Fidel Castro’s mixed legacy


I wrote this piece for Al Jazeera (see original story). Havana, Cuba – Fidel Castro, a titan of the Cold War who defied 10 American presidents and thrust Cuba onto the world stage, is dead at age 90. The US government spent more than $1bn trying to kill, undermine or otherwise force Castro from power,

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Fidel Castro dies at 90


I wrote this story for Newsweek (See original version). His foes planned premature celebrations, declaring him dead or dying on dozens of occasions. But this time it’s real: Fidel Castro, one of the world’s most controversial leaders, died on Friday, according to Cuban state television. He was 90 years old. To some, Castro was a

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Transgender Cubans struggle for equal rights


I wrote this article for OnCuba magazine in Havana. (See original version). Just past 4 a.m., most of the bars and clubs have closed down and the party has spilled into the streets. Yessi Castro, 28, had hoped to find a boyfriend willing to spend some time and money with her that night, but had

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Cubans long for relatives left behind


I produced this piece for NBC News. (See original version). HAVANA, Cuba – Julio Oñate grew up listening to rapper Eminem. He recorded his own songs and dreamed of hitting it big. But success never came and he soon ran out of patience. “I’m leaving Cuba,” he told his mother. “I’m going to the United

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U.S. welfare flows to Cuba


In 2015, I assisted the South Florida Sun Sentinel with an investigative project about Cuban-Americans who receive U.S. government benefits, then return to the island. Sally Kestin, Megan O’Matz and John Maines led the project. See first part of series. Here’s the top of the story: Cuban immigrants are cashing in on U.S. welfare and returning

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