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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Embargo. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Embargo. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, enero 23, 2015

MasterCard to Lift Transaction Block on U.S. Cards in Cuba - Bloomberg

MasterCard Inc. (MA) said it will lift a block on U.S. bank-card transactions in Cuba after receiving guidance from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The change takes effect March 1, according to a bulletin the Purchase, New York-based company sent to banks and other customers and obtained by Bloomberg News. Seth Eisen, a MasterCard spokesman, confirmed the bulletin’s contents.
President Barack Obama announced last month that the U.S. would relax restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba, which would include allowing Americans to use their credit cards in the country. MasterCard and Visa Inc. cards issued by banks outside the U.S. are already accepted in the Caribbean nation.
North Korea will continue to be blocked by MasterCard for transactions involving U.S. bank cards, while Iran, Syria and Sudan will be blocked for cards issued anywhere in the world, the company said.
Larger rival Visa Inc. (V) didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Treasury Department this month revised regulations tied to U.S. sanctions on Cuba, which included allowing U.S. financial firms to open accounts at Cuban banks to handle transactions, according to a Jan. 15 statement. U.S. companies also are authorized to enroll merchants and process credit- and debit-card transactions for travel-related and other expenses, the department said.

‘Deep’ Divisions

MasterCard’s announcement follows two days of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials over restoring diplomatic ties, migration policies and human rights in Havana. While both sides praised the negotiations, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson said “deep” divisions remain over human rights policy.
Restoring diplomatic ties doesn’t mean the U.S. embargo on the island would end. While Obama eased some travel and trade restrictions after his Dec. 17 announcement, lifting the embargo would require congressional approval.
U.S.-Cuba negotiations will resume again as early as next month in Washington, according to two officials who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to discuss the talks publicly.

jueves, enero 15, 2015

Senators Question Legality of Cuba Regulatory Changes

With today's changes in Treasury and Commerce regulations to implement President Obama's Cuba deal with dictator Raul Castro, the following questions raised by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Dan Coats (R-IN) are particularly important:

January 14, 2015

The Honorable Jacob J. Lew
Secretary of the Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury

Dear Secretary Lew:

We are deeply concerned that several aspects of the President Obama’s new approach to Cuba, especially those related to unilaterally easing U.S. sanctions, violate the letter and spirit of several U.S. laws, and increase the moral and financial risk to the American taxpayer and financial system of doing business through Cuba’s government-controlled financial system.  We ask that you explain in detail how the Treasury Department plans to implement the President’s announcement under current law.

On December 17, the President announced that “U.S. institutions will be permitted to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions to facilitate the processing of authorized transactions.”

As you know, Section 7207 of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA) explicitly prohibits U.S. assistance and financing to Cuba. Moreover, it contains no Presidential waiver. Also, Section 103 of the LIBERTAD Act prohibits any financing of transactions involving confiscated property belonging to U.S. nationals.

