part, private and public spaces continue operating, but with restrictions such as the compulsory use of masks, social distancing and the limit of attendees. “I am signing an emergency order that will close restaurants (except for takeout and delivery services), along with ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals,” said Giménez in a press release. The mayor is also going to keep summer camps and child daycare centers with strict capacity limits, requiring masks and social distancing. Retail stores and grooming services will remain open,...

The breach of social distancing and the use of masks on the beaches, such as this one in Miami Beach, has forced their being closed in Florida. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

Spread of COVID-19 forces Florida to close beaches during 4th of July holiday

Help us keep OnCuba alive Over the weekend, 13,833 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in Miami-Dade County, the total number of infected people now rising to 35,222 since the beginning of March, when the patient registry began. The death toll has almost reached 1,000. An all-time record, according to the Department of Health. This has led local authorities to decide to close all the beaches during the next weekend of July 4, the date on which the founding of the United States is commemorated. As the increase in cases has also occurred in other counties, and Florida is the third state with the highest number of patients (146,341) and deaths (3,447), other counties have chosen to do the same. Governor Ron DeSantis ended up having his arm twisted. A follower of President Donald Trump, who doesn’t want to back down on business, the governor was reluctant to close the beaches again, but yesterday he ended up admitting that it was the best for the moment. “We have a very serious situation, and it is increasing. We have nothing else to do to protect the population,” he said at a press conference. One of the reasons for the shutdown...

A group of people walks through Miami Beach this June 24, 2020 without respecting the mandatory use of the protective mask. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

New all-time record for coronavirus cases in Florida: 5,508, almost double that of the previous day

Help us keep OnCuba alive here The COVID-19 pandemic’s comeback in Florida seems to be the never-ending story. This Wednesday the highest figure was reached in absolute terms: 5,508 new cases, 2,222 more than the previous day, with which the state increases the figure to 109,014. “This reality points to two alternatives. Or the coronavirus is reaching its second wave and the economic and social reopening has contributed to it. Or the political authorities don¡t have any strength to protect the population from an almost unknown and very, very serious disease,” epidemiologist Jesús de Armas clearly tells OnCuba. When he speaks of force to enforce compliance with protection measures, De Armas refers to the fact that the police is unable to control the activities of young people on the streets. Although the use of the mask is mandatory, many young people still don’t wear it even in the crowded streets, as in Miami Beach. County Mayor Carlos Giménez warned Tuesday night that he was going to be very tough, but did not refer to a particularly dissuasive measure, as authorities in Broward County, north of Miami, did, who this Wednesday announced fines of 15,000 dollars for anyone caught on the...

Esperanza Miranda and her grandson wear facemasks to protect themselves from contagion on June 17, 2020 in Immokalee, in South Florida. At the cost of their health, thousands of Mexican and Central American immigrants who are declared “essential” managed to collect this year’s harvest in Immokalee, the tomato capital of the United States and now also one of the hottest spots for the COVID-19 in Florida. Photo: Giorgio Viera/EFE.

Why is COVID-19 queen in Florida?

Help us keep OnCuba alive here COVID-19 appears to be roaming free in Florida, currently the fourth state with the worst statistics. Just this Friday almost 4,000 cases were detected, about 615 more than the previous day. It is all because people seem to show a certain social indiscipline that is related to two things: local governments’ low incidence on citizens and the fact that they have a way of seeing the world based on their living in the “land of the free,” which gives them the right to endanger the lives of others. “I take care of myself as I understand, I don’t feel sick. Nobody is sick in my house and I get together with my friends who are not sick,” says Alfonso Mederos, a patron of La Carreta Restaurant on Calle 8, in the heart of Little Havana. “If I leave my house for an hour a day and don’t speak to anyone, how am I going to make someone sick?” asks his friend Edelsio Concepción. For now, Edelsio is not complying with what he says. He has spent more than an hour with Alfonso at one of the windows of La Carreta, drinking coffee and smoking...

