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Unforgettable by Alexis Esquivel
"Unforgettable" - Alexis Esquivel, 2014
US - Cuba Relations
Archive: 2010 - 2015

Budget for Cuba programs: As clear as mud  12/12/2015 Along the Malecon: "The short version of the story is that it doesn't appear that lawmakers have decided how much to spend on democracy promotion programs in fiscal 2016, which began on Oct. 1. At least I couldn't find any public documents spelling it out. Senate and House appropriations bills have proposed spending from $15 million to $30 million on Cuba programs in fiscal 2016, but none of the proposals have been put into law. In June, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would had the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, the State Department and the Agency for International Development sharing $30 million in Cuba democracy funds."

Obama’s Half-Hearted Cuba Détente  11/1/2015 Consortium News: "President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with Cuba have been more tell than show, with much of the half-century U.S. embargo left in place and some “relaxations” designed to coerce Cuba into “privatizing” its economy, as Art Heitzer and Marjorie Cohn describe."

'Lejos de mejorar, la situación de bloqueo a Cuba ha empeorado'  9/30/2015 El Mundo: entrevista con Esteban Morales - "Lo que necesitamos es que Estados Unidos libere el dólar y las inversiones. Que dispongamos de créditos de los bancos norteamericanos, y potenciar la actividad del turismo. No podemos echar a andar sólo con nuestro capital. Y que se elimine la ley Helms Burton. Si echas abajo esa ley, echas abajo el bloqueo.- "Lo que necesitamos es que Estados Unidos libere el dólar y las inversiones. Que dispongamos de créditos de los bancos norteamericanos, y potenciar la actividad del turismo. No podemos echar a andar sólo con nuestro capital. Y que se elimine la ley Helms Burton. Si echas abajo esa ley, echas abajo el bloqueo."

Hillary Clinton Remarks At Florida International University  8/1/2015 #CubaNow: “Unfortunately, most of the Republican candidates for President would play right into the hard-liners’ hands. They would reverse the progress we have made and cut the Cuban people off from direct contact with the Cuban-American community and the free-market capitalism and democracy that you embody. That would be a strategic error for the United States and a tragedy for the millions of Cubans who yearn for closer ties. “They have it backwards: Engagement is not a gift to the Castros – it’s a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession – it’s a beacon. Lifting the embargo doesn’t set back the advance of freedom – it advances freedom where it is most desperately needed."

The Rising Wave of GOP Support For Ending the Embargo  7/30/2015 #CubaNow: "In another sign of the rapidly changing landscape of U.S.-Cuba policy this week, House Republican Tom Emmer of Minnesota introduced the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, legislation that would lift the embargo on Cuba. “I understand there's a lot of pain on both sides of this issue that goes back many decades,” Emmer told USA Today. “But I believe this is in the best interests of the Cuban people. This isn't about the Cuban government — it's about people on the street looking for more opportunity and to improve their quality of life.”"

Stonegate Bank-Cuba Agreement will reduce transaction costs  7/25/2015 OnCuba: "In the difficult art of coming to an understanding with Cuban institutions, a couple of elements have worked in Stonegate Banks’s favour. The most important is probably the bank’s step forward in responding to a request of the Department of State in early 2015, when they were looking for a bank willing to provide services to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, at a time when that diplomatic mission was sort of “untouchable”, financially speaking, in U.S. territory."

Esteban Morales: Cuba under no illusions regarding United States ties  7/22/2015 Indo-Asian News Service: "Esteban Morales, a Cuban writer, political observer and economist, said, “Cuba is under no illusions regarding their relations with the US.”"Reopening embassies will simply make it easier for the two governments to communicate formally after five decades of hostility,” Xinhua reported quoting Morales, founder and director of the University of Havana’s Center for Hemispheric and US Studies."

Cuban Embassy Inaugurated in Washington  7/20/2015 OnCuba: “Most of the people were saying they wanted to see the flag,” reported OnCuba’s special correspondent in Washington, Tahimi Arboleya. “They think that this will mean better living conditions for Cubans who reside on the island, which according to them is the most important.”

United States Reopens Embassy in Havana  7/20/2015 OnCuba: "The Embassy will continue its diplomatic operations from the Embassy building on the Malecón. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the most senior official at the embassy, will act as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. According to a press release issued today, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cuba later this summer to celebrate the re-opening of U.S. Embassy Havana and raise the U.S. flag."

Cubans brace for the coming wave  7/18/2015 Boston Globe: “The situation today is heightening a standing racism in Cuba,” declared Robert Zurbano, a prominent advocate with the Casa de las Americas cultural center in Havana. “Now, the small black businessman cannot compete with the coffee shop or the beauty salon because he doesn’t have the capital that those getting remittances have.”

Bloqueo entorpece reincorporación de Cuba a instituciones financieras internacionales, asegura exsecretario de comercio  7/16/2015 Cubadebate: "El exsecretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Carlos Gutiérrez, reconoció que el bloqueo a Cuba entorpece el apoyo que la Casa Blanca pudiera dar a su reincorporación a organismos crediticios internacionales. En declaraciones citadas hoy por Progreso semanal y otras publicaciones, el exfuncionario señala que la isla deberá iniciar un proceso de reinserción en los principales organismos económicos multilaterales como el Banco Mundial (BM), el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) o el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)."

Why the U.S. should be wary of Cuba  7/14/2015 Stratfor: "Havana will also likely plant listening devices in hotel rooms, taxis and rental cars to monitor on the U.S. diplomatic mission. Operatives will take photographs of the embassy staff as they come and go, locate employees’ homes and even plan honeypots and male raven operations, during which an undercover agent acts like a love interest to collect intelligence. In short, with a reopening embassy, the Cubans will have ample opportunity to undermine U.S. national security."

Expertos rusos en política desconfían de las intenciones de EEUU en Cuba  7/7/2015 Contrainjerencia: "Según Shmelev, Cuba se encuentra en una difícil situación económica, “así que podemos suponer que Estados Unidos está considerando la posibilidad de organizar una ‘revolución de colores’ en la Isla a fin de llevar al poder a fuerzas que estén orientadas hacia Estados Unidos –una aparente alusión a disidentes dentro del gobierno."

