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
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
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.
Despite 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.”
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.
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.
Even 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.