CUBA BRIEF: UM Suspends Pro-Castro lecture. Boston Globe's Columnist focuses on Che

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine lecture by Dr. Roberto Villafranca [University of Medical Sciences, Cuba] was advertised to be heldtomorrow, October 18th. According to the UM announcement, Dr. Villafranca was to speak on “[t]he Cuban National Health System [which] is highly structured, prevention-oriented, and gives special attention to continuing medical education.”

CUBA BRIEF: Time to Hold Cuba to Account for Its Crimes by Ambassador Armando Valladares. Che’s Irish Postage Stamp and the New, Improved, Postcolonial White Folk’s Burden. by Professor Carlos Eire

Your editorial “Cuba’s Sonic Attacks” (Sept. 26) quotes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “It’s a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered.” Cuba is a totalitarian state and very little happens on the island that escapes Raúl Castro’s security police. International law requires governments to provide protection to foreign diplomats. Unquestionably Cuba failed to protect U.S. diplomats.

CUBA BRIEF: American diplomats harmed in Cuba: Cuba denies it but the injuries are real.

The same regime that in June of 2013 told the Panamanian government that a North Korean cargo vessel approaching the Panama Canal contained only a shipment of sugar for the people of North Korea, had little to say when warplanes, thousands of projectiles, and missiles were found under tons of sugar.  Press forward to recent statements by Cuba’s Foreign Minister questioning whether the brain trauma, dizziness, and permanent hearing loss of American diplomats in Cuba is real.  

CUBA BRIEF: “Irma is not responsible for Cuba's economic debacle. The government is.” Tourist industry put profit over the safety of their clients.

The Hill reports that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants reciprocity in U.S. Cuba relations: "I just think it is fair and, and reciprocal for us to require a proportional drawdown of the Cuban Embassy and the Cuban diplomatic presence in the United States," he said.  ABC News reports that Tour companies, airlines, cruises and others in the travel industry will continue taking Americans to Cuba despite a dramatic safety warning issued Friday by the U.S. State Department.

CUBA BRIEF: The Post: U.S. to slash embassy staff, warns travelers. The Times: Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’

When Raul Castro attempted to smuggle war planes to North Korea during the Obama Administration, the State Department response was that it was really not that significant. Ibid. for other anti-American actions carried out by the regime including Russian spy ships back in Havana. There are still Obama holdovers in the foreign policy machinery of the United States, but the sonic attacks on American diplomats in Cuba could not be swept under the rug after CBS Radio reported the story and the Department of State was forced to acknowledge it.

CUBA BRIEF: Mr. President, Will the bureaucracy act?

Fox says Trump’s Cuba policy stalls perhaps due to lack of resources and staff at Treasury. Why not reassign whatever federal funds are required?  If the holdovers from the previous Administration remain in control, President Trump could issue an Executive Order, just like he did on Venezuela recently.

CUBA BRIEF: Bring U.S. diplomats home. Cuba can’t, and won’t, protect them. Cubans hope for Customs moratorium after Irma.

More than a week after the hurricane caused havoc in Cuba, despite pleas from many for the regime to relax custom fees so that the much needed food, medicine, clothing, foot wear, and supplies to rebuild the country would come in much larger quantities, the government has yet to respond. What the government has done is to sell food to some of the families impacted by the hurricane. There have been protests. We publish here an article "Cubans Hope For Customs Moratorium After Irma" published on the 19th by 14ymedio.

CUBA BRIEF: Trump’s Successful U.N. Speech by Elliott Abrams. A Hurricane Called Communism By Carlos Alberto Montaner

It had both striking rhetoric and a sound argument. In his speech to the United Nations, President Trump very successfully met the political and intellectual challenge he faced. He reminded the delegates that the United Nations was never meant to be a gigantic bureaucracy that would steadily become a world government. Rather, he said, it is an association of sovereign states whose strength depends “on the independent strength of its members.” Its success, he argued, depends on their success at governing well as “strong, sovereign, and independent nations.”

CUBA BRIEF: U.S. imposes first economic sanctions against Maduro. Don't play down attack on diplomats says The Washington Post. NPR reports on diplomats brain damage.

Earlier today, the Miami Herald reports that “the U.S. imposed its first economic penalties against Venezuela, hitting the South American country’s financial sector in an attempt to starve President Nicolás Maduro’s government of cash. The Trump administration banned trades of Venezuelan debt, prohibiting Maduro’s government and its state-run oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, from selling new bonds to Americans or in U.S. financial institutions. President Donald Trump signed an executive order approving the sanctions Thursday.”