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2900 Cuban prisoners can go free but not 11m Cuban citizens

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Summary of AP and CNN news stories 2900 Cuban prisoners will be freed Cuba will pardon more than 2,900 prisoners, the government said Friday, though U.S. subcontractor Alan Gross is not among those who will be freed. The decision to release the prisoners follows “numerous requests” from their… Read More

US to participate in Caribbean oil drilling forum, shhhh don’t mention Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

From the US Department of State comes the release below. With an oil drilling rig on its way to Cuban waters as I write this, I find it interesting that the US State Department puts out a release to announce a Forum and it can’t come to use the word Cuba even once in the release below. I’ve… Read More

Commerzbank agrees to pay $175,000 to settle CACR violations

Posted in Cuba Politics > OFAC

Commerzbank AG, the second largest bank in Germany, has agreed to pay more than $175,000 to settle violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations from 2005.  The official Civil Penalties Release states that the New York Branch has settled Cuban Assets Control Regulations allegations by remitting… Read More

Website publishes addresses and phone numbers of Cuban government officials

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Excerpts from article by Juan O. Tamayo | Miami Herald Cuba al Descubierto (Cuba Uncovered) has published addresses and phone numbers of high ranking Cuban government officials and myriad other details on the private lives of top Cuban officials, saying it wants to warn “the darlings of the dictatorship”… Read More

Conference to remove Cuba from state sponsor of terrorism list

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

The Latin America Working Group and The Center for International Policy Conference calling for Cuba’s removal from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism Thursday December 1, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Zinger Room of the Read More

Cuban military will run Cuba after Raul and Fidel - Georgetown Journal

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Interesting insight into the current state of the Cuban military and future thoughts about the Cuban government post Castro. From the Georgetown Journal: It is a common American view that the death of Fidel Castro will be followed by democratic transition in Cuba. Much of the literature on transition,… Read More

Leopoldo Cintra Frias, 70, new second in command in Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Reuters General Leopoldo Cintra Frias, who joined Fidel Castro’s rebel army in 1957 and is in the Communist Party’s top leadership, has been named Cuba’s minister of defense, the government said on Tuesday. The 70-year-old Cintra, a career military officer who has been serving as first… Read More

Cuban children performers La Colmenita exploited for political purposes

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal I don’t like extremists from the right of the left and I call propaganda when I see it. The original title of this article from WUSA9 is “Cuban Children Perform Despite Tensions”. You have to take a few minutes to read the article and watch the video to understand… Read More

Laura Pollan, founder of Ladies In White Cuban dissident movement dies

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Telegraph.co.uk The pugnacious Ms Pollan was one of Cuba’s leading opposition voices and deeply involved in promoting change on the Communist island. She developed a pulmonary illness and went into the hospital on Oct 7. She had been on a respirator in the intensive care ward of Calixto Garcia… Read More

Cuba - What to watch - Indicators of Cuba’s future

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Publisher: I always enjoy these “what to watch” articles by Jeff Franks of Reuters. Cuba shut down its once-powerful sugar ministry and has begun a major reorganization of government as it moves ahead with reforms aimed at ensuring the survival of socialism once the current aging leaders… Read More

Cuba: We want normalized U.S. relations - bullshit or really?

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Associated Press with commentary by Rob Sequin Cuba wants to re-establish relations with the United States with a focus on humanitarian and other issues, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Monday. Bullshit. As much as I’d like to believe it, I have to wonder. Is this Raul’s attempt to… Read More

New Cuban Remittance Affidavit form released by OFAC

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

OFAC has just released a new Cuban Remittance Affidavit Form TD F90-22.52. This is the suggested form for the collection of information showing compliance with the remittance provisions in section 570 of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (31 CFR Part 515). It has been updated to reflect January 2011… Read More

Will Obama extend the Trading With the Enemy Act against Cuba tomorrow?

