Author Archive for: Sarah Stephens



This morning, I was in Havana in a room filled with Cubans watching their President, Raul Castro, announce the news that diplomatic relations with the United States would be resumed. When his speech ended, the room was filled with cheers, the Cubans sang their national anthem, and stood at their… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: USAID Scandal: Music to my fears

USAID Scandal:  Music to my fears The Associated Press is reporting that USAID deceived innocent Cubans, put celebrity icons like Silvio Rodriguez and Juanes at risk, and potentially contaminated genuine sources of free expression on the island with a scheme to use Cuban rappers to foment “a youth movement against… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: The Worst Cuba Embargo Story of 2014

Since the Kennedy administration, the United States has tried to overthrow Cuba’s government: by force, at the Bay of Pigs; by assassination, through exploding cigars and poison-leaching scuba suits; by isolation, stopping Cuba from joining institutions like the World Bank and the Organization of American States; but, mostly by squeezing… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: Ending USAID Misadventures in Cuba

For years, Cuba Central has raised alarms about the USAID regime change programs in Cuba and joined other principled individuals and organizations in calling for them to be shut down. These programs, funded via Section 109 of the Helms-Burton law, paid for the trips that landed Alan Gross in prison,… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: Cuban Dissident/Kitten Lover Reveals Hardline Strategy on Alan Gross

“If you ever meet (Carlos Luis Pardo), you will probably see him lovingly carrying a newborn kitten in his hands, or taking care of one of his persecuted friends.” -Cubalog.EU “Let him rot.” -Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo It took Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo just three words to dismiss the New… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: Cuba, Praised for Increased Vigilance against Terrorist Finance, Remains on US Terror List

Last Friday, The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) congratulated Cuba – along with Argentina, Ethiopia, Tajikistan and Turkey – for taking such strong actions to police its financial system that it will no longer be subject to the monitoring of its efforts against money-laundering and terrorist finance. Because of “Cuba’s… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: CDC Official in Cuba Meeting with ALBA on Ebola — or “man bites dog” big time.

It took the Associated Press just 130 words to write one of the great “man bites dog” stories of 2014. “The United States has sent a health official to a Cuban meeting on coordinating Latin America’s response to Ebola,” according to the AP. The official, Dr. Nelson Arboleda, is the… read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: Secretary Kerry’s Praise of Cuba’s Ebola Role Trumps Response by State’s Spokesperson

Is there a spin doctor in the house? Today, Secretary of State John Kerry praised Cuba for its leadership in mobilizing against the Ebola outbreak in Africa. His brief but warm “shout-out” stands in marked contrast to comments by a State Department spokesperson, whose studied reluctance to say anything about Cuba’s role comes through loudly and clearly in the transcript of her press corps briefing just two days before. For over a month, Cuba’s active response to the outbreak has been receiving global praise. Even the Washington Post, not a fan of the “Castro Government,” published a piece – “In the medical response to Ebola, Cuba is punching far above its weight” – contrasting Cuba with an international community “accused of dragging its feet.”


SARAH STEPHENS: Washington Etiquette? Senator Menendez Scolds Panama for Inviting Cuba over to its “house”

Maybe it’s a Washington thing. When you invite friends over for a party, there’s always one guest who replies “who else is coming?” Yet, Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, seems to be stretching this peculiar etiquette to the breaking point. Today, he sent a letter… read more »


Sarah Stephens: South Florida Poll Confirms Big Shift in Exile Community on Cuba

Public opinion about Cuba in South Florida has shifted dramatically. Actually, that’s an understatement. Let me illustrate the point this way. In March of 1991, seventy-three percent of Cuban Americans strongly favored tightening the embargo and 62 percent strongly favored assembling an exile army to overthrow Cuba’s government by military… read more »