Foreign Policy Blogs

Cuba and the U.S.

The state pretends to pay us…

The state pretends to pay us…

… and we pretend to work. The long-standing Cuban axiom has come to bear more truth than its users may have hoped or imagined. President Castro announced yesterday in his address before the National Assembly that the Cuban government will actually begin to lay off redundant workers, which he estimates are perhaps 1 in every […]

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Gentle pressure from the gentlest neighbor

Gentle pressure from the gentlest neighbor

In spite of the decades of pressure coming from the United States, Canada has maintained consistently cordial relations with Cuba—in fact, Canada and Mexico were the only two countries in the hemisphere to maintain uninterrupted diplomatic relations with Cuba following the revolution in 1959. [Interesting Wikipedia fact of the week: Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre […]

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The surprising is getting mundane

The surprising is getting mundane

Cuba watchers and analysts pick apart every move, every statement in Washington or Havana that might be a political / economic / diplomatic bellwether and yet on a daily basis, particularly lately, we find ourselves stymied in the art of predicting the “what next.” Fidel emerges unexpectedly for a string of appearances after years out […]

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A busy week in Cuba

A busy week in Cuba

Spending a week in Tuscany has its benefits, certainly, but without dependable Internet access and Western Hemisphere-centered news items, it seems I’ve missed a number of notable (and indeed, unusual/surprising/jaw-dropping) events in Cuba… Here are a few of the ones I’m picking up in the airport now. What else have I missed? Cuba indicates that […]

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Fidel "stealing spotlight"?

Fidel "stealing spotlight"?

Already there has been lots of speculation on why Fidel Castro chose this moment specifically to give himself a bigger presence in Cuban life than he has had for the last several years, during which he had taken on the role of a nearly invisible but omnipresent source of critical opinion through his written commentaries. […]

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Headlining the news

Fidel Castro returns to Cuban TV (NPR) After so very few public appearances since intestinal surgery in 2006, this was news indeed. Fidel Castro appeared on Mesa Redonda, a prominent talk show on Cuban television, to discuss world events. His comments included an accusation that the United States was the culprit in the sinking of […]

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Why is Cuba releasing 52 prisoners?

Why is Cuba releasing 52 prisoners?

Desmond Boylan/Reuters Negotiations at the end of July between Cuban President Raul Castro, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Havana Jaime Ortega, and Spain’s foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, yielded unusual results: Havana decided to release 52 of the individuals currently identified internationally as political prisoners—a full third of those currently held under that status. The website […]

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Tune in to the hearing

Now, here: http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/audio.html.

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Onward the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act

Onward the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act

… A mouthful of a bill (also known as H.R. 4645) that we’ve discussed before. The bill was introduced in February of this year by the House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Rep. Collin Peterson (Democrat-MN), and it includes a provision to open up travel to Cuba for all Americans. So four months later, what’s new? On Friday, […]

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Foreign Policy's dictators

Foreign Policy's dictators

The July/August issue of Foreign Policy includes a piece by George B.N. Ayittey that lists what he designates are the world’s worst dictators. The media is jumping all over his unapologetic account. Kim Jong Il places at number one in these “top 23,” and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran) is at number eight, but Raúl Castro is given a spot […]

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Havana insults and is insulted

Havana insults and is insulted

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released on Monday, on behalf of the State Department, the “Trafficking in Persons Report 2010.” It is billed as the most comprehensive worldwide report of government efforts to combat trafficking in persons, and covers 177 countries. And Clinton was quick to note that the United States ranked itself as well, […]

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Too much to talk about

Too much to talk about

Scenario: you have a business partner with whom you do not get along. You don’t like the way he treats his customers, and you’ve told everyone in the office and declined any opportunities that involve working with him. He thinks you’re a hypocrite and are trying to isolate him in the office and usurp his […]

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Human Rights Watch's way forward

Human Rights Watch's way forward

According to two of Human Rights Watch’s top Latin America experts, the way forward in the largely stalemated US-Cuba relationship is for the Obama administration to drop pursuit of the regime change clauses of Helms-Burton in favor of a one-issue focus on human rights, then team with international partners to push for one simple goal […]

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Most intriguing headline of the week award goes to…

Most intriguing headline of the week award goes to…

And the winner is: “Report: China, Cuba more peaceful than US.” The Associated Press ran the story of the release of the 2010 Global Peace Index this way with a true journalist’s flair: the headline itself would pique the interest of a broad base of browsers—irritated conservatives and eager self-validating liberals alike, the in-betweens and […]

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Secretary Clinton goes to South America

Secretary Clinton goes to South America

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Peru today for the meetings of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, which will be held in Lima. Her trip will also include stops in Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados, and she’ll already be back in the States on June 10 (Thursday). The trip has nothing to […]

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