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05/22/2015

CUBA CENTRAL Newsblast: Veto Redux

Step-by-step, legislation is working its way through Congress to curtail much of the progress President Obama is making in U.S.-Cuba relations by cutting the funds needed by federal agencies to implement his new policies. Today, we ask: Will those who benefit most from the new policies that encourage travel and… read more »

05/15/2015

Escape Velocity? The Accelerating Pace of Change in U.S.-Cuba Relations

The Media General National Desk must like using edgy headlines for click bait. How else can they explain “Possible lung cancer vaccine another perk stemming from new U.S.-Cuba relations”? A “perk”? If a tumor-starving therapy that holds promise to greatly improve the lives of cancer patients can now be called… read more »

05/01/2015

CUBA CENTRAL Newsblast: Progress vs Congress, Lead Them Not Into Temptation

There’s a lot to like about what has happened since Presidents Obama and Castro declared their intentions to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Forget that stuff the hardliners say that President Obama is the worst negotiator since Neville Chamberlain, and start by remembering what Cuba’s government… read more »

04/29/2015

House Transportation Budget Bill Protects South Florida but Seeks Freeze on “New” Flights to Cuba

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the U.S. Department of Transportation’s annual budget, has introduced legislation that would block any new licenses for commercial air travel from the U.S. to Cuba, while protecting the charter services that fly his South Florida Cuban American constituents to the… read more »

04/27/2015

Sarah Stephens on StandUP! with Pete Dominick — Normalizing relations puts us on the right side of history

Sarah Stephens on StandUP! with Pete Dominick — Normalizing relations puts us on the right side of history Last week, StandUP! with Pete Dominick on Sirius XM Radio hosted “Cuba Week,” which brought together journalists, scholars, activists, and policy experts for a series of discussions on the sweeping changes recently… read more »

04/24/2015

CUBA CENTRAL Newsblast: Hardliners Offer Concessions on Cuba — Concessions to Reality

This week, we want to tell you a story about Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s sudden about-face on President Obama’s decision to drop Cuba from the state sponsors of terror list. It’s a little “in the weeds,” but it dramatizes how much the debate on Cuba has changed since we learned that Presidents… read more »

04/17/2015

Stating the Obvious — Obama says Cuba’s not a Terror State

Here at Cuba Central, the remarkable changes in U.S.-Cuba relations have inflicted collateral damage on two of our most cherished metaphors. Once, we were fond of the phrase, “U.S.-Cuba policy is stuck in the amber of its own ineffectiveness.” But, after the 2009 and 2011 travel and remittance reforms, the… read more »

04/10/2015

CUBA CENTRAL Newsblast: Surprisingly Substantive Summit

If the past inevitably was prologue, Western Hemisphere leaders attending the 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama could simply mail (or email) in the predictable results. The U.S. President would brush aside criticisms of having ignored the region, yet again. He’d lecture the attendees on reducing deficits and trade… read more »

04/02/2015

Terror List: Weekend change in the talking points

As we listened to this interview of Stefan Selig, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, we began to wonder if the talking points had changed over the weekend.

On Wednesday, Selig, who spoke at the Cuba Opportunity Summit, was interviewed by Rhonda Schaffler for The Street.com. About 50 seconds into the video, the following exchange occurs:

MS. SCHAFFLER: There are challenges, too, just in the normalization of relations. Cuba is still on the terror watch list (sic) from the State Department…

UNDER SECRETARY SELIG: It is, but the State Department is working to lift that and hopefully, we’re making real progress, and hopefully that will happen in the future.

04/01/2015

New Survey Heralds Rising Support in Diaspora for Cuba Reforms

A new, national survey of 400 Cuban Americans living in the U.S. shows majority support for President Obama’s decision to normalize relations and increasing numbers for ending the embargo itself. Fifty-one percent of respondents favored President Obama’s decision to normalize relations, a rise of 7% since December, and a plurality… read more »