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

A quarter century later, fallout from shootdown

President Joe Biden on Wednesday issued a notice continuing what he regards as a “national emergency with respect to Cuba” exactly 25 years after Cuban fighter pilots shot down two civilian planes belonging to Florida-based Brothers to the Rescue. It seems peculiar that the United States, a nation with the world’s most powerful military force, … Read more

Biden will engage Cuba, but how?

Mark Sullivan, a specialist in Latin American Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, does a great job providing updates about U.S. policy toward Cuba and other issues. Below is his latest report, which was prepared for members of Congress by Sullivan and another specialist, Dianne E. Rennack. The Feb. 21 document is called “Cuba: Challenges … Read more

U.S. targets Bitcoin transactions in Cuba and other blacklisted nations

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced the following: BitPay, Inc. (“BitPay”), a private company based in Atlanta, Georgia, that offers a payment processing solution for merchants to accept digital currency as payment for goods and services, has agreed to remit $507,375 to settle its potential civil liability for 2,102 apparent violations of multiple sanctions … Read more

From Obama to Trump and now Biden

U.S. Agency for International Development spending for democracy projects in Cuba dropped by 70 percent from 2014 to 2015 while the Obama administration pursued improved relations with the socialist government, records show. Spending plunged even further in 2016, hitting a low of $1,197,303 during President Obama’s final year in office. USAID spending for Cuba programs … Read more