5 Best Things to do in Cuba

When you are looking to plan a vacation or a getaway, there are many different destinations that you can choose. Traveling all over the world is something that most people love doing.

One place that you will want to visit is Cuba. Cuba is known as the Pearl of the Antilles for a reason. It is really a gem of a location that offers so much to do and see. It really is like traveling to a completely different world, since it has so much history and culture.

Before you book your trip to Cuba, it is important that you know what the top things to do when visiting are. There are just a few things that you do not want to miss out on while you are visiting Cuba.

Here are the top things to do in Cuba:

Strolling Havana MaleconHavana Malecon

If there is one place right in Cuba where you can soak up the culture, it is the Malecon of Havana. This is the place where you will find the most culture in Cuba and where the city is bustling with noise.

If there is one location that is a real symbol of the city, it would be this. It is only 7 kilometers in length, so it is easy to cover, but there are so many things that will catch your eye along the way to keep you occupied and entranced.

If you are looking for an activity that every tourist will enjoy, it is taking a stroll through Havana Malecon. It can also be fun to take a walk through Revolution Square, which is what separates Havana from Chinatown. There are just a lot of sights that you can take in while you walk through parts of Cuba.

Colon Cemetery

One of the most popular attractions in all of Cuba is colon cemetery. This is a cemetery that is a half mile long and it is filled with headstones and mini mansions.

It is a very elaborate cemetery that is a sight to behold. It is one of the most important cemeteries in all of Latin America. This is because it holds such architectural marvels. If you are one of the many people that are interested in architecture, this is a must see location when you travel to Cuba.

There really is nothing like this place and it is a view that will take your breath away.

Ballgame Fun

If there is one thing that the people of Cuba are passionate about it would be baseball. Baseball is the favorite pastime of this region and seeing a ballgame in Cuba is unlike anything else you have experienced. There is a Gran Stadium that is the prime location for the best ballgames in this region.

Fans bring bongos and other instruments to the stadium to experience all the fun. This is a unique atmosphere and one that can be fun for the whole family even if the kids are in Cuba with you.

There is almost always a game going on, so it is a fun activity to do while you are staying in Cuba.

Go to Cojimar

Since Cuba is dealing with a lot of government control and change, there are only certain areas that you want to visit while in your trip. Cojimar is a fishing village that is a lot different from anything that you have seen. This is a village that brings to mind all of the things that you loved about the city.

If you want to see what old Cuba was like, this is where you should go and the best part is that it is still safe and only about a 20 minute cab ride.

Cycle from Havana to Vinales

For a more authentic experience of Cuba you may find that getting away from the tourist hot spots is more to your liking. There are a number of cycle tour operators that have several routes around the island.

Some of the routes are more physically demanding than others, so you may need to work on your fitness levels before you arrive. This best exercise bike guide should be useful for any new riders looking to be prepared.

The Museo Mansonico

This is an eleven story art deco building that has a lighted revolving planet earth on the top. It is so unique from anything that you have seen before and it is a popular tourist attraction that allows you to see more of the culture that Cuba has to offer. It really is a gem of Cuba that not everyone knows about, but it is one that you will love visiting while in Cuba.

You are sure to have a great time in Cuba if you explore the city the right way.

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Cuba’s Horse Industry Revived with Dutch Warmblood Sales

Cuba’s Horse Industry Revived with Dutch Warmblood Sales

Cuba’s Horse Industry Revived with Dutch Warmblood Sales

Cuba is known for its cigars and rum, and while the Cuban embargo made the country somewhat isolated for decades, Cuba has made its way into the breeding and training of horses. The equine world has benefitted from relations increasing between Europe, the United States and Cuba.

Cuba’s niche in the equine world is still unfolding, with the country’s equine popularity growing among Latin Americans. Elites from Latin America and around the world are going to Cuba because of the island’s elite jumping horses.

The communist-run country’s government leads the equine industry, and the majority of the proceeds from horses goes back into the government.

Cuban trainers are importing fillies and colts from the Netherlands to train them to be top-tier competitors. The top-tier horses go to private auctions where they sell for as much as $40,000 a horse.

Buyers from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala and the Netherlands gathered in Cuba for an auction even at the National Equestrian Club. The night’s activities revolved around drinks and enjoying the tropical weather, but the night was all about business.

Dutch WarmbloodHorses were paraded in front of the wealthy visitors, with 31 horses selling in a single night.

The horses, all Dutch Warmbloods that were trained in Cuba, sold for over $430,000 that night. Champion or very respected blood lines, advanced training and well-behaved, collectors opt to go to Cuba for their horses.

Since the horses are already in the Americas, it makes horse air transport less expensive for buyers in the Americas to transport horses.

Horses were once well respected and known in Cuba, with the history of the country’s horses dating back to the 16th century. A revival in Cuba’s horse economy was spurred in 2005 as a way to bring in money. Fidel Castro banned horse racing in 1959 causing the industry to suffer despite top-tier horses and riders being in the country.

Cubas are trained for competitive jumping for a year and a half before they’re sold around the age of 3.

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Cuba’s Performance in the 2016 Summer Olympics – How to Get Ready for South Korea

Cuba’s Performance in the 2016 Summer Olympics – How to Get Ready for South Korea

The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea between February 9 and February 25. Olympians are in full training season preparing for the big games that are less than two years away.

Winter Olympics include Skiing, Bobsleigh, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Luge, Snowboarding and several other disciplines.

The games captivate the world, as they do every time they’re in progress.

Cuba was in the spotlight at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The small country won 11 medals in total, and this includes 5 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze metals.

