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students catch a wave in Cuba

Student participants in Arcadia University semester abroad in Havana, including Janelle Crilley (second from left) and Jessica Perez (third from left), enjoy a sunset. colleges offer Cuban study; only Aracadia has a presence in fall, spring, and summer. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)HAVANA Crossing the campus of Cuba’s premier university, Janelle Crilley passes a mural portraying corporate America as a sharp toothed ogre trampling black hills labeled “99 percent.”

The Earth, torn to shreds by the ogre’s bite, is in its paws. Grappling hooks strain to drag down the beast.

In a country virtually devoid of commercial advertising, such anti imperialist images and slogans abound.

Studying in a communist country is an adventurous choice for any American. and Cuba start to repair ties severed a half century ago.

“It’s been exciting,” said Crilley, an Arcadia junior from Schnecksville, Lehigh County. “There has been a lot of interest in us as Americans. People asking us about our opinions” and sharing their hopes that a diplomatic thaw is near. Over months on the island, Crilley also glimpsed the signs of a rapprochement:

The Stars and Stripes print clothing popping up on Havana streets.

The paquete, a weekly download of arts, culture, and music from all over, which circulates surreptitiously via thumb drives, but no one really knows its source.

The state run channel that broadcasts CBS’s wholesale jerseys hit The Good Wife every morning in English, with Spanish subtitles.

Who knew?

“When we signed up we didn’t realize that [Presidents Obama and Raul Castro] would call for a closer relationship,” Crilley said as she dangled her feet over the seawall of the Malecon, Havana’s famous oceanside drive. Ninety miles across the water lay Florida. Embassy would open while we were here so we could go see that,” she said. “Not yet.”

On Tuesday, days before their eye opening semester at the University of Havana was to end, Crilley watched the sunset with five of her six classmates.

While about 50 American colleges run Cuba programs lasting a week to a few months, only cheap jerseys Arcadia maintains a presence in Cuba across the fall, spring, and summer semesters, said Tim Barton, director of student services at Arcadia’s College of Global Studies, which began its residential program here in 2013.

The other students wholesale jerseys outlet on the seawall with Crilley and Perez attend colleges that participated in Arcadia’s program. All arrived here on Jan. 22. Alexa Posner, of Colorado, is from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. Hannah Garcia, of Tennessee, is from Lipscomb University in Nashville. Rebecca Acebal of New Jersey, attends Georgetown University.

Jade Harvey, 19, of Los Angeles, is from Yale University. Kylie Grow, 20, who grew up in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, attends the University of Virginia. They’re the group’s politics junkies. That is the one big thing everyone here talks about.”

Diplomatic relations between the countries collapsed in 1961, two years after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, cheap jerseys and a year before Russian nuclear missiles aimed at America were discovered on Cuban soil, producing the missile crisis and showdown that forced their removal. embargo on Cuba’s economy followed. And while the two nations have occasionally traded barbs, neither side has blinked.

In December, seeking to end the “outdated approach” that for more than half a century has failed to bring democracy to Cuba, Obama announced policy changes aimed at warming relations.

“It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people,” he said, “to try to push Cuba toward collapse.”

The next month, as Crilley headed for Cuba, where Internet access is abysmal, she tweeted: “Going off the grid for a while! Adios amigos.”

She and her fellow students said last week that they feel transformed by their exposure to Cuban people and to the flip side view of world events they had studied in America.Articles Connexes: