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US - Cuba Relations

   President Biden may well have the power to end the Cuban embargo unilaterally without the Senate: The president has the constitutional power to unilaterally terminate the embargo on Cuba  10/8/2020 Global Americans

Biden’s forgotten promise to Cuba  2/8/2023 Yahoo Finance: "“The economy is very, very bad right now,” Condis says of conditions in Cuba. “Our first ask is to differentiate the private sector from the Cuban government. If they want to sanction the Cuban government, that’s fine, but don’t sanction the civil society in general. There have to be ways for U.S. government to say, 'The Cuban private sector not going to be a target.'”"

Rubio urges U.S. to deny request for undersea internet cable connecting Miami and Cuba  12/14/2022 MSN - Miami Herald: "Team Telecom also noted that ETECSA could misroute traffic destined for places outside Cuba and reroute it “over this cable into Cuban territory and the Cuban government’s hands.” The committee also referred to well-documented censorship practices by ETECSA, including censoring specific words and phrases and blocking internet services during anti-government protests in 2021."

Why Democrats Should Forget About Winning Florida  11/21/2022 Foreign Policy: "There is a silver lining to this dark electoral cloud for Democrats: A deep-red Florida gives them the freedom to reconstruct their Cuba policy based on U.S. foreign-policy interests rather than prognostications about Cuban American voters in Miami-Dade. But the habit of letting domestic politics drive Cuba policy will be hard to break. It has shaped how Democrats approach the issue for 40 years—ever since the 1980s, when Cuban Americans became a significant voting bloc."

Former Latin American leaders urge U.S. change on Cuba  11/1/2022 AP: "Island officials say the restrictions have made it harder to recover from the hurricane, which destroyed 14,000 homes and caused long-term damage to the country’s electrical grid."

Top Cuban diplomat: ‘We will have to’ negotiate with the United States  9/29/2022 The Hill: "Cuba’s top diplomat said Tuesday his country’s officials have no choice but to engage the United States in negotiations to normalize relations, despite a decade of diplomatic whiplash and mixed messages from Washington. In an interview with The Hill, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla responded to a question posed by former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes on whether Cuban officials would “ever, ever negotiate anything with America ever again after this?” "

Former top Obama aide accuses Biden of 'gaslighting' Cuba: 'Disappointed doesn't begin to scratch the surface'  9/14/2022 Yahoo News: "“Disappointed doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of how I feel about the Biden-Cuba policy,” said Ben Rhodes, who served as Obama’s deputy national security adviser, in an interview for the Yahoo News’ “Conspiracyland” podcast. “The Cuban government made an agreement with me based on the idea that they could trust that we would keep our agreement.”"

U.S. "Waited and Watched" as Cuba Fought Deadly Blaze  9/2/2022 Belly of the Beast: "When a catastrophic fire in Matanzas threatened Cuba’s fuel supply, other countries rushed to help. What did the world’s most powerful country offer Cuba? A phone call. The lack of U.S. support has sparked outrage. And its crushing sanctions have limited Cuba’s ability to respond."

Five Years after Trump’s 243 Measures: A Blockade that Some Say Does not Exist  6/18/2022 Resumen: "During the years of Trump’s presidency, it was very common in the United States to see the eccentric president being accompanied by two or three Cuban counterrevolutionaries anchored in Florida, as well as a similar number of politicians, those who have lined their pockets with dollars by living off the anti-Cuban policy. Marco Rubio and Mario Diaz-Balart flanked him, five years ago today, when the erratic President dusted off the Cold War rhetoric and tightened the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba."

In Cuba, caution and confusion meet eased US sanctions  5/24/2022 AP: "There are no official figures on how much money family and friends abroad send to Cubans, but the Miami-based Havana Consulting Group estimated it reached $3.7 billion in 2019 — with a similar value arriving in the luggage of visitors bringing food, household supplies, small appliances, tires and the like. About 400,000 Cuban-Americans visited the island in 2018 and more than 500,000 in 2019. In addition, a half million other U.S. visitors came in 2018. By 2021, remittances had fallen to about $1 billion, the Consulting Group calculated, and overall U.S. visitors dropped to just 60,000, according to government figures — partly due to Trump's tighter restrictions on travel but even more to the pandemic shutting off flights. The impact of remittances far predates Obama, however. Cuban economist Pavel Vidal of Javerian Pontifical University in Cali, Colombia, said they averaged about $2.1 billion over he whole period from 2005 to 2020."

US tags Cuba as uncooperative in counterterrorism efforts  5/20/2022 Al Jazeera: "Meanwhile, Biden is considering inviting a Cuban representative to the summit in June, an official told The Associated Press on Friday, as the US administration appeared to recognise the event might collapse over disagreements about the guest list. It is unclear if Cuba would accept an invitation, which would be extended to someone in the foreign ministry to join as an observer, not as a full participant, the US official said, declining to be identified while speaking about sensitive deliberations."

US agrees to ease Trump-era sanctions on Cuba  5/17/2022 BBC: "Under new measures approved by the Biden administration, restrictions on family remittances and travel to the island will be eased. The processing of US visas for Cubans will also be speeded up. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the move would allow Cuban citizens to pursue a life free from "government oppression". The loosening of sanctions will see a cap on family remittances - funds sent by migrants in the US to family members in Cuba - removed. Previously migrants were prevented from sending more than $1,000 (£811) every three months. Donations to non-family members will also be permitted under the new plans."

