U.S. official threatens to quit Internet task force

Tomás Regalado, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, threatened to resign from the Cuba Internet Task Force if members did not agree to reject any deals with the Cuban government. Radio & TV Martí quoted Regalado as saying: My position was very clear. I said that as a member of this commission I asked, … Read more

Covert operations now a multibillion-dollar enterprise

U.S. officials approved 305 covert actions against Cuba from January 1961 to February 1967, according to a State Department document on covert actions. Officers didn’t need approval from higher-ups unless the covert actions were expected to cost at least $25,000 – or $200,262.50 in today’s dollars. Today the U.S. government “black budget” for covert operations, … Read more

Back in the saddle again

As the U.S. government steps up the pressure on Cuba, the State Department is relying on a veteran diplomat with experience in hotspots throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Michael G. Kozak is a senior official at State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, or DRL. He was born in Pasadena, California, on … Read more

Nearly four years after release, Alan Gross is grateful

My Nov. 29 post about the Alan Gross case led to some lively debate on Facebook. I had raised the possibility that U.S. officials were slow to negotiate for the release of the American development worker because hardline Florida lawmakers needed a victim. Janet Ballantyne, a former honcho at the Agency for International Development, had … Read more

U.S. government broke Guantánamo lease

The U.S. government has tried to topple the Cuban government, kill its president, strangle its economy. Now add this minor indignity: The U.S. “is technically in default” of a 1901 treaty allowing a military base at Guantánamo in Cuba, a State Department official wrote in 2006. That’s because the lease says the base can only … Read more