Rio Wrestling

Cuba dominated two sports during the Olympics: wrestling and boxing. The two sports are competitive, but Cuba came out on top with:

  • Ismael Borrero and Mijain Lopez winning gold in the men’s wrestling division (59 kg and 130 kg respectively).
  • Julio Cesar La Cruz, Robeisy Ramirez and Arlen Lopez walking away with the gold medal in boxing (light heavyweight, bantamweight and middleweight).

Idalys Ortiz’s performance in Judo led her to win the silver medal in the women’s 78+ kg division. The Cuban squad won 6 medals in boxing and 3 in wrestling, with the remaining medals earned in Judo and discus.

Cuba’s rowing competitors qualified four boats. Two of the crews confirmed their spots for the single and double sculls. A top six finish at the 2016 Latin American Continental Qualifications helped Cuba secure one more boat per gender.

The four boats left the 2016 Olympics empty-handed. Angel Fournier was a powerhouse in the single sculls as the top rated rower in the heats and a first-place rank in the quarterfinals. He ranked third in the semis, but Fournier fell short in the end, ranking sixth in the finals.

Cuba failed to qualify in the double sculls and didn’t advance.

Tension between Cuba and South Korea lessened in recent months, with the two countries establishing diplomatic relations in 2016. Trade among the two countries expanded in 2015.

Cuba is a country that has never participated in the Winter Olympics. The lack of presence at the Winter games had made Cuba the most successful Olympic team among nations that never participated in Winter Olympics.

The country first participated in the 1900 Olympics in Paris, winning two gold medals and ranking twelfth in the Summer Games. Cuba’s highest rank in the Summer Olympics was third in 1904 in St. Louis when they won nine medals.

South Korea promises a seamless preparation for the country’s first Olympic hosting. Issues in Rio will not be repeated, according to South Korea.

A great deal of preparation will go into the games.

The lack of a Cuban presence at the Winter Olympics shouldn’t keep fans from watching the games.

Rumors from the International Olympic Committee state that rowing and canoeing events in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are up for move consideration. The events are facing a proposed move to South Korea. The games may move due to rising costs despite a smaller venue promised.

Teams around the globe are preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pita Taufatofua, the Taekwondo athlete, plans to represent his country in cross-country skiing at the games.

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Venezuela Boosts Oil Production in Orinoco Belt, Finalises Agreement with Aruba

Venezuela Boosts Oil Production in Orinoco Belt, Finalises Agreement with Aruba

Venezuela’s Petroleum and Mining Minister Eluogio del Pino announced on June 11 that crude oil production in the Orinoco Belt jumped from 20,000 to 30,000 barrels per day. The increased production greatly benefits the region, which is facing challenges amidst falling oil prices.

The announcement comes just one day after the minister attended an agreement signing between Venezuela and Aruba. The agreements, which were ratified in front of Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman, initiate the revival of an old oil refinery and other joint development projects.

Authorities from both governments gathered in Caracas to sign the agreements, which will reopen a 209,000 BPD refinery in San Nicolas, Aruba.

Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela, was in attendance as was the energy and petroleum minister and the CEO of CITGO Petroleum Corporation.

The meeting follows several months of negotiations between CITGO Aruba and the Aruban government. The agreement will reactivate operations at the refinery, which had been idle since 2012, through a lease agreement lasting 15 years. A 10-year extension option is available.

CITGO Aruba will be operating the facility, and CITGO Petroleum Corporation will provide the group with services.

The project will transform the refinery into an upgrader for Venezuela’s extra-heavy crude within the next 18-24 months. The project will require an investment of $450-$650 million, which will be secured through external lenders.

Once the refinery has been transformed, the facility will upgrade the extra-heavy crude sourced from the Orinoco Oil Belt into intermediate crude. From here, the oil will be sent to CITGO’s refining network in the U.S. to be further processed. Meanwhile, PDVSA will purchase naphtha to dilute its extra-heavy crude.

The strategic partnership is believed to benefit Venezuela, Aruba, CITGO Aruba and PDVSA.

A complementary project is also being considered that would allow for natural gas in Venezuela’s Paraguana region to be used. Natural gas would not only lower costs, but also reduce refinery emissions.

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United Nations Elects Fiji’s Permanent Representative as New President

United Nations Elects Fiji’s Permanent Representative as New President

The United Nations General Assembly elected its new president on Monday through a rare secret ballot vote. The assembly chose Peter Thomson, the Permanent Representative of Fiji, to serve as President of its 71st session.

Thomson will replace Mogens Lykketoft, current President of the General Assembly, in September at the start of the 71st General Assembly session.

The Permanent Representative of Fiji beat Cyprus representative Andreas Mavroyiannis 94 to 90 in a secret ballot vote.

The General Assembly selects a president using a geographical rotation system. Regional groups put forward a candidate every year. If the group cannot come to an agreement on a nominee, a secret ballot vote is held.

This is the first time a representative of a small island developing State in the Pacific has been elected as Assembly President. Mr. Thomson said he plans to be vocal on climate change issues. He also noted that the 71st Assembly session will focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Mr. Thomson plans to bring a spirit of commitment and loyalty to the common good.

Mr. Lykketoft, current Assembly President, acknowledged Mr. Thomson’s experience in rural development matters and international affairs. He expressed his support for Mr. Thomson, but noted that there is still much work to be done in the current session, including the large movement of migrants and refugees in September.

Mr. Thomson served as Chair of the Executive Board of the UN Population Fund, the UN Development Programme, and the UN Office for Project Services. He also served as Vice President of the General Assembly from 2010 through 2011.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Mr. Thomson on his achievement and said he believes the President-elect will help the UN carry out its 2030 Agenda and reach its goals for the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The UN General Assembly is comprised of 193 Member States and meets in regular sessions that run from September through December of each year.

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