Mark Esper says he prevented 'dangerous things' like military action against Venezuela and a blockade of Cuba while serving under Trump  5/9/2022 Yahoo News: "According to Esper, these ideas included "proposing to take military action against Venezuela" and a possible strike on Iran. "At one point, somebody proposed we blockade Cuba," Esper said. "These ideas would happen, it seemed every few weeks. Something like this would come up, and we'd have to swat 'em down," he added."

La esencia del conflicto bilateral entre Cuba y EEUU: dominación vs soberanía  5/7/2022 Cuba Debate: por Abel González Santamaría - "Ahí estaban identificados -a mi juicio- los dos principales factores que influyeron en los hechos: El desarrollo de una operación político-comunicacional organizada por la extrema derecha anticubana con fondos del gobierno de Estados Unidos, que empleó como principal plataforma las redes sociales. El interés del gobierno norteamericano en generar desorden en Cuba, como parte de su política de “máxima presión” que recrudeció el cerco económico en la peor etapa de la pandemia."

US issues visas in Cuba for first time in more than four years  5/3/2022 Al Jazeera: "The United States embassy in Cuba began issuing visas for the first time in more than four years after disruption due to alleged sonic attacks against its diplomatic personnel, and at a time when the island is experiencing increasing emigration."

‘Prohibited tourism’: Miami judge deals major blow to cruise companies that traveled to Cuba  3/22/2022 Miami Herald: "The case will now go to a jury trial, already scheduled for May, that will decide the damages that the cruise lines should pay. The Helms-Burton law includes several formulas to calculate the money owed to the owners. According to court records, Carnival’s chairman and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison told then-President Donald Trump — who allowed the lawsuits regarding confiscated property in Cuba to go to court — that the measure could expose his company to penalties over $600 million."

More proof Democrats may write off Florida  12/17/2021 Politico: "From a political calculus, a large group of Democrats calling on the White House to reinstate policies from the Obama administration is a tacit acknowledgment that Florida doesn’t matter anymore. Trump defeated Biden in Florida in 2020 in no small part due to the inroads Trump made in Miami-Dade County among Hispanic voters. Florida Democrats were already upset about the Biden administration's decision to remove a largely defunct Colombian rebel group from a list of terrorist organizations. Some groups backing the move to normalize relations with Cuba contend that such actions would be popular with Cuban Americans. Recent electoral history — where accusations of Democrats being socialists — would suggest otherwise."

More than 100 House Democrats urge Biden to lift restrictions on Cuba amid crisis  12/16/2021 The Hill: "The lawmakers, led by Democratic Reps. Jim McGovern (Mass.), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Bobby Rush (Ill.), urged Biden in a letter to do away with specific licenses that are required to send medical supplies to Cuba as well as lift restrictions on banking and related financial transactions. The U.S. embargo against Cuba does technically allow for humanitarian aid to be shipped to the island nation. However, fear of accidentally violating U.S. law stops humanitarian aid from being sent from the U.S. and other countries, according to the lawmakers."

The War on Cuba — Episode 6  11/20/2021 Belly of The Beast Cuba: "Liz Oliva Fernández exposes the striking disconnect between U.S. policy and Cuba’s reality. Liz reveals the absurdity of Biden’s offers to “help” the Cuban people with donations of vaccines, Internet access and remittances that bypass local financial institutions. She shows how Biden, pandering to Cuban-American hardliners in Miami, has abandoned his promise to reinitiate the Obama-era policy of engagement with Cuba. Liz also reports on the crackdown against protesters and contextualizes both repression in Cuba and the U.S. government’s supposed concern for human rights abuses in the region."

40 House Democrats vote against resolution supporting Cuban protesters  11/4/2021 The Hill: "But Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.), one of the Democrats who voted against the resolution, defended his vote, saying the measure failed to acknowledge "the role the U.S. plays in contributing to the suffering of ordinary Cubans."

Top Cuban diplomat speaks to The Grayzone about renewed US assault  9/29/2021 Gray Zone: "If one looks at the excuses, used by the Trump government, to punish Cuba. They were all circling around Venezuela. It was the narrative with the legend that Cuba had over 20,000 troops in Venezuela. That were coercing the Venezuelan army, that, by the way, is larger than the Cuban army, that we are coercing the Venezuelan government. And that was the reason why US policy of defeating the government and inventing this, Guaidó or whoever, the President in Venezuela, was failing. So because of that, they started to apply on a monthly and sometimes on a weekly basis, coercive measures against Cuba, in addition to the economic blockade. The whole narrative was based on that. That’s the basis for which title three of Helms-Burton was applied. That’s the reason why they took measures to deprive us of oil. That’s the reason why they shut down remittances to Cuba. And that’s the main reason used to put us in the list of countries that allegedly sponsored terrorism. Now, the Biden government has not repeated that. It has never said it’s linked to the so called 20,000 troops that nobody has ever called one in Venezuela. But yet it continues to faithfully apply the same policy."

US sets new Cuba sanctions as Biden meets Cuban-Americans  7/30/2021 SF Chronicle: "The Biden administration announced new sanctions on Friday against Cuba's national revolutionary police and its top two officials as the U.S. looks to increase pressure on the communist government following this month's protests on the island. The Police Nacional Revolcionaria and the agency's director and deputy director, Oscar Callejas Valcarce and Eddie Sierra Arias, were targeted in the latest sanctions announced by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The police are part of Cuba's interior ministry, which was already the subject of a blanket designation by the Trump administration back in January."

Biden administration sanctions Cuban regime in wake of protests  7/22/2021 CNN: ""I reject the unfounded and slanderous accusations by the US government against General Alvaro Lopez Miera and the National Special Brigade. They should apply to themselves the Global Magnitsky Act for the daily acts of repression and police brutality which cost 1,022 lives in 2020," Parrilla wrote."

