Lobbyist lands in the White House

One of the most successful advocates for a hardline U.S. position against Cuba is now in the White House. Lobbyist Mauricio Claver-Carone is director of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the National Security Council. He works for NSC chief John Bolton, who famously – and some would say erroneously – said in 2002 that Cuba was … Read more

USAID shines, State Department slips

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that “examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently.” In 2015 and 2016, the GAO found dozens of problems with the way that the State Department and … Read more

Cushy gig at taxpayer expense

USAJOBS posted an ad for a “senior executive” at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. The ad gives few details, but Joan Mower gladly fills in the blanks on Twitter: Great USG job @ fun, small agency. Good salary ($176,500), no education needed, no heavy lifting, virtually no … Read more

Little evidence of ultrasonic “death ray”

The suggestion that sonic attacks caused brain injuries among U.S. diplomats and others in Havana was “speculative and premature,” according to an Oct. 31 article in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. “The evidence to date points away from these conclusions,” wrote Timothy G. Leighton, a professor of ultrasonics and underwater acoustics at the University of … Read more

Like father, like son: The urge to rebel

Juan Juan Almeida, son of a revolutionary who fought with Fidel Castro, grew up around Cuba’s political and military elites. He studied criminal law and became a lawyer. In 2009, he wrote “Memoirs of an unknown Cuban guerrilla fighter,” a novel that satirized the ruling class. He wanted to leave the country, but authorities wouldn’t … Read more