Members of the Florida Army National Guard take coronavirus tests in Miami, Florida, on June 18, 2020. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

COVID-19 thriving in Florida

Help us keep OnCuba alive here The COVID-19 pandemic continues its unstoppable rise in Florida. This Thursday the state health service announced that the previous day 3,207 new cases had been detected, an absolute record since the authorities started compiling these statistics last March. This new figure is an addition to a similar wave registered since mid-last week, when new records were set almost daily. With this, Florida has already reached 85,926 infected people and 3,061 deaths, another indicator on the rise: 43 new deaths this Wednesday in a state that since last month started trying to normalize its public and commercial activities. "I have no intention of closing our state again. I don’t see why. We can continue to normalize with these numbers,” Governor Ron DeSantis said this Thursday upon learning of the Florida Health Service’s new report. The previous record was set last Tuesday with 3,060 cases after an increase of about 1,000 daily since last week, without the local authorities―particularly in South Florida, where the most worrying figures are concentrated―having wanted to withdraw the normalization measures, including returning to confinement at home, in force for the last four months. The move continues to be encouraged, but is...

Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, compliance with protection measures in Miami is irregular. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

In Florida, COVID-19 has surpassed 3,000 deaths and more than 82,700 cases

Help us keep OnCuba alive here Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has decided to continue the return to normalcy of collective life despite a brutal increase in the COVID-19 pandemic: more than 3,000 dead and 80,700 confirmed cases. In South Florida, the decision has been seconded by the mayor of Miami-Dade County, but has been received with great caution by the mayors of Miami and Miami Beach. “Now there is no going back. If we remain paralyzed, commercial activity falls apart and merchants have already lost too much. If people maintain the collective regulations of distancing and protection like the facemasks, we will be able to continue,” said the governor at a press conference this Tuesday. However, Miami-Beach Mayor Dan Gelber added that while he does not plan to close the beaches again, he will be relentless with the application of security and containment measures. “The police will be particularly vigilant and will take very seriously the compliance with social distancing and the use of facemasks in closed areas. We cannot in any way continue to break the regulations of coexistence,” he said. His colleague from Miami, Francis Suárez, is of the same opinion. He refuses to go to phase 3....

Hundreds of people visit the beach in Miami Beach this Wednesday in Florida (USA). The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Florida since last March 1 continue to increase and reached 67,371 this Wednesday, more than 20,000 of them in Miami-Dade County, which today opened its popular beaches. EFE/Giorgio Viera

South Florida reopens commercial and public operations despite increased coronavirus cases

Help us keep OnCuba alive here Despite the fact that local authorities finished reopening South Florida this Wednesday after almost three months of economic and labor lockdown, the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has increased. According to the Department of Health, the death toll in the state has reached 2,801. Among the top three counties―Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach―1,530 people have died. What’s important in this figure is that it represents an increase of 36 people in relation to the previous day. The Center for Disease Control does not recommend the normalization of public activities when the number exceeds ten deaths a day. But the increase was detected because every day more tests are done to detect the coronavirus. On Monday, according to the health entity, more than 1,000 new cases were registered in seven of the last eight days. In Miami-Dade County alone, the death toll is now 784, the epicenter of infections in Florida. There have been 397 deaths in Palm Beach County and 349 in Broward. In the Miami-Dade case, the average 10-day death toll was recorded in a single day. The coronavirus tax With the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of restaurants and bars, their...

Illustration about the arrival of immigrants to the United States. |

U.S. immigration services to reopen on June 4 with adjustments due to COVID-19

As of June 4, immigrants who have pending issues with the immigration services will be able to have in-person services given the closure of those government facilities three months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release this Wednesday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that from now on access to their facilities and personal interviews will have new rules to protect the public and officials from the coronavirus. Thus, appointments will become more spaced to reduce the amount and allow compliance with the established social distancing, cleaning of the facilities and waiting room occupancy. The public should come with a protective mask, and if someone feels sick they should not appear and ask for a new interview date. According to the official statement, in the case of delayed asylum applications, immigration officials are going reschedule dates for new interviews…whereby candidates will receive a new notification of the date and time and the location where they will be held, together with a list of safety precautions. Therefore, given the situation created by the pandemic and the fact that these interviews are usually delayed, they will be video-facilitated, with the interviewing officer and the asylum candidate and...

Despite the reopening of services in South Florida, the most popular entertainment, beaches, is still off limits. Photo: EFE.