Given these stark differences between the letter of the law and the Administration’s announcement, we ask that you provide clear answers to the following questions:
  • What legal authority does the Administration have to allow establishment of correspondent accounts in Cuba, and the use of U.S. credit and debit cards by travelers to Cuba?
  • How would the opening of correspondent accounts and the use of U.S.-backed credit cards expose U.S. financial institutions and affect legal action from Americans who have outstanding judgments rendered against the Cuban government by U.S. courts?
  • How would these regulatory changes impact U.S. obligations to protect U.S. trademark holders, namely those who had their intellectual property confiscated?
  • Less than three years ago, Cuba blocked access to the Cuba-based correspondent bank accounts of its European trading partners and confiscated their cash.  Can the Administration ensure that this will not happen to U.S. accounts?
The President also announced that “Telecommunications providers will be allowed to establish the necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide commercial telecommunications and internet services.”
  • While Congress has authorized certain transactions to improve telecommunications services between the United States and Cuba, U.S. law prohibits U.S. investments in Cuba’s domestic telecom infrastructure.
Specifically, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 (22 USC 6004) includes a direct prohibition on “investment in domestic telecommunications services.”  Moreover, it states that an “investment” in the domestic telecommunications network within Cuba “includes the contribution (including by donation) of funds or anything of value to or for, and the making of loans to or for, such network.”  The LIBERTAD Act subsequently reinforced this “no investment” in telecom prohibition (22 USC 6032(g)).
  • What legal authority does the Administration have to allow U.S. investments in Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure?
  • How would such investments affect legal action from Americans who have outstanding judgments rendered against the Cuban government by U.S. courts?
Also, as part of the President’s announcement, general licenses will be issued for all 12 categories of authorized travel in the existing categories.  However, TSREEA codified the ban on tourist activities, which are defined as any activity not expressly authorized in the 12 categories of travel set forth in the regulations. It further specified, “as such regulations were in effect on June 1, 2000.”  At the time of codification, non-academic educational travel (“people-to-people”) was only permitted via specific license.
  • Under what authority will the President license travel beyond the June 1, 2000 levels?
Under the travel codification, trips related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented -- including self-directed educational activities intended only for personal enrichment -- are illegal.
  • How will Treasury enforce violations of travel for self-directed educational activities and by groups that sponsor people-to-people trips, which seek to engage primarily in tourist activities?
  • How do certain travel activities, including staying at confiscated properties by U.S. travelers, not violate the ban on trafficking, and “indirect financing,” of confiscated property in LIBERTAD?
The fact that the Administration has been unable to answer these and many other questions almost a month after the President’s announcement, raises serious concerns about the process which preceded it.  We thus would like to know whether the Treasury Department was even consulted regarding these significant policy changes regarding Cuba, and if so, on what date.

We appreciate your prompt answers to these questions.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
Daniel Coats

EEUU implanta nuevas medidas que facilitan los viajes a Cuba

Decades of U.S. trade and travel restrictions on Cuba will come to an end on Friday, the government announced in the first tangible step towards restoring diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana.
New rules will allow Americans to travel to the country without a license - as long as they go for approved reasons - and use their U.S. credit or debit cards, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Treasury said in a statement.
Cubans living in the U.S. will also have their quarterly remittances increased from $500 to $2,000 per quarter, allowing them to send home more money.
Officials said approved reasons for travel include business or family visits, and that tourism from the U.S. to Cuba was still prohibited by Congress.
Travel agents and airlines will be authorized to provide services without needing a specific permit under the new rules. That means U.S. airlines could soon be free to launch normal scheduled flights to Cuba.
"Today's announcement takes us one step closer to replacing out of date policies that were not working and puts in place a policy that helps promote political and economic freedom for the Cuban people," Treasury secretary Jacob Lew said in a news release.
"Cuba has real potential for economic growth and by increasing travel, commerce, communications, and private business development between the United States and Cuba, the United States can help the Cuban people determine their own future."
However, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called the new rules "a windfall for the Castro regime" and said the recent deal "is enriching a tyrant and his regime at the expense of U.S. national interests and the Cuban people."

miércoles, enero 14, 2015

Presentan proyecto de ley para levantar el embargo

El pasado 12 de enero el representante demócrata por Illinois Bobby L. Rush presentó un proyecto de Ley que propone levantar el embargo estadounidense a Cuba.
La propuesta titulada "H.R. 274: To lift the trade embargo on Cuba, and for other purposes" (HR.274 Para levantar el embargo a Cuba y otros propósitos) fue presentada ante un comité congresional que deberá evaluarla para considerar si pasa al pleno de la Cámara. Hasta ahora no ha sido copatrocinada por nadie, de acuerdo a la información oficial.
El congresista demócrata ha sido partidario del mejoramiento de las relaciones de Estados Unidos con la isla y, desde 2009, ha trabajado en iniciativas para la normalización del comercio entre ambos países.
En abril de ese año visitó la isla junto a otros seis legisladores demócratas  y fueron recibidos por el gobernante cubano Raúl Castro.

martes, enero 06, 2015

Cuba-EEUU: Demandas de empresas nacionalizadas Vs. Daños a Cuba por efecto del "bloqueo"

como siempre la akademia cubana exilar anda construyendo boberias para soportar su razon de ser institucional, mientras el regimen de la habana viene acumulando en una cuenta los supuestos "efectos negativos" del bloqueo-embargo a cuba. ta' facilito: 

