Articles Tagged with policy

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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tourism-300x169The 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.

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NestleCuba_Embedded-300x208Depending on who you ask about Cuba’s economy, you’ll get a different answer. It can be hard to look at the current tensions between the US and Cuban governments and be optimistic.

But rocky relations between the US and Cuba aren’t necessarily new, and some people are foraging ahead despite mixed signals. Between new developments in Cuba’s economic zone and a US airline pulling flights from Cuba, the message from the markets is far from clear.

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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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CubanTravelNewRules-300x200The U.S. Treasury Department issued new clarifications on Tuesday on measures that will take effect for business, remittances, and travel with Cuba following President Donald Trump’s June announcement regarding U.S. policy towards the island.

The document, released by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), includes answers to 14 frequently asked questions from business owners, travelers, and the general public about the changes Trump proclaimed in Miami on June 16.

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Trump-Signing-Policy-300x214President Donald Trump plans to continue the biannual suspension of the Title III provision of the Helms-Burton Act, sources say. The Act permits the owners of property confiscated in Cuba to sue the Cuban government and foreign governments for using those expropriated holdings.

Since the Helms-Burton Act, formally known as Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, was passed by Congress in 1996, every president has suspended the lawsuit provision in six-month intervals. The ability to waiver the provision was added by President Bill Clinton as a compromise for U.S. allies like Mexico, Canada, and EU countries that feared Title III would open their investments in Cuba to a potential tidal wave of lawsuits in U.S. federal courts by people with prior claims.

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Raul-Castro-300x200Cuban President Raul Castro dismissed President Donald Trump’s harder line on relations with Havana to Cuba’s National Assembly on Friday, calling it a setback.

“Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail,” said Castro.

This was the first time he has commented on Trump’s June announcement of a rollback of some of the changes established by former President Barack Obama.

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Cuban-Flag-300x199The European Parliament has approved a cooperation pact between the EU and Cuba despite concerns about the island nation’s human rights violations.

On July 5, European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, which is seen as a riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough stance against Cuba.

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cubavisit-300x202Travel companies that organize trips to Cuba for American travelers have reportedly been receiving a lot of questions about President Donald Trump’s new Cuba policy and how the elimination of “people to people” tours to the island and the ban on dealings with military-controlled businesses will affect their travels.

“They say they have been interested in traveling to Cuba and they want to book right now,” Tom Popper, president of InsightCuba, told the Miami Herald. His company organizes tours and plans itineraries for groups traveling to Cuba.

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