Judge demands explanation in Cuba case

A federal judge earlier this month ordered the State Department to explain why it has been so slow to produce records related to the acoustic incidents that injured U.S. diplomats in Havana. New Yorker magazine and a watchdog group, the James Madison Project, sued the State Department in February 2019 for documents about the incidents. … Read more

Biden wants $20 million for Cuba programs, not including Radio & TV Martí

The Biden administration is requesting $58.5 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for 2022, a 10% increase over this year’s budget. The proposed budget includes $20 million for democracy programs targeting Cuba, the same level of funding as 2021. Also included in the budget: $141 million for Colombia, down … Read more

No Embargo Movement gains strength

A Facebook group aimed at ending U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba has quickly gained more than 100,000 followers without spending a penny of advertising. The No Embargo Movement, or NEMO, describes itself as a humanitarian project, not a political group, and it has supporters on both sides of the Florida Straits. Below is a Q&A … Read more

A hijacker’s long, painful journey home

As the Boeing 737 made its final approach into Miami, a man calling himself “Lieutenant Spartacus” handed a note to a flight attendant. Unless the pilot diverts the aircraft to Havana, the note said, the passengers would be shot and the plane blown up. The hijacker identified himself as a member of the Black Liberation … Read more

First task for U.S. operatives in Cuba: Avoid detection

U.S. government contractors sometimes struggle to find Cubans who are willing to work with them. Cuban participants worry about the political nature of U.S. government-financed projects, according to a second batch of documents about one contractor’s work in Cuba. (See “USAID in Cuba: Code names and counter surveillance“). The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded … Read more