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

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

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

Gitmo’s $32 million Internet connection

From 2014 to 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense paid a Texas contractor $32,751,360 to build an undersea fiber-optic cable from Dania Beach, Florida, to the Naval Station at Guantánamo, Cuba. Ronald Bechtold, former chief information officer under then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, testified in 2013 that the Pentagon planned to eventually extend the cable … Read more

Colombian refugees headed for Guantánamo?

While President Trump was going ballistic over a migrant caravan heading toward the United States, the State Department was signing a $1 million contract to care for and resettle migrants at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo, Cuba. On Sept. 23, records show, the State Department agreed to pay the International Organization for Migration $1,068,560 … Read more