Biden’s Failure to End Trump’s War on Cuba Is Threatening Lives  6/29/2021 The Nation: by Danny Glover - "If he truly wants to show global leadership, Biden should reverse a policy that isolates the United States, not merely Cuba. Instead of following Trump’s belligerent path, he should return to Obama’s pathbreaking efforts towards normalization. He should applaud and facilitate Cuba’s pledge to produce 100 million doses of its vaccines, which it will share with the world. As the pandemic continues to ravage the Global South, the world needs the United States’ cooperation with Cuba, not confrontation."

Amid Silence, Cuba Calls on Biden to End 'Cruel' Blockade He Too Sought to Change  4/20/2021 Newsweek: "So far, the White House remains silent. "There has been no high-level contact," Carlos Fernández de Cossío Domínguez, director of the Cuba Foreign Ministry's General Division for the United States, told Newsweek. "The Biden administration has publicly stated that a policy review process towards Cuba is underway," he added. "We do not know the true pace and scope of this process.""

Las declaraciones del Senador Bob Menendez  4/12/2021 AfroCubaWeb 

State Department issues stinging report on Cuba  3/30/2021 Cuba Money Project: "Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken today released the department’s annual report on human rights around the world. I expect Cuba will strenuously object to the State Department’s findings, shown below."

Biden under pressure to spell out Cuba policy  3/28/2021 The Hill: "“Stalling sounds like more of a conscious decision, it's just that there's no leadership on it. And if there’s anything that political junkyard dogs know how to do, it’s fill leadership voids. And if you don't put out markers, people will fill that space,” he said. “The State Department is without leadership on the Cuba issue; and the NSC is without leadership on the Cuba issue, and that's a void members of Congress will be more than happy to fill,” Armstrong said, noting there isn’t a point person on Cuba at the NSC like there was during the Obama administration."

Podria Cuba ayudar al presidente Biden en la frontera sur?  3/22/2021 AfroCubaWeb: por Alberto Jones - "Promovido por el senador Marco Rubio, el odiador en jefe de la jauria anti-cubana en el congreso de los Estados Unidos, el que ha dedicado su vida política a ponerle la rodilla en el cuello al pueblo de Cuba, tal cual hizo el policía que asesino vilmente a George Floyd ante un mundo enardecido; nada ha hecho el por cientos de miles de afroamericanos, afrocaribeños e hispanos bajo su jurisdicción en Miami Gardens, Opa Locka, Liberty City, Overtown, Hialeah o por los braceros agrícolas de Homestead y Okeechobee."

Enfrentando la hambruna impuesta por Marco Rubio  3/21/2021 AfroCubaWeb: "Cuba no puede aislarse del mundo, que es justamente la campaña dirigida por Marco Rubio, Trump y otros. El pais debe abrirse de inmediato al Cabotaje y servicios de Ferry, que le permitara a miles de sus hijos regresar al pais, apoyar a sus familiares, evitar el colapso economico y promover fe y esperanza en un momento de confusion nacional. Cuba debe suspender de inmediato, todas las limitaciones, aranceles y decomisos aduanales y estimular los mayores ingresos de bienes al pais, a fin de contribuir a la solucion del desabastecimiento cronico y la corrupcion que se deriva del mismo."

City of Chicago calls for end to U.S. embargo on Cuba  2/26/2021 On Cuba: "A city council resolution of the so-called Windy City urges the United States Congress to pass legislation that ends the embargo and asks President Joe Biden to annul the measures adopted by the Donald Trump administration against the island."

Washington Openly Spent about $250 Million in Subversive Actions Against Cuba Since 2000  2/10/2021 Orinoco Tribune: "The report by journalist Tracey Eaton, entitled “The business of democracy in Cuba is booming,” and published in Cuba Money Project, details that in 2020 alone agencies such as USAID dedicated around $2.5 million to subversive activities, among them those of the San Isidro Movement, with the aim of generating internal conflict. The actions of various media outlets have also been financed with gringo money, as revealed by Cuban media. These include the media show of ADN Cuba blogger Nelson Julio Álvarez in front of Cuba’s Ministry of Culture on January 27, for which he received between $150 and $200, according to a video posted by Álvarez himself on the Telescopio Cubano Facebook group. The Cuba Money Project reported that the ADN website, administered from the United States, received over $400 thousand last year through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)."

Varios piden a Biden un nuevo deshielo con Cuba  2/9/2021 AP: "Un centenar de personalidades, incluido el excontratista estadounidense Alan Gross preso en Cuba y cuyo canje inició un deshielo entre la isla y Washington, entregaron una carta al presidente Joe Biden para que levante las sanciones al país."

US Democratic Senators Submit Bill To End the Blockade  2/5/2021 teleSUR: "The U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021 would repeal the major statutes that codify sanctions against Cuba, including the Helms-Burton Act and the Cuban Democracy Act, as well as other provisions that affect trade, investment, and travel with Cuba. It would also establish normal trade relations with the country," the Senator explained in a press release."

