“Cuba Libro” is Cuba’s very first English language bookstore. It opened its door to customers last week. Conner Gorry, a New York City native living in Havana, first came up with the idea. She envisioned a comfortable place for book lovers to leaf through English-language books. Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Gorry about “Cuba Libro” and the complexities of operating a small business in the island.

Fidel Castro turned 87 behind closed doors Tuesday, with official tributes in state media serving as a reminder that the clock is ticking on his revolutionary generation's grip on power. Castro stepped down as president following a near-fatal illness in 2006, and his successor, younger brother Raul, has said that his current term ending in 2018 will be his last, ostensibly ending nearly six decades of rule by the brothers.

I met the Ambassador of the Solomon Islands a few weeks ago. The Solomons (Honiara is the capital) are in the Pacific Ocean over 13,000 km from Cuba and they only have a few embassies around the world so you might wonder why they have recently opened one in Havana. The Ambassador, Simeon Bouro, explained to me that Cuban support is important for the Solomons’ health service - there are more than 90 Solomon Islanders studying medicine in Cuba and a couple of Cuban doctors practicising in the Solomons.

The twelfth round of peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC rebels ended on Saturday in Havana, Cuba with both sides expressing optimism despite a lack of recent concrete actions and agreements in the past week. Current negotiations, which began in October 2012, have been more successful than previous attempts, with difficult obstacles like land reform having reportedly been cleared.

Cuba's first English-language bookstore offers a selection that would just about stock the lobby of an average Vermont bed and breakfast. Next to what's available in English elsewhere in Havana, it might as well be the Library of Congress. The brainchild of a longtime U.S. expat, Cuba Libro launched Friday as a bookshop, cafe and literary salon that offers islanders and tourists alike a unique space to buy or borrow tomes in the language of Shakespeare. Cuba Libro also gives customers an occasional glimpse of opinions hard to find elsewhere on the island.

Like listening to rock music in the 1960s, interest in such a uniquely American import marked the young skaters as socially suspicious, and sometimes for rough treatment by police and arrest, though their experiences were perhaps not all that different from confrontations between U.S. skaters and civic authorities concerned about the destruction of public property.

August 4, 2013

For a little under a year, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been holding peace talks in Havana -- the first since the round conducted by the Pastrana administration from 1998 to 2002. Those were plagued by delays, accusations from the FARC that the Colombian government was planning to assassinate its top leaders, accusations from the Colombian government that the FARC was planning to kidnap officials, and ongoing violence.

The Obama administration announced Wednesday it is extending the duration of non-immigrant visas for Cuban travelers from six months to five years, two weeks after officials from the two countries resumed long-stalled migration talks. The change also means Cubans approved for B-2 visas for family visits or personal travel will be allowed multiple entries, rather than be required to reapply in person each time they seek to travel to the United States. B-1 business and B-1/B-2 combination visas will still be for six months and a single entry.