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Christmas in a 'new' Havana

Thursday, December 24, 2015 - 01:13

Cubans prepare to celebrate Christmas amid new hope as relations improve with the U.S. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Nevermind the revolution -- it's Christmas in Havana. The holiday was officially banned in 1969. But after Pope John Paul's historic 1997 visit it was reinstated. And with President Raul Castro revamping the economy to create private businesses -- along with renewed ties with the United States -- there's hope and impatience, this Christmas. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN STUDENT, JORDAN FALCON, SAYING: "For families, Christmas time is important, a time to come together. I think that what is happening with the United States, would be better if the system changed a bit -- if there was less talk, more action." With new rules in the U.S. to ease trade, travel and investment restrictions with Cuba despite an embargo -- Havana-based entrepreneur Carmen Maria Alvarez sees better times ahead. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN ENTREPRENEUR, CARMEN MARIA ALVAREZ, SAYING: "There is hope from the opening, opening for families reuniting, for an economic opening. You can already see substantial changes among the people, with the arrival of Americans. And yes, I think that we Cubans have a lot of hope." And that hope comes just in time for Christmas

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Christmas in a 'new' Havana

Thursday, December 24, 2015 - 01:13