La cultura en el corazón de la Guerra no Convencional  1/31/2021 Red26: “La cultura es lo primero que hay que salvar” -- Fidel Castro Ruz

Cuba y la Guerra no Convencional (Parte 3 y final)  1/30/2021 Red26 

Cuba y la Guerra no Convencional (Parte 2)  1/29/2021 Red26 

Cuba y la Guerra no Convencional (Parte 1)  1/28/2021 Red26: "En 1987, en lo que pudiera considerarse un momento crucial en la comprensión por parte de EEUU de la importancia de este tipo de procedimientos para el logro de sus intereses, la Estrategia de Seguridad Nacional del presidente Ronald Reagan incluyó por primera vez a los “conflictos de baja intensidad”, como un elemento de la política de defensa de EEUU, alcanzando paridad con otros aspectos como el control de armas; la disuasión estratégica; el mantenimiento de la disuasión convencional; el espacio y las actividades de inteligencia."

Gobierno de Biden anuncia revisión de política de Trump hacia Cuba  1/28/2021 OnCuba: "“Nuestra política hacia Cuba se orienta por dos principios. Primero, el apoyo a la democracia y derechos humanos, en lo cual se concentra el centro de nuestros esfuerzos. Lo segundo, son los estadounidenses, especialmente los cubanoamericanos, que son los mejores embajadores de la libertad en Cuba, así que vamos a revisar las políticas de la Administración Trump”, enfatizó Psaki."

Los últimos embates del gobierno de Trump contra Cuba  1/19/2021 CLACSO: "Esta inclusión es una continuación de la crueldad y la saña de esta Administración que ha adoptado más de un centenar de sanciones y medidas criminales contra Cuba, aún en tiempos de pandemia. Califica como una recompensa política a los sectores extremistas anticubanos, en especial de la Florida. Se conoce que una motivación clara es imponer obstáculos adicionales a cualquier perspectiva de recuperación en las relaciones bilaterales entre Cuba y los Estados Unidos. No hay dudas de que también se trata de una manifestación de impotencia ante la resistencia y dignidad del pueblo cubano y de su gobierno, a los que ni esta Administración, ni las once anteriores, han podido doblegar."

Más allá de Trump  1/17/2021 Granma: por Victor Fowler - "A la humanidad nos toca permanecer vigilantes y activos frente a lo que va a sobrevivir de este momentáneo trumpismo, que no es sino la erupción de las fuerzas profundas que contienen la textura verdadera, extrema, del capitalismo de hoy y sus proyectos de futuro"

Cuba muestra la participación directa de la Embajada de EEUU en la provocación de San Isidro  1/12/2021 Cuba Informacion TV: "El diplomático cubano también denunció la presencia de Zúñiga-Brown en varias oportunidades en San Isidro, donde su Embajada conocía que se desarrollaba un evento de provocación política y social. Hasta allí transportó personalmente y apoyó a quienes estaban violando las normas sanitarias de protección contra la pandemia de COVID-19, lo cual constituye una grave violación de sus funciones como diplomático y como jefe de misión."

We urge the Cuban regime to cease harassment of San Isidro Movement protestors  12/24/2020 Secretary Pompeo: "...release musician Denis Solís, who was unjustly sentenced to eight months in prison. Freedom of expression is a human right. The United States stands with Cuba’s people."

Can Biden Finish What Obama Started With Cuba?  12/21/2020 The Nation: "But last week, two leading foreign policy advocacy NGOs—the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA)—released a comprehensive blueprint for reengaging with Cuba. Titled “The United States and Cuba: A New Policy of Engagement,” the report is intended to provide a clear “roadmap” for President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration to revisit and redress the abysmal state of current US-Cuba relations. At a briefing for media and foreign policy analysts on December 17 to mark the sixth anniversary of Obama’s historic breakthrough on Cuba, WOLA and CDA representatives said they had provided the “detailed inventory of what needs to be done” to members of Biden’s transition team, and they hoped the report would create a “momentum for engagement” that would lead to stronger US-Cuba ties in the future."

Sources claim Biden plots Cuba reset, Cuba rejects NAS report, Cuban economy shrank 11%  12/18/2020 Center for Democracy in the Americas: "Six years ago this week, President Obama announced he was normalizing relations with Cuba. In the months and years that followed, we saw the growth of Cuba’s entrepreneurial sector, expansion of Wi-Fi and mobile internet services, and environmental partnerships among many others. Sadly, several aspects of the normalization agenda have since been reversed. We teamed up with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) to write “The United States and Cuba: A New Policy of Engagement,” a policy roadmap for how the Biden-Harris administration may implement an engagement policy. "

Biden Plots Cuba Reset in Rebuke of Trump’s Sanctions  12/15/2020 Bloomberg: "Another complicating factor is Florida. While Biden’s advisers have criticized Trump’s Latin American policies for being heavily influenced by electoral politics, particularly the goal of winning the Sunshine State, they still face a sobering reality: The Democratic Party must defend a narrow House majority in 2022. Any policies that are perceived as easing pressure on Cuba and Venezuela without getting significant concessions from their left-wing governments could risk backlash at the polls."

The United States and Cuba: A New Policy of Engagement  12/15/2020 WOLA: "A project of the Center for Democracy in the Americas and the Washington Office on Latin America"

Scientists Suggest U.S. Embassies Were Hit with High-Power Microwaves – Here's How the Weapons Work  12/14/2020 NextGov 

ELECCIONES PRESIDENCIALES EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS Y POLÍTICA HACIA CUBA.  11/26/2020 Esteban Morales: "Creo que con Biden, debiéramos, lo más rápido posible, explorar hasta dónde quiere llegar con Cuba. Es decir, ganar tiempo al proceso que siguió Obama. Lo cual creo debemos hacerlo, sobre la base de no repetir pasos que ya están dados y que debemos explorar si Biden está dispuesto a darlos. Lo cual nos permitiría aquilatar con cierta rapidez hasta donde este Presidente, que se nos presenta como continuador de Obama, quiere llegar con la politica hacia Cuba. Sobre todo, porque el caso de Cuba, siempre ha gozado de cierta especificidad en la politica de Estados Unidos."

