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    From Partagas to Cohiba.

    EA_Cuba-30mkasselobserverCigar smokers hanging out on Obispo Street in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Emily Assiran)Photo via Flikr.EA_Cuba-30mkasselobserverCigar smokers hanging out on Obispo Street in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Emily Assiran)Photo via Flikr.

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    According to Jose Gabilondo, a professor at Florida International University College of Law and an expert on finance in Cuba, U.S. businesses should view the beginning of the end of the U.S. embargo in Cuba as “a very positive sign.”

    CubaBuildingdavidrobinwallisCubaBuildingHavana Cuba August, 2024 PHOTO: Emily Assiran/New York ObserverCubaBuildingdavidrobinwallisCubaBuildingHavana Cuba August, 2024 PHOTO: Emily Assiran/New York Observer

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    Cuba may lie just 90 miles from Miami, where two weeks ago the art world gathered for the billionaire playtime and party armageddon that is Art Basel Miami Beach. But the hoops you have to jump through to get to Havana put off the finicky, and so the tradewinds carry art stars to St. Barths or Tulum instead.

    marino_1-450x330nfreeman1234Armando Mariño, La Patera / The Raft, 2002. (Courtesy the Farber Collection) Howard Farber (Courtesy New York Social Diary)Juan Pablo Ballester, Untitled (More than you expect series), 1994. (Courtesy the Farber Foundation)marino_1-450x330nfreeman1234Armando Mariño, La Patera / The Raft, 2002. (Courtesy the Farber Collection) Howard Farber (Courtesy New York Social Diary)Juan Pablo Ballester, Untitled (More than you expect series), 1994. (Courtesy the Farber Foundation)

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    This morning President Barack Obama announced that long strained relations with Cuba would be mended, and full diplomatic relations with the island nation restored. However, an embargo on Cuban goods, both imports and exports, will remain, though travel restrictions will ease and some imports will be allowed. So what does all this mean for the art world and its instiutions? We turned to Jorge Daniel Veneciano, the executive director of New York’s leading institution for Latino culture El Museo del Barrio, for some perspective.

    El Museo's Gala 2014 - Insidealmartinez1224El Museo del Barrio executive director Jorge Daniel Veneciano. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Prayer for Obama II, (2008). (Courtesy El Museo del Barrio)Belkis Ayón, Sin título / Untitled, (1993). (Courtesy the Farber Collection)El Museo's Gala 2014 - Insidealmartinez1224El Museo del Barrio executive director Jorge Daniel Veneciano. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Prayer for Obama II, (2008). (Courtesy El Museo del Barrio)Belkis Ayón, Sin título / Untitled, (1993). (Courtesy the Farber Collection)

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    The quandary for Mr. Rubio is that politically he cannot abandon his base of Cuban Americans, despite the reality that they are, in the long term, on the losing side of this issue. However, if Cuba policy remains an issue in front of Congress for several months, Mr. Rubio will become known among many as simply the pro-embargo politician. This is no way for a senator to build a national profile or presidential candidacy, especially a senator who is now the only second most well known possible presidential candidate from his state.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Appears In Iowa At Event For State's GovernorlincolnmitchellSenator Marco Rubio (Getty)Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Appears In Iowa At Event For State's GovernorlincolnmitchellSenator Marco Rubio (Getty)

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    The wise thing for the Republican Party leadership in the Senate would be to allow Mr. Rubio to make as much noise as he wants on this question, but not to let Cuba policy dominate the next Congress. If, however, the party allows Mr. Rubio to lead them down the blind alley of fighting to continue the embargo, it will be a big win for Hillary Clinton.

    EA_Cuba-22lincolnmitchellPHOTO: Emily Assiran/New York ObserverEA_Cuba-22lincolnmitchellPHOTO: Emily Assiran/New York Observer

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants New York to be the first state to establish an economic foothold in Cuba.

    CubarbarkanobserverHavana, Cuba. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)CubarbarkanobserverHavana, Cuba. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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    The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba will participate in the first major museum collaboration between the two countries in over 50 years.

    Michael_Palma_BXMSM_077_01almartinez1224The Bronx Museum of the Arts. (Photo courtesy The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Lehman College Art Gallery and © Norman McGrath, courtesy Arquitectonica)Michael_Palma_BXMSM_077_01almartinez1224The Bronx Museum of the Arts. (Photo courtesy The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Lehman College Art Gallery and © Norman McGrath, courtesy Arquitectonica)

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    Why had my students and I met in Cuba with a fugitive wanted by the FBI on 32 felony counts, the head of International Studies wanted to know

    CUBA-SOCIETY-FEATUREmrykkenobserverCubans chat in the streets of Havana, on January 7, 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Jared Rodriguez/ Truthout)CUBA-SOCIETY-FEATUREmrykkenobserverCubans chat in the streets of Havana, on January 7, 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Jared Rodriguez/ Truthout)

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo will depart on April 20 for the trade mission to Cuba he announced earlier this year.

    Andrew Cuomojjorgensen2014Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)Andrew Cuomojjorgensen2014Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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    Panelists described a vibrant, growing Cuban art scene but warned against expecting massive change or increased freedom for artists soon.

    MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAeditorapMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAcentro-asturianoMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAeditorapMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAcentro-asturiano

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    A soccer summit in Havana will do more for diplomacy than decades of presidents or secretaries of state, Congressman Charles Rangel said.

    FBL-US-CUB-DIPLOMACYjjorgensen2014New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese (L) presents a soccer ball to Cuba National Team Coach Walter Benitez today. (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)FBL-US-CUB-DIPLOMACYjjorgensen2014New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese (L) presents a soccer ball to Cuba National Team Coach Walter Benitez today. (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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    f your work week feels never ending, that's because it is--New York City residents have the longest work week among the country's 30 biggest cities.

    New York And NJ Residents Struggle To Recover One Week After Superstorm SandyobserverdispatchesNew York And NJ Residents Struggle To Recover One Week After Superstorm Sandyobserverdispatches

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    On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that in the wake of Indiana’s passage of its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), he has banned all non-essential, taxpayer-funded travel to the Hoosier State.

    New York's Gay Pride Parade Celebrates Passage Of Same-Sex Marriage Lawmrykkenobserver Marchers hold signs thanking Governor Andrew Cuomo for keeping his campaign promise and legalizing same-sex marriage during the 2011 NYC LGBT Pride March on the streets of Manhattan on June 26, 2011 in New York City.Thousands of revelers had reason to celebrate since New York state legislators approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage which Governor Cuomo signed in to law on Friday June 24. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)New York's Gay Pride Parade Celebrates Passage Of Same-Sex Marriage Lawmrykkenobserver Marchers hold signs thanking Governor Andrew Cuomo for keeping his campaign promise and legalizing same-sex marriage during the 2011 NYC LGBT Pride March on the streets of Manhattan on June 26, 2011 in New York City.Thousands of revelers had reason to celebrate since New York state legislators approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage which Governor Cuomo signed in to law on Friday June 24. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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    New Yorkers can sample Cuba's diverse art scene without leaving the city through a special exhibition at the Bronx Museum of Arts.

    3almartinez1224José Ángel Vincench’s Exile, (2012). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)Eduardo Ponjuán's La Edad de las Luces (Age of Enlightenment), (1997). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)Humberto Castro’s - Ya estoy lista, voy a salir, de la serie Cuatro segundos de papel (- I'm Ready, I'm Going Out, from the series Four Seconds of Paper), (1985). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)Tomás Esson's La Estatua (The Statue), (1992). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)3almartinez1224José Ángel Vincench’s Exile, (2012). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)Eduardo Ponjuán's La Edad de las Luces (Age of Enlightenment), (1997). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)Humberto Castro’s - Ya estoy lista, voy a salir, de la serie Cuatro segundos de papel (- I'm Ready, I'm Going Out, from the series Four Seconds of Paper), (1985). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)Tomás Esson's La Estatua (The Statue), (1992). (Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts)

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    Cuban telecommunications company Etecsa will open 35 Wi-Fi hot spots around the island by the end of July

    5915814977_21078c495a_zjbonazzoMore Cubans will have Internet access thanks to relaxed restrictions on Wi-Fi. (Photo: Calixto N. Llanes/Flickr)5915814977_21078c495a_zjbonazzoMore Cubans will have Internet access thanks to relaxed restrictions on Wi-Fi. (Photo: Calixto N. Llanes/Flickr)

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    The Cuban artist is set to participate in a newly created, yearlong artist-in-residence program aimed at educating undocumented residents about NYC's recently established municipal ID program.

    BRUGUERA_TANIA_2012-LR (2)almartinez1224Artist Tania Bruguera. (Photo: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs)BRUGUERA_TANIA_2012-LR (2)almartinez1224Artist Tania Bruguera. (Photo: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs)

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    Mr. Ai announced the news by posting a photo to his Instagram account on Wednesday morning, with the message "Today I got my passport."

    Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 9.21.18 AMalmartinez1224The artist posted a photo to his Instagram on Wednesday, July 22 to announce the news. (Photo: The artist's Instagram, @aiww)Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 9.21.18 AMalmartinez1224The artist posted a photo to his Instagram on Wednesday, July 22 to announce the news. (Photo: The artist's Instagram, @aiww)

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    Andrew Cuomo said he would not repeat his 2014 trip to Cuba with a visit to Iran.

    CUBA-US-DIPLOMACY-CUOMOwbreddermanGov. Andrew Cuomo sits inside a vintage car in Cuba in April        (Photo:  YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images).CUBA-US-DIPLOMACY-CUOMOwbreddermanGov. Andrew Cuomo sits inside a vintage car in Cuba in April (Photo: YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images).

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    Eric Adams had the Cuban colors raised over Brooklyn Borough Hall in celebration of the restoration of diplomatic relations.

    Cuban Flag Brooklyn Borough HallwbreddermanThe Cuban flag hoisted over the New York State banner atop Brooklyn Borough Hall (Photo: Will Bredderman/New York Observer).Cuban Flag Brooklyn Borough HallwbreddermanThe Cuban flag hoisted over the New York State banner atop Brooklyn Borough Hall (Photo: Will Bredderman/New York Observer).

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