Cubans are using social media to air their grievances — and the government is responding, sometimes.

The overwhelming response — thousands of tweets under the hashtag #BajenLosPreciosDe­Internet — became by some estimates the largest protest, albeit digital, to wash over the communist island in years. Dissidents long monitored by the government joined the cause. But so, too, did students, private-sector business owners and other Cubans who appeared to be anything but counterrevolutionaries.

Article by The Washington Post here.

Feature: Cuban private sector severely affected by new U.S. travel restrictions

Until just a few days ago Havana’s Old Town was swarming with U.S. visitors, mainly from cruise ships, who toured the zone to learn about its history, culture and heritage.

Private businesses in the area like restaurants, cafeterias, craft sellers and the iconic convertible vintage cars thrived with thousands of tourists supporting their activities and directly engaging with the booming sector which currently employs more than 584,000 Cubans.

However, that reality dramatically changed this week when Washington decided to abruptly end cruise ships to the island and people-to-people educational exchanges, the most popular category used by U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba.

Article by Xinhua here.

Cubans vote on new constitution to replace Cold War-era charter

Cubans began voting on Sunday in a referendum on a draft constitution to update its 1976 charter on the heels of significant economic reforms on the island over the past few years.

The new constitution, approved in the National Assembly late last year after a popular consultation, enshrines private property and promotes foreign investment. State enterprise remains the cornerstone of the economy, though the new constitution dictates state-owned companies have autonomous management.

Full article by Al Jazeera here.

Cuba’s leaders adopt social media, not democracy

The day before Miguel Díaz-Canel became president of Cuba last April, a newscaster on state-controlled television urged Cubans to join in a tuitazo (outpouring of tweets). The hashtags he proposed were PorCuba (“ForCuba”) and SomosContinuidad (“WeAreContinuity”). Mr Díaz-Canel himself joined Twitter in August.

Article by The Economist here.

Lengthy Twitter exchange between Cuban official and citizens could be a first.

Cuba’s culture vice minister engaged with citizens who remain deeply concerned over the effects Decree 349 will have on Cuba’s art world.

It all started at around 5pm Wednesday, when Camilo Condis, a young entrepreneur urged several culture ministry officials to read an independent story regarding the controversial new law which took effect December 6.

Article by WPLG Local News 10 here.