El Encargado Tim Zuniga-Brown escucha el llamado del Movimiento San Isidro por la justicia económica y los derechos humanos  11/20/2020 Embajada de Estados Unidos en Cuba: "El Encargado Zuniga-Brown les dijo: el mundo está mirando, la comunidad internacional reconoce su protesta pacífica. Se unió al llamado Martha Beatriz Roque , quien en solidaridad les deseó coraje."

Zúñiga-Brown da su apoyo al Movimiento San Isidro  11/20/2020 Radio Marti: "El Encargado de Negocios de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en La Habana, Timothy Zúñiga-Brown, está atento al llamado del Movimiento San Isidro por la justicia económica y los derechos humanos en la isla. El diplomático les envió un mensaje a los disidentes en los que dijo: “el mundo está mirando, la comunidad internacional reconoce su protesta pacífica”. Se unió al llamado de Zúñiga-Brown, Martha Beatriz Roque, quien en solidaridad les deseó coraje."

U.S. Diplomats and Spies Battle Trump Administration Over Suspected Attacks  10/19/2020 NYT: "According to a whistle-blower complaint filed by Mr. Lenzi, the State Department took action only after Ms. Werner’s visiting mother, an Air Force veteran, used a device to record high levels of microwave radiation in her daughter’s apartment. The mother also fell ill."

The president has the constitutional power to unilaterally terminate the embargo on Cuba  10/8/2020 Global Americans: "Aunque tomó un tiempo, ahora se reconoce comúnmente que un presidente tiene la autoridad para modificar unilateralmente el embargo estadounidense a Cuba. Este poder existe a pesar del intento de "codificación" del Congreso de las regulaciones del Departamento del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos que constituyen ese embargo. Sin embargo, sigue siendo poco conocido que el presidente tiene el poder de ir más allá de modificar el embargo cubano y, de hecho, puede terminarlo de una vez por todas."

Cuba condena el terrorismo y la manipulación política  5/31/2020 Juventud Rebelde: "El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores expresa su enérgico rechazo a la calumniosa inclusión de la República de Cuba en una lista del Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos referida a países que supuestamente no cooperan plenamente con los esfuerzos estadounidenses contra el terrorismo, hecha pública el 13 de mayo de 2020, que fue contundentemente rechazada por el Presidente Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez."

Biden wants to re-thaw relations with Cuba. He'll have to navigate Florida politics.  5/11/2020 WaPo: "They point to the arrest this month of Denis Solís, a Havana rapper and government critic sentenced to eight months in jail for insulting a police officer. Fellow members of the San Isidro Movement, a group of artists, poets, gay rights activists, academics and journalists, have been detained temporarily for protesting his arrest. At least five are on a hunger strike to secure his freedom, the most serious civil disobedience on the island since activists defied a government ban last year to march in a gay pride parade."

La Habana y Nueva Orleans firman un acuerdo de cooperación  11/14/2019 Todo Cuba: "Autoridades de las ciudades de La Habana y Nueva Orleans suscribieron este jueves un memorando de entendimiento para cooperar en diversas áreas. El acuerdo ocurre en el marco del 500 aniversario de la capital cubana y a pesar de las deterioradas relaciones entre los gobiernos de Cuba y Estados Unidos. Suscribieron el acuerdo el director de Relaciones Internacionales y Colaboración del Consejo de Administración Provincial de la Habana, Félix Mejías Ruíz, y el director de Relaciones Intergubernamentales de Nueva Orleans, Arthur C. Walton, de visita en Cuba con una delegación del consistorio de la ciudad estadounidense."

Trump recorta fondos culturales hacia Cuba que nunca fueron utilizados  11/5/2019 On Cuba 

Tougher U.S. sanctions make Cuba ever more difficult for Western firms  10/9/2019 Reuters: "Tougher U.S. sanctions against Cuba have led international banks to avoid transactions involving the island, while prospective overseas investors put plans on hold and foreign firms operating in the country consider restructuring to lower their risk exposure."

Anuncia EE.UU. nuevas sanciones al transporte de petróleo de Venezuela a Cuba  9/24/2019 Cubadebate: "Con la medida adoptada este martes, a estas entidades y buques le serán bloqueados por la OFAC todos los bienes e intereses de su propiedad, así como cualquier entidad de la que sea accionista en EE.UU. También, se le prohíbe a los estadounidenses cualquier trato con las propiedades sancionadas."

Bloqueo: Cero divisas para Cuba, ni aunque sea de Suiza  9/17/2019 Cubadebate: "En el informe sobre los daños del bloqueo, presentado por Cuba el pasado año ante Naciones Unidas, se denuncia que "Durante 2018, decenas de bancos en todas las regiones del mundo decidieron cerrar sus relaciones con empresas cubanas o extranjeras, para eliminar cualquier vínculo de su actividad con Cuba, incluso operaciones relacionadas con ciudadanos cubanos solo por el hecho de tener esa nacionalidad."

Estados Unidos anuncia nuevas sanciones contra Cuba para restringir acceso a divisas  9/6/2019 Cubadebate: "Estas nuevas sanciones incluyen medidas para evitar que Cuba tenga acceso a divisas."