"A New Chapter": After Half a Century, U.S. and Cuba Unveil Reopening of Embassies & Restored Ties  7/2/2015 Democracy Now: "Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He is co-author of the book, Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana."

The Potential of Diplomatic Normalization  7/1/2015 Havana Note: "President Obama has a lot of potential power to bring us closer to the full normalization of relations."

¿Quién está detrás de Engage Cuba?  6/17/2015 El Mundo: "Se presenta como un grupo de presión sin partido que promueve el fin del embargo económico a la isla comunista. Pero detrás de 'Engage Cuba' se encuentran poderosos intereses económico y financieros cuyo único objetivo es ampliar sus negocios. Al grupo lo respaldan empresas gigantes, como la agroindustrial Cargill, la distribuidora de productos para el hogar Procter&Gamble y la constructora de maquinaria pesada Caterpillar, y al frente está el abogado y cabildero James Williams, quien, al mismo tiempo, es director del 'súper' Comité de Acción Política 'New Cuba'."

US and Cuba to reopen embassies and restore full ties in early July, reports say US and Cuba to reopen embassies and restore full ties in early July, reports say  6/12/2015 Guardian: "The Obama administration is expected to announce an agreement with Cuba in early July to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations severed more than five decades ago, US sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. The two sides hope to conclude the deal by the first week of next month, clearing the way for secretary of state John Kerry to visit Havana soon afterwards for a flag-raising ceremony to upgrade the US interests section to a full-scale embassy, the sources said."

Cuba.- EU.- El gobierno de Cuba salva la vida de Reagan  6/7/2015 Tercera Informacion: del Dr. Néstor García Iturbe

How will financial ties with Cuba change now that it’s off the terrorism list?  5/30/2015 PBS: "CARLA ROBBINS: It means more than anything else, that U.S. banks can have relations with Cuban banks, which will make it much easier to follow through on the easing of financial relations that Obama is promoting, and the Cubans said it was the biggest precondition for reestablishing direct diplomatic relations and opening the embassies."

U.S. drops Cuba from list of state sponsors of terrorism  5/29/2015 Reuters: "The United States formally dropped Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism on Friday, an important step toward restoring diplomatic ties but one that will have limited effect on removing U.S. sanctions on the Communist-ruled island."

Cuba-U.S. Expect to Announce Embassy Openings Next Week  5/29/2015 Adelante: "The announcement is expected to come from their respective capitals, following Friday's anticipated announcement of Cuba's removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba will be formally removed from the list 45 days after President Barack Obama announced his intention to remove the Caribbean state, which came in mid-April."

U.S. Officially Removes Cuba From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism  5/29/2015 Radio Havana 

Going Way Back With Cubans, Tampa Leads Push Forward  5/2/2015 NYT: "Now Tampa officials are even pushing to open a Cuban Consulate here — something Miami leaders view with antipathy. In April, the Tampa City Council approved the idea of a consulate, as has the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, a longtime advocate of strengthening ties between Cuba and Tampa. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story The Council also voted to offer Tampa as the place where the United States and Cuba would sign any official accord. While some of Tampa’s 80,000 Cuban-Americans disagree with rapprochement on Cuba, most do not, officials said."

Engage Cuba Advocates Normal U.S.-Cuba Relations  4/27/2015 OnCuba: "James Williams will be president of Engage Cuba, an advocacy group that will be launched in May to get as many votes as possible in Congress in favour of normalizing relations with Cuba. The organization has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “a group of heavy-hitting political operatives” who are “setting up a new campaign to press Congress to repeal the long-standing trade and travel embargo with Cuba.”"

La experiencia de una cumbre  4/20/2015 Esteban Morales: "Por tanto, no se trataba en la cumbre de conversar con gentes de ideas diferentes a las nuestras, eso se hizo con creces en todos los foros en que la delegación salida de Cuba participo; sino de ocupar el mismo techo con criminales o gente que no tiene el menor pudor en fotografiarse junto a criminales y hacerse acompañar por ellos."

Cuba’s Removal From Terrorism List  4/15/2015 Counterpunch: by Code Pink - "It was President Ronald Reagan who put Cuba on the terrorism list. He sought to blacklist Cuba’s support for leftist movements in Central and South America, movements that challenged US hegemony in the region. And after denouncing Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism, Reagan pursued his own campaign in Central and South America—funding the extreme right, conducting covert military actions, brokering illegal arms deals, and attempting coup d’etats."

Cuban scholar: 'We have a common history'  4/15/2015 Daily Star, Oneonta, NY: "On Wednesday night, Hartwick hosted scholar Gisela Arandia of Cuba for a presentation on race, ethnicity and human rights that drew more than 50 students and community members. With the help of a translator, Arandia told listeners that President Barack Obama’s recent decision to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism filled her with “joy,” “wonder” and “huge emotion.”"

Barack Obama says his first meeting with Cuban president Raul Castro is a 'turning point'  4/13/2015 Independent: "In his speech to summit leaders, Mr Castro recalled the slights against his nation and the revolution begun by his brother, Fidel, but admitted admiration for Mr Obama, saying he had read both his memoirs. “I have told President Obama that I get very emotional talking about the revolution and the sanctions that followed,” he said. “I apologise to him because President Obama had no responsibility for this.”

Esteban Morales: El pueblo cubano aún desconfía de Estados Unidos  4/11/2015 teleSUR: "En entrevista para teleSUR, el analista cubano Esteban Morales, expresó que en el pueblo cubano hay muchos años acumulados de prejuicios, desconfianza y a los ciudadanos les cuesta trabajo pensar que Estados Unidos puede cambiar su posición con Cuba."

