Cuban emerald hummingbird’s nest

This video says about itself:

Cuban Emerald‘s Tiny Nest

13 July 2016

Bird parents build nests of all different shapes and sizes to keep their young safe and warm. Bald Eagles, for example, build massive structures out of twigs that can be over 5 feet in diameter. Hummingbirds, such as this Cuban Emerald have a much more discreet approach. The cup-shaped nests they construct out of materials such as leaves and spider webs are only slightly bigger than a quarter and typically house two eggs weighing less than a gram apiece.

Cuban emerald hummingbirds live only in Cuba and the Bahamas.

Close Guantanamo torture prison, petition

This video says about itself:

Torture -The Guantanamo Guidebook

28 August 2012

UK’s channel 4 “Guantanamo Handbook” documentary

From Congresswoman Barbara Lee in the USA today:

It’s long past time to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Fellow Progressive.

Indefinite detentions do not promote our democratic ideals and the ongoing use of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay is an affront to American values. President Obama has asked Congress to work with him to shut it down – join his call for action now.

This is about more than values. Our use of Guantanamo Bay is serving as a recruiting tool for terrorists. Congress’s failure to close Guantanamo is jeopardizing our national security. Americans don’t have to accept this. We need to speak up.

You can join President Obama in asking Congress to advance our values and our security. Add your name to demand action.

Tell Congress: Close Guantanamo Bay!

Obama Administration No Longer Pursuing Executive Order To Shut Down Guantanamo: Report: here.

Rolling Stones arrived in Cuba

This video says about itself:

The Rolling Stones are coming to Cuba!

22 March 2016

Un mensaje de los Rolling Stones al pueblo Cubano, estamos muy felices de tocar para ustedes este viernes! #StonesCuba

A message from the Rolling Stones to the Cuban people, we are very happy to play for you this Friday! #‎Stonescuba

This 24 March 2016 video from Cuba is about the sound and lighting checks for the Rolling Stones concert. The band has arrived this night.

Help sea turtle conservation in Cuba

This video is called Green Sea Turtle release Cayo Largo Cuba 2012.

From in the USA:

Cuba Sea Turtle Volunteer Expedition

Spend a week volunteering with a sea turtle conservation project in the incredible Guanahacabibes National Park, along Cuba’s western coast. Work side by side with Cuban biologists to study and protect nests of green and loggerhead sea turtles. During the day, explore the park’s forests, reefs, and caves. This trip is a partnership between Cuba Marine Research & Conservation Program, Altruvistas, and SEE Turtles. Profits from this trip will help to save at least 500 hatchlings at this turtle nesting beach per participant.

2016 Dates: July 16 – 23 (full) / July 30 – Aug 6 (open)

Price: $2,995 per person (includes airfare from Miami – Havana; price without airfare is $2,395). Havana extension: $550 pp. Single supplement: $320.


Roundtrip airfare from Miami to Havana ($600 value), guide, private transportation, accommodations, most meals, activities, and a donation to turtle conservation.

Excludes: Airfare to Miami, personal items, and tips for the guide/driver.


This trip is open to American citizens through a “People to People” license given by the US State Department to our partners. It’s also open to citizens of other countries.
Minimum recommended age is 14 years old, under 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult.
Group size is limited to 16 people maximum.
Discount of $50 per person for paying by check.
Payment plans can be arranged.

Environmentalists fear Americans will ruin Cuba’s biodiversity: here.

Rolling Stones will play in Cuba

Poster for Rolling Stones concert in Cuba

From the site of the band The Rolling Stones:

1 March 2016

The Rolling Stones announce free concert in Cuba!

The Rolling Stones will perform a groundbreaking concert in Havana, Cuba on Friday March 25, 2016. The free concert will take place at the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana and will be the first open air concert in the country by a British Rock Band. Always exploring new horizons and true pioneers of rock, the Stones, who have toured every corner of the globe, will bring their high octane performance and incredible music catalogue to the Caribbean for the first time ever.

This once-in-a-lifetime concert event follows the band’s America Latina Ole tour, which is currently receiving rave reviews, playing to huge audiences in stadiums in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio De Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre with Lima, Bogotá and Mexico City following next week. The band are also leading a musician to musician initiative in which much needed musical instruments and equipment are being donated by major suppliers for the benefit of Cuban musicians of all genres. …

The Rolling Stones said: “We have performed in many special places during our long career but this show in Havana is going to be a landmark event for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba too.”

This historical concert will no doubt have Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood mesmerizing a new audience of fans with a set packed full of classic Stones hits as well as special gems from their million selling albums.

The Rolling Stones concert, which has been in the planning stages for several months comes only days after President Barack Obama’s recently announced visit to Cuba.

This entire event is being made possible by the benefaction of Fundashon Bon Intenshon on behalf of the island of Curaçao. Fundashon Bon Intenshon initiates and supports international charitable projects in the fields of education, athletics, cultural literacy, healthcare and tourism as well as other attempts to mitigate the impact of general poverty.

