Cuba

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Kendra
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Re: Cuba

Post by Kendra » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:02 pm

The hardliners say Obama’s efforts only empowered and enriched the Castro regime while turning a blind eye to human rights and political abuses.


Like the blind eye turned towards Russia?

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Re: Cuba

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:55 am

Addie wrote:Mother Jones
How a Crew of Hardliners Hijacked Donald Trump’s Cuba Policy

Trump is rolling back Barack Obama’s normalization efforts. Here’s how it happened.

:snippity: .
Americans: please expect China to step into the void asap and develop those long lasting commercial relationships that would have favoured the US economy. :shh:

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Re: Cuba

Post by AndyinPA » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:02 am

RTH10260 wrote:
Addie wrote:Mother Jones
How a Crew of Hardliners Hijacked Donald Trump’s Cuba Policy

Trump is rolling back Barack Obama’s normalization efforts. Here’s how it happened.

:snippity: .
Americans: please expect China to step into the void asap and develop those long lasting commercial relationships that would have favoured the US economy. :shh:
This is one of the things that driving me crazy about so many of the trump administration policies. Deny global warming, let all the other countries get way ahead of us in the development of strategies, products, jobs, exports. It's the same thing with Cuba, lots of other countries will jump into the void with an island 90 miles off our shore.

This doesn't even begin to touch on all the ways we are falling behind--science, education, infrastructure, etc.

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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:21 am

Daily Beast
In Cuba, President Trump Finally Finds A Dictator He Doesn’t Like

PARIS—With his speech in Miami on Friday about U.S. relations with Cuba, President Donald Trump showed once again he’s ready to make the world safe for hypocrisy.

That he framed his remarks as a defense of human rights on the island dominated by the Castro brothers and their cronies since 1959 is laudable. Their record is atrocious. But, unfortunately, so is Trump’s.

What we’ve seen since his inauguration is that respect for human rights—indeed, even the mention of human rights—is waived if you are a country that is big enough and rich enough. The ostensible “leader of the free world” is not going to criticize you for jailing, torturing, executing, and even outright murdering your critics; he’ll make excuses for you, defend you, and, above all, look to make deals with you, whether diplomatic or financial or both.

Thus, although Trump’s reign has been short, the list of autocrats and dictators he’s embraced is long. One could start it with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, move south to Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al Sisi, east to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman, onward to China’s Xi Jinping, and even the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte.
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Re: Cuba

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:48 pm

Sheraton should seek a judicial hold on this EO. He is harming a competitor.
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Re: Cuba

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:22 pm

Some prejudice: The first migrants from Cuba were the wealthy whom Batista had favored. There was a great disaster coming to them: they would lose their land, businesses, and homes. This was certainly not right, but it was also not right for them to fight for 70 years for what they had lost. That is never coming back. These wealthy were also white, which is why they always denied that they were Hispanic (although the Census Bureau made full accommodation for them). They opposed pro-Hispanic activities. Many of South Florida's representatives were from this embittered minority.

They may still have a voice, to which Trump listens, bu the next generation is prepared to move on.
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Re: Cuba

Post by bob » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:18 pm

"Let's take steps back toward that 50-year-old policy that has obviously failed in reaching its desired outcome. That'll show we're serious!"

:roll:
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:43 am

New York Mag
Cuba Is Trump's Most Revealing Foreign-Policy Blunder

Of all the steps Donald Trump has taken to undercut Barack Obama’s global legacy, Friday’s speech announcing new restrictions on business and travel in Cuba is hardly the most damaging or dangerous. (For damage, consider withdrawal from the Paris accord; for danger, the combative approach to Iran.) Trump’s partial reversal of the Obama administration’s “bad deal” with Cuba will take us a few steps backward toward a posture that long stood as one of the most glaring failures of American foreign policy, achieving the exact opposite of its intended effect decade after decade. But that approach could last so long, despite nearly universal recognition of its perverse consequences, because the stakes were not, in the scheme of American national-security concerns, especially high.

Still, if not the most damaging or dangerous, the Cuba reversal is in many ways the most revealing of Trump’s moves so far. It brings together all the worst attributes of the administration’s foreign policy: pandering to a narrow and aging but fervent slice of the Republican base; exhibiting a shameless hypocrisy with seedy criminal undertones; and, in its fixation on deal-making, confusing weakness with strength — and as a result, bolstering the very forces that Trump claims to want to counter. ...