  1. demanda de empresas nacionalizadas y expropiadas por el gobierno cubano = 7.0 billones
  2. demanda cubana a eeuu por daños provocados por el "embargo-bloqueo" = 116.0 billones
  3. SALDO [1-2]: - 109.0 billones
ok, no problem dice raul, no vamos a perder tiempo en estas minucias que pueden generar discrepancias y disgustos y paralizar nuestros avances multilaterales, neteamos los saldos de las cuentas: descuenta de tu deuda conmigo los 7.0 billones y pagame los 109.0 restantes que me adeudas en dolares norteamericanos claro
---------------------------. 
Maria Elvira Salazar

sábado, enero 03, 2015

Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s Cuba strategy: Give them everything, hail breakthrough

www.jewishworldreview.com
There’s an old Cold War joke — pre-pantyhose — that to defeat communism we should empty the B-52 bombers of nuclear weapons and instead drop nylons over the Soviet Union. Flood the Russians with the soft consumer culture of capitalism, seduce them with Western contact and commerce, love bomb them into freedom.
We did win the Cold War, but differently. We contained, constrained, squeezed and eventually exhausted the Soviets into giving up. The dissidents inside subsequently told us how much they were sustained by our support for them and our implacable pressure on their oppressors.
The logic behind U.S. President Barack Obama’s Cuba normalization, assuming there is one, is the nylon strategy. Fifty years of containment didn’t bring democracy. So let’s try inundating them with American goods, visitors, culture, contact, commerce.
It’s not a crazy argument. But it does have its weaknesses. Normalization has not advanced democracy in China or Vietnam. Indeed, it hasn’t done so in Cuba. Except for the U.S., Cuba has had normal relations with the rest of the world for decades. Tourists, trade, investment from Canada, France, Britain, Spain, everywhere. An avalanche of nylons — and not an inch of movement in Cuba toward freedom.
In fact, one could argue that this influx of Western money has helped preserve the dictatorship, as just about all the financial transactions go through the government, which takes for itself before any trickle-down crumbs are allowed to reach the regime-indentured masses.
My view is that police-state control of every aspect of Cuban life is so thoroughly perfected that outside influences, whether confrontational or co-operative, only minimally affect the country’s domestic trajectory.
So why not just lift the embargo? After all, the unassailable strategic rationale for isolating Cuba — in the Soviets’ mortal global struggle with us, Cuba enlisted as a highly committed enemy beachhead 90 miles from American shores — evaporated with the collapse of the Soviet empire. A small island with no significant independent military capacities, Cuba became geopolitically irrelevant.
That’s been partially reversed in the last few years as Vladimir Putin has repositioned Russia as America’s leading geopolitical adversary and the Castros signed up for that coalition too. Cuba has reportedly agreed to reopen the Soviet-era Lourdes espionage facility, a massive listening post for intercepting communications. Havana and Moscow have also discussed the use of Cuban airfields for Russia’s nuclear-capable long-range bombers.
This in addition to Cuba’s usual hemispheric mischief, such as training and equipping the security and repression apparatus in Venezuela.
No mortal threat, I grant. And not enough to justify forever cutting off Cuba. But it does raise the question: With the U.S. embargo already in place and the Castros hungry to have it lifted, why give them trade, investment, hard currency, prestige and worldwide legitimacy — for nothing in return?
Obama brought back nothing on democratization, a staggering betrayal of Cuba’s human rights crusaders. No free speech. No free assembly. No independent political parties. No hint of free elections. Not even the kind of 1975 Helsinki Final Act that we got from the Soviets as part of detente, granting structure and review to human rights promises. These provided us with significant leverage in supporting the dissident movements in Eastern Europe that eventually brought down communist rule.
If Obama insisted on giving away the store, why not at least do it item by item? We relax part of the embargo in return for, say, Internet access. And tie further normalization to serial relaxations of police-state repression.
Oh, what hypocrisy, say the Obama acolytes. Did we not normalize relations with China and get no human rights quid pro quo?
True. But that was never a prospect. The entire purpose was geopolitical and the payoff was monumental: America walked away with the most significant anti-Soviet strategic realignment of the entire Cold War, formally breaking up the communist bloc and gaining China’s neutrality, and occasional support, in the half-century struggle to dismantle the Soviet empire.
From Cuba, Obama didn’t even get a token gesture. Not even a fig leaf such as, say, withdrawal of secret police support in Venezuela. Or extradition of American criminals now fugitive in Cuba, including a notorious cop killer. Did we even ask?
Obama seems to believe that the one-way deal was win-win. A famous victory — the Cuba issue is now behind us. A breakthrough.
Indeed it is. You know how to achieve a breakthrough in tough negotiations? Give everything away. Try it. You’ll have a deal by noon. Every time.

