Trump claims to be tougher on Cuba than hardline advisor

HAVANA – Adelaida Borges spent decades as a schoolteacher before finding fame as a fortune teller. Her flamboyant outfits and long, colorful fingernails have drawn hordes of American visitors, from Beyoncé and Katy Perry to Michelle Obama. But for all her powers, 77-year-old Borges says she never imagined U.S.-Cuba relations would fall apart so quickly. … Read more

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

D.C. lawyers back Juan Guaidó

A Washington, D.C., law firm is representing Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela. Arnold & Porter says its duties may include “making contact with U.S. government officials concerning the preservation of Venezuela’s assets in the United States.” Trump officials in late January said they had given Guaidó control over Venezuela’s bank accounts and property … Read more

Elliott Abrams: Nicolás Maduro is already an ex-president

When a reporter asked Elliott Abrams about complaints that the United States is interfering in Venezuela’s affairs, Abrams sidestepped the question and said Cuba is the meddler and had been sticking its nose in Venezuela’s business for “a long time.” Abrams did not mention that the U.S. government has been trying to undermine the Cuban … Read more

USAID wants its own elite special forces

The U.S. government is moving ahead with a plan to give American international development workers special forces training so they’ll be better equipped to operate in hostile environments. Under the plan, the Agency for International Development would develop rapid expeditionary development teams, or RED teams, that would work with or in close proximity of elite … Read more