Tag Archives: Cuba

Cuba keeping a watchful eye over events in ally Venezuela

Cuba keeping a watchful eye over events in ally VenezuelaVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is hanging onto power in the crisis-wracked country in large part thanks to backing from the military, which according to the United States is receiving support and advice from Cuba. While the close relationship between left-wing allies Venezuela and Cuba is well-known, Havana denies the accusations from its old Cold War foe that its actions are nefarious. “The time has come to liberate Venezuela from Cuba,” US Vice President Mike Pence proclaimed Monday.



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British tourists on board deadly bus crash in Cuba

British tourists on board deadly bus crash in CubaBritish pensioners on holiday in Cuba have been injured in a bus crash which killed seven, including four foreign tourists. The Via Azul coach was travelling between the small city of Baracoa, on the far eastern tip of the island, and the capital Havana when it overturned. Baracoa, an attractive coastal community where Christopher Columbus first set foot, is somewhat off the beaten track. However, its laid-back atmosphere and proximity to tropical rainforests, mountain hikes and waterfalls have seen it grow in popularity, especially for travellers seeking eco-tourism experiences and historical sites. Via Azul is a state-run company, normally known for being reliable and operating at high standards. Doctors in the town of Guantanamo treat a survivor of the crash A Frenchman, a German woman and two Argentine women were among the dead, along with three Cubans, Venceremos newspaper said. More than 30 people were injured. Three Cubans and two foreigners – 42-year-old Spaniard Felicita Hurtado and French woman Marline Alphonse, 63 – survived the crash, but were said to be in a serious condition. "Of the 40 passengers, 22 were foreigners from countries like Holland, England, France, Mexico and Canada," said Venceremos. The driver of the coach said he lost control on a wet road, claiming to have been driving slowly. However, witnesses said the driver had been attempting to overtake another vehicle when he found himself face to face with oncoming traffic, causing him to swerve off the road. Cuba’s roads vary enormously in repair, with some well maintained, but others in serious need of refurbishment. Traffic accidents are the fifth greatest cause of death in Cuba; in 2017 there were 11,187 road accidents in Cuba, which killed 750 people and left 7,999 injured. An ambulance takes away survivors Furthermore, vehicle standards vary significantly. The classic cars of the 1950s still ply the roads, but many are falling into disrepair and being replaced by new imports from China. In recent years Beijing has made significant inroads into the island, investing heavily in infrastructure and shipping in their own cars and buses – taking advantage of the US turning its back on Havana under president Donald Trump. His tightening of the trade embargo has made it harder to obtain essential parts for cars and machinery, which is testing Cuba’s famed inventiveness to the limits.



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U.S. State Department softens travel advisory on Cuba

U.S. State Department softens travel advisory on CubaThe United States on Thursday revised its travel advisory on Cuba to “exercise increased caution,” from “reconsider travel,” a move that some in the tourism sector hope could help reverse a decline in American visitors to the Caribbean island. The U.S. State Department had warned its citizens last year not to visit the country because of a spate of still unexplained illnesses among its embassy personnel in Havana. The new U.S. travel advisory acknowledges, however, that these so-called “attacks” seemed to target those personnel and not private citizens, and therefore simply advises travelers to “exercise increased caution in Cuba.” Cuba and many analysts have branded the warning on travel to the Communist-run island as politically motivated.



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Another Cuba plane crash survivor dies, death toll rises to 112

Another Cuba plane crash survivor dies, death toll rises to 112One of the survivors of the plane crash just outside Havana airport last week died early on Friday, state-run media cited the Cuban government as saying, raising the death toll from one of Cuba’s worst air disasters to 112. Emiley Sanchez, a 40-year old Cuban from the eastern city of Holguin where the Boeing 737 had been heading, died in a hospital in the capital due to “severe traumatic lesions and burns” suffered in the accident. “Her state was extremely critical with a unfavorable prognostic and on a progressive downwards path that we could not reverse,” the Health Ministry said in a statement read on state-run radio station Radio Reloj.



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A look at major plane crashes in Cuba in recent years

A look at major plane crashes in Cuba in recent yearsHAVANA (AP) — A look at some of the major plane crashes in Cuba in recent years:



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Passenger plane crashes in Cuba, killing more than 100 people

Passenger plane crashes in Cuba, killing more than 100 peopleBy Sarah Marsh and Nelson Acosta HAVANA (Reuters) – More than 100 people were killed in a fiery crash of a Boeing 737 passenger plane in Cuba on Friday, with just three seriously injured survivors in hospital after being pulled from the wreckage, officials and state media said. The aircraft, on a domestic flight to Holguin in eastern Cuba, crashed shortly after taking off from Havana at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT).