domingo, diciembre 28, 2014

Did Obama Lie to Cuban-Americans?

By Russ Sloan in The Daily Commercial:

Lies and politics are close cousins in the White House

“Lying can never save us from another lie” is probably the most famous quote from Vaclav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic. In politics we have often been subjected to political spin, half truths, exaggeration and downright lies. But when political lies consistently follow one after another, at what point can we believe anything that source says?

On May 23, 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama was speaking to the Cuban-American Foundation’s annual Cuban Independence Day luncheon, where he said the following: “My policy towards Cuba will be guided by one word, liberty. The road to freedom for all Cubans must begin with justice for Cuba’s political prisoners, the right of free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly, and it must lead to elections that are free and fair. This is my commitment.”

He stated that he would not begin to “normalize” relations with Cuba until all political prisoners are released. To all of the political prisoners still in Cuba, President Obama’s promise must ring very hollow today based on his decision to renew relations with the Castro brothers’ oppressive regime. To those of us who know what he said in 2008, it is just one more significant lie piled on a continuous stack of presidential lies.

One wonders how any politician today, knowing that there exists volumes of recorded utterances, can so blatantly ignore what they promised and now do the exact opposite. Apparently the president shares the beliefs of Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor who scoffed that the American people were stupid as they drafted and passed Obamacare.

I ask myself, how many times can anyone lie before you recognize that this person is no longer trustworthy? The entire litany of President Obama’s lies would exceed my column space, but the important ones would be his 30-plus promises that you could keep your health care plan, doctor and save money, or his 20-plus utterances that he could not ignore a significant portion of our immigration laws since he was a president not an emperor.

Obama campaigned against the spending of George Bush, only to make Bush look like a miser. He said Bush was un-American for adding $4 trillion to our national debt over eight years, only to see his administration run up $7.4 trillion more debt during his six years. He states that he has issued fewer executive orders than previous presidents but does not mention that his numerous presidential proclamations virtually amount to the same thing. This was just a deliberate half truth. We’re making progress.

Throughout his administration, over 20 times, he has promised that Iran would not get nuclear weapons. Does anyone now believe that? Iran has played Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama like novices in a high stakes poker game. It is one thing to disagree with the president based on an honest difference of opinion, but to constantly be inundated with lies is dumbfounding.

Vaclav Havel was correct, “Lying can never save us from another lie.” For the past six years, we have been subjected to a series of major lies that can all be fully documented by the president’s very own words.