In this promise to extend American isolation until the Cuban government changes in the ways Washington wants, Trump is embracing the same failed logic that governed U.S. policy for decades. For those in Havana most opposed to democratic change and human rights, U.S.-Cuban engagement is not a reward but a threat. The more the Cuban people can survive without being beholden to the government, the more they can communicate with the outside world (and especially the United States, where many have friends and family), the more deeply connected they are to other societies — the more hard-liners in the government will be under pressure to change. Since Obama’s opening began, repression has not ended. (On the contrary, there was an expectation that certain kinds of repression would increase, as hard-liners in Havana reacted to new challenges.) But many more Cubans now have cell phones and access to internet connections. Most are newly able to freely travel outside of Cuba. Hundreds of thousands have become entrepreneurs and small business owners. Companies like Google and Airbnb have rapidly built a presence on the island, and the number of American travelers has surged. The assumption was never that Cuba would be magically transformed, but that developments like these would foster more profound in change over time, driven by the Cuban people themselves. Trump’s approach promises the opposite. It is in the interest of Cuban hard-liners to keep their people isolated, and Trump is helping them.

During the Obama administration, there was an additional reason for urgency. It was clear that change was coming to the island one way or another, as since underscored by Fidel Castro’s death last November and Raul Castro’s decision to step down in 2018, putting someone other than a Castro in power for the first time in almost 60 years. Better, the thinking went, for Americans — especially Cuban-Americans — to be in a position to influence the course of change than to leave the field to others, especially outside powers and criminal actors drawn by the prospect of a foothold 90 miles from the continental United States. In April, a group of retired American military officers cited that concern (and also the value of U.S.-Cuban co-operation on counterterrorism and trafficking) in a letter to the Trump White House urging a continuation of the Obama policy.

Already, China and Russia are bolstering their economic and military presence in Cuba — increasing trade and investment, signing defense co-operation agreements, even, according to Senator Patrick Leahy, considering new military bases. The more the White House retreats from Obama’s opening, the more space Beijing and Moscow have to step in. That, too, has become a hallmark of Trump’s foreign policy. It may be the closest thing to a coherent Trump Doctrine we’ll ever have.
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Re: Cuba

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:32 am

Addie wrote:New York Mag
Cuba Is Trump's Most Revealing Foreign-Policy Blunder
:snippity: .
NYmag wrote:Already, China and Russia are bolstering their economic and military presence in Cuba — increasing trade and investment, signing defense co-operation agreements, even, according to Senator Patrick Leahy, considering new military bases. The more the White House retreats from Obama’s opening, the more space Beijing and Moscow have to step in. That, too, has become a hallmark of Trump’s foreign policy. It may be the closest thing to a coherent Trump Doctrine we’ll ever have.
Trump working bigly for his Russian puppetmasters... And Shiiina, no way that Trump can reject any wishes from his BFF after Mar-A-Lago cosy chats at the chimney fire...

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Re: Cuba

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:39 pm

My Republican Congress critters Rep. French Hill and Sen. John Boozman both have publicly (one in a newsletter and one on his website) opposed this change. Arkansas is a big agricultural state and the effect of this policy change is concerning.

THEN I read that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Republican Thad Cochran of Mississippi and some other Republican subcommittee members told Betsy De Vos her proposed budget was DOA in the Senate and she doesn't appreciate how important after school care and teacher training are.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/sen ... ation-cuts

My world is happily on course to turn upside down!!
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:18 pm

Associated Press
US expels 2 Cuban diplomats after incidents in Cuba

WASHINGTON — The State Department has expelled two diplomats from the Cuban Embassy in Washington following a series of unexplained incidents in Cuba that left U.S. officials there with physical symptoms.

Two State Department officials said Wednesday that the Cubans were asked to leave the U.S. on May 23 after Americans in Cuba “reported incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms,” causing them to leave the island. The officials would not say what the symptoms were or provide details about the incidents. One official said the first incident occurred late last year and continued, prompting the Americans to depart the island and the department to act against the Cuban diplomats in the U.S. The officials said the Cubans left the U.S. but would not say when. Neither official was authorized to speak publicly to the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The officials said the department did not have definitive explanations for the incidents, which were first reported by CBS Radio News, but stressed it takes them “very seriously” and is working to determine their “cause and impact.” ...

Harassment of U.S. diplomats in Cuba is not uncommon and dates to the restoration of limited ties with the communist government in the 1970s.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:53 pm

CNN
US embassy employees in Cuba possibly subject to 'acoustic attack'

(CNN)The US believes several State Department employees at the US embassy in Havana were subjected to an "acoustic attack" using sonic devices that left at least two with such serious health problems they needed to be brought back to the US for treatment, several senior State Department officials told CNN.

