Author Archive for: Sarah Stephens


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 »


Sarah Stephens for The Advocate: Cuba Finds Its Footing on LGBT Rights

When our organization embarked on a study of women and gender equality in Cuba, we interviewed dozens of women across the island.  After speaking to them, we became convinced that Cuba’s evolution on issues relating to equality for LGBT people had to be a part of the story. Before coming… read more »


Sarah Stephens for Americas Quarterly: Gender Equality in Cuba

This week is an important moment to focus on the economic, political and social achievements of women as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. While countries have a long way to go in promoting gender equality, a report by the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA)  looks at where… read more »


Sarah Stephens for The Havana Note: Women’s Work: Why Gender Equality in Cuba Matters to US

As we travel back and forth to Cuba, often with delegations of U.S. policymakers, we focus our research and reporting on issues that the broader American public can relate to, that can help us strip away mysteries surrounding Cuba, and press our case for changing Cuba policy and normalizing relations…. read more »


SARAH STEPHENS: Kerry and Hagel Offer Obama a Way Forward on Cuba

Huffington Post – Days ago, the future of Cuba policy in President Obama’s second term seemed predictable. In his first term, Cuba and Latin America never rose on his priority list. At her confirmation hearings, Hillary Clinton promised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that she and the president were prepared… read more »


Fidel Versus the Ghouls

Huffington Post- Since the Cold War, our country has had an unhealthy preoccupation with Fidel Castro’s mortality. It’s like a vestigial tail that our body politic refuses to shake. Killing Fidel Castro started as a high U.S. government priority before the Bay of Pigs Invasion, as the National Security Archives… read more »


Sarah Stephens: Time to rethink Cuba policy?

August 31, 2012 – Politico – President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia this week announced that negotiations will soon begin between Colombia and its principal enemy, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, that could end his country’s bloody, decades-long civil war. The deal was struck in Havana, with… read more »


Sarah Stephens: Haiku Hype: The Flutter Over Fidel’s Twitter-Length Reflections

Huffington Post- Whoa, Fidel Castro in the age of Twitter. Headlines from Miami to London sound the alert. “Fidel Castro leaves people guessing as he writes cryptic, Haiku-like notes.” As the Miami Herald put it: In cryptic paragraphs of never more than 65 words, the former Cuban president has written… read more »