Experto califica como cínico discurso de Obama sobre Cuba en Cumbre panameña  4/10/2015 Venezolana de Television: ""Y como refiere, además, al foro de la sociedad civil, la expresión es más cínica todavía…", espetó Esteban Morales, sobre Obama quien dijo estar satisfecho por presencia de Cuba en el encuentro continental"

Fox News Latino: How a Hashtag Helped Thaw U.S.-Cuba Relations  3/25/2015 #CubaNow: "At LabMiami, a technology business incubator located in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood, Ric Herrero wages a national campaign using traditional and social media that has played a significant role in thawing frosty relations between the United States and Cuba. As executive director of #CubaNow, Herrero is the public face of an organization backed by prominent Cuban-American businessmen in Miami who want to end the embargo…"

5 Things Cuba Can Do to Speed the Normalization of Relations With the United States  3/21/2015 OnCuba: "...there a number of things Cuba can do to move the normalization process forward without compromising its sovereignty. The steps below flow directly out of the 18 months of secret talks between Washington and Havana. Except for the last, they are things to which Cuba has already agreed in principle but has not yet done."

USA prioritizes opening embassy in Cuba  3/17/2015 OnCuba: "The State Department wants to give its Interests Section in Havana the title of embassy ASAP. Preferably it wants it done before the Summit of the Americas in Panama. A senior official of the State Department expressed it in a conference call where he answered questions from the press, prior to the third meeting in Havana between a Cuban delegation and the one headed by Roberta Jacobson."

Chomsky on Cuba: After Decades of U.S. Meddling & "Terrorism," Restoring Ties is Least We Could Do  3/4/2015 Cuba Si: Amy Goodman interviews Noam Chomsky.

Cuban Delegation on Round Two of Talks with the USA  2/28/2015 Havana Times: "While many other issues will be on the table in future talks (extradition treaty, Cuban Adjustment Act, the US embargo, the Guantanamo Naval Base, human rights, property expropriations, etc.) there seems to be agreement that the official restoring of relations and the opening of embassies is the first order of business. This with an eye to making considerable progress before the Summit of the Americas on April 10-11 in Panama, when presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama will be on the same venue. Parralel to that, Cuba continues to press that it be taken off the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism and the US State Department says it is reviewing the designation to make a recommendation to Congress. The following is the press release issued by the Cuban Delegation following the talks on Friday."

Cuba: the Weight of a Long History  2/27/2015 CounterPunch: "During the 1930’s and 40’s, the ambition to control Cuba’s destiny continued—if somewhat more subtly and without troops. The U.S. sent Sumner Welles as a special envoy to Cuba in the 1930’s to ensure that the outcome of a populist insurrection against Gerardo Machado, then Cuba’s dictator, did not steer the island away from U.S. tutelage. This intervention gave rise to the U.S. support for Fulgencio Batista, which lasted until his overthrow in 1959 by the Revolution. As our ambassador to Cuba at the time, Earl T. Smith, asserted during a Senate hearing in 1960: “Until Castro, the U.S. was so overwhelmingly influential in Cuba that the American ambassador was the second most important man, sometimes even more important than the Cuban president.”"

Josefina Vidal: El respeto fue la clave del éxito que condujo a los anuncios del 17D  2/27/2015 CubaDebate: "La Directora General de Estados Unidos de la Cancillería cubana trae la sonrisa fresca, la calma con la que ha hablado unos minutos antes en el Departamento de Estado. De pie, en el salón de la Oficina de Intereses de Cuba acondicionada como sala de prensa -la primera vez que ocurre en muchísimos años-, contesta ahora todas las preguntas que nos hacíamos en esta jornada, y aquellas que surgieron al calor de la conversación con la que cierra nuestra presencia en Washington."

Cuba-USA Try to Skirt Dead Ends  2/12/2015 OnCuba: "Some politicians from the Cuban émigré community demand that Havana hand over fugitives from US justice like Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, an African-American woman who was a Black Panther leader and is sought by US authorities for the murder of a police officer in the 1970s. They seem to be unaware of the fact that an extradition agreement is reciprocal and would force the United States to deport many Cuban exiles accused of crimes, including Luis Posada Carriles, sought for the bombing of a Cuban commercial airliner that killed 73 people."

The Cuban economy and Obama’s new policy  2/12/2015 OnCuba: "Even without eliminating the embargo, the announced measures could begin to gradually benefit the Cuban economy. Some effects will be more direct and tangible and will be appreciable in tendencies of tourism, remittances and goods and services that arrive in Cuba from the United States, while other effects will be more indirect, depending on what kind of signal is sent to the international economic and financial community and the restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations."

Castro: End US embargo, normalize Cuba relations  2/10/2015 The Militant: "“Our U.S. counterparts should not plan on developing relations with Cuban society as if there were no sovereign government,” he continued to applause."

Cuba and USA Today: Miscellaneous  2/10/2015 OnCuba: "In short lines, we present some news about the path that is taking the process of restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States"

US, Cuba Relations 2015: End of Cuba Embargo May Bring Lawsuits, Competition to Miami's Tobacco Industry  2/8/2015 Latin Post 

Obama’s Policy Reforms: The Congressional Counteract Begins  2/6/2015 Cuba Central: "Ms. Soler’s answer — no, it didn’t happen that way — was not the response Senator Rubio was looking for. But the advice that followed would be well-taken for someone considering a run for the presidency. At another juncture, Mr. Rubio asked the panel if they all supported a continuation of the Helms-Burton program that gives financial assistance to dissidents in Cuba, some of whom benefit from U.S. support and still denounce the Obama policy. To his apparent surprise, two of the witnesses — Miriam Leiva and Rosa María Paya — didn’t agree with him on that question either."

Cuba cancela visita de congresistas de EEUU a la isla  2/5/2015 Café Fuerte: "Según la información, los viajes de los congresistas fueron pospuestos hasta al menos mediados de abril. Obama y Raúl Castro deben encontrarse a mediados de abril en Panamá durante la Cumbre de las Américas a la que ambos han confirmado ya su asistencia. Un portavoz de la Oficina de Intereses de Cuba en Washington DC negó la versión de AP, y dijo que está prevista la visita de algunas delegaciones en los próximos días. Pero eso no es lo que creen Morán y Flake. Moran dijo que la delegación estaba compuesta por senadores republicanos que “tienen la mente abierta sobre cambiar la relación con Cuba” y quieren entender mejor los asuntos que afectan al país. El senador cree posible reprogramar su visita a la isla."