It is being promoted by AEG’s Concerts West and Musica Punto Zero who extend their gratitude for the support provided by the Institute of Cuban Music in bringing this event to the people of Cuba.

The Rolling Stones “Concert for Amity” will be filmed and produced by award winning production company JA Digital with Paul Dugdale directing and Simon Fisher and Sam Bridger as producers. Julie Jakobek of JA Digital said: “It’s a great honour to be working with the Rolling Stones again on this hugely exciting and historic event”.

This Cuban TV video, in Spanish, is about Mick Jagger visiting Cuba in October 2015 to prepare the concert.

Conservation in Cuba

This video says about itself:

Nature and Wildlife of Cuba (full documentary)HD

2 March 2015

The island is considered a tropical paradise, including lush, green flowering plants and trees as well as a plethora of animal life. While there are many reasons why people choose to visit the country, one of them is to enjoy the unspoiled tropical terrain. A positive aspect is that there are very few animals that pose a threat to humans. In fact, the country is considered to be free of any type of dangerous snake, which is great positive all on its own. However, the plethora of animals includes endangered species and those that are uniquely indigenous to the island such as the Cuban Tree Frog.

There are over seven thousand different types of insects, five hundred different types of fish.

By Dr. Les Kaufman in the USA:

After diplomatic thaw, Cuba looks to protect nature from rising tide of tourism

October 26, 2015

Editor’s note: Earlier this month, Cuba and the U.S. agreed to work together to protect marine life in their adjacent seas. Coral scientist and CI Marine Conservation Fellow Les Kaufman recently traveled to Cuba to survey the health of its biodiversity, which has been off-limits to U.S. citizens for decades.

During my decades of coral reef research on the northern coast of Jamaica, my colleagues and I often ended our work days, good Jamaican rum in hand, staring through the heat lightning across the Caribbean toward Cuba.

Isolated by a decades-long freeze on trade and tourism with its massive neighbor to the north, Cuba’s vintage-car-lined streets and vibrant culture have long held allure for outsiders. But I was just as interested in what lay below the surface.

Cuba is home to a bevy of world-class ecologists whose years of hard work under difficult circumstances have revealed some of the best remaining coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds in the tropical Atlantic. Cubans and the Cuban government are proud of their natural heritage, and fully aware of the uniqueness and importance of their nation’s biodiversity. They are also keenly aware of the diverse livelihoods that nature can support in a tourism-based economy. Furthermore, though the entire archipelago has been ravaged by centuries of unsustainable sugar cane production and shipbuilding, much of Cuba’s natural heritage remains intact — or at least restorable.

With the recent thaw of diplomatic relations with the U.S., Cuba will inevitably see an influx of American visitors. In light of both the increase in tourism and the development that will follow, it’s crucial to survey and safeguard the health of the country’s natural areas. I was to be part of a small group of American coral reef scientists invited by the organization Ocean Doctor to join forces with our Cuban colleagues to address the challenges of maintaining the health of their country’s biodiversity.

A conservationist’s dream

Last month, I stood on the tarmac in Havana’s viscous August heat and humidity for a two-week appointment with some rare wildlife, from the world’s largest woodpecker to the vivid Gramma dejongi, one of the world’s most beautiful reef fishes.

With me was Dr. Joe Roman, a well-known Vermont-based conservation biologist, author and specialist on marine mammals. Joe is an originator of the “whale pump” hypothesis — the idea that whale poop is key to ocean nutrient cycling in space and time. Also with me was Dr. Jackie Liederman, Boston University neurobiologist and, by chance, also my beloved wife.

Our trio arrived a week ahead of the rest of our group to familiarize ourselves with Cuba’s famed biodiversity, culture and storied landscapes above and below the waterline. At the Bay of Pigs and Zapata Swamp, a few hours southeast of Havana, we met Arturo Kirkconnell, a leading expert on Cuban birds. Together with his son Arturo Jr., he has logged decades of detailed study of the birds and their habitats in Zapata National Park, the Caribbean’s largest, most intact and most species-rich wetland landscape.

The list of what we saw was a conservationist’s dream: Cuban vireo and trogon (the national bird), bee and emerald hummingbirds, Zapata wrens and sparrows, pygmy and bare-legged owls, and two of our prizes: Fernandina’s flicker (a ground-loving woodpecker), and Gundlach’s hawk. The lush shoreline forests of Zapata were dominated by large wild tamarind, with swamp forest lorded over by pagoda-like black olive trees and spectacular Cuban royal palm. We also knew that somewhere in those tannin-stained waters were the legendary Cuban gar and cichlids. At first glance, Zapata seemed remarkably intact, a place of shining promise and an example for the Caribbean and the world.

