The US-Cuba embargo, installed in the early 1960s, has been in place for over 50 years. Its ultimate goal of destroying Fidel Castro’s reign has not been accomplished, and its motivation, fear of a worldwide expansion of communism and a Soviet-aided Cuban military attack on the US have diminished. As Castro passes, the major source of US/Cuban political obstruction will, too. In terms of the US ending the embargo, we can ask ourselves, what are we waiting for?
In recent years, tourist income from all over the world has been flowing into the Cuban economy as visitors take in the sights of Havana and stroll along the sunbaked sands of small beach towns such as Baracoa Varadero and Guanabo that lay on Cuba’s golden coasts.
Recently, a group of seven cuban immigrants found themselves on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.1 This group of seven was attempting to traverse the 90-mile stretch of ocean from Cuba to Florida, but instead ended up in Mexico. Due to this longer than expected journey, two died, while the rest were in critical condition upon rescue by the Mexican Navy who found them off the coast of the peninsula. After recovery, the Cubans were deported back to Cuba, while their hopes of making it to the United States remain unfulfilled.
Cuba asegura que el embargo de Estados Unidos le ha costado alrededor de $116.000 millones (USD) a la isla desde que se estableció, en 1962. En una declaración realizada el nueve de septiembre en la ONU, la nación caribeña añadió que sólo en el último año el embargo le reportó pérdidas por $3.900 millones (USD). El viceministro de relaciones exteriores, Abelardo Moreno, aseguró que en promedio Cuba pierde $2.000 millones anuales (USD) como consecuencia de las restricciones de viajes entre los dos países.1
The recent Ebola outbreak has triggered world wide panic about the possible spread of the deadly virus. Now, with people infected in the US and Spain, countries are mobilizing to send doctors and nurses to West Africa in order to stop the spread of Ebola at its source. One of the countries at the forefront of this mobilization is Cuba.
The latest attempt to relocate prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay Detention Center has, as previous attempts before it, been stalled. The government of Uruguay had recently accepted the relocation of six prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who have been approved for transfer. However, due to possible political ramifications the relocation will now be pushed back until after the elections in Uruguay this November.1 This is only the latest halt in the traffic jam that is the ongoing process of closing operations at Guantanamo Bay.
Hundreds of women sit behind bars in El Salvador punished for defying the ban on abortion. Many, such as María Teresa Rivera are pleading they are wrongly jailed for having suffered miscarriages or stillbirths. Three years ago Rivera miscarried and awoke handcuffed to her hospital bed surrounded by seven policemen who proceeded to charge her with murder.1 After an eight-month trial, she was sentenced to 30 years in prison for aggravated murder.
The collapse of the Soviet Union forced Cuba to enter the Special Period in the 1990s. Since the Special Period, Cuban observers always expect that Cuba pursue the economic reforms like China’s Reform and Opening up and Vietnam’s Doi Moi. But the pace of Cuba’s economic reforms is so slow that the country is still constantly experiencing chronic shortages. Although the Cuban government attempts to attract foreign investment, its policies are inconsistent and cannot provide a hospitable environment for foreign investment so far.
After nearly two years of peace negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government, the FARC have done something they have never done before. In all the 50 years that FARC has been terrorizing Colombia, they have never once sequestered a government or military official, but on November 16th, 2014, a leading general in the Colombian military was captured while traversing a remote river in an indigenous region of the Colombian rainforest.
El doctor Carmelo Mesa-Lago tiene una amplísima trayectoria académica. Es catedrático de Servicio Distinguido Emérito en Economía y Estudios Latinoamericanos en la Universidad de Pittsburgh; profesor, investigador visitante y conferencista en cuarenta países; autor de noventa y dos libros y más de trescientos artículos académicos publicados en siete idiomas en treinta y cuatro países.