“What our players and what the Cuban players ... did in those six days did more for government relations between our two countries than has been done in the last 40 years by the governments,” Little League baseball coach Jim Carter said.[...] They spent their April spring break in Havana, learning about Cuba’s intense passion for baseball, seeing cultural and historic sights, getting to meet some of Cuba’s best professional baseball players, making new friends despite language barriers and playing baseball against local teams.

They came, they jammed, they danced to Cuban hip-hop, but did they conquer? A group of American cultural officials and a dozen entertainers and other artists returned Thursday from a four-day cultural diplomacy mission to Cuba that was sponsored by the U.S. government and billed as the first of its kind since the thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba.

Throughout the trip, Chesky describes interactions between Cuban hosts and American guests as “person-to-person diplomacy.” That narrative allows Airbnb travelers to handily comply with the U.S.’s “people-to-people” educational travel visa requirement.

The latest U.S. delegation planning a Cuba trip since the thaw in relations is a government cultural mission that will include Usher, Smokey Robinson, and Lourdes Lopez, artistic director of the Miami City Ballet. [...] The delegation hopes to identify more opportunities for people-to-people artistic and cultural collaborations.

Secretary of State John Kerry exhorted Miami Dade Honors College students to pursue an inclusive American dream that includes “what our country stands for internationally.” [...] To encourage freedom, he said, the United States wants to help “the Cuban people to begin a new chapter in their history.”


When Jake Agna first stepped on the courts of the National Tennis Center in Havana he was shocked. The courts hadn’t received maintenance in years. Nets were being held up by chairs. But at the same time he was surprised by the enthusiasm and talent.

Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s trailblazing visit to Cuba, a free concert by the Rolling Stones in Havana might seem like a relatively minor event. Obama revived relations with Cuba after more than a half-century of deep hostility. The septuagenarian Stones just played some very loud music. And yet, symbolically, the concert was not minor at all.