Los regalos de Obama

Andrés Reynaldo
Si ayer los demócratas cubanos estaban solos hoy podemos conjeturar que vamos a seguir muy solos. Quizás por un buen rato. El restablecimiento de relaciones con EEUU puede haber asegurado la transición dinástica de la dictadura, que ya tiene posicionadas a su segunda y tercera generación en los puestos de mando de la política y la economía. "¡Ahora sí que ganamos la guerra!", exclamó Raúl Castro ante la Asamblea Nacional parafraseando a Fidel en otra lejana circunstancia. No tanto, Raúl, pero sí ganaste una importante batalla.
Por más de medio siglo, la renuencia de EEUU a aceptar la dictadura castrista marcó una posición condenatoria en la arena internacional. De esa raya en la arena se aferró la oposición interna y externa frente a las habituales  indiferencia de Europa y el compadrazgo de la mayoría de los gobiernos latinoamericanos. Un gesto político que servía de asidero moral. Esta vez, una ola (parece que es la ola del olvido) ha borrado la raya. En el momento de su decrepitud, los Castro reciben un segundo aire. Con las variantes propias de la época, Washington les ayudará a convertirse en los Somoza.
Corridas las cortinas, vemos el entramado. Más de año y medio de negociaciones conducidas desde la parte estadounidense por gente con muy poco conocimiento y mucho menos afecto por el pueblo cubano. En ese período Raúl definió el marco protector de sus intereses. Una ley del embudo sobre las inversiones extranjeras y la actividad privada que deja a la gente de a pie las desventuras del cuentapropismo y promete a la elite la vida loca del capitalismo salvaje. Todo lo demás es decorado.
El modelo raulista es de una represiva perfección cleptocrática. Sus iguales no están en las dictaduras colegiadas de China y Vietnam, ni siquiera en la mafiosa Rusia de Putin, sino en las dinastías postcomunistas de Africa: Angola , República del Congo, Guinea Ecuatorial, por citar. A diferencia de estas, cuenta en su fase de arranque con una amplia red de agentes de influencia, poderosos empresarios (algunos de ellos cubanoamericanos) y líderes congresionales en Estados Unidos. Cuenta, además, con el empuje de una exótica coalición: los grandes intereses de Washington y el ala izquierda del Partido Demócrata. Unos lavan sus crímenes en nombre del progreso y otros en nombre de la distensión.
Ninguneada por el presidente Barack Obama, la oposición interna gana, eso sí, el beneficio de la claridad total. Ya no puede llamarse a engaño. Todas las recetas que se le proponen apuntan a facilitarle tiempo, dinero y prestigio a la dictadura. Hasta la misma tesis de que Obama le ha hecho un regalo envenenado a Raúl es una invitación a cruzarse de brazos. El tren de los cambios pasará de largo por la estación del Estado de derecho. No veo a General Motors, a Caterpillar y al Chase amenazando con cerrar negocio por una pateadura a las Damas de Blanco.
En el exilio, la categoría de los celebrantes no permite dudas de estar viviendo un humillante y retrógrado punto de inflexión en nuestra historia, preñado de desmemoria, deshonor y codicia. Con todo, merecemos sufrir el ruidoso ascenso de esta comparsa de la esclavitud. Estamos enfermos del pusilánime prurito de ser tolerantes frente a un mal radical. Por eso les dimos un sagrado lugar en el debate y nos inhibimos de quebrar a sangre y fuego el diálogo con aquellos que cortan orejas y arrancan lenguas. Hemos sido así de mansos y obtusos que hoy son esos mercaderes de la reconciliación quienes se presentan ante el mundo como los legítimos representantes de una "diáspora" ansiosa de complacer a los verdugos de la nación.
A propósito de la visita papal que nuestra Iglesia Católica le regaló a Fidel y Raúl en marzo del 2012, el líder del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación (MCL), Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, alertó sobre la inminencia del cambio fraude. Un cambio sin derechos para el pueblo, con la inserción de poderosos intereses que escamotean la democracia y la soberanía. Ah, y con el concepto de una "oposición leal", salido del taller de trucaje de la brigada de respuesta laica del cardenal Ortega. Cinco meses después, Payá fue asesinado. Triste hora para Cuba si al hablar de la decencia, la justicia y la libertad, el eco de los muertos se oye más alto que la voz de los vivos.

lunes, diciembre 22, 2014

WSJ: Who Would Benefit if the Cuban Embargo is Lifted?

By Mary Anastasia O'Grady in The Wall Street Journal:

Who Benefits if the Embargo Is Lifted?

The Castros already welcome foreign trade and investment. Fat lot of good it’s done for Cubans.

On a trip to Havana in the late 1990s, I toured the restoration of a 17th century convent with a Cuban architect. He told me the project was having trouble getting replacement floor tiles because of the U.S. embargo. I smiled and told him there was no blockade of the island and that the tiles could be sourced in Mexico. He grinned back at me.