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Dated September 2, 2010, President Obama signed this extension of the “Presidential Memorandum-Continuation of Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy Act”. This is the law that is commonly known as the Cuba trade embargo. President Obama has eased the Cuba… Read More

Cuba invites Gov. Bill Richardson to Havana to negotiate release of Alan Gross

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

CNN - Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is going to Cuba on Wednesday to try to negotiate the release of jailed U.S. contractor Alan Gross, CNN has learned. The exclusive report by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” said Richardson was invited by the Cuban government for… Read More

Cuban government examples of intimidation of foreign press in Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Juan O. Tamayo | Miami Herald The Cuban government has denied entry to a French news agency correspondent who had been assigned to Havana, part of what other journalists on the island describe as a severe tightening of controls on their work under Raúl Castro’s rule. Juan Castro Olivera, an Argentine… Read More

The Cuban government still supports Gaddafi - with opinion

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Why the great love affair between Cuba and Gaddafi and… will Gaddafi end up in Cuba? 1. In early August Raul Castro meets with Finance secretary of Libya. Is he that desperate for free money and gifts that he will support Gaddafi regardless of the consequences? 2. On… Read More

Michelle Bachmann too nutty to be US President - Opinion

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Today is the beginning of the end for Michelle Bachmann. I usually don’t comment on US politics unless it is directly related to Cuba policy, but since Michelle Bachmann was in Little Havana kissing some old Cuban exile ass, I couldn’t help but to sum up my thoughts… Read More

JPMorgan Chase Bank pays $88million for egregious Cuba sanctions violations

Posted in Cuba Politics > OFAC

OFAC Civil Penalties Release JPMorgan Chase Bank has agreed to remit $88,300,000 to settle potential civil liability for apparent violations of, among violations of other Regulations, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations or CACR that were determined to be “egregious” by OFAC. JPMorgan Chase… Read More

Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Libya… Is Cuba next?

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal With the global financial crisis, ongoing Arab Spring and now the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s in Libya, there must be a collective worry for the world’s last remaining dictators and authoritarian governments. Since free or cheap goods and money from other countries… Read More

Commentary on the Washington Post Editorial on Alan Gross

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

The Washington Post published this editorial titled Havana’s American hostage about the conviction and imprisonment of American Alan Gross in Cuba. Although I think Alan Gross should be released for humanitarian reasons, I do think he is guilty of the crimes he was convicted of in Cuba. I think his… Read More

Summary and Analysis of the Cuban Economy

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

The author of this article, Paul Meo, is a former official of the World Bank with a very extensive experience in developing countries and a long term member of Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy. ASCE recently concluded it’s annual meeting in Miami. Mr. Meo starts off by saying that… Read More

Political and geographic map of Cuban provinces

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

Juventud Rebelde has created an interactive map of Cuba that shows each municipality in each province in Cuba. It illustrates the new political-administrative divisions of the Cuban provinces. From West to East Read More

Raul Castro meets with Finance secretary of Libya - What is he thinking?

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal How desperate is Raul Castro? I know he needs money but does he not read the news about the collapsing Kadafi regime in Libya? I know he loves Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and probably a big fan of Kim Jong-il but meeting with the finance secretary of Libya? Is Raul Castro really that… Read More

Lecture on the Cuban consitution August 10 at FIU

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

The Cuban Research Institute cordially invites you to a lecture by Rafael Rojas - The Current Cuban Constitution: Facilitator or Obstacle to Reform? Leaders of the Catholic Church, academics, intellectuals, members of the Cuban diaspora and the dissident movement inside the Island seem to agree on the… Read More

United Airlines flight diverted to Cuba for safety reasons

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

By Ben Mutzabaugh | USA TODAY Comments by Havana Journal Publisher in bold A United Airlines flight from Washington Dulles with 135 passengers landed in Havana, Cuba, on Sunday. United Flight 831 was bound for the Mexican beach resort of Cancun, but diverted to the Cuban capital after the flight crew… Read More

Wall Street Journal reporting Chavez tumor was the size of a baseball

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Venezuela expert journalist Kejal Vyas is reporting in the Wall Street Journal that Hugo Chavez has admitted that the tumor removed from him in Cuba was the size of a baseball. This admission by Chavez himself is further evidence that he will not be able to govern Cuba as he has in the past. Chavez himself… Read More

First US Cuba Now PAC event in New York City

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

This is the first event by the US Cuba Now Political Action Committee designed to change US Cuba policy and promote free travel to Cuba and the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. All are invited to the Julia de Burgos Latino Culture Center (Taller Boricua) on 1680 Lexington… Read More

Shameful act of anti-American freedom by Mario Diaz-Balart

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

Summary of comments regarding this shameful act of anti-freedom behavior from Mario Diaz-Balart Common Ground Education & Travel Services email - CommonGroundTravel.com After all our work and after everything we have been through together, the good and the bad, the worst has happened again. House… Read More