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More than 100 people killed as passenger plane crashes in Cuba

More than 100 people killed as passenger plane crashes in CubaAn ageing airliner carrying 110 people crashed shortly after take off from Havana airport in Cuba on Friday, leaving just three survivors in the country's worst aviation disaster in three decades. The 39-year-old Boeing 737 had taken off on an internal flight when it went down into a cassava field not far from the end of the runway just after midday,  bursting into flames and leaving huge plumes of black smoke. A local resident told Granma, the Cuban state newspaper, that the plane crashed after it attempted to return to the airport – making a turn and clipping electricity cables, then plummeting to the ground. Miguel Diaz-Canel, the Cuban president, visited the scene immediately and said: "There is a high number of people who appear to have died. "Things have been organised, the fire has been put out, and the remains are being identified." Granma reported there was a baby aged under two on board, plus four children. The Cubana Airlines Boeing 737 had just left the Jose Marti airport when the accident happened Credit: ADALBERTO ROQUE/ AFP The paper also said that the crew was “foreign” and that there were foreigners on board, but did not give details. The three survivors were taken to the Calixto Garcia hospital, in the Vedado district of Havana. Families of those on board were asked to bring photos of their loved ones to the scene, to assist with identification. The Boeing 737 had just left the Jose Marti airport en route to the town of Holguin – a flight of around an hour and a half. The plane crashed near a school and lay in a farm field, heavily damaged and burnt, with firefighters spraying water on its smouldering remains. Miguel Diaz-Canel, visiting the crash site Credit: AFP What appeared to be one of the wings of the plane was wedged among scorched tree trunks, but the main fuselage appeared to have been entirely destroyed. Firefighters and rescue workers combed through the wreckage, but there seemed little chance of finding survivors. The plane was believed to be a Cubana airlines flight. Mercedes Vazquez, director of air traffic, told Prensa Latina that the plane was owned by Damojh – a Mexican company which operates under the name Global. At a glance | Cuba  A Global employee told AP that the plane was theirs. Cuban state television had earlier claimed that the plane was owned by Blue Panorama, an Italian firm, but they denied involvement. The Cuban state carrier had suspended its own domestic flights in March owing to a shortage of aircraft, according to security site Garda World. Cubana has also taken many of its aging planes out of service in recent months due to mechanical problems. The airline is notorious among Cubans for its frequent delays and cancellations, which Cubana blames on a lack of parts and airplanes due to the US trade embargo on the island. Friday's crash was Cuba's third major fatal accident since 2010. A survivor is loaded into an ambulance Credit: AFP Last year, a Cuban military plane crashed into a hillside in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight troops on board. In November 2010, an AeroCaribbean flight from Santiago to Havana went down in bad weather as it flew over central Cuba, killing all 68 people, including 28 foreigners, in what was Cuba's worst air disaster in more than two decades. The last Cubana accident appears to have been on Sept. 4, 1989, when a chartered Cubana plane flying from Havana to Milan, Italy, went down shortly after takeoff, killing all 126 people on board, as well as at least two dozen on the ground. Cubana's director general, Capt. Hermes Hernandez Dumas, told state media last month that Cubana's domestic flights had carried 11,700 more passengers than planned between January and April 2018. It said that 64 per cent of flights had taken off on time, up from 59 per cent the previous year. "Among the difficulties created by the US trade embargo is our inability to acquire latest-generation aircraft with technology capable of guaranteeing the stability of aerial operations," he said. "Another factor is obtaining part for Cubana's aircraft."



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Cuba in mourning after deadliest air crash in nearly 30 years

Cuba in mourning after deadliest air crash in nearly 30 yearsCuba observed a weekend of national mourning for victims of its worst crash in nearly three decades that killed 110 passengers and crew. An investigation has been launched into Friday’s crash of the nearly 40-year-old Boeing 737-200 leased to the national carrier Cubana de Aviacion by a Mexican company. The Boeing crashed shortly after taking off from Havana, coming down in a field near the airport and sending a thick column of acrid smoke into the air.



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Airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba, 3 said to survive

Airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba, 3 said to surviveHAVANA (AP) — A 39-year-old airliner with 110 people aboard crashed and burned in a cassava field just after taking off from the Havana airport Friday, leaving three survivors in Cuba's worst aviation disaster in three decades, officials said.



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Cuba plane crash: Airliner with 110 aboard crashes, burns in field

Cuba plane crash: Airliner with 110 aboard crashes, burns in fieldA 39-year-old airliner with 110 people aboard crashed just after taking off from the Havana airport Friday, leaving three survivors.



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