Despite restructuring some of these loans within the past 5 years, the time for Cuba to repay their debt is nigh, as a creditors group has begun to start the legal process to recover the debt. Continue reading
The 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
When 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.
The Cuban tourism industry has gone through some ups and downs throughout the years. During the latter years of the Obama presidency, U.S. travelers enjoyed a great amount of leniency regarding visits to Cuba; in 2017, President Trump rolled back that leniency.
The Trump rollbacks were intended to starve the island nation’s state-run economy of U.S. tourism dollars, increasing pressure for regime change. However, the rollbacks don’t seem to be having their intended effects, as Cuba’s tourism industry continues to thrive.
The announcement comes after a nearly four-month period in which the State Department advised that Americans not travel to Cuba under any circumstances. Tensions are still running high between the two countries after the sonic attacks last September, which prompted the State Department to set the “do not travel” warning.
Canada has joined the ranks of those affected by the sonic attacks that were initially thought to have plagued just United States diplomats, adding more complexity to an already tense situation.
The Canadian capital of Ottawa acknowledged that an unspecified number of Canadians in Cuba had been affected based on the fact that a doctor had been sent by the Canadian federal government to investigate the attacks on its citizens. The new facts add a new angle to the attacks, as many speculated that whoever was responsible for the attacks had an anti-American agenda. Continue reading
Earlier 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.
The visit marks a continuation of friendly relations between the two nations that have lasted since 1960, despite Havana’s staunch opposition to pursuing nuclear weapons. Some diplomats maintain that the relationship with Cuba might be of use in deescalating the current conflict, while others fear that talks are not so innocent.
Last Wednesday, the Trump administration announced new restrictions on American travel and trade with Cuba, finally implementing the changes promised months ago when President Trump said that he would reverse Obama-era policies that were meant to improve the relationship between the US and Cuba.
The announcement by the White House comes after diplomatic relations between the two nations have hit a low point in the wake of the United States’ decision to withdraw a majority of its diplomats from Cuba and expel Cuban diplomats from the US in turn.
Despite the current foreign policy difficulties between the United States and Cuba, some people are foraging ahead with their business ties with the island. Although many announcements have been made about the reversal of Cuba-friendly Obama-era policies, not much has actually been changed on a policy level; the most significant recent move was the mutual removal of diplomats.
Susan Leger Ferraro is a social serial entrepreneur who has been looking to affect social change since first started Little Sprouts, an early education center in at-risk communities, when she was just 17 years old. In 2015, Ferraro first visited Cuba and has since set out to support the development and expansion of infrastructure in order to meet the needs of its growing tourism industry. Now, she’s sharing some of her wisdom from her experience in Cuba, and on a more ecumenical scale.