Cuba concerned that violence in U.S. is due to Trump’s “hate discourse”  8/9/2019 On Cuba: "In this way, Havana is joining the criticisms being made in the very United States against the Trump administration, known for its anti-immigration discourse, with which the shooter who murdered 22 people on Saturday-eight of them Mexican citizens-in a supermarket in El Paso, a city in Texas bordering Mexico, coincides"

Miami and Hialeah: Playing politics with culture?  6/27/2019 Granma: "To uphold the current anti-Cuban policy dictated by the White House, the mayors of Miami and Hialeah agreed to adopt a unique cultural policy: no dealings with artists resident in Cuba. No son, no rap, no reguetón, no salsa, boleros, or rumba. No Cold War, rather a hot one against Cuban music. The City of Miami Commission recently approved the initiative of Mayor Francis Suárez to urge Congress to prohibit state and local governments from hiring artists or doing business with Cuba." The commissioners did so, they say, in the name of "freedom of expression." Needless to say, the example begins at home: Woe to those who hang a poster for a performance by a band, singer, or comedian who has come to South Florida from Havana."

Jacob Forever sorprendido por cancelación de concierto en Miami  6/20/2019 On Cuba: "El cantante cubano Jacob Forever lamentó que la ciudad de Hialeah, en el sur de Florida, cancelará el concierto que iba a ofrecer el 4 de julio, una decisión basada en argumentos «que no son reales» y ante la que se confiesa sorprendido, según recoge este miércoles un medio local. Esta semana el alcalde de la ciudad de Hialeah, Carlos Hernández, informó que había decidido cancelar de forma abrupta la presentación que tenía prevista el artista, al igual que las de Señorita Dayana y El Micha, cuya participación en un festival por el Día de la Independencia en EE.UU. desató las críticas del exilio cubano."

Pompeo Announces Tightening Of Cuba Embargo  3/4/2019 NPR: "For now, the Trump administration is allowing lawsuits only against Cuban companies that are already blacklisted in the U.S. because they are tied to Cuba's military and intelligence services. Foreign companies, however, are on edge since Pompeo's waiver runs only through April 17."

Trump Threatens Havana With a New Embargo  2/27/2019 Consortium News: "Sanctioning lawsuits under Title III could also negatively impact areas such as travel, academic exchanges and research collaboration."

Trump Threatens a Second Embargo of Cuba  2/24/2019 Truth Out: "The Trump administration is threatening to unleash a flood of lawsuits involving Cuba, which no U.S. president has ever done. It has set a deadline of March 2 to announce whether it will create, in the words of the National Lawyers Guild, “a second embargo” of Cuba — “one that would be very difficult to dismantle in the future.”"

Cuba rejects Trump’s threat to tighten embargo  1/24/2019 Jamaica Gleaner: "Cuban ambassador to Jamaica, Ines Fors Fernandez, has vowed that threats from the United States to further tighten the long-standing embargo on the Caribbean island nation by activating Title Three of the Helms-Burton Act will only make its people more resilient while praising countries like Jamaica for their firm support over decades."

McKENNA: Canada will be sideswiped if Trump goes for Cuba’s jugular  1/21/2019 The Chronicle Herald: "If the presidential waiver process is terminated, American citizens will be able to take their cases directly to U.S. courts — including those against Canadian companies like Toronto-based Sherritt International. There are roughly 6,000 legal claims (with arguably 200,000 pending) involving those confiscated Cuban properties that have been certified in the U.S. (The collection of any damages, however, would only apply to those foreign companies that have commercial interests in the U.S.) By undertaking such an action, Trump is making a huge mistake — and one that will only backfire in the short to medium term. It is obviously a critical step backward from the Barack Obama-driven U.S.-Cuba thaw of 2014-2016. More importantly, it will likely have significant implications for Canadian businesses and federal politicians."

Trump to put 'game changer' pressure on Cuba, says Mario Diaz-Balart  1/21/2019 Washington Examiner: "President Trump is getting ready to place an unprecedented amount of economic pressure on Cuba’s communism regime and some of the non-U.S. companies that have invested there, according to a leading Republican lawmaker. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has signaled that Americans who decades ago had property stolen by Fidel Castro’s regime and sold to other foreign companies may soon be able to sue those companies to recoup their losses. That will intensify financial pressure on the island government, according to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and have ripple effects for authoritarian states around the world. “This is a very, very big deal,” the Florida Republican and Cuban-American told the Washington Examiner. “I think really good things are coming from this. And so, you can't minimize the impact.”

El desbarre de Trump con un Título de la Helms-Burton  1/17/2019 Juventud Rebelde: "Dentro de 45 días podremos ver cuál será la posición frente al Título III, que abre la posibilidad de demandas civiles de cubanos convertidos en ciudadanos estadounidenses y estas se agregarían a las que la Comisión de Ajuste de Reclamaciones en el Extranjero de Estados Unidos había certificado hasta el 6 de julio de 1972, un tema que —al igual que la demanda cubana por daños y perjuicios provocados por el bloqueo y las agresiones, sabotajes y atentados cometidos por Estados Unidos contra Cuba y los ciudadanos de nuestro país— ha estado sobre la mesa de las conversaciones que tendían a hacer avanzar la normalización de las relaciones."

Trump weighs dramatic tightening of US embargo on Cuba  1/17/2019 AP: "The major American companies doing business in Cuba — AirBnB, airlines and cruise companies — could emerge unscathed because the 1996 law contains exemptions for business related to legal travel to Cuba, said Pedro Freyre, a Miami attorney who represents some of the largest foreign companies in Cuba. Still litigation against foreign companies would be a serious blow to a centrally planned economy that’s entering its fourth consecutive year of economic stagnation and struggling to attract badly needed foreign investment."