Cuba Democracy Programs update and conversation

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

This story from the Miami Herald is very interesting since three Democrats each have different objectives and interests. Give your comments below. Juan O. Tamayo | The Miami Herald An Obama administration effort to spend another $20 million on Cuba democracy programs has been blocked for two months amid… Read More

ICCAS to offer Cuba study course at Casa Bacardi

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at the University of Miami is offering a summer course title Cuba’s past, present and future from May 18 to June 20 through the University of Miami. Expert instructors will use a multi-disciplinary approach to reflect Cuba’s past and… Read More

Raul Castro has done what Fidel Castro could never do in Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal While reading “Unprecedented Power” at Cubapolidata, an article about Raul Castro’s new power in Cuba, I realized that Raul has done something that Fidel Castro never did nor could never do… 1. Be First Secretary of the Communist Party 2. Be President… Read More

Darsi Ferrer arrested in Cuba at peaceful protest

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

EFE Cuban dissident Darsi Ferrer was arrested Thursday along with four other people as they were staging a peaceful protest in downtown Havana, according to information provided by the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission. Ferrer and his associates demanded during a “small… Read More

Ladies in White receive Human Rights Defender Award

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Fox News The Ladies in White, a group of mothers and wives of Cuban dissidents who’ve been jailed, received an award from the Obama administration on April 14, 2011 for their struggle for human rights in Cuba. Senior State Department official William Burns says the U.S. stands with the group in calling… Read More

New OFAC Cuba travel guidelines

Posted in Cuba Politics > OFAC

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal In January President Obama announced that he would be easing the humanitarian, cultural, educational and people to people or “purposeful” travel to Cuba. The official Comprehensive Guidelines for License Applications to Engage in Travel Related Transactions Involving… Read More

Recent Cuba newsworthy events - summary

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Even the casual Cuba watcher has to be impressed with the scope of Cuba news since the beginning of 2011. In no particular order of importance or time but here are some major newsworthy events so far for 2011… just about 100 days. Anniversary of Orlando Zapata death… Read More

Cuban Communist Party Congress Update

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal The first Cuban Communist Party Congress since 1997 will be held from April 16 through the 19th in Havana. This is the sixth Congress. The previous ones were held in 1975, 1980, 1986, 1991 and 1997. About 1000 delegates from all over Cuba will convene to vote on about 300… Read More

MetLife pays $22,500 OFAC fine for mailing one insurance claim check to Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > OFAC

OFAC Civil Penalties Release Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Settles Cuban Assets Control Regulations Allegations Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, NY (“MetLife”) has remitted $22,500 to settle allegations of a violation of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515,… Read More

Will Jimmy Carter bring home Alan Gross from Cuba next week?

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal With no notice, former President Jimmy Carter will be in Cuba on Monday. The AFP is reporting that US diplomats in Havana expressed hope that he will press the Cuban government to release Alan Gross. Carter will arrive in Havana Monday for a private three-day visit at the… Read More

Mayabeque and Artemisa officially replace La Habana Province

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

ACN The People’s Power Provincial Assemblies of the provinces of Mayabeque and Artemisa were officially constituted on Sunday with the presence of First Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura. In San Jose de las Lajas, capital of Mayabeque, the assembly elected Armando Remigio Cuellar Dominguez… Read More

Last two Black Spring Cuban political prisoners to be released, exiled to Spain

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Paul Haven | AP The Roman Catholic Church announced Tuesday that the Cuban government would release the last two political prisoners held since 2003, a landmark decision that came the same day Fidel Castro announced he had stepped down as head of the island’s Communist Party. The decision will… Read More

Fidel Castro resigns as First Secretary… five years ago?

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Fidel Castro says he resigned five years ago from all his official positions, including First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party. This is the only position in the current Cuban government that he was believed to have held. The Communist Party website, Partido Comunista… Read More

Black Spring Cuban dissident Librado Linares released from Cuban prison

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Cuban authorities have released the dissident Librado Linares, one of 75 government opponents sentenced to lengthy prison terms in a 2003 crackdown, according to the opposition member himself, who said he intends to continue working for human rights and democracy in Cuba. “Human rights are intrinsic… Read More

Getty photo exhibit of Cuban history - A Revolutionary Project

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

GETTY MUSEUM DISPLAYS PHOTOGRAPHS OF CUBA BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE REVOLUTION A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now Exhibition Marks First Showing of Getty’s Walker Evan’s Cuban Photographs Also on view are photographs by Virginia Beahan, Alex Harris, and Alexey Titarenko LOS… Read More

