HAVANA (AP) — Rolling toward customs with a 60-pound suitcase filled with clothing and electronics for friends, my stomach clenched when a female agent in a light green uniform approached. As a former longtime Cuba correspondent returning after nearly six years, I thought I knew what would come next: a search of my luggage by stoned-faced military men, a scolding, maybe even a fine.

Instead, I got a pass.

"Pasa, mi amor," the agent said with a smile, directing me to the exit. "Go right on through, my love."

It was the first sign of the more relaxed and hopeful atmosphere I found during a brief visit back to Havana this month, a feeling that didn't exist during my 1999-2009 tenure. The differences I saw and felt made me realize how much my decade in Cuba had been characterized by anxiety and isolation, and what a different country it is becoming under President Raul Castro's modest reforms. Everywhere I traveled around Havana, hopes were high for more change after Cuba and the U.S. announcement on Dec. 17 they would move toward a more normal relationship. Cubans seem especially keen for more visits by Americans...



Recent Articles

Date Title
2/28/15 U.S., Cuban officials pleased with 'cooperative' talks
Alan Gomez, USA Today
2/27/15 US, Cuba cite progress on restoring diplomatic ties
Bradley Klapper, AP
2/24/15 Cuban entrepreneurs can sell everything from shoes to soap in the United States
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
2/24/15 US supreme court sides with Cuba over cigar company standoff with US rival
AFP, Telegraph
2/24/15 McCaskill returns from Cuba, calls for end to trade embargo
St. Lous Business Journal
2/23/15 Head of Cuba's Ladies in White to submit leadership to vote
AP, Yahoo News
2/22/15 Canadian businessman released from jail in Cuba
AFP
2/21/15 Cuban, US telecom firms to tie up
NHK
2/20/15 Cuba: 5 Clear Signs Change Is Already Coming
Kevin Joyce, ABC
2/19/15 Americans' Opinion of Cuba Highest in Nearly 20 Years
Art Swift, Gallup
2/19/15 Cuba temporarily cuts price of Internet access
Andrea Rodriguez, AP
2/18/15 U.S. And Cuba Will Hold Second Round Of Normalization Talks In Washington
Eyder Peralta, NPR
2/18/15 Current Record
2/18/15 In Havana, a wicked, unexpected act
Fabiola Santiago, Miami Herald
2/17/15 Scientists Say Aggressive New HIV Strain Discovered in Cuba
Justin Worland, Time
2/17/15 In funding Cuba port project, Brazil set to gain key foothold
Tracy Wilkinson and Vincent Bevins, L.A. Times
2/16/15 Conan O'Brien takes show to Cuba
Lisa Respers France, CNN
2/13/15 Senators introduce bill to lift embargo, open trade with Cuba
Chris Adams, The Miami Herald
2/13/15 U.S. eases restrictions on imports from private Cubans
David Adams, Arshad Mohammed and Lesley Wroughton, Reuters
2/13/15 CRS Report of the Week: ‘Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations’
Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post
2/13/15 As Cuba policy moves forward, chief critic Rubio faces stiff odds reversing it
Chris Adams, McClatchy
2/12/15 EU tip for U.S.-Cuba negotiators: patience is a virtue
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
2/12/15 JetBlue Adds Additional Cuba Charter Flight
Yahoo Finance
2/12/15 Lawmakers Push for Slavery to Be Element of Cuba, Malaysia Talks
Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg
2/11/15 Netflix launches service in Cuba, but will anyone be watching?
Pablo Ximenez de Sandoval, AP
2/11/15 Miami mechanic is Mr Fix-it for Russian cars in Cuba
Reuters
2/10/15 Major Dissident Party in Cuba, UNPACU, Reveals Reasons to Support Obama's Initiatives
Jose Daniel Garcia Ferrer, UNPACU
2/9/15 In Cuba, likely Castro successor keeps a low profile
Tracy Wilkinson, The L.A. Times
2/9/15 If Canada wants to retain its advantaged position in Cuba, it has to move fast
Eric Miller, National Post
2/9/15 President Obama made the right call on Cuba
Editorial Board, NJ Star-Ledger
2/9/15 Banking issues must be ironed out as U.S., Cuba repair relations
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
2/6/15 End the Cuban travel ban
Editorial Board, NJ Star Ledger
2/6/15 New Cuba Policy Faces Attacks On Capitol Hill But Still Moving Ahead
Tim Padgett, WRLN
2/6/15 Mexican border now a major entry point for Cuban migrants
Sun Sentinel
2/5/15 Travel Insurance Already Available for Travel to Cuba, says Squaremouth
2/5/15 Cuba Charter Flights Respond to Eased Restrictions
Desmond Boylan, Reuters
2/5/15 Several congressional trips to Cuba in doubt as Cubans struggle with surge of US interest
Bradley Klapper, AP
2/5/15 Rubio on wrong side of Cuba policy changes
Editorial Board, Tampa Bay Times
2/4/15 US will back dissidents in Cuba; poll shows support for thaw
Bradley Klapper and Emily Swanson, AP
2/4/15 Lift the Cuba Travel Ban Already
Editorial Opinion, Bloomberg
2/3/15 Cuba Publishes First Photos Of Fidel Castro In 5 Months
AP