Cuba-US in time of changes: criteria on the Cuban side  2/5/2015 OnCuba: "Nearly a week after Cuba and the United States began to officially dialogue in Havana, entrepreneurs, bloggers, filmmakers and Cuban intellectuals gathered in Washington for two days (January 27 and 28) to exchange with US and Cuban American politicians, diplomats, journalists , businessmen and academics, in a meeting organized by the Possible Cuba Project and the Cuba Research Center."

EEUU preocupado por aumento de balseros; 890 cubanos se lanzaron al mar desde octubre  2/5/2015 Café Fuerte 

La nueva política hacia Cuba revitaliza a donantes anticastristas de la Florida  2/5/2015 Café Fuerte: "Pero los nuevos documentos presentados ante la Comisión Federal de Elecciones (FEC, la agencia independiente que regula el financiamiento de las elecciones a nivel nacional), que cubren el período en el que Obama anunció su nueva política, muestra que el US-Cuba Democracy PAC, el más prominente comité de cabildeo que representa a la comunidad anticastrista, vio un salto significativo en donaciones."

Sen. Marco Rubio Pushes Against Obama's Cuba Changes In Hearing  2/3/2015 NBC 

Cuba–US Talks and the Fate of Assata Shakur and Nehanda Abiodun  2/2/2015 Havana Times: "Unlike Assata (whose whereabouts are unknown and is believed to be at a secret location, owing to the US police effort to capture her), since the 90s Nehanda has organized a series of campaigns in her home to encourage the creation of a black and Afro-Cuban awareness movement. Her home has become a center for cultural and socio-political projects and the venue of Cuba’s first hip hop gatherings. She has also organized debates on contemporary issues and African history which have seen the participation of activists and artists, such as the Cuban rap band Anonimo Consejo."

U.S. Editorial Says Law Favoring Cuban Arrivals Is Challenged  2/2/2015 Radio Havana 

Goodbye to Radio and TV Martí?  2/2/2015 OnCuba: "In presenting her proposal to the Capitol, the lawmaker said that in the last three decades stations have spent over 770 million dollars. Each year, the US government provides thirty two million and in 2014, its activities were covered with nearly 27 million. However, contrary to the intention of cutting costs and budgets for Radio and TV Martí, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) the US government signed over 100 contracts worth almost a million dollars for their transmissions to Island since last December 17, when the government announced that both sides begin to renew diplomatic ties."

US Lawmakers proposed a Freedom to travel to Cuba Act  1/31/2015 OnCuba: "Eight Democratic and Republican senators introduced this week to Congress a bill to lift the restrictions imposed in a 2000 and 1996 on travel to Cuba by US citizens and residents, as reported by AFP. The project, known as the Law of Freedom to travel to Cuba, would alleviate the effects of the US blockade against Cuba from 1962 to also allow banking transactions related to these movements."

Take Cuba off the Terrorist List  1/29/2015 CounterPunch: by MEDEA BENJAMIN

Free trade with Cuba  1/29/2015 Amsterdam News: by Rep Charles Rangel - "The United States Chamber of Commerce is one of the strongest supporters of ending the embargo, which estimates it could create 6,000 American jobs and restore $1.2 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The economic embargo stifles an extra $250 million in potential annual exports of fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides and tractors. Ultimately, ending the embargo will, in addition to creating an estimated 6,000 American jobs, generate billions of dollars in revenue."

Cuba Détente  1/28/2015 CounterPunch: by ROBERT SANDELS and NELSON P. VALDÉS - "Until now only agricultural and some medical and educational materials could be sold to Cuba. The new regulations allow for an increase in the kinds of goods that Cuba can import from the United States such as construction and agricultural tools and machinery. However, these can only be sold to non-state sectors such as co-ops and private entrepreneurs. Thus, certain sectors of the U.S. corporate world will be given preferential treatment. OFAC is also giving Cuban entrepreneurs in the private sector an advantage over the state, but the Obama administration also wants U.S. information technology corporations to invest in Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure, which means selling services, software and equipment to the Cuban government."

South Florida Democrats walk fine line on Cuba  1/26/2015 Sun Sentinel: "South Florida's Democratic members of Congress are caught between a rock (President Barack Obama) and a hard place (their Cuban-American congressional colleagues) when it comes to rapidly changing U.S. policy toward the island nation."

What is the Real Reason Behind Obama’s New Cuba Policy?  1/21/2015 Black Agenda Report: "Obama is reacting to occurrences that pose a significant geopolitical challenge to American hegemony in the Western hemisphere. The Russians and the Chinese have come knocking on America’s back door. From July 11 to 17, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled through a multi nation Latin American tour ending with a summit of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in Fortaleza, Brazil. These nations are among the fastest developing economies in the world, and their combined efforts have been posing significant geopolitical challenge to America and its European allies all over the globe. This is particularly the case since the 2008 economic crash."

Cuba-U.S.: Between candy and salty water  1/19/2015 Cuba Now: "This group of aged enemies of Cuba is led by doubly small Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Marco Rubio and Mario Díaz-Balart. Once again, they represent the outmoded promoters of bitter hatred against independent Havana. But they are confronted by those who dismiss such behavior and prefer to achieve their goal without aggressiveness."

Travel to Cuba E ases, but Airlines Will Miss Initial Rush  1/16/2015 NYT: "But before airlines can schedule direct flights to Havana and other airports, the two countries must still negotiate a new air service agreement. Until that happens, travelers will have to rely on charter flights booked through specialized travel agencies, and that is not expected to change for the next 12 to 18 months, according to travel experts and industry officials. The timeline could be further complicated by opposition in Congress as well as the presidential election next year, which could delay matters in unpredictable ways."

United States Cuba Relations: The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle  1/15/2015 US Cuba Politics: "FACT SHEET: Treasury and Commerce Announce Regulatory Amendments to the Cuba Sanctions"

New measures of the United States to Cuba become effective  1/15/2015 OnCuba: "The Obama administration made known last Thursday the entry into force of several of the measures announced on December 17, 2014, for the easing of relations with Cuba. Jacob Lew, US Treasury Secretary, said “these regulations, along with those issued by the Department of Commerce, will implement policies for relaxation of sanctions related to travel, remittances, trade and banking.”"