South Florida reopens almost entirely and starts resumption of economic activity

South Florida, which includes Miami-Dade and Broward counties, among others, finished opening its commercial operations this Thursday despite the fact that there is no way to lower the COVID-19 pandemic expansion spiral and its victims. The Florida Department of Health reported that there are 53,285 infected cases and 2,364 deaths; that is, an increase of 51 positive cases and 45 deaths since yesterday. In Miami-Dade County there are 17,396 positive cases with 669 deaths. This means that in the last 24 hours in South Florida, 228 positive cases were discovered and 36 patients died. Even so, restaurants, cafes, general stores and bars reopened this Thursday. All this with some restrictions on the number of available spaces. In Miami-Dade there are some discrepancies in the way of reopening activities within the 34 cities that make up that metropolitan area. In Miami Beach, the number of places available in restaurants is restricted to 50%. Mayor Dan Gelber has decided to partially close Ocean Drive, parallel to the beach, and Washington Avenue, to allow food establishments to expand outward to accommodate more customers. Meanwhile, the reopening of beaches and hotels is postponed until June 1, with key restrictions: maintaining the stipulated physical distance...

While waiting for the opening of beaches in Miami Beach, the streets are still flooded due to four days in a row of downpours. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

Miami authorities want to open South Florida despite continued spread of COVID-19

The state of Florida woke up this Tuesday with 52,255 cases of COVID-19 and 2,259 deaths. In Miami-Dade, the sick total 17,986 and the deaths, 633. This indicates that during the weekend the figures rose at least 20%, the highest in the state, in the most important metropolitan area of ​​South Florida. Even so, the mayor of the county, Carlos Giménez, wants to open next Monday all the closed establishments such as shopping centers, restaurants and bars, beaches, public and collective swimming pools and, perhaps, cinemas and theaters. All others deemed “nonessential” are already open, but with restrictions, such as barbershops, hair salons, cafes, and pizzerias. According to the mayor, the reopening will allow citizens to relax, very tense due to the more than two-month closure. “We want a very careful incorporation, the economy can no longer be paralyzed. But the police are going to be attentive to crowds and compliance with security measures such as the full use of masks and gloves,” he explained. People can only do without them on beaches when they are in the water and must keep the average distancing of a meter and groups of no more than ten people. However, the decision is...

A U.S. plane at the Havana airport last year. | Getty (Archive).

Two Miami-Havana flights of repatriation of Cubans on Friday 22

Next Friday, May 22, two repatriation flights will be made for Cuban citizens stranded in the United States as a result of the closure of air traffic between the two countries in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement issued Wednesday, the Cuban embassy reported that the flights will leave from Miami, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, chartered in coordination with the Xael Charters and the World Atlantic airline. The first flight, number WAL624, will leave Miami International Airport at 10 a.m. and arrive in Havana an hour later; the second, number WAL626, will take off at 2:30 in the afternoon arriving at 3:30. “This will make the return to Cuba possible of hundreds of our compatriots with the condition of regular residents in the national territory, who have been requesting help and were registered by our Consulate,” said the statement from the Cuban embassy in Washington. The note does not indicate how many passengers will be returned to the island. But industry sources told OnCuba that they don’t exceed 230. The number could increase in the coming weeks. The statement indicates there could be other flights. This repatriation has been possible with the...

Miami-Dade County slowly opened nonessential businesses on Monday. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

Coming out of confinement due to COVID-19 is cautiously received in Miami

Nicolás Castañeda is a Bolivian engineer who has lived in Miami for 22 years and has two obsessions: eating well―as he says, “a la haute cuisine”―and going to the barbershop every two weeks, that is, every fourteen days. For the past sixty days he suffered somewhat with restaurants and barber shops closed due to COVID-19. This Monday he was a happy man. “I can finally get out of the house. I have gone to cut my hair and have lunch as God intended,” he says as he gets ready to order what he is going to eat at a Peruvian restaurant in Kendall, south of Miami. The restaurant usually seats about 100 diners, but Miami-Dade County orders limit the space to just fifty people in order to maintain a safe distance between customers. However, Castañeda’s case is still not very common. Between Monday and Tuesday people have not come en masse, they seem to display caution in anticipation of what will happen in the coming days and weeks. “Today we haven’t had any regular customers. A few who have come, more out of curiosity than habit. I think people are going to wait a few days to see how the...