For some species, an uncertain future

Realizing this bright promise will not be easy. Encroachment and habitat destruction nibble at the edges of Zapata, and eat at it from the inside out. African walking catfish, tilapia, water milfoil and exotic trees like paperbarks have invaded the swamp. Some of the native freshwater fish species, many found only in Cuba, are barely hanging on. On our way out of the swamp we stopped at a conservation center where Cuban gar and other endangered and endemic freshwater fishes are being bred to someday repopulate the wild — if this habitat can be adequately protected.

The future of the Cuban gar and Cuban crocodile both are highly uncertain, as is the Cuban population of Caribbean manatee. The Zapata rail has not been seen in at least a decade, while the Cuban royal woodpecker (either a relative or a subspecies of the famed ivory-billed) has been missing in action for a quarter-century. The bee hummingbird — the world’s smallest bird — is in decline, likely due to habitat destruction. Several of the island’s endemic hutia species (guinea-pig like rodents) are critically endangered or extinct. The once-common Cuban macaw was last seen in the mid to late 19th century.

On the other hand, Cuba remains home to some species that have long since vanished on nearby islands like Jamaica, mostly due to larger threats or weaker protection outside of Cuba. It has a surviving species of solenodon, an ancient, venomous, insectivorous mammal that looks like a cross between a rat and an elephant shrew. The other surviving solenodon was recently rediscovered in Haiti; the third known species went extinct in Jamaica. Cuba boasts two species of gorgeous day-flying moths, while Jamaica’s Urania sloanus — perhaps the most magnificent species in the genus — went extinct in the late 1800s.

Out of the swamp, into the sea

Slipping into the water of the Bay of Pigs, about midway between Playa Larga and Playa Giron, we were greeted by lovely, intact patch reefs, large schools of parrotfishes, surgeonfishes and snappers. Yet the water was uncomfortably warm, with many corals showing bleaching on the upper surfaces of their branches and blades.

In the shallows, however, we saw regenerating patches of endangered staghorn and elkhorn corals. It looked like there would be a full recovery, likely facilitated by the legions of herbivorous fishes about, busily grazing away the fleshy algae so threatening to the well-being of reef-building corals.

Overall, things were looking good — but when we began exploring other reefs, it was a different story.

Birds of Cuba: An Interview with Cuban Bird Expert, Arturo Kirkconnell: here.

United States authorities demand Cuba extradites political refugee Assata Shakur

This video from the USA says about itself:

Assata Shakur in Her Own Words: Rare Recording of Activist Named to FBI Most Wanted Terrorist List

3 May 2013

The FBI has added the former Black Panther Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List 40 years after the killing for which she was convicted. Born Joanne Chesimard, Shakur was found guilty of shooting dead a New Jersey state trooper during a gunfight in 1973. Shakur has long proclaimed her innocence and accused federal authorities of political persecution.

She escaped from prison in 1979 and received political asylum in Cuba. On Thursday, she became the first woman added to the FBI’s terrorist list and the reward for her capture was doubled to $2 million. We begin our coverage by airing Shakur’s reading of an open letter she wrote to Pope John Paul II during his trip to Cuba in 1998 after the FBI asked him to urge her extradition. “As a result of being targeted by [the FBI program] COINTELPRO, I was faced with the threat of prison, underground, exile or death,” Shakur said at the time. “I am not the first, nor the last, person to be victimized by the New Jersey system of ‘justice.’ The New Jersey State Police are infamous for their racism and brutality.”

Transcript of this video is here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Angela Davis and Assata Shakur’s Lawyer Denounce FBI’s Adding of Exiled Activist to Terrorist List

3 May 2013

One day after the exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur became the first woman named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List, we’re joined by another legendary African-American activist, Angela Davis, as well as Shakur’s longtime attorney, Lennox Hinds.

Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the subject of the recent film, “Free Angela & All Political Prisoners.” She argues that the FBI’s latest move, much like its initial targeting of Shakur and other Black Panthers four decades ago, is politically motivated. “It seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism,” Davis says. “I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today. Forty years ago seems like it was a long time ago. In the beginning of the 21st century, we’re still fighting around the very same issues — police violence, health care, education, people in prison.”

A professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, Hinds has represented Shakur since 1973. “This is a political act pushed by the state of New Jersey, by some members of Congress from Miami, and with the intent of putting pressure on the Cuban government and to inflame public opinion,” Hinds says. “There is no way to appeal someone being put on the terrorist list.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Call for refugee’s extraditon threatens flights to Havana

Saturday 24th October 2015

AUTHORITIES in New Jersey are opposing airline flights to Cuba until a high-profile US refugee has been extradited.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chairman John Degnan urged United Airlines on Thursday to postpone the launch of services from Newark airport to Cuba.

Mr Degnan’s intervention came the day after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican presidential hopeful, wrote to him asking for support.

The two want former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur extradited from Cuba to the US.

Ms Shakur, who describes herself as “20th-century escaped slave,” was jailed in 1977 for the murder of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster in a 1973 shoot-out.

This was despite defence testimony that she had been shot twice with her arms raised and had her right arm paralysed.

Ms Shakur escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984, where she was granted political asylum.