How Obama Could End The Cuban Embargo  1/12/2015 CounterPunch: "So to undo the embargo Congress would seemingly have to repeal the Helms-Burton Act, otherwise the President’s hands would be tied. Except in reality the regulations the President is ordered to enforce are not valid, and should not be legally binding on him. This is because there is no legal merit for the regulations against Cuba, which are written based on the application of enemy status to Cuba. But Cuba does not meet the definition of an enemy. According to the TWEA, an “enemy” is defined as “any individual” or “the government of any nation with which the United States is at war.” The act specifies that the “beginning of the war” is “midnight ending the day on which Congress has declared or shall declare war or the existence of a state of war.”"

McCaskill to travel to Cuba, says lifting embargo would benefit Missouri agriculture  1/7/2015 KC Star: "Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri announced on Wednesday that she will take a trip to Cuba next month to explore how farmers and other businesses in her state might benefit from opening Cuban markets to U.S. agriculture products."

Defeating the Tyranny of Failed Ideas - How to Break the Embargo on Cuba  1/6/2015 CounterPunch: "The normalization of relations with Cuba – a long-delayed measure – offers the opportunity to lift the embargo on the island that so many negative consequences has had for the Cuban people. An initial measure could be to open the medical communication channels between American and Cuban doctors."

NESTOR GARCIA ITURBE / ¿Qué es lo que quiere Obama?  1/3/2015 Contringerencia: "Considero que este párrafo, el primero de su discurso tiene dos aspectos a resaltar. Se plantea que “están cambiando sus relaciones con el pueblo de Cuba”, cuando el cambio es con el Gobierno de Cuba, que es el representante del pueblo. Debemos observar si en el resto del discurso se habla del Gobierno de Cuba. Plantea que van a poner fin a un enfoque anticuado que durante décadas no ha podido promover los intereses de Estados Unidos. De esto se desprende que todo lo que harán será para promover sus intereses. ¿De qué intereses está hablando Obama?"

Spy wars: a wilderness of mirrors in U.S.-Cuba swap  1/1/2015 Miami Herald 

Look toward a brighter future with Cuba  12/31/2014 Daytona Beach News Journal: 'Working with Cuba can help us erase an ugly and painful past, strengthen our economy and transform Central Florida into a world-class educational, health, culture and sports mecca, where our children will be proud to be."

United States Cuba Relations: A Transformative 2014 and the Promise of 2015  12/31/2014 US Cuba Politics: "For this end of year posting we interviewed Antonio C. Martinez II., Attorney, Political Consultant, and Editor of to discuss the historical moments of December 2014 and what bodes next for Cuba policy in the U.S. Congress, the Obama Administration, and the 2016 elections on the horizon:"

The Forgotten History of U.S.-Cuba Friendship  12/29/2014 Huff Post: "Black Americans have demonstrated a special interest, extending all the way back to Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., forcing the Eisenhower Administration to embargo arms shipments to Batista in 1958. Throughout the 1960s, many leaders in the civil rights and Black Power movements visited Cuba, to see for themselves how it overcame widespread poverty and discrimination, followed later by leading black Members of Congress. Even in the 1990s, Fidel Castro packed out Harlem's most famous church, Abyssinian Baptist. African Americans knew well what Mandela had said: that the 1988 defeat of white South Africa's vaunted army by Cuban troops backing the revolutionary Angolan government was a decisive blow against apartheid."

Everyone in Cuba is Talking About the Same Thing  12/29/2014 Havana Times: "Everyone is talking about the same thing: the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Though some are optimistic and others skeptical, the truth is that the news has stirred everybody up."

Blacks Should Support Normalizing Relations with Cuba  12/29/2014 The Skanner: Written by Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., NNPA Columnist

Will it be the end of USAID´s spells?  12/29/2014 OnCuba: "Curiously Los Aldeanos didn’t need be “bought” to be critical. For years their songs questioned the Cuban reality without mincing words, making their messages to have enough weight in certain sectors of youth. But USAID polluted them with their money and although they did not know where it came from, that shadow will inevitably create doubts about the integrity of Los Aldeanos and the honesty of their criticisms, reducing the influence of their messages."

Barack Obama busca apoyos de la derecha  12/28/2014 Progreso Semanal: "De ahí que dos de los lobbies más activos en favor del deshielo sean la Cámara de Comercio de EE UU y la Federación de Oficinas Agrícolas Americanas. La primera es el principal lobby empresarial, enfrentado a Obama en cuestiones como la reducción de las emisiones contaminantes y la reforma sanitaria. La segunda es el lobby rural, y su aplauso al presidente refleja la esperanza de que la nueva etapa permita aumentar las exportaciones de productos agrícolas. No es casualidad que sea en el Medio Oeste, el granero de EE UU, donde la iniciativa del presidente cuente con mayores complicidades."

The US-Cuba agreement in five major economic issues  12/27/2014 OnCuba: "Part of Obama´s reforms will allow US telecommunications firms to start working with Cuba to expand its communications infrastructure, which will help Cuban economy and will set the basis for financial transactions more sophisticated in the future."

Big changes coming to Cuba tourism with us opening  12/27/2014 Progreso Weekly: "The new Treasury Department rules have not yet been released, but a White House statement suggests that educational travel to Cuba will now be covered by a “general license,” which means tour operators – and perhaps individuals, depending on how the regulations are written – will be able to head to Cuba and simply give the U.S. government their word that they’re not engaging in ordinary tourism."

Why real change in Cuba won't come easy or fast  12/26/2014 LA Times: "Republicans are also threatening to block Obama's policy by attaching Cuba amendments to must-pass appropriations bills. That strategy won't become available for almost a year, however, when the next appropriations bills come up. By then, the new relationship with Cuba may be so well established that even Republicans would be loath to turn back the clock."

