My grandparents were in Havana on New Year's Eve in 1958 when Fidel Castro and his comrades' Revolution officially triumphed. My grandfather still recalls hearing gunshots and shouts in the streets that night. This recollection, however, doesn't quite add up to the fact that he and my grandmother were on a cruise ship and likely wouldn't have heard the ruckus. Nor does it add up since Fidel and his troops didn't actually arrive in Havana until a week later.

But I can forgive these discrepancies, because symbolically, they are vital to my understanding of Cuba. As the geopolitics of the second half of the 20th century unfurled, the U.S. and Cuba would become Cold War nemeses. The U.S. would go on to place a trade embargo and travel ban on the Island. Indeed, my grandparents' visit to Havana would be one of the last opportunities for Americans to travel freely and trade with Cuba.

Now, over a half century later, U.S.-Cuba relations are thawing. On December 17, 2014, Presidents Obama and Castro publicly vowed to improve ties between our nations. Nevertheless, in the 50-plus-years that have passed without direct engagement between our nations, U.S. businesses have sprouted without permission to trade with a neighbor just 90 miles off our shores. One such business is Commonwealth Packaging Co., a specialty packaging business that my grandfather started in the basement of his home just minutes from Hershey, PA. Although Commonwealth has grown into an international provider of packaging, Cuba remains a country where the company cannot conduct normalized business...



Recent Articles

Date Title
11/30/15 Claimed
Seth Stevenson, Slate
11/30/15 Time to Bring Cuba Online
Editorial Board, The New York Times
11/30/15 Keep the Cuban Adjustment Act, but clamp down on its abusers
Carlos Curbelo, The Miami Herald
11/24/15 A clash between U.S./Cuban migration laws contributes to Central America refugee crisis
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
11/24/15 Social media helps drive historic Cuban exodus to US
Michael Weissenstein, AP
11/23/15 Thousands of Cuban migrants stuck at Nicaraguan border in limbo amid political impasse
Jim Wyss, The Miami Herald
11/21/15 Old Havana reflects a new era of physical, social change in Cuba
Paul Guzzo, The Tampa Tribune
11/20/15 US travelers in Cuba can now use Stonegate Bank debit cards
Nicholas Nehamas, The Miami Herald
11/20/15 Marco Rubio on his Cuban roots, island's future
Julie Pace, AP
11/20/15 Central American leaders to mediate dispute over Cuban migrants
Esteban Felix, AP
11/18/15 Voters in four 'heartland' states favor Obama policy on Cuba: poll Read
Daniel Trotta, Reuters
11/18/15 Why Wall Street Sees Cash in Cuban TV
Charlie Gasparino, Fox Business
11/18/15 Cuba blames US for instigating surge of migrants from island
Javier Cordoba and Christine Armario, AP
11/17/15 Cuban Adjustment Act inextricably tied to the embargo
Ricardo Herrero, El Nuevo Herald
11/17/15 Current Record
11/17/15 Emerging Innovation: How Cuba’s Creative Voices are Conquering Constraints
Nick Parish, Next Practice
11/17/15 Cuba to see record-high foreign tourists in 2015
Business Standard
11/14/15 Agriculture can be 'bridge' with Cuba: top US official
AFP
11/12/15 US agriculture chief in Cuba as ties warm
AFP
11/12/15 In Cuba, searching for a lost past and finding a family
Christine Armario, AP
11/12/15 Sending money to Cuba proving troublesome despite political rhetoric
Amid a new era of diplomatic and commercial relations with Cuba has come reports of problems with payments between U.S. and Cuban businesses.
11/11/15 Cuba, US could soon sign renew flights, mail: Havana
AFP
11/10/15 Fidel Castro’s son apparent target of newspaper column
Nora Gamez Torres, El Nuevo Herald
11/10/15 Cuba planning new oil exploration in Gulf of Mexico
AFP
11/9/15 Banking woes ground some charter flights to Cuba
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
11/9/15 American Airlines exec: ‘We’re very bullish on future scheduled service with Cuba’
Tom Hudson, WLRN
11/9/15 Target law that leads to abuse of our charity
Editorial Board, The Miami Herald
11/6/15 Mexican companies eye business in Cuba as Castro visits
Dave Graham, Reuters
11/6/15 Historic Surge in Cuban Emigration Divides Families
Christine Armario, AP
11/4/15 Kendall man works with Cuban government to build public skatepark in Havana
Diego Saldana-Rojas, The Miami Herald
11/4/15 US might take more steps to relax Cuba embargo
Reuters
11/4/15 Cuba seeks $8.2 billion in foreign investment for 326 projects
Jaime Hamre, Reuters
11/3/15 Cuba, US hold business council meeting in Havana
Yahoo News
11/3/15 US investors trail rivals as Cuba opens up to trade and commerce
Sam Fleming and Demetri Sevastopulo, Financial Times
11/3/15 Sprint to begin roaming service in Cuba
Mimi Whitefield, El Nuevo Herald
11/2/15 New exodus of Cubans headed to the U.S. is underway across the Americas
Nancy San Martin, El Nuevo Herald
11/2/15 How easy is it to send an email in Cuba?
Larisa Epatko, PBS