There’s no lack of interesting news to report in Cuba, but only a handful of news sources. For decades, the only written media source on the island was Granma, the state-run newspaper. More recently, as access to the internet has increased, new blogs and online magazines publications have started popping up.
These new sites are great because they offer commentary on specific topics or fill a gap in what the state-run publications are able to cover, from the restaurant scene in Havana to technology and design on the island. All are published online, but due to the restrictions on internet access, many are also distributed by other means—whether by old school printed pamphlets or through the El Paquette.
Some of these new publications are written for a Cuban audience, while others are written for tourists, and some for both. But they all provide a wealth of information for anyone trying to understand the island—with a bit of help from google translate. Below is a list of some of the newest and most interesting publications out there. Take a look, and be sure to check out the sites for more information:
- Cibercuba: Though the name might imply a focus on technology, Cibercuba offers commentary and information on a wide range of topics, often building off more established publications on the island, like Granma.
- Cachivache: With a name that means contraption or gizmo, this is one publication written by nerds, for nerds—and we mean that in the best possible way. The magazine focuses on technology and culture in Cuba. Their articles range from a Marxist analysis of the popular USA series Mr. Robot to an article explaining the illegal Cuban “Street Network” (SNET) by comparing it to The Lord of the Rings.
- OnCuba: No list would be complete without OnCuba, who we’ve mentioned in the past. Perhaps the most well-known of the new online magazines coming out of Cuba, it offers high-quality reporting on a wide variety of topics, for both a Cuban and international audience and in both Spanish and English. It’s the best spot for general overview of what’s new in Cuba, and already distributed in a few of the airlines that fly to the island.
- Vistar: A new culture magazine distributed through El Paquette as well as online, the publication offers great photos paired with the latest information on the Cuban music, theater and art scenes, including interview and reviews
- El Toque: Focused specifically on entrepreneurship and culture, El Toque’s cover a range of stories for a Cuban audience. It’s written for a younger audience and offers stories ranging from sports and parkour to the future of Cuban videogames.
- Cuba Journal: This one’s written in English for a US audience interested in Cuba, with articles primarily focused on US-Cuban relations and updates on the changes in the country, including internet access and the emerging private economy. A good place to start for anyone looking for a summary of the last year in diplomatic relations or an analysis of Cuba’s internet rollout so far.
- La Habana: A new magazine focused on what’s new in Havana. Beyond the standard restaurant reviews and event information, it also offers commentary on a different theme each month. It’s a great mix of cultural commentary and information about the city—including a funny and interesting overview of how to live like a Cuban.
- Havana Insider: A quick read, Havana Inside is a new short-form quarterly publication offering up lists of the hottest new restaurants, the best Cuban cigars, and great places to catch some late night jazz. Published in both Spanish and English and in a downloadable PDF format as well as a newspaper pamphlet you can sometimes find in hotels around the city, it’s worth checking out before a trip to Havana.
- The Internet in Cuba: A regularly-update blog that provides analysis on the status of the Cuban internet. Whether it’s analyzing El Packete or updates on ETECSA announcements, this is a great spot to check out if you’re looking to get down in the weeds on the internet in Cuba.