Behind the Scenes: Channel One Visits Cuba

By Maggie Rulli 04.30.2015 blog


Demetrius and I sat down to chat and share with you some of our most vivid memories from the trip — watch! Then scroll through the slideshow of images we captured.

Cuba, and our relationship with the Caribbean country, is changing so quickly that we’ve had to do multiple re-writes on the script just to keep up with the news! After 50 years of tense relations, the two countries are now talking to each other again – reestablishing diplomatic ties. But it takes a lot of work to change half a century of frozen policies, and restrictions on trade and travel still apply.

Regular tourist can’t travel to Cuba from the U.S., and there’s a limit on how much money and how many products Americans can bring off the island. To get in for our series, Demetrius and I had to apply for journalist visas months ahead of time. But all of the waiting and paperwork was worth it – Cuba was incredible! It’s a country that’s stuck in the past, with old buildings and a closed-off media. But it’s also alive with energetic music and vibrant dance. The island is only going to change more and more as its borders open up to the United States – and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the young people we met while on the ground.

At Miami International Airport. Next stop: Cuba!

We have arrived!

And we thought out equipment was gonna be an issue! It seemed like nearly everyone on our charter flight brought things for their family in Cuba. We saw tons of smart TVs, electronics and other goods that they can't get inside the country.

Newspapers in Cuba report on the "normalization of relations" between the U.S. and Cuba.

That Capitol building looks awfully familiar.

Plaza de la Revolución in Havana

Cars in Cuba are quite ... retro.

Havana pup

Jamming with some high school students at one of the top performing arts groups in Cuba.

Talking economics with a university student in La Habana!

We really enjoyed listening to these street performers.

Getting an education in maracas from my new friends in Cuba.

What it looks like when Cuba gets the best of you.

Fresh sugarcane juice smack in the middle of a hot day of shooting.

Shooting Show Hellos in Havana! Excuse me... Shooting Show Holas!

What's left of my Tres Leches - was told the restaurant was serving it in a condensed milk can as a throw-back to when Cuba got cans from the Soviet Union. I just thought this newly legal, privately owned restaurant was going hipster.

Having a literary nerd out sesh with Ernest Hemingway in Havana.

Shout-out to Denisé for showing us around Havana.

Adios, Cuba! it's been real.


  1. Georgie

    I feel for the people in Cuba, I really do. However, it is their government that is limiting them, not the US. We have good reasons for wanting to stay separated. Cuba is demanding, not asking, demanding, that we hand over Cubans who fled to the US as refugees, but the blatantly refuse to return a US citizen guilty by confession of murdering a cop. And let’s not forget that even though they recently gained a few more freedoms, they are still Communists! We want to loosen restrictions on Cuba to give the people greater opportunities, right? I’m all for that! Yay, opportunity! But, first… There are still millions of American children, young adults, and even grown-ups that do not receive the opportunities that they deserve. While they work hard and still can’t improve their situations, thousands live off welfare that they don’t deserve. So, if we want to improve the situations for people, why not start at home, with the people that we’re actually responsible for. When every child has the chance for equal education, when every American that works hard and needs welfare gets it, when every retiree receives enough support to live modestly but comfortably, when every man, woman, and teenager in America that wants to be employed is, when everyone has a decent home, when everyone is vaccinated, when not a single person starves, when tax money is not wasted but goes to proper funding, when America has finally gotten its act together, realized its mistakes, and fixed them as well as is possible, then, and only then, should we get involved with a country that has done nothing but wrong us and try to help them improve their situation. Georgie Pudding, Channel One News.

  2. kenneth

    hi i think ur cool

  3. badomen666

    I feel sad for cuba

  4. Mr. Manriquez

    Welcome to Miami.
    Come by and visit us at Monsignor Edward Pace High School.
    We loved your story about Cuba, since many of our students have Cuban backgrounds.

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