Cubans snag 11th spot in visa lottery

Cubans won 2,703 visas in the latest U.S. visa lottery, outpacing all but 10 countries, State Department figures show. Applicants in Egypt obtained the highest number of visas, with 5,568, followed by Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nepal, Sudan, Albania, Ukraine, Algeria and Turkey. See visa winners by country. The federal government awards … Read more

Judge tries to speed up FOIA case over “acoustic attacks”

An anti-secrecy group and New Yorker magazine are trying to force the State Department to disclose information about purported “acoustic attacks” in Havana that led to a worsening of U.S.-Cuba relations. The James Madison Project, which seeks accountability in government, and the magazine sued after their Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests didn’t produce … Read more

Lawmakers want $20 million for Cuba projects in 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a $982.8 billion spending package that includes $20 million for democracy promotion in Cuba and $12,973,000 for Radio and TV Martí. The spending would cover fiscal year 2020, which runs from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020. The House Committee on Appropriations included a request that … Read more

Espionage: The Myers case 10 years later

Convicted of spying for Cuba, Gwendolyn Myers soon adapted to life behind bars, telling a friend, “Did you know you can floss your teeth with the elastic in underpants?” Her husband, Kendall Myers, also wound up in prison. He once held a TOP SECRET security clearance at the State Department and earned $131,996 per year. … Read more

U.S. gov’t: $1 million-plus for emerging Cuban leaders

The State Department plans to spend more than $1 million to train “a new generation of independent leaders to bolster Cubans’ abilities to develop independent civil society communities and express ideas regarding human rights and democracy to peers and those outside Cuba.” A State Department proposal says “this cadre of professionals will model effective leadership … Read more