U.S. considering allowing lawsuits over Cuba-confiscated properties  1/16/2019 Reuters: "“It would cause an enormous legal mess, anger U.S. allies in Europe and Latin America, and probably result in a World Trade Organization case against the U.S.,” said William Leogrande, a professor of government at American University."

Trump’s Cuba policy hurts private sector, new figures say  1/15/2019 AP: "Even as the private sector suffered, U.S. travel to Cuba was growing, from 618,000 in 2017 to 630,000 last year, Tourism Ministry figures say. Most of those travelers came by ship, avoiding the confusing rules on travel to the island with package tours that are guaranteed to comply with the law. The shift to cruises meant the average U.S. stay on the island dropped from six days to three, said Jose Luis Perello, a former University of Havana professor who studies Cuba's tourism industry. That has had a devastating effect on owners and employees of Cuba's 24,185 private bed-and-breakfasts and 2,170 private restaurants known as paladares. They cherished U.S. travelers as heavy tippers who crammed days full of activities like classic car rides and cooking classes that put money into private hands."

Resumption of US Consular Services in Cuba Campaign to Start Soon  1/10/2019 Escambray: "The national coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, Andrés Gómez, announced Wednesday that they will soon launch a campaign to demand the reopening of U.S. consular services in Cuba. The leader of the Miami-based organization told the press in Havana that Washington’s reasons for making such a decision were invented, and he described the shutting down of the services as ridiculous and harmful to the interests of Cuban families."

Trump administration aims to stop professional baseball deal with Cuba  12/29/2018 Miami Herald: "Major League Baseball officials said they were surprised some politicians oppose an agreement that is designed to end human smuggling and that the alternative is allowing the current system in which players are trafficked to continue. “We’ve been trying to end this practice and provide a safe and legal path for Cuban players to come to the United States for years,” Halem said."

Marco Rubio calls MLB deal with Cuba 'a farce' that needs to be 'overruled'  12/28/2018 Fox News: "Clubs who sign a Cuban player would pay a one-time release fee to the federation between 15 to 20 percent of the contract. The fee would be in addition to the contract, so if a player signs for $1 million, the money would go to the players and an additional $150,000 to $200,000 would be paid as the release fee, according to the Herald."

Title III and a new front in global agriculture trade wars  11/30/2018 usagcoalitionforcuba: " Under consideration is to allow Title III of the Helms-Burton law to go into effect, and thereby to allow Americans and Cuban-Americans whose properties in Cuba were expropriated to sue for damages in U.S. courts. The lawsuits would be brought against parties, both U.S. and foreign, whose business activities in Cuba are connected to those expropriated properties. This right of action was enacted in 1996 but Presidents of both parties have consistently blocked it from going into effect ever since through waivers issued every six months. The deadline for the next six-month suspension is February 1."

Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctions on Cuban officials over role in Venezuela crackdown  11/21/2018 Reuters: "The potential human rights-related sanctions would target Cuban officials, possibly including generals, who Washington accuses of advising Venezuela’s government on how to monitor opponents and put down street protests, the source said. The number and identities of the potential targets was unclear. No final decision has yet been made on whether and when to impose the sanctions."

The Strange Case of American Diplomats in Cuba: As the Mystery Deepens, So Do Divisions in Washington  11/9/2018 ProPublica: "These are very common symptoms in any neurological clinic,” said Jon Stone, a neurologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “And, given how common they are, why are we hearing hoofbeats and thinking about zebras? They are talking about the possibility of weapons that no one has ever heard of. But what is the most plausible thing?”

The U.N. voted (again) in support of lifting the Cuban embargo, but this time there was a twist  11/1/2018 Miami Herald: "Before the vote, there was debate on eight amendments proposed by the United States that criticized Cuba’s human rights record and lack of civil liberties on the island. The amendments were all defeated by wide margins with only three delegations — the United States, Israel and Ukraine — consistently voting for them. The Marshall Islands also voted in favor of one amendment."

The Hypocrisy of the United States, Cuba Edition  10/31/2018 Counterpunch: "Certainly, there are countries with worse human rights records than the U.S. But there are many, many whose human rights practices are far superior. It is the height of hypocrisy for the U.S. to criticize any other nation for any alleged human rights violations, when it supports Israel and Saudi Arabia, and holds countless U.S. political prisoners in its own jail cells."

Bloqueo norteamericano obstaculiza a inversión extranjera en Cuba  10/19/2018 TV Santiago: "Por eso, dijo, es necesario un mayor esfuerzo al captar un potencial socio y convencerlo de las oportunidades que brinda el mercado cubano para su inversión, su rentabilidad y los beneficios mutuos que generará el proyecto. Calificó de fructífero el intercambio, en el cual numerosos participantes expusieron sus ideas y las dificultades que afrontan. Como rectores de las inversiones extranjeras es nuestro deber ayudar a crear un clima favorable, no solo para los extranjeros sino también para las empresas nacionales, y también las condiciones para que crezcan en los niveles que hace falta, precisó."

Diplomatic showdown at the UN as Cuba interrupts US meeting  10/16/2018 CNN: "A US event meant to highlight the plight of Cuba's political prisoners was drowned out by the noise of Cuban diplomats banging on tables and voices screaming, "Cuba yes, blockade no" across a large conference room, a reference to the US economic embargo against the island nation. Cuban diplomats were using both hands to slap the rectangular table while others were yelling in Spanish, and although US Ambassador Kelley Currie repeatedly asked for security, officers stood watching the protest without intervening. Why? Because the protesters were accredited UN diplomats from Cuba, and yelling diplomats cannot be physically restrained based on UN security protocols."