Photo: ComplyAdvantage

What is OFAC and what does OFAC do?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is the U.S. government agency charged with overseeing relations between the United States and other countries, in terms of trade sanctions and compliance with legislation for making exports to countries authorized by the government. As John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, explains to OnCuba, “it is a kind of police, a kind of FBI, of the departments of the Treasury and Commerce, which are the ones who regulate the conditions of commercial transactions and enforcement of its regulations.” The federal agency has its roots in a 1917 law called the Trading with the Enemy Act, which basically opened the doors to the control of trade with countries that were adversaries of the United States, their properties and assets in U.S. territory. OFAC enforces all financial penalties and avoids prohibited operations that it describes as “financial or commercial transactions, or agreements beyond the reach of Americans, unless they are authorized or licensed to do so. License that can be general or specific, granted on a case-by-case basis. The sanctions, outlined by the departments of the Treasury or Commerce, are applied to other countries, companies or groups of people through the...

A group of people line up to buy in an agricultural market, this Monday in Havana. (Cuba) EFE/Yander Zamora

Washington fines agricultural company for selling food to Cuba without informing the government

Although the sale of food to Cuba by the United States is permitted, the American exporter needs to inform the Treasury Department, which then issues a permit through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Failure to do so, exposes them to a hefty fine. That was what happened with Biomin America, a company specialized in animal nutrition based in Kansas, which between July 2012 and September 2017 carried out 30 transactions of agricultural products to Cuba through its subsidiaries abroad, for a total of 44 violations of OFAC regulations. Biomin America is what is called a joint venture. Several foreign, non-subsidiary companies control part of its capital, even if they operate outside the United States. These types of companies are also included in OFAC regulations and must request permission to establish a business relationship with Cuba, as established in article 31 C.F.R. part 515 (CACR), although in this case the agricultural products were not produced in the United States. After being warned by the Treasury Department, Biomin America entered into a series of negotiations that ended in a settlement agreement: the government will not go to court. The company agreed to pay a penalty of 257,862 dollars. In a...

Miami-Beach beaches are still closed due to the coronavirus. Photo: Cristóbal Herrera/EFE.

Miami-Beach again closes important public park due to strollers’ lack of discipline

Five days after reopening a beach park in South Miami Beach, the city hall closed it again to the public because thousands of people did not use facemasks or refused to comply with the compulsory social distance of 6 feet to avoid contracting the COVID-19, known as coronavirus. The public park is called South Pointe Park and is located at the westernmost point of the city, just at the entrance to the port of Miami. The mayor’s office determined its closure at the beginning of the afternoon of this Monday until further notice. The beach is still closed, even though Miami Dade County authorized the opening of some beaches. People can circulate keeping the prudential distance through the small walks that separate the streets from the sand. During the five days it was open, park rangers issued 8,880 warnings for not using facemasks, compared to the 1,551 in the rest of the city. They also issued 511 warnings for not maintaining social distance and had to force 1,556 people to leave South Pointe because they stayed after the closing time (7 pm). The day before, anticipating indiscipline, the city ordered the closure of the parking lot to somehow limit the...

Carlos with a group of students in Havana, in November 2019, in the private house where they were staying.

Carlos Lazo: “Love can work wonders”

Once upon a time there was a Cuban who went to war and when he returned decided to teach and spread peace. However, his message has hit a wall of intolerance. He wanted to work as a teacher and, in addition to teaching Spanish, he decided to try to make his students understand the world through diversity and understanding among people of goodwill. He began with its own country of origin, Cuba, the Caribbean island that has maintained a rivalry of biblical proportions with the country where he lives and which he assumes as a second homeland. Carlos Lazo, 55, was born in Jaimanitas and now lives on the west coast of the United States, where he teaches his students what Cuba is like, beyond any caricature. What he does, he explains to OnCuba, is “a work of love.” “I believe that love can cure everything and that is why I am in this work of love. Hate doesn’t solve anything. Love does resolve, it does not aggravate the situation. I don’t want to be a leader, I’m just a teacher,” he says. A group of students at the beginning of one of the trips, with...

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