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Posted November 03, 2010 by publisher in US Embargo

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

It’s no secret to voters that the Republicans have won the US House of Representatives.

Also, it’s no secret to Cuba watchers that right wing/anti-freedom Ilena Ros-Lehtinen will be the Chair of the House Foreign Relations committee.

So, what does this mean for US Cuba policy in the near term (November and December) and the long term (2011 and 2012)?

Near Term

Our friends at the US Cuba policy and business blog posts a article about all the new and old US Cuba policy Players with great commentary.

Anya Landau French talks about what types of Cuba related legislation may move through Congress. She writes “Today, there are more than 60 votes to move Cuba legislation through the Senate. The only thing standing in the way of a vote to dispense with a Menendez driven filibuster of Cuba policy reforms has been a lack of will to run down the clock with bigger priorities always looming.”

I think there is a VERY short window of November and December for President Obama to ease people to people type travel restrictions and to grant US airports the ability to host US-Cuba-US flights.

Long Term

The Cuban Triangle wonders if President Obama has the political courage to ease Cuba travel restrictions

If President Obama does not ease travel restrictions in the near term and/or if HR 4645 does not get any legs in the near term, we have no choice but to look long term for changes in US Cuba policy. For this Cuba watcher, if nothing happens in November or December, nothing will happen long term either and the old Cuban exiles and corrupt politicians that take their money will continue to get grants to “study” Cuba and to “promote” democracy in Cuba. This is the 50 year old failed “Plan A” that does not work and will not work. Worse yet, the Castro brothers LOVE the Embargo so they have something to blame for Cuba’s horrific failure on all levels.

And so it goes… maybe 2011 will be different. Right. Why?

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on November 03, 2010 by Mako with 172 total posts

    As Peter Townsend once said “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

  2. Follow up post #2 added on November 04, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Pascal Fletcher | Reuters

    Republican election gains may chill even modest moves by the United States to improve ties with Communist Cuba—unless President Barack Obama personally perseveres with his stated goal to recast ties with Havana.

    After taking office last year with high hopes of delivering fresh U.S. policies, Obama promised a “new beginning” in half a century of U.S.-Cuban Cold War enmity and slightly eased the longstanding U.S. embargo against the cash-strapped Caribbean island still led by the aging Castro brothers.

    But expected further relaxations stalled and may now go back into deep freeze after wins by Republicans in Tuesday’s midterm elections handed them control of the House of Representatives and boosted them in the Senate. It also put one of the most vocal anti-Castro foes in the United States in line to head the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American whose unrelenting castigation of the Castros has earned her the title of “ferocious she-wolf” in Cuban state media, is poised to take the committee chair, as the ranking Republican. She firmly opposes any rapprochement with communist-led Cuba.

    Congress’ Cuban exile contingent was also reinvigorated by the election as Florida Senator of Tea Party star Marco Rubio, 39, a Miami-born son of Cuban immigrants, who made a point of emphasizing his Cuban exile roots in his victory speech.

    Advocates of widening contacts and trade with Cuba see Ros-Lehtinen as a potential major obstacle to any initiatives to lift travel restrictions on Americans visiting the island.

    “The pro-sanctions forces have clearly been strengthened by the results of the election,” said Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

    She and other analysts said this expected congressional deadlock put the onus on President Obama himself to take the lead in advancing his vision—enunciated at a Summit of the Americas last year—of a reformed relationship with Cuba, and of a more active partnership with Latin America as a whole.


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  3. Follow up post #3 added on November 04, 2010 by Mako with 172 total posts

    The chances for any positive change over the next 2 years are about the same as Belgium invading China. The ultra hard liners and tea baggers have snookered the US public to vote against their own self interest. A bloodless coup de tat has just taken place in the USA and the corporations ,with the blessing of the Supreme Court (see Citzens United Decision) have seized control of American democracy

  4. Follow up post #4 added on November 19, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The Mid-Term Elections:

    An Easy Prediction for the Future of U.S.-Cuba Relations

    by COHA Director Larry Birns and Research Associate Kelsey Strain

    Cuba consulting services

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