“Well, OK,” he said. “The real problem is that we don’t have any money to buy them.”

Cubans are programmed from an early age to complain to anyone who will listen that “el bloqueo” is the cause of the island’s dire poverty. They know it’s a lie. But obediently repeating it is a survival skill. It raises the odds that the demented dictator won’t suspect you of having counterrevolutionary thoughts, boot you from your job, kick your children out of school and haul you off to jail.

President Obama appeared to be trying to prove his own revolutionary bona fides when he announced on Wednesday new diplomatic relations with the military dictatorship and plans to make it easier for Americans to travel to the island and engage in commerce with Cubans. He repeatedly linked the isolation of the Cuban people to U.S. policy, as the regime teaches Cuban children to do. He complained that the embargo strives to keep “Cuba closed off from an interconnected world.” In a reference to the limited access that Cubans have to telecommunications, he said “our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe.”

Even the humblest Cuban peasant would split his sides laughing if he heard those statements, which none did because they do not have access to anything other than Cuban state television—speaking of isolation. Cubans know that the island is not isolated from foreigners. According to Cuban statistics in 2013 there were 2.85 million visitors to the island of 11 million inhabitants. These included European, Chinese, Latin American, Canadian and American tourists and investors. In the first six months of this year, according to The Havana Consulting Group, there were 327,000 visitors to Cuba from the U.S.

The isolation (news flash Rand Paul) is caused by the police state, which controls and surveils foreigners’ movements, herding most visitors into resort enclaves. Foreign journalists who vocally oppose the Communist Party line are not allowed into the country.

More visitors won’t do anything to reduce Cuban poverty. The regime pockets the hard currency that they leave behind and pays workers in worthless pesos. Foreigners who decide to reward good workers without state approval can face prison.

It’s true that the Cuban people lack access to technology, but Mr. Obama’s suggestion that it is because of the embargo is a howler. Carlos Slim , the Mexican telecom monopolist and global player; Telefónica , the Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider; Vietnam’s Natcom; Ireland’s Digicel and countless other companies can do business on the island. But they can’t provide Internet access in homes because the state prohibits it.

U.S. telecom companies are lobbying Washington to be able to do business with the dictator. So to peddle the idea to the rest of us, Mr. Obama claims that this small, backward Caribbean country is a huge untapped export market. Question: How come the likes of Mexico and Spain haven’t flooded the virgin paradise for capitalists and turbocharged the Cuban middle class? Maybe because a couple of hoodlums have rigged the game. They decide who and what enters the country, treat Cubans like slaves, and arbitrarily jail foreign entrepreneurs and take property when it suits them.

Some delusional pro-market pundits think the anti-market Mr. Obama is suddenly pushing their ideas in Cuba. Mr. Obama wants us to believe that when Americans do business in Cuba, Cubans will be empowered. Funny that he didn’t feel that way about helping democratic Colombia when its U.S. free-trade agreement was up for ratification. Back then the White House was fretting about Colombian workers’ rights. Now, well, never mind.

The Castros are in full-blown panic mode because Venezuela, which has been their financial lifeline for 15 years, is broke. The last time things were this bad, when Soviet subsidies dried up in the early 1990s and the regime ran out of money, Castro introduced the “special period.”

Cubans were permitted to run restaurants in their homes, operate taxis and provide other services to foreigners and locals. As entrepreneurship blossomed, the state began to lose the absolute control it had relied on since 1959. Fidel clamped down as soon as Cuba stabilized.