What Are Young Cubans Saying about US-Cuba Relations?  12/26/2014 Havana Times: "Though opinions on this differ, the truth is that the vast majority of young people in Cuba are optimistic. The first thing many friends and acquaintances thought was: “the island is going to fill up with gringos!” Evidently, young people in Cuba do not feel any particular resentment towards the people or culture of the United States. The relief that this will mean for our depressed economy is, without a doubt, something people anxiously await. The possibility of US investors settling in Cuba and offering a broader scope of jobs and higher wages is something most hope for."

Cuba Will Not Renounce Its Ideas  12/26/2014 CounterPunch: by Raul Castro

Marco, Ted and Bob: Fishes out of water  12/26/2014 Progreso Weekly: "History has passed judgment on them and has tossed them overboard. Like fishes out of water, Rubio, Cruz, Menéndez and others like them can do nothing but gasp desperately for breath to keep from dying."

How travel to Cuba might change  12/24/2014 Boston Globe: "What is the hotel room/accommodation situation in Cuba now? “There is a lot, but at the high end, there are only a couple of good properties,” Diaz said. “People don’t go to Cuba for the luxury — they go for the music, culture, and arts scene.” But if Cuba opens up to US tourists and their penchant for luxury accommodations, “you’re going to see American hoteliers doing their best to find potential properties in Cuba,” Loucks said."

Cuba Won’t Hand Over Assata Shakur  12/23/2014 The Root: "Vidal pointed out that the U.S. has also sheltered wanted Cuban citizens. “We’ve reminded the U.S. government that in its country they’ve given shelter to dozens and dozens of Cuban citizens,” she said. “Some of them accused of horrible crimes, some accused of terrorism, murder and kidnapping, and in every case, the U.S. government has decided to welcome them.”"

New poll: Majority U.S. support for change in Cuba policy  12/23/2014 Progreso Weekly: "Even republicans, who not long ago were against the measures, now support allowing trade and travel. “In 2009, 36 percent of Republicans said the United States should end the trade embargo and 40 percent favored an end to travel restrictions,” reported Clement. But those numbers have skyrocketed in favor with 57 percent now supporting trade with Cuba and 64 percent supporting travel between the countries. “Republicans continue to split on establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba overall, with 49 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing the idea — a similar split to 2009,” said Clement."

Despite Warming Relations, Cuba Will Not Hand Over Assata Shakur  12/23/2014 Vibe: "Josefina Vidal, head of Cuba's North American Affairs told the Associated Press the country has no plans of giving Shakur up despite warming relations between the two nations who were once at odds for nearly half a century. "Every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted. ...That’s a legitimate right,” Vidal said. “We’ve explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum. There’s no extradition treaty in effect between Cuba and the U.S.,” she added."

Cuba: America's most wanted woman Assata Shakur will not be extradited  12/23/2014 AP: "“We’ve explained to the US government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum,” Vidal said, noting also that the two countries have no extradition treaty in effect. Vidal’s comments in a Monday interview were the clearest sign yet that Cuba has no intention of extraditing Assata Shakur – formerly known as Joanne Chesimard – following a historic detente announced by last week by President Barack Obama and Raúl Castro of Cuba."

The Geopolitics of U.S.-Cuba Relations  12/23/2014 Stratfor: "Cuba was the key. In the hands of a hostile foreign power, it was as effective a plug to the Mississippi as taking New Orleans. The weakness of the Spaniards frightened the Americans. Any powerful European power — the British or, after 1871, the Germans — could easily knock the Spaniards out of Cuba. And the United States, lacking a powerful navy, would not be able to cope. Seizing Cuba became an imperative of U.S. strategy."

Reflections from Former Chief of U.S. Interests Section  12/23/2014 CIP Americas: by Wayne S Smith - "As the announcement of restored relations came through Wednesday morning, there was utter joy and elation among the Cuban people in the streets, there were cheers and applause – this is what they have been waiting for, too. This change came at a critical moment. The Obama administration had to come to it or risk a further deterioration of relations with the rest of the hemisphere. There were questions in Latin America about our relations with Cuba and what that said about our policy in the hemisphere. Now those questions have been set aside and we can move forward to focus on improved relations with all."

TV Martí Blew Its Coverage of Historic U.S.-Cuba Moment  12/22/2014 Miami New Times: "Yet when the biggest Cuban-American story in a half-century broke -- Barack Obama and Raúl Castro's announcement that they'd move to normalize diplomatic relations -- the Miami-based network was caught in utter disarray, employees tell New Times, exposing the systemic disorganization and poor leadership that have blighted the network for years."

Historic Turn on Cuba. Professors Ruth Behar and María Isabel Alfonso in Radio Bilingüe.  12/22/2014 Café por Cuba 

America's Cuba  12/22/2014 CounterPunch: "In the United States, events like the Bay of Pigs invasion are typically portrayed as reactions to Cuban instigation, but the chronology belies this framing. In fact, the causality runs in almost exactly the opposite direction: US hostility wasn’t a response to Cuba’s Communist ties; Cuba’s Communist ties were a response to US hostility."

Cuba says it has a right to grant asylum to US fugitives  12/22/2014 AP: "Obama’s announcement included a very general list of reforms and left a series of open questions about how far the U.S. could go to create deeper economic ties with Cuba. The Commerce and Treasury departments are expected to begin publishing details of the new measures in coming weeks, changes that will include relaxation of the stringent rules governing American travel to Cuba."

Christie Wants Obama to Push Cuba to Return New Jersey Trooper’s Killer  12/21/2014 NYT: "Mr. Christie asked that she be returned to New Jersey before any further consideration is given to restoring diplomatic relations."

What the Cuba embargo teaches us about economic sanctions  12/21/2014 News, Australia: "There are cases when sanctions are effective, but circumstances are important. Sanctions like the Cuba embargo, which aimed to foment a revolution or topple a regime, aren’t successful very often. “When they do have a better track record is when you’re asking for more tangible concessions,” Daniel Drezner, a political scientist at Tufts, prolific foreign-policy blogger, and author of The Sanctions Paradox, told me. He points to the US sanctions on Iran, which have clearly played a role in pushing Tehran to the nuclear negotiating table, and are likely more effective because it’s “clear [the Obama administration] isn’t looking for regime change.”"