One official said the employees could have suffered permanent hearing loss as a result.

The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but suffered a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016 which resembled concussions.

The State Department raised the incidents with the Cuban government over the course of several months and sent medical personnel to Havana, but have not been able to determine exactly what happened.
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Re: Cuba

Post by June bug » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:47 pm

Weird...truly weird...

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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:09 pm

Associated Press
Canadian diplomat in Cuba also suffered hearing loss

WASHINGTON — The Canadian government said Thursday that at least one Canadian diplomat in Cuba also has been treated for hearing loss following disclosures that a group of American diplomats in Havana suffered severe hearing loss that U.S. officials believe was caused by an advanced sonic device.

Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Brianne Maxwell said Canadian officials “are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and US diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana. The government is actively working — including with US and Cuban authorities - to ascertain the cause.”

Maxwell added that officials don’t have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected.

Canada helped broker talks between Cuba and the United States that led to restored diplomatic relations.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:41 am

Associated Press
US diplomats union: Attacks in Cuba caused mild brain injury

WASHINGTON — American diplomats who served in Cuba have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury following mysterious, unexplained attacks on their health, the union that represents U.S. diplomats said Friday, in the most detailed account to date of the growing list of symptoms.

In addition to mild TBI — commonly called a concussion— permanent hearing loss has been diagnosed among the 10 diplomats who have met with or spoken to the American Foreign Service Association. The union did not say how many of the 10 had been given either diagnosis, but said other symptoms had included brain swelling, severe headaches, loss of balance and “cognitive disruption.”

The union said in a statement that it “strongly encourages the Department of State and the U.S. Government to do everything possible to provide appropriate care for those affected, and to work to ensure that these incidents cease and are not repeated.”

What transpired in Havana in late 2016 and early 2017 has remained an elusive mystery as U.S. investigators continue looking for a device or other possible cause for what the State Department has described as attacks on diplomats’ health. Early indications from U.S. officials had pointed to a possible covert sonic device, although investigators have not said such a device has been found. The State Department has said it still can’t conclude who was responsible for the attacks.

The confirmation that diplomats suffered traumatic brain injury suggested the attacks caused more serious damage than the hearing-related complaints that were initially reported.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:43 am

WaPo
State Department reports more incidents of diplomats harmed in Cuba

The State Department reported Tuesday that it has catalogued additional recent incidents involving harm to American diplomats in Cuba, but said the cause remains unknown.

There are now 21 reported cases, up from 19 on Sept. 1, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

A U.S. investigation is ongoing, Nauert said.

The Trump administration has not blamed the Cuban government for what the union representing Foreign Service officers called “sonic harassment attacks” dating to late 2016.

Cuba has denied wrongdoing in the mysterious events. Victims have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries, hearing loss and other neurological and physical ailments, the union said.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:05 pm

Associated Press
Castro Response To US Diplomats' Head Injuries In Cuba Surprises Washington

HAVANA (AP) — Raul Castro seemed rattled.

The Cuban president sent for the top American envoy in the country to address grave concerns about a spate of U.S. diplomats harmed in Havana. There was talk of futuristic “sonic attacks” and the subtle threat of repercussions by the United States, until recently Cuba’s sworn enemy.

The way Castro responded surprised Washington, several U.S. officials familiar with the exchange told The Associated Press.

In a rare face-to-face conversation, Castro told U.S. diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis that he was equally befuddled, and concerned. Predictably, Castro denied any responsibility. But U.S. officials were caught off guard by the way he addressed the matter, devoid of the indignant, how-dare-you-accuse-us attitude the U.S. had come to expect from Cuba’s leaders.

The Cubans even offered to let the FBI come down to Havana to investigate. While U.S.-Cuban cooperation on law enforcement had improved, this level of access was extraordinary.
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Re: Cuba

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:29 pm

Addie wrote:Associated Press
Castro Response To US Diplomats' Head Injuries In Cuba Surprises Washington
:snippity:
Hmmm --- Putin ? I woudn't be astonished to learn sometime in the future that the Russian secret services had attacked the US envoys with some device. Putin was likely not too happy over the fact that the relationship between Cuba and the USA was thawing under Obama. Stiring some discontent is what Putin would want to keep Cub aligned with Russia. And flipping the middle finger at Obama whom he disliked.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:53 pm

If that turned out to be the way it went, Eurobot, it would not surprise me at all.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:31 pm

CNN
Rex Tillerson: US considering closing Havana embassy

Washington (CNN) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the US was considering closing its embassy in Havana, Cuba.

