Senator rejects loosening sanctions against Cuba

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez said today that Democrats, not Republicans, have led the way in pushing for freedom and democracy in Cuba. He accused the Trump administration of abandoning efforts to push for human rights around the world and said the Biden administration would do a better job. He said he continues to support U.S. … Read more

State Department issues stinging report on Cuba

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken today released the department’s annual report on human rights around the world. I expect Cuba will strenuously object to the State Department’s findings, shown below. Cuba is an authoritarian state with former president Raul Castro serving as the first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, the highest political entity … Read more

U.S.: Cuban authorities harass santeros

The U.S. government-financed Commission on International Religious Freedom earlier this month issued a report on Santería in Cuba. Kirsten Lavery, a supervisory policy analyst with the commission, wrote the report, shown below. This factsheet highlights the Santería practice in Cuba, providing an overview of this tradition and detailing the religious freedom conditions of its practitioners. … Read more

$1 million up for grabs for Cuba projects

The State Department is offering up to $1 million for programs that would boost “civil, political, religious, and labor rights in Cuba.” U.S. officials contend that Cuban authorities have “taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to increase repression and harassment of independent journalists and civil society activists.” “Despite these systemic efforts by the regime to … Read more

20 years and $221 million later

U.S. government agencies reported spending $221,329,357 on Cuba-related projects from about 2001 to 2020, according to USAID’s Foreign Aid Explorer. The number doesn’t represent total U.S. government spending. Radio & TV Martí isn’t included, for instance. But a look at the $221 million in spending does provide a window into U.S. approach toward Cuba. See … Read more