Now the gangsters are again on the ropes. If they can up the number of U.S. travelers to the island and later wrangle multilateral funding now blocked by the U.S., they might squeeze by. But if not, the dictatorship is likely to come unglued, which raises the question of just who Mr. Obama is trying to help by stepping in now.

miércoles, diciembre 17, 2014

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-lehtinen: 'We feel betrayed' by Obama

Miami Herald

Senator Marco Rubio Holds Press Conference On Changes In U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

SenatorMarcoRubio

10 Steps Obama Is Planning to Take On Cuba

Suzanne Gamboa
The Obama administration's attempt to normalize relations with Cuba after decades of a U.S. policy of isolation comes with many steps, many of which will take time and further negotiation. In general, it seeks to ease regulations that limit commerce and travel flows, while maintaining pressure for improved human rights and democracy. Here are highlights of what the White House plans:
_ Establish an embassy in Havana.
_ Travel to Cuba is limited by how much an American can spend in Cuba and for what purpose a person can travel. The administration wants to ease for travel on a general license _ which does not require advance notification to the U.S. government _ for people who fit in 12 categories currently allowed for travel to Cuba. Changes to those categories requires congressional action. Travel to Cuba for tourist activities, will continue to be prohibited.
_ Increase to $400, the value of goods that Americans can bring from Cuba on return to the U.S. That total would include no more than $100 of tobacco and alcohol combined, and those can only be for personal, not commercial, use.
_ Raise limits on remittances to Cuba from $500 to $2,000 and eliminate requirements that businesses that forward the remittances, many of them based in Miami, have a license. (Remittances to certain Communist officials are excluded.) Remittances for humanitarian projects, support of the Cuban people and development of private businesses in Cuba will have no amount limits.
_ Expand list of goods authorized for export to Cuba, including materials for private residential construction, for use by private sector Cuban entrepreneurs and agricultural equipment for small farms.
_ Allow U.S. financial institutions to open corresponding accounts at Cuban financial institutions.
_ Allow U.S. credit and debit cards to be used by travelers in Cuba.
_ Authorize the commercial export of certain communications equipment and services to expand Cuban Internet access, now at 5 percent penetration, and to lower the cost of telecommunications.
_ Allow third-party countries to trade and transact with Cuba, unblock accounts of Cuban nationals who have located outside Cuba, allow U.S. citizens to participate in third-country professional meetings and conferences on Cuba. Also, allow foreign vessels to enter the U.S. after engaging in humanitarian trade with Cuba.
_ Require Secretary of State John Kerry to review and report to the president in six months the U.S. designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. That designation dates to 1982.

