The US must return to a policy that prioritises providing both moral and material support for Cuba’s dissidents and human rights activists. Funding for Cuba democracy programmes was redirected by the Obama administration to other activities on the island. [...] Human rights in Cuba must also be reprioritised at the United Nations, other international forums, and in US public diplomacy campaigns.
Fidel Castro is now a relic of the past. Cuba’s communist government will mourn him, erect a statue in his honor and dedicate a plaza in his name for the contributions he made to the revolution. And we won’t be waiting until the Malecón dries — which is to say forever — to see how the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election changes the course of U.S.-Cuban relations.
On October 14, the U.S. departments of the Treasury and Commerce also released a sixth set of regulatory amendments to the Cuba sanctions program. These amendments make it easier to engage in authorized travel and business with Cuba [...] “I believe in the Cuban people. This is not just a policy of normalizing relations with the Cuban government. The United States of America is normalizing relations with the Cuban people,” the president said.
A month earlier, the blossoming mood of rapprochement was given a sprinkling of goodwill when a New York Cosmos team including Brazilian legend Pele in their delegation traveled to Havana to face Cuba in a friendly. It highlighted the role sport has played to thaw hitherto chilly relations between the two nations, a strategic tool the United States has made use of repeatedly for decades.
Cuba is in a position where it could use some soft power appeal, particularly on the same social issues—like unemployment or the treatment of Afro-Latinos—that neighboring countries are going through. If Cuba is aiming to have a rap scene with actual international appeal beyond the club circuit, the state should relax its hold.
The first direct commercial flight between the US and Cuba landed today in the city of Santa Clara, in the center of the island, after more than half a century of restrictions. It marked a further step in the normalization process between the two countries, reported dpa news.
Together O’Neal and Canales became the first official U.S. Department of State Basketball Sports Envoys to Cuba, taking U.S. diplomacy to new heights by forging positive ties with the people of Cuba through the unifying power of sports.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Representative Charles Rangel announced the first-ever annual Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival, an international visual and performing arts, fashion, education and culinary exchange celebrating the rich artistic connection between iconic cities Harlem, New York and Havana, Cuba.