Do Cubans Really Want US Style Internet Freedom?  12/21/2014 Sujatha Fernandez: "For all the talk about bringing Internet freedoms to Cuba, could it be that Cubans have themselves created an alternative to the corporate-driven World Wide Web by coming up with their own alternative networks for consuming and sharing information? In contrast torecent depictions of Cuba as a technological backwater, frozen in time, deprivation has yet again spurred Cubans to new creative heights. When considering the enormous opportunities that will be created by Obama’s announcement of historic policies, it will be important to keep in mind what Cubans want and need—and not what we think they do."

How Barbara Lee’s 30-year Cuba campaign paid off  12/21/2014 SF Chronicle: "Lee and her delegation met that day for five hours with President Raul Castro in the first face-to-face session between U.S. lawmakers and Cuban leaders in at least five years. Both brothers, Lee recalled, expressed hope that the newly elected President Obama would change history and restore ties between the two countries. Last week, as she touched down on U.S. soil from another trip to Cuba — her 21st — the Oakland Democrat got the call: Obama was announcing a thawing of relations, an exchange of prisoners and the freeing of American Alan Gross, whom Lee had visited several times during his five-year Cuban captivity."

A Chance to Breach Divide for Young in Cuba and US  12/20/2014 ABC: "For Cubans like Martinez, it may mean that becoming a doctor won't limit her to a meager state salary. For others, there is the hope of Internet access and an end to the desperation that leads thousands to migrate each year. Cuban-Americans, meanwhile, see the possibility of starting businesses in their homeland, connecting with their roots and putting aside the bitterness of parents and grandparents who were arrested, exiled or had property seized in the revolution."

Castro insists Cuba won’t abandon communism despite deal with U.S.  12/20/2014 WaPo: "“This makes it so much easier for the U.S. to relate to its allies and friends in the region,” said Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas."

Cuban Tourism in the Age of Détente  12/20/2014 New Yorker: "Under the new rules, people will still have to travel for one of twelve pre-approved purposes, but these, including educational trips, will all be covered by general licenses. It’s unclear exactly what this will mean for travellers—the Obama Administration has said that it will be weeks before the details become available—but Popper and others expect that, at the very least, it will open up travel to Cuba to more Americans."

Here's Why the #BlackLivesMatter Campaign Needs to Think About Cuba  12/19/2014 Identities.mic: "The #BlackLivesMatter campaign might begin to redirect its attention southward, after the U.S. agreed to "normalize" talks with Cuba in order to re-establish diplomatic relations. The reason? Assata Shakur."

The US and Cuba: What Really Happened, What Will Change?  12/19/2014 CounterPunch: "It isn’t full normalization. It isn’t completely free travel to Cuba that is promised to all US citizens by our constitution. It isn’t the lifting of a policy of economic strangulation decried universally every year at the UN. It doesn’t allow unlimited investment in Cuba’s nascent private sector or completely remove limits on remittances sent to family and loved ones on the island. At least, not yet."

The “Pure Evil” Hypocrisy - Marco Rubio’s Rabid Campaign Against Cuba  12/19/2014 CounterPunch: "Rubio called these developments “another concession to a tyranny” rather than “a defense of every universal and inalienable right that our country was founded on and stands for.” But, how exactly does continuing the embargo and maintaining a supercilious, egotistically aloof distance from Cuba sound an “American” defense of its values abroad? Rubio averred, in sum, that “these changes…will significantly set back the hopes of freedom and democracy for the Cuban people.” To dismiss the revolutionary successes, though, to outright deny the bravery, the endurance, the incredible struggle, and epic human perseverance of the Cuban people in the face of one of history’s greatest instances of adversity reeks of disrespect and unawareness. Ultimately, it gives voice to the pure evil of Rubio’s anti-Cuban hypocrisy."

After US and Cuba Announce Normalized Relations, Law Enforcement Officials Eager to Bring Assata Shakur Back to US  12/18/2014 Atlanta Black Star: "“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973,” Col. Rick Fuentes, head of the state’s largest law enforcement agency, said in a statement. “We stand by the reward money and hope that the total of two million dollars will prompt fresh information in the light of this altered international relationship.” Fuentes told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview that he has already discussed the issue with federal law enforcement officials. “Chesimard isn’t the only fugitive down there wanted for a violent crime, and she’s already been convicted, so it’s a matter of bringing her back and sending her back to jail,” he said. “There’s other people that surround her that Castro has taken a liking to and it’s been very, very difficult in their particular cases to have discussions to get them out.”"

Transcript: Obama’s remarks on U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on re-establishing U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

What Does Ending The Cold War With Cuba Mean For Afro-Cubans And African Americans  12/18/2014 News One: "Listen to Martin and the “NewsOne Now” panel featuring Rep. Charles Rangel, Roland Roebuck, Kim Brown, Lenny McAllister and Avis Jones-DeWeever discuss the political and economic impact the normalizing of relations with Cuba will mean for African Americans and Afro Cubans below. Let us know if you think ending the Cold War with Cuba was a good move."

New Jersey hopes Cuba-US relations thaw will help extradite former Black Panther  12/18/2014 The Guardian: "“We remain ever hopeful in our resolve to bring Joanne Chesimard to justice,” said Paul Loriquet, a spokesperson for the New Jersey attorney general’s office. He said his office is working closely with federal authorities to secure Shakur’s “rightful place in a New Jersey prison”."

US-Cuban Friendship Might Mean Prison for Assata Shakur  12/18/2014 Jezebel: "Hopefully in this time of cops shooting black men with their hands up, choking them to death on camera and gassing those speaking out, President Obama and the U.S. State Department can think of a better use for their diplomatic conversations than 'Hey, let's finally imprison that woman America framed nearly 50 year ago.'"

As U.S.-Cuba tension thaws, the fate of a fugitive is in question  12/18/2014 MSNBC: "Whether or not Cuba decides to extradite Shakur, of course, remains to be seen. The country has had an extradition treaty with the U.S. since 1904, but it hasn’t really been enforced during the Castro reign. There’s also a clause in the treaty that says a fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered if the “offense in respect of which his surrender is demanded be of a political character,” which could apply to the Shakur case, said Douglas McNabb, an international criminal defense lawyer who specializes in extradition. But “any state can do anything they want, even if there is an extradition treaty,” said McNabb. “From a policy standpoint, Cuba is going to have to make a decision.” Stephen Vladeck, an expert on national security law at American University College of Law, echoed that sentiment, saying “So much of extradition law Is just politics. The real question is whether the Cuban government decides it’s in its interest to cooperate with New Jersey through the Justice Department.”"

