Cubans snag 11th spot in visa lottery

Cubans won 2,703 visas in the latest U.S. visa lottery, outpacing all but 10 countries, State Department figures show. Applicants in Egypt obtained the highest number of visas, with 5,568, followed by Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nepal, Sudan, Albania, Ukraine, Algeria and Turkey. See visa winners by country. The federal government awards … Read more

Trump nominee to lead Pentagon endorses hardline against Cuba

The Trump administration’s nominee for defense secretary said “Cuba’s conduct must change dramatically before any normal type of military-to-military engagement is established” with Cuban Armed Forces. Mark T. Esper, who was named acting defense secretary in June, said he considered Cuba and Russia to be “destabilizing influences in the Western Hemisphere. They support regimes unfriendly … Read more

USAID will highlight “failures of the Cuban Revolution”

The U.S. Agency for International Development plans to award up to $2 million for human rights projects targeting Cuba. USAID says it will advance human rights through: 1) support to Cuban political prisoners and their family members, and 2) increased domestic and international awareness about the realities faced by Cuban citizens and failures of the … Read more

Judge tries to speed up FOIA case over “acoustic attacks”

An anti-secrecy group and New Yorker magazine are trying to force the State Department to disclose information about purported “acoustic attacks” in Havana that led to a worsening of U.S.-Cuba relations. The James Madison Project, which seeks accountability in government, and the magazine sued after their Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests didn’t produce … Read more

U.S. plans new satellite service in Cuba

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting is hiring a Miami company to send live broadcasts, audio files, videos and documents into homes throughout Cuba. The $558,000 project will enhance “the viewing experience for the clandestine viewers and listeners,” according to the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, or OCB. Users would need a satellite dish measuring at least … Read more