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Normalisation with Cuba: The thrill of the thaw

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Normalisation with Cuba


American business is eager to cross the Florida Strait, but obstacles remain



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And they’re off, again

And they’re off, again

IN THE late 1950s, when the Fabulous Rockers were hitting the big time, their hometown of Ybor City, near Tampa, Florida, was like Havana today: run down, its hand-rolled cigar industry an historic relic. In those days, the place to be was not Tampa or Miami, but Havana, which for Florida bands was as tantalising as Las Vegas.
They never made it. In 1959 Fidel Castro’s revolutionaries took power. Less than two years later Dwight Eisenhower imposed an embargo, and most ties were severed for the next 54 years. The band’s members did not give up on their dream. On May 15th they hope to fulfil it by headlining at the celebrated Hotel Nacional, on the seaside Malecón in …