"We have it under evaluation," Tillerson said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

A group of five Republican senators wrote to Tillerson, requesting the US declare Cuban diplomats unwelcome and shutter the embassy in Cuba, which the US opened near the end of former President Barack Obama's second term. US government officials have said State Department employees in the Havana embassy were subject to mysterious "acoustic" attacks that led to serious health problems.

Tillerson addressed the concern, but did not specify what would happen.
"It's a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered," Tillerson said. "We've brought some of those people home. It's under review."
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:22 pm

McClatchy
U.S. does not believe Cuba is behind sonic attacks on American diplomats

WASHINGTON

The White House does not believe the Cuban government is behind the mysterious sonic attacks against U.S. personnel but plans to pull American staff out of Havana as the number of cases climbs, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

“No one believes that the Cubans are responsible,” said one source, echoing comments from others who are closely involved in the situation. “All of the evidence points that they’re not.”

Sources would not say who U.S. intelligence believes is responsible.

The Trump administration will soon begin a major withdrawal of staff from the U.S. embassy in Havana, boosting the number of Americans affected by this “sonic device” to 25 from 21, with reports of cases occurring in the last several weeks, according to two sources.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet Tuesday with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, according to U.S. and Cuban officials, to discuss the attacks on American diplomats in Havana. The meeting will happen at the State Department, and came at the request of the Cubans.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:16 am

New York Times
Cubans Alarmed at U.S. Embassy Withdrawals and Travel Warning

It was grim, unsettling news: the United States warned Americans on Friday not to travel to Cuba and ordered the withdrawal of more than half its diplomats in Havana.

The announcement, which spread around the island in spurts, largely by word of mouth, dealt a harsh blow to Cubans who had hoped the nascent normalization of relations with the United States that began in late 2014 would usher in a period of economic growth and greater prosperity in the impoverished Communist nation.

“It’s a shame that they continue to throw up obstacles preventing two countries that are so close to engage culturally,” said Yaylen Vilches, 26, the manager of El Dandy, one of Havana’s most popular private restaurants. “This doesn’t just hurt us; they’re hurting people in both countries.”

The measures announced Friday — taken in response to hearing loss and other ailments that American government employees in Cuba had experienced in recent months — stirred anxiety and dread on the island.

The State Department’s decision to stop issuing visas in Havana indefinitely leaves thousands of Cubans in limbo. Washington typically grants 20,000 immigrant visas a year to reunite Cubans with relatives in the United States, and thousands more to enable students, academics and tourists to travel.
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Re: Cuba

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:16 am

There is little more that the Russians would like than to disrupt US-Cuban relations. Why is a long story.
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Re: Cuba

Post by RVInit » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:21 am

TollandRCR wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:16 am
There is little more that the Russians would like than to disrupt US-Cuban relations. Why is a long story.
I was thinking the same thing - I have wondered whether Russia has anything to do with this. Cuba had every reason NOT to do something like this, while Russia has every reason to do it, and an administration that Putin knows will never suspect him. I have no doubt Putin will do anything he can to disrupt US relations with pretty much anyone. Of course, SFV is doing most of the work for him.
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Re: Cuba

Post by Addie » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:04 am

Associated Press
Attacks in Havana hit US spy network in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) — Frightening attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of America’s spy network in Cuba, with intelligence operatives among the first and most severely affected victims, The Associated Press has learned.

It wasn’t until U.S. spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover, reported hearing bizarre sounds and experiencing even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong, individuals familiar with the situation said.

While the attacks started within days of President Donald Trump’s surprise election in November, the precise timeline remains unclear, including whether intelligence officers were the first victims hit or merely the first victims to report it. The U.S. has called the situation “ongoing.”

To date, the Trump administration largely has described the 21 victims as U.S. embassy personnel or “members of the diplomatic community.” That description suggested only bona fide diplomats and their family members were struck, with no logical motivation beyond disrupting U.S.-Cuban relations.

Behind the scenes, though, investigators immediately started searching for explanations in the darker, rougher world of spycraft and counterespionage, given that so many of the first reported cases involved intelligence workers posted to the U.S. embassy. That revelation, confirmed to the AP by a half-dozen officials, adds yet another element of mystery to a year-long saga that the Trump administration says may not be over.
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