Microwaves are ‘main suspect’ in attack on US diplomats in Cuba  9/1/2018 NY Post: "He added the doctors and other scientists who studied the apparent attacks are “increasingly sure’’ the victims sustained brain injuries. Analysts cite the Frey effect, named after an American scientist who discovered that microwaves can make victims think they’re hearing loud noises like ringing and buzzing — or human voices."

U.S. Employee in China Suffers Brain Injury in Case Recalling Cuba Sound ‘Attack’  5/23/2018 Bloomberg: "A U.S. government employee in China reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure ahead of being diagnosed with a mild brain injury, in a case reminiscent of diplomats who fell ill in Cuba last year. “The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday. “We are working to figure out what took place both in Havana and now in China as well.”"

John Bolton Skewed Intelligence, Say People Who Worked with Him  3/31/2018 Alternet: "Bolton, who was then the State Department’s undersecretary for arms control issues, included a warning about the Cuban threat in a draft of a speech and sent it around the department for the necessary clearance. A biological warfare analyst wrote back that Bolton’s proposed comments overstated what U.S. intelligence agencies really knew about the matter, and, as routinely happens, suggested some small changes. The analyst was summoned to Bolton’s office. “He got very red in the face, and shaking his finger at me, and explained to me that I was acting way beyond my position,” the analyst, Christian Westermann, recalled later during a Senate inquiry. Bolton then demanded that Westermann’s supervisor remove him permanently from the biological weapons portfolio, thundering that “he wasn’t going to be told what he could say by a mid-level munchkin.”

Cuba After the Castros  3/29/2018 Foreign Affairs: "Cuba is about to enter a new era. For the first time in nearly 60 years, the country will be led by someone not bearing the surname Castro. On April 19, First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel will become president, replacing the 86-year-old Raúl Castro, who took over for his brother Fidel in 2008. Who is Díaz-Canel, and what is his presidency likely to mean for Cuba?"

Trump's new security adviser known for clashes with spy agencies  3/23/2018 Reuters: "Fulton Armstrong, who was the intelligence community’s top Cuba expert, said Bolton and several of his associates in government also tried to have him removed over the biological weapons issue. Bolton “showed every despicable trait of an obsessed policy person who, when frustrated in his attempts to cook the intelligence, lashed out at the person delivering the news,” Armstrong said."

Fear of a Coup at Broadcasting Board of Governors  3/21/2018 Foreign Policy: "Employees fear that if the move is carried out, it could undermine the independent and fact-based reporting of the outlets under the BBG, including Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks."

The Enemy Plan will Be Defeated with More Cubans Defending our Reality  2/26/2018 Periodico 26: "The CIA had their hopes pinned on agent "Pablo." He had an excellent education and knew how to relate to youth and students, the focus of Washington's plans in Cuba. State Security here, however, had full confidence in the man they called "Daniel." In April of 2011, the real identity of Daniel and Pablo as one and the same person was announced; writer and university professor, Raúl Capote. Among the missions the CIA gave their agent in Havana was the recruitment of intellectuals and youth to train as leaders to challenge the Revolution."

February 13-14, 2018 -- Trump names George Soros acolyte as charge in Havana, WMR  2/13/2018 Wayne Madsen Report: "Donald Trump has named Phillip Goldberg, an arch-interventionist U.S. diplomat and acolyte of the "regime change" dogma of hedge fund mogul George Soros, as the interim chargé d'affaires of the U.S. embassy in Cuba. Goldberg's task will be to initiate Soros-inspired themed street demonstrations in Cuba when Cuban President Raul Castro steps down on April 19 of this year."

Trump nombra a un acólito de George Soros como acusado en La Habana  2/13/2018 Wayne Madsen Report: "Donald Trump nombró a Phillip Goldberg, un archiintervencionista estadounidense y acólito del dogma "cambio de régimen" del magnate de los hedge funds George Soros, como el encargado interino de negocios de la embajada de los Estados Unidos en Cuba. La tarea de Goldberg será iniciar las manifestaciones callejeras inspiradas en Soros en Cuba cuando el presidente cubano Raúl Castro renuncie el 19 de abril de este año."

The new U.S. chargé d’affaires in Cuba  2/12/2018 On Cuba: "Government professor of the American University William LeoGrande, an expert on Cuba, commented to Reuters that appointing Ambassador Goldberg to head the U.S. Embassy in Cuba is rather provocative since he was expelled from Bolivia. But, he added, Ambassador Goldberg is a Foreign Service professional and will skillfully represent the policies of the Trump government, time will tell if he has been ordered to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor…or carry out a more hostile policy."

Cuba grants visa to senior U.S. diplomat to lead Havana embassy  2/4/2018 Reuters: "He is likely to spend about six months in the position though the length of his stint is not certain, said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Goldberg would be the highest ranking U.S. foreign service officer to serve as charge d‘affaires in Havana, said the U.S. official. The fact that Washington selected a diplomat of his rank - one of the senior-most serving career U.S. diplomats - and that Havana accepted him when it could have stalled or rejected him suggests a desire on both sides to maintain links."

La orden ejecutiva que oficializó el bloqueo (+Audio y Videos)  2/2/2018 Radio Rebelde: "La Ley Torricelli promulgada en 1992, reforzó las medidas económicas contra Cuba y brindó sustento normativo a la extraterritorialidad del bloqueo. Cuatro años después, en 1996, se puso en vigor la Ley Helms-Burton, con el objetivo esencial de obstaculizar y desestimular la inversión extranjera en la Isla, así como internacionalizar el bloqueo."

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