Recent Articles

December 2014
Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama is taking some heat from Republicans on Capitol Hill for reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, but a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday shows he has the public's backing.
President Obama’s new policy on Cuba opens the door to establish ties with the country for the first time in a half century. But this change comes as the Cuban American population itself is changing—in its demographics, views of U.S.-Cuba policy, and its politics.
At times, hitting the publish button feels like playing Russian roulette. Carlos Alberto Pérez, a blogger in Havana, is far from being a dissident. He works for the Ministry of Communication and has government-provided access to the Internet at work and at home. Mr. Pérez’s bedroom walls are covered with black-and-white photos of Che Guevara, the legendary Argentine guerrilla leader who helped catapult Fidel Castro to power in 1959. Yet to read his blog, La Chiringa de Cuba, is to get a gritty view of how much has gone awry in Cuba, a nation of 11 million, still governed, after five decades, under the mantra “socialism or death.”
HAVANA -Cuba's point person on U.S. relations says anything is up for discussion as the two countries move to re-establish diplomatic ties, from anti-drug cooperation to joint environmental agreements.
A large majority of Americans support establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, and even larger -- and growing -- majorities support an end to trade and travel bans to the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
An analysis by Rafael Betancourt and Omar Everleny Perez of the portfolio of opportunities created by Cuba's new Foreign Investment Law No. 118.
WASHINGTON -Opponents of President Barack Obama’s diplomatic opening toward Cuba began plotting for the long road ahead to block the administration’s new policy, focusing on areas where congressional consent is necessary.
Since the U.S. first implemented a policy of isolation against Cuba over 50 years ago, it’s been enforced and defended by Republican and Democratic presidents alike. It’s not an issue that breaks neatly along party lines. In fact, when President Obama announced plans last week to ease trade and travel restrictions with Cuba, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), usually a fervent supporter of the president, was among the harshest critics of the move. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), hardly a fan of this administration, said he agreed with the policy change.
(CNN) -- In opposing President Barack Obama's opening to Cuba, Florida's Republican senator, Marco Rubio, explained, "This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, on a lie, the lie and the illusion that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people." Rubio has correctly touched on the core issue. But theory, logic and history suggest that he's wrong in his conclusions.
President Obama is receiving sustained criticism from Republican senators, conservative media, and many Cuban Americans for his efforts to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba and bring about the eventual end of the U.S. economic embargo. But he has strong allies in Canada's Conservative government, which has otherwise taken a more aggressive approach to such issues as Vladimir Putin's Ukraine adventures, and to supporting the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, than a) one might expect Canada to take; and b) the Obama administration.
Washington, DC- The Cuba Study Group today applauded steps taken by the governments of the United States and Cuba, which can help improve long-strained relations and improve human rights and the quality of life for Cubans.

Building the new Cuban economy

December 16, 2014

Just a couple years ago, tourists who wanted to sample one of Cuba’s paladares were on their own. A bus from state tour operator Havantur wouldn’t think of stopping to allow visitors to dine on roast pork or grilled red snapper at one of these small private restaurants.
Unifying Cuba’s cumbersome dual-currency system tops the list of reforms the government says it will carry out, but analysts say other changes — from measures to speed up foreign investment to a new tax structure — are critical to deepen and expand the reforms.
In July 2007, while serving as acting president as his brother underwent medical treatment, Raúl Castro delivered a startling indictment of the Cuban economy when he railed about the inefficiencies of the dairy industry. His description of the onerous and expensive mechanism to get milk from cows to dinner tables was old news to Cubans, who have been subjected for decades to a centrally planned economy that is among the world’s most dysfunctional and anomalous. It soon became clear that Mr. Castro’s unexpected candor that day signaled the start of a transformational era for the island’s economy.
Elaine Díaz, a well-regarded Cuban blogger who teaches journalism at the University of Havana, this year became the first Cuban to get a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University as an international journalist.
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