Archive for the ‘Cuba Blog’ Category

December 19, 2014 |

CUBA CENTRAL Newsblast: A Note From Havana

Para leer en español, haga clic aquí. In Havana, December 17th was a day of miracles. The first day of Hanukkah, the Feast of Saint Lazarus, and the Afro-Cuban celebration of San Lazaro converged mystically. Magic was in the air. It was a day for Alan Gross, echoing Judaism’s story… read more »

December 19, 2014 |

SARAH STEPHENS en español: Un día de milagros

En La Habana, este 17 de diciembre fue un día de milagros. El primer día la fiesta judía de Janucá, los festejos de San Lázaro y la celebración afrocubana para honrar a este santo convergieron mágicamente. Había magia en el aire. Este fue un día para que Alan Gross, evocando… read more »

December 17, 2014 |


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 »

December 17, 2014 |

Watch President Obama’s Cuba Address

CDA’s hard work to reform U.S. policy toward Cuba is paying off. Watch President Obama’s announcement of normalization of relations with Cuba.

December 17, 2014 |


Responding to Cuba’s release of USAID contractor Alan Gross and to reports that the U.S. will release three Cuban spies imprisoned since 2001, Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA), said: “This deal is the biggest diplomatic breakthrough between Cuba and the U.S. in… read more »

December 17, 2014 |

AP: Cuba releases US prisoner Alan Gross

Julie Pace and Matthew Lee, Associated Press — American Alan Gross has been released from a Cuban prison after five years, as part of an agreement that also includes the release of three Cubans jailed in the United States, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday. Officials said Gross was on a… read more »

December 15, 2014 |

NEW YORK TIMES: Cuba’s Economy at a Crossroads

Editorial Board, New York Times — In July 2007, while serving as acting president as his brother underwent medical treatment, Raúl Castro delivered a startling indictment of the Cuban economy when he railed about the inefficiencies of the dairy industry. His description of the onerous and expensive mechanism to get… read more »

December 12, 2014 |

USAID’s Hip Hop Hiccup and the “Smart Power Prom”

A new USAID scandal was exposed yesterday by the exceptional investigative team at the Associated Press. USAID, acting through its notorious contracting partner, Creative Associates International, tried to infiltrate Cuba’s hip-hop community to intensify the political messaging of its artists and use their fans to foment a rapper’s revolution. The… read more »

December 11, 2014 |

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 »

December 9, 2014 |

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 »