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September 2014
New speakers added, including keynote speaker Ambassador Tom Pickering, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. This conference will explore the role that dignity plays as a central element in facilitating reconciliation and consider how this knowledge may be applied to an eventual process of reconciliation among cubans.
U.S. policies toward Cuba are anachronistic and perplexing. The embargo is a Cold War relic that has long ago stopped serving its intended purpose. It was adopted after the now-defunct Soviet Union tried to establish nuclear bases on the island, bringing the two superpowers to the verge of nuclear war.
(Reuters) - U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba have cost the island nation $3.9 billion in foreign trade over the past year, helping to raise the overall estimate of economic damage to $116.8 billion over the past 55 years, Cuba said on Tuesday.
After five years in a Cuban prison, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employee Alan Gross reports that he is losing his will to live. Gross, a U.S. citizen arrested in April 2009, was involved in a project that purported to open web access on the island, but his arrest warrant indicted him for attempts to destabilize the Cuban government.
HAVANA — A Cuban intelligence agent who spent more than 15 years in a United States prison said Thursday that he’s optimistic that softening U.S. attitudes will lead to the liberation of three fellow agents who remain behind bars.
(Reuters) - Cuba's experiment with free-market reforms has unintentionally widened the communist-led island's racial divide and allowed white Cubans to regain some of the economic advantages built up over centuries.
August 2014
MIAMI – Cuba is a land that remains a mystery to most Americans. Are the economic changes instituted in recent years by President Raul Castro working? Can the dissident movement ever gain enough traction to overthrow the Communist government? Just how good is its acclaimed but flawed health care system? How many superstar baseball players are left down there? But when looking to the future of the island – a post-Castro period that is often contemplated by American government officials, business owners eager to explore that market and Cuban-Americans curious about their role in the island's future – one question intrigues me most: What kind of human capital is left in Cuba?
NPR Morning Edition host David Greene spent a week in June reporting from Cuba, the country that few Americans have had the chance to visit—even though new "people-to-people" trips make it legal to tour on certain itineraries. Greene shared his memories of the trip—and his tips for those visiting for the first time—with Condé Nast Traveler in an interview shortly after he returned to the U.S.
Internet users in Cuba — the few who have access to the web, that is — can now download Google's popular browser Chrome.Google announced that it made Chrome available in Cuba on Wednesday, blaming the delay on U.S. export controls and sanctions against the communist country.
Google today announced the release of Chrome in Cuba. Citizens of the country can now grab the browser directly from Google.com.cu. The block was originally enforced in accordance with US export controls and economic sanction regulations. The company didn’t explain why Cubans can suddenly download Chrome starting today, but it did say, “As these trade restrictions evolve we’ve been working to figure out how to make more tools available in sanctioned countries.”
Good news for Beyoncé and Jay Z, in the midst of fending off toxic rumors: Their fifth wedding anniversary visit to Cuba last year was legal, despite questions raised by some Republicans in Congress.
When you’ve spent your entire life on a communist island where staples like eggs and chicken are rationed, lunch in Miami can be overwhelming. Ask Sandra Aldama, a Cuban mother and former special education teacher who made her first visit to the United States this month. Settling into a downtown Italian restaurant as waiters whizzed by with plates of fettuccine alfredo and veal parmesan, Aldama was almost certainly reminded of what the average Cuban can’t get at home.
It seemed like old times: In Havana in early July, Castro, the revolutionary leader of Cuba, embraced the current occupant of the Kremlin—once upon a time the isolated Communist island’s sugar daddy—together gleefully sticking a finger in the eye of their Cold War rival in Washington.
HAVANA — Yet another revolutionary tradition has been broken in Cuba: A lawmaker voted “no” in parliament. And it wasn’t just any lawmaker. Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro, gave the thumbs-down to a workers’ rights bill that she felt didn’t go far enough to prevent discrimination against people with HIV or with unconventional gender identities.

Damn Yanquis

August 19, 2014

The idea of "democracy promotion" sells well in Washington -- it's practically untouchable. But yet another investigation into the covert action programs targeted against Cuba, published on Aug. 4 by the Associated Press, shows in vivid detail how amateur and feckless they are. Despite public statements about seeking a "new beginning" with Havana, U.S. President Barack Obama has continued -- even ramped up -- the clandestine activities on the island started by his predecessor, bringing the total resources wasted on the Cuba programs to well above a couple hundred million dollars.
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