CubaBrief: Havana's economic reforms fail. Maduro bans opposition and Brain abnormalities in US Embassy patients in Cuba.

The headline on a well-documented article by The Miami Herald’s Nora Gamez Torres is true: “Raúl Castro’s economic reforms were supposed to make life better in Cuba. Didn’t happen.” Cubans are facing increased shortages, and the disastrous two currency system continues to exploit Cubans. Raul Castro, despite many efforts by the Europeans who forgave tens of millions of dollars of Havana’s debt, might not be able to make Cuba’s expected payments, negotiated as part of the debt restructuring.

Cuba Brief/Cuba en Breve: El derecho al trabajo y a la no discriminación de los trabajadores cubanos del informe reciente de Amnistía Internacional

En este Cuba Brief/ Cuba en Breve:  tres tema extraordinarios:

·  El derecho al trabajo y a la no discriminación de los trabajadores cubanos del informe reciente de Amnistía Internacional que acaba de distribuir el blog de ASCE, la Asociación para el Estudio de la Economía de Cuba;

·  un magnífico ensayo del Profesor Rafael Rojas: “ Breve historia de la censura en Cuba (1959-2016).

·   y “Cuba and North Korea in the same line of combat", un analisis muy importante   de Alvaro Alba,  Senior Research Associate en el Cuban Studies Institute (CSI). 

CUBA BRIEF: Cuba's expected next president starts to take higher profile

Yesterday, the Cuban regime held municipal “elections” in which no candidate independent from the Communist Party was allowed to run. The Associated Press reported that “the man widely seen as Cuba's next president delivered a defiant rejection of demands for change in the island's single-party system as he participated Sunday in the first in a series of elections expected to end with his taking over from Raul Castro next year.”

CUBA BRIEF: A bad day for Raul Castro: Mugabe is out and North Korea is in the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism

For sure, Raul Castro knows the old Spanish adage that says “If you see your neighbor’s beard on fire, immerse yours in water.”  Today, is not a good day for the General-President. The United States returned Pyongyang to the list of state sponsors of terrorism and Robert Mugabe, longtime friend and accomplice of the Castro dynasty is no longer in power. We are reprinting in English an article by Yoani Sanchez on the relationship between Mugabe and the Castros. It is very much worth reading.

CUBA BRIEF: North Korea, Zimbabwe and Mimi Whitefield's PR efforts

The Washington Post, November 17, 2017 reports that “North Korea falls back on close ties with Cuba.” Relations between Havana and Pyongyang have been very strong for more than half a century. A big difference today is that under the Trump Administration Washington is not likely to sweep under the rug hostile actions by either regime.

CUBA BRIEF: Raul Castro honors Puerto Rican terrorist, Cuba attack mystery may be Cold War flashback and another airline end its daily flight to Havana

General Raul Castro awarded Cuba's Order of Solidarity to Puerto Rican terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, responsible for more than one hundred bombs throughout the United States and millions of dollars in damage. He was to remain in prison until 2051 but his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama shortly before the end of his Administration.

CUBA BRIEF: Rediscovering Cuba: The Russians helped Fidel in his war against the peasants. Today in The Wall Street Journal and earlier in National Review

Writing in The Wall Street Journal today, Mary Anastasia O’Grady focuses on how “[t]he Russians used their experience at home to annihilate [Cuban] dissident peasants.” Months after Castro’s coming to power a peasant uprising ensued due to the regime’s efforts to confiscate farmland and the farmers’ production, in a fashion that resembled Soviet experiences earlier many years earlier.

CUBA BRIEF: Cubans protest police actions. American sentenced to 13 years prison and regime says sonic attacks never happened

As reported earlier the House of Representatives approved a bill entitled “Cuban Airport Security Act of 2017.” The bill instructs the Administrator of the Transportation and Security Administration to submit a report to the Congress assessing “the ability of known or suspected terrorists to use Cuba as a gateway of entry into the United States,” and “the vetting practices and procedures for airport employees,” as well as “any other information determined relevant to the security practices, procedures and equipment at such airports.”

CUBA BRIEF: Raul Castro ships elsewhere assistance desperately needed in Cuba and another anniversary of the infamous missile crisis

Panampost just published an article: “Castro Regime Sends Scarce Items to Dominica while Cubans Struggle to Recover from Hurricane.” Unfortunately, not only is General Raul Castro sending elsewhere tons of assistance that are urgently needed by Cubans after the havoc of Hurricane Irma, but assistance donated to Cuba by several countries is not distributed but sold by the government to desperate families. Cuban customs continues to place obstacles on the importation of food and medicine needed by thousands of homeless Cubans.

CUBA BRIEF: UM president favors strengthening academic bonds with Cuba, while there is no academic freedom there. House passes bill on airport security in Cuba.

The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer published on the Eastern Caribbean island of the same name runs today [October 23, 2017] an article: " Cuba, Caribbean ties to U. of Miami in New Online Report.” U.M. president Julio Frenk says “We look forward to more opportunities to strengthen academic bonds, increase research and welcome diverse discourse on the humanities, politics and culture.”

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.