Cuban dissident Oscar Elias Biscet to be released from Cuban prison

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

AFP The Cuban government has agreed to release Oscar Elias Biscet and and free another nine prisoners jailed for violent crimes, the Catholic Church said. Oscar Elias Biscet was arrested during an internationally criticized roundup of regime opponents in 2003. He had refused Havana’s offer to go… Read More

Cuban hunger striker Orlando Zapata’s family moving to United States

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Deutsche Presse-Agentur The family of the late Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata, who died last year while on hunger strike, was granted permission to emigrate to the United States. “We do not yet know when we are leaving, but on the part of (Cuban authorities) we already have a passport and an exit… Read More

Anniversary of Orlando Zapata Tamayo death

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

BY JUAN O. TAMAYO | Miami Herald Orlando Zapata Tamayo was one of Cuba’s least-known political prisoners, a 42-year-old Afro-Cuban plumber and bricklayer from the remote eastern town of Banes. But when he died one year ago on February 22, 2010 at the end of an 83-day hunger strike, he became the face… Read More

CIA trained terrorist Luis Posada trial update - with comments

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

Peter Kornbluh | The Nation El Paso, Texas, the perjury trial of the infamous violent Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles took a historic turn today. For the first time in a long dramatic history dominated by hostility and aggression, US government prosecutors formally presented evidence of terrorism committed… Read More

Generation Y blog now unblocked in Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Yoani Sanchez

Reuters Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez said on Tuesday the Cuban government apparently has unblocked access to her blog, which had been off limits on the island’s Internet since 2008. In a posting on Twitter, she wondered how long Cuban Internet users would be able to view her Generation Y blog,… Read More

Alan Gross to be tried in Cuba - with opinion

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal The Cuban government has released a statement regarding Alan Gross: Following an exhaustive investigation, the People’s Provincial Tribunal of the City of Havana has received from the Prosecution preparatory file No. 59/2009 with the accusation of US citizen Alan Phillip… Read More

Human Rights Watch releases Cuba report

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuba Human Rights

Human Rights Watch Cuba remains the only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent. In 2010 the government continued to enforce political conformity using criminal prosecutions, beatings, harassment, denial of employment, and travel restrictions. Since inheriting… Read More

New OFAC 2011 Cuba travel regulations

Posted in Cuba Politics > OFAC

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Foreign Assets Control 31 CFR Part 515 CUBAN ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS ACTION: Final rule The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to continue efforts to reach out to the Cuban… Read More

US Cuba relations conference in Washington DC

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

Press Release Call for Immediate Steps to Improve Relations with Cuba A conference sponsored by the Center for International Policy WHAT The U.S. has consistently shifted the goal posts on Cuba. We now have an opportunity to change that. In his election campaign, President Obama indicated he would rethink… Read More

Cuba suffering from major drought, again

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal FOCUS Information Agency is reporting that the greater Havana area, with 2.2 million people, is experiencing the worst shortage of drinking water in fifty years due to a deteriorating aqueduct infrastructure and a two year long drought. A statement published in the official… Read More

Julia Stiles meets with Yoani Sanchez in Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Yoani Sanchez

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Recently actress Julia Stiles was on a humanitarian trip to Havana Cuba where it was written that she was “stranded” because she ran out of money. What was left out of this Wall Street Journal article was that she met with world renowned Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.… Read More

History of Provinces in Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Cuban History

Granma.cu | Alberto Núñez Betancourt By way of a royal decree issued on October 8, 1607 by King Phillip III, Cuba was divided into “two halves,” each with its own independent government, La Habana and Santiago de Cuba, with the title of Captain General reserved for the governor of Havana.… Read More

Encouraging signs Alan Gross to be freed from Cuba

Posted in Cuba Politics > Castro's Cuba

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs - Philip J. Crowley provided information about the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords that were held in Havana yesterday. This was the fourth meeting since Cuba Migration talks resumed in 2009. It was noted that the US delegation raised… Read More

US officials set to meet in Havana on January 12 for immigration talks

Posted in Cuba Politics > US Embargo

AP Senior US and Cuban officials are set to meet on January 12 in Havana for a new round of immigration talks. The Obama administration continues to press Cuban authorities to release a detained American aid contractor Alan Gross. The State Department said Thursday that U.S. and Cuban diplomats will… Read More

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