Record de la Ignominia: Raul Castro sobre el acuerdo con Obama

Cuba Hoy

Ignominy: President Obama's Cuba Speech

keeping records for the future. 
--------------------- 
The White House

Cuban-Americans React to Expected Changes

There has been swift reaction following news of the release of American contractor Alan Gross after five years imprisonment in Cuba and the expected announcements on changes to hardline U.S. policy towards Cuba that the administration on Tuesday decreed had not been working.
Senator Robert Menendez, (D-NJ), one of two Cuban American U.S. senators, has been an outspoken opponent of the Castro government and has not advocated for lifting the economic embargo against Cuba, in place since 1960.
"This is a moment of profound relief for Alan Gross and his family. Mr. Gross' physical and mental health has declined severely as a result of his five-year imprisonment under difficult conditions. He should have been released immediately and unconditionally five years ago," said Menendez in a statement. "He committed no crime and was simply working to provide Internet access to Cuba's small Jewish community. His imprisonment was cruel and arbitrary, but consistent with the behavior of the Cuban regime."
Menendez blasted the news that the U.S. was releasing three members of the "Cuban 5" who had been imprisoned in the U.S. after conspiracy and spying convictions. Senior administration officials said on the condition of anonymity that the Cubans' release was in exchange for a swap for a U.S. intelligence asset whom they did not identify by name, but whom they said had been imprisoned in Cuba for 20 years and was responsible for important intelligence prosecutions, including of the Cuban 5 and Ana Belén Montes, a former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who had spied for Cuba. The administration said Gross' release was released on humanitarian grounds by Cuba.
"President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government. There is no equivalence between an international aid worker and convicted spies who were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage against our nation. One spy was also convicted of conspiracy to murder for his role in the 1996 tragedy in which the Cuban military shot down two U.S. civilian planes, killing several American citizens. My heart goes out to the American families that lost love ones on that fateful day," Menendez stated.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, criticized the announced policy changes and said on his Twitter accounty he plans "to make every effort to block this dangerous & desperate attempt by (Obama) to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people's expense"
Although Obama can make some of the changes, such as starting talks about an opening an embassy in Havana, can be done administratively, Congress has to change laws on things such as travel rules and lifting the embargo.
Though some Cuban-Americans share Menendez's more hardline stance against the Cuban government, Wednesday's news follows what has been increasingly evolving attitudes towards Cuba.
"This does not need to be a relationship that is frozen in time," a senior administration official told reporters in a conference call Tuesday morning.
As news trickled out, groups such as #CubaNow that had implored Cuban-Americans during election season to vote "to protect their right to travel to Cuba to see their families sending a strong message to politicians who continue to cling to failed hardline policies."
"It is well within the President's authority to improve our ability to support the Cuban people, including the growing class of independent entrepreneurs and to bolster civil society on the island," said Ric Herrero, president of #CubaNow.
Ramon Saul Sanchez, a Miami-based human rights activist and president of Democracy Movement has been active in the Cuban-American community for 45 years, undergoing five hunger strikes, but he has never supported the U.S. embargo on Cuba. He is open to changes in Cuba if the island reciprocates and allows political descent and allows people like him to travel to his homeland.
Speaking before the president's announcement on Cuba changes, Sanchez said:
"The changes that may be introduced represent a large question mark to the Cuban population. They may also present an opportunity for change in Cuba. A closed society can only be changed when you are able to have people to people contact … And also provide them with communications."
In Florida, a major battleground state in U.S. politics, discussions of lifting or easing the embargo and softening relations toward Cuba have always been treacherous.
A Florida International University poll during the summer showed slightly over half of Miami-area Cuban Americans favored lifting the U.S. embargo against Cuba, as well as lifting travel restrictions and establishing diplomatic relations, NBC News reported. It's results came admid other surveys showing similar thawing of hardened views towards Cuba, particularly among younger and more recently arrived Cubans.
However, more than two thirds of Cuban Americans felt the country should remain on a list of four countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism.
Herrero's group had run a television ad in October featuring Cuban-American families divided between Cuba and the U.S. who told how 2009 changes in travel restrictions allowed them to reunite with family. Before 2009, Cuban-Americans could only travel to Cuba once every three years and faced tougher restrictions on sending money home to family in Cuba.

EEUU multa a banco aleman por hacer negocios con Cuba

La Habana/ Estados Unidos multó con mil millones de dólares al banco alemán Commerzbank por hacer negocios con Cuba, cinco meses después de proceder de igual forma contra el BNP Paribas, con la cifra record de más de ocho mil millones de dólares, informaron hoy medios de la isla.
Según los cubanos, la pena se basa en que el banco alemán, considerado el quinto más poderoso del mundo y segundo en importancia en su país después del Deutsche Bank, realizó transacciones con gobiernos que Washington considera promotores del terrorismo internacional, lista en la que figura Cuba.
Citando al Financial Times, los medios locales puntualizaron que  la institución germana acordó el pasado mes de septiembre el pago de 650 millones de dólares luego de ser acusado por llevar a cabo transacciones financieras con Cuba, y otros países que figuran en dicha lista .
En julio pasado, Cuba calificó de “atropello contra la soberanía” otra multa de ocho mil 970 millones de dólares impuesta por Estados Unidos al BNP Paribas, el mayor banco de Francia, y dijo que esta es la más cuantiosa pena registrada en medio siglo de bloqueo estadunidense.
El diario The New York Times publicó el 9 de julio pasado que el Departamento del Tesoro de EU había multado por más de 500 millones de dólares al Commerzbank por transferencias a través de sus filiales hacia Cuba, Corea del Norte, Myanmar, Irán y Sudán.
Otros  bancos europeos investigados por EU son el Deutsche Bank, los franceses Crédit Agricole y Société Générale y el italiano UniCredit SpA. El gobierno cubano ha denunciado en todos los foros internacionales a su alcance el carácter extraterritorial del bloqueo que Washington mantiene en su contra desde hace más de medio siglo, pese al rechazo casi total que cada año se registra en Naciones Unidades.
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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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