U.S. ramps up Venezuela effort

From 2008 to 2018, the U.S. government poured more than $122 million into Venezuela for everything from democracy projects to emergency aid for migrants. USAID and State Department grants for Venezuela projects jumped from $6,151,570 in 2016 to $20,874,975 this year. Below is graphic of USAID and State Department grants by year. Many of the same … Read more

Cuba memorabilia fetches big bucks on eBay

An eBay shop has a trove of vintage Cuban paintings and photos up for sale. These items include: Original Untitled Abstract by Tomás Oliva Sr. Cuban Artist Signed and Dated – $2,499.99 Mixed Media of Female Abstract by Renowned Cuban Artist Joaquin Ferrer–Paris – $1,999.99 La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba Vintage Collectible Memorabilia – … Read more

State Department’s Cuba strategy

Integrated Country Strategy Cuba Table of Contents 1. Chief of Mission Priorities …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2 2. Mission Strategic Framework ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 3. Mission Goals and Objectives ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 8 4. Management Objectives………………………………………………………………………………………………….11 1. Chief of Mission Priorities Miguel Diaz-Canel was appointed president of Cuba, replacing his mentor, Raul Castro, on April 19, 2018, and since then, there … Read more

Florida lawmaker calls for “boots on the ground” in Cuba

When lawmakers met to discuss U.S. policy toward Cuba, Rep. Paul Cook, R-Calif., scolded Cuba for its “close relations with Russia.” He might as well have criticized the Trump administration for the same. But the hearing was about Cuba, not Russia, and the unexplained health attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana topped the agenda. Said … Read more

Closing books on “Cuban Twitter” program

On Nov. 30, the Agency for International Development closed out its contract with Xavier Utset, described by the Associated Press as the mastermind behind a secret “Cuban Twitter” program. Utset ran the program for Creative Associates International, then a USAID contractor. He later became an agency employee. Spending records classified Utset as an “undisclosed domestic … Read more