Sen. Rubio and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: Change Cuba Policy or Give China Its Money Back  12/18/2014 Daily Kos: "Sara Stephens, Director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, notes in Huffington Post a Story from the Tampa Bay Times that details stances of the freedom loving, anti-communist stalwarts of morality in Florida, Senator Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen."

Pope Benedict Helped Free American From Cuba  12/18/2014 AP: "Pope Francis rightly got credit for helping bring the U.S. and Cuba together and free U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross. But it was Francis' predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who made the first high-level Vatican manoeuver to release Gross, spurred in part by an unlikely group of papal lobbyists."

Warming US-Cuba Ties Will Boost Exchange Of Arts, Culture Between Countries, Artists Say  12/18/2014 International Business Times 

DeWayne Wickham: Obama action on Cuba burnishes legacy  12/17/2014 Baxter Bulletin: ""We think the best way to bring Cuba into the 21st century is through openness, not isolation," National Security Adviser Susan Rice told me moments after Obama announced his decision to gut the embargo, which can only be formally ended by a vote of Congress."

President Obama's new Cuba policy: What we heard, and what we didn't  12/17/2014 The Havana Note: "What’s interesting about today’s announcement is what we didn’t hear. We didn’t hear a president constrained by political calculations. President Obama said he looks forward to an “honest and serious” debate with Congress about lifting the embargo – a not so subtle hint about what the debate has largely lacked so far. And while he acknowledged the contribution to our country and the “passion” of Cuban exiles who might not like his policy changes, the wide-ranging – and long-awaited - moves announced today were clearly decided without a fear of political retribution."

Se acabó el bloqueo contra Cuba  12/17/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Con declaraciones de Raúl Castro y Barack Obama comienza hoy una nueva era en las relaciones entre Cuba y EE.UU. El cambio ha comenzado con un gesto humanitario que podría indicar el sentido de las políticas entre ambos países en los próximos meses. Alan Gross ya está en EE.UU., los tres cubanos, Gerardo, Ramón y Antonio, ya están en Cuba. Todavía queda un camino por recorrer en el Congreso para dar marcha atrás a leyes y normas que han impedido durante más de 50 años unas relaciones entre Cuba y EE.UU. constructivas para ambos pueblos, pero el camino ya ha sido señalado por los dos gobiernos. Estamos asistiendo al comienzo del fin del bloqueo contra Cuba."

Obama Announces New US Approach on Cuba  12/17/2014 Havana Times: "Remittance levels will be raised from $500 to $2,000 per quarter for general donative remittances to Cuban nationals (except to certain officials of the government or the Communist party); and donative remittances for humanitarian projects, support for the Cuban people, and support for the development of private businesses in Cuba will no longer require a specific license. Remittance forwarders will no longer require a specific license."

Why USAID Could Never Spark a Hip Hop Revolution in Cuba  12/16/2014 Sujatha Fernandez: "The documents secured by the AP reveal a frightening level of manipulation of Cuban rappers by USAID. Like with ZunZuneo, the failed Cuban twitter project also engineered by USAID, the actions of this agency put Cubans at risk of state repression and threatened a closure of the critical spaces that rappers had already built and defended. USAID realizes the power of culture to provide a powerful political voice for young people. What it doesn’t realize is that in a society shaped by successive generations of revolutionary projects, any attempt to engineer a U.S.-affiliated movement from above is destined to be revealed for the farce that it is."

Obama's Historic Move  12/15/2014 "Some, to be sure, have felt that such delicate means are not enough, for example, Nixon cabinet member Alexander Haig, who asked the president to "just give me the word and I'll turn that f--- island into a parking lot." His eloquence captured vividly the long-standing frustration of US leaders about "That infernal little Cuban republic," Theodore Roosevelt's phrase as he ranted in fury over Cuban unwillingness to accept graciously the US invasion of 1898 to block their liberation from Spain and turn them into a virtual colony. Surely his courageous ride up San Juan Hill had been in a noble cause (overlooked, commonly, is that African-American battalions were largely responsible for conquering the hill)."

Esteban Morales on Cuba-US Relations  11/20/2014 Havana Times: "One of the issues we have to talk about is the blockade, particularly its financial aspect, which leads to things as absurd as the US $ 8 billion fine applied on a French bank. Cuba could also ask for US citizens to be allowed to travel to Cuba freely, because that would have a significant impact on the growth of tourism. We could address the lifting of restrictions on a number of medications we need and the US currently does not allow us to buy. We can negotiate the rules of trade with the United States, which today force Cuba to pay in advance and in cash. There are a number of things we can do."

Cuba, sorprendida por las intenciones "destructivas" de Kissinger  10/7/2014 Milenio: "Néstor García Iturbe, quien representó al gobierno de La Habana en las primeras negociaciones entre ambos países en 1976, afirmó desconocer que el entonces secretario de Estado de EU propuso atacar la isla."

Chinese government pays for trip by aides to Rubio, Ros-Lehtinen  8/29/2014 Tampa Bay Times: "Top aides to Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, two of the most vehement anti-Communist voices in Washington, took an all expenses paid trip to China this month courtesy of the Chinese government."

The Confessions of Antonio Veciana  3/12/2010 Counterpunch: "Antonio Veciana described three failed assassination plots he directed against Fidel Castro – with the help and encouragement of the CIA. In 1960, Maurice Bishop, aka David Atlee Phillips, had recruited Veciana for CIA dirty trick operations in Havana. Veciana described how the Agency, working with the Catholic Church, forged a Cuban “law” in which the revolutionary government would substitute for parental authority. Using this forged document, CIA agents circulated the story throughout Cuba, and included an offer by the Catholic Church to spirit the propertied classes’ children, ages 8-19, to the United States."

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