Articles Tagged with Castro

Miguel_Diaz_Canel-187x300The Cuban parliament has chosen Miguel Díaz-Canel as its candidate to take over from Raúl Castro who stands down as president on 19 April.

In 2006, Raúl Castro took over from his brother, Fidel, who had led the country since 1959. On 24 February 2013, Castro was elected to a second term as president. On the same day, Castro announced he would retire at the end of his second term as president.

Also on 24 February, Díaz-Canel was named First Vice President, a process which began his grooming for the presidency. Even before this, he had a distinguished political career in Cuba. It was when he was a college professor that he began building ties to the Communist Party. He became a liaison to Nicaragua in 1987 and later became party secretary in his local province back in Cuba. Continue reading

Philipgoldberg-215x300On the eve of the biggest political change in Cuba since the 1959 communist revolution, the number of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana has dropped to just ten people.

The U.S. State Department published an updated embassy roster on March 22, which showed there are no political, economic, public affairs, or cultural officers left at the embassy. The majority of positions remaining are focused on the internal functioning of the embassy, its security, or its maintenance.

The new embassy head is Philip Goldberg, who holds the title of Charge d’Affairs, an official who temporarily stands in for an ambassador. Goldberg is expected to remain in role for six months, when he will likely be replaced with another Charge d’Affairs and not a permanent ambassador. Continue reading

donny-300x169The Trump administration wants to create an “internet task force” to expand information access in Cuba, but not everyone is for the plan. Alan Gross was arrested and jailed in Cuba in the year 2009 for doing his job; he was a United States government contractor employed by USAID – the United States Agency for International Development.

Gross was held until his trial in March of 2011, when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Released in 2014, he has been a political activist and author ever since. Now, he is speaking out against the Trump administration’s plans for Cuba. Continue reading

Cuba-Marti-Statue-300x168When it comes to US-Cuba relations, it is rare these days to see a sign that relations are improving. And it’s even rarer to see government officials from both countries sharing a positive moment together. But that’s just what happened this past Sunday during a morning sunrise in Havana, Cuba’s capital.

Raul Castro–along with his rumored successor, Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel–were present along with three US Members of Congress for the unveiling of a statue of Cuban national hero Jose Marti. The statue was sponsored and funded by the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

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a__ussia__utin__astro_01022018_1-300x200With the United States turning its back on Cuba after a history of long complicated relations, Cuba has been showing signs that it will shift its focus to deal with another world superpower – Russia.

Russian oil exports to Cuba were up 81% in the first few months of 2017, and a deal with Russian oil giant Rosneft will likely mean an even stronger economic relationship between the two countries in the future. The last time that Cuba and Russia enjoyed such a strong relationship was during the Cold War, when nuclear tensions between the United States and Russia had the world on edge. William M. LeoGrande, a professor at American University in Washington, D.C. and expert in Latin American affairs, spoke about these renewed ties and what might lie ahead for Cuba.

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castro-300x199Despite his impending exit from the office of President of Cuba, Raul Castro is still making potentially major political moves.

Castro met with the chief executive of state-owned Russian petroleum leader Rosneft, Igor Sechin, this past Sunday. State-controlled media released a photo of Castro, Sechin, and Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas with a simple caption that read, “a working meeting.”

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Cuba-Elections-300x225Earlier this year, Raul Castro announced that he would be stepping down as president to give way to elections including the selection of a new president by a national assembly, and the man who is expected to take his place, Miguel Diaz-Canel, seems to be preparing to take over the reins of the Cuban government.

Known to keep a low profile and not be very outspoken, Diaz-Canel seems to be stepping up and speaking out to become a national figure during the elections expected to end with his taking over from Raul Castro next year.

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CAT-300x200Even with US-Cuba relations up in the air, business continues as usual. Despite the negative writing on the wall from a foreign policy standpoint, companies are continuing with their plans to do business with Cuba.

Cuba gave RIMCO, Caterpillar’s Puerto Rico-based dealer, permission to set up a Caterpillar warehouse and distribution center in Cuba’s Mariel Special Economic Development Zone, envisioned by the Cuban government as the island’s economic future. After a long process of campaigning and negotiations, Caterpillar Inc. is the first US company to locate in the Cuban economic zone.

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630x355-300x169The first time the term “Cuban exile” came into the modern lexicon was after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 led by Fidel Castro. Many exiles thought that the new government would not last and left behind their valuables, which ended up being confiscated by the Cuban government.

Since then, a steady stream of Cuban exiles has left the island nation; today, there are over 800,000 living abroad, with the majority of those who went to the United States living in Florida. Now, the Cuban government is extending an open hand to Cuban exiles, allowing some to return for the first time in their lives.

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raul-300x125Yesterday, Cuba began a five-month transition period that is likely to end the Castro dynasty and make way for elections at the local, provincial, and national levels.

The first phase of the transition will take place during September, where small groups of Cubans will nominate municipal representatives at the local level.

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