U.S. employees rake in big bucks for “hardship” in Havana

U.S. government employees assigned to Havana get an automatic 35 percent bump in salary. It’s known as a “hardship differential,” and it’s given to employees only when their foreign posting “involves extraordinarily difficult living conditions, excessive physical hardship, or notably unhealthful conditions affecting the majority of employees officially stationed or detailed at that place.” American … Read more

Threat assessment cites Cuban intelligence

Cuban intelligence services remain a “persistent threat,” according to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said in a report on Jan. 29. The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community inexplicably groups Cuba with Iran, gives few details about Cuba and focuses mostly on China and Russia. Excerpts from the report are below: Threats … Read more

Cuban blood match far from over

Sixty years ago this month, Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos died of what his supporters called “politically induced suicide.” The family blamed Fidel Castro and his band of revolutionaries for Villoldo’s death. They later filed a wrongful death lawsuit and a Florida court awarded an eye-popping $2.79 billion in damages in 2011. Since then, Villoldo’s sons, Gustavo, … Read more

CIA lists top Cuban government honchos

Below is the CIA’s roster of top Cuban government officials, according to the agency’s December 2018 directory of Chiefs of State and Cabinet Ministers directory: Cuba Last Updated: 3 Aug 2018 Pres., Council of State Miguel – DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez First Vice Pres., Council of State – Salvador Antonio VALDES Mesa Vice Pres., Council of State … Read more

Beat goes on despite government shutdown

Some things are essential even during Donald Trump’s government shutdown, nearing its 29th day. The U.S. government in recent days has been dealing for everything from ice cream and cold-weather socks to a mobile nuclear reactor “that can address electrical power needs in rapid response scenarios.” Records show that the government was looking for a … Read more