Trump picks coercion over diplomacy, but does it work?

The Trump administration’s aggressive use of economic sanctions reflect “a brand new reality that has never been seen in modern times,” according to Liz Rosenberg, a former senior adviser at the Treasury Department. “President Trump has completely conflated economic sanctions and commercial policy,” said Gary Haufbauer, another former Treasury Department official. “I don’t see that … Read more

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“Vino Vixen” and her boss run into trouble

State Department bosses harassed and berated employees who were thought to be disloyal to Donald Trump, an Inspector General’s report said. Assistant Secretary Kevin Moley, who heads the department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and Mari Stull, former senior advisor to Moley, were hostile and disrespectful toward career employees “based on their perceived political views,” … Read more

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This tape will self-destruct in five seconds

The State Department is paying a contractor more than $1 million to train 25 to 40 “emerging Cuban leaders.” The contractor isn’t allowed to travel to Cuba to recruit participants. And U.S. officials discourage the contractor from hiring “third-country nationals” to carry out the task. Instead, the contractor should work with “a partner organization,” the … Read more

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Study abroad in Cuba flourished during Obama years

The number of U.S. students studying abroad in Cuba jumped from 1,633 in the 2013-14 academic year to 4,607 in 2017-18, according to a new State Department report. That was an increase of 182 percent, the second highest in Latin America and the Caribbean behind Grenada, according to the State Department’s 2019 Global Guide. Costa … Read more

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Havana beats the South Pole

State Department employees sent on temporary assignments to Havana are given a $316 daily allowance for lodging, meals and incidentals. The daily allowance, known as a per diem, ranges from $149 to $244 outside the capital. The latest federal guidelines show the rates for 895 cities. The top three were Valencia, Spain; $729; Edinburg, Scotland, … Read more

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