CubaBrief: Some apologists for Havana might see something significant in Cuba's new head of state, but Cubans on the island and many abroad know better.

After all these years many opinion and decision makers around the world are beginning to understand the real nature of the Castro dynasty. Many editorials and commentary in the United States and elsewhere point out that the elevation of Miguel Diaz Canel to be president of Cuba is not a new development. During the 1960s Fidel Castro was not the head of state, although he ran the island as his personal farm.

Canada to pull diplomats' families from Cuba embassy amid mysterious illness

Canada will remove families of diplomats posted at its embassy in Cuba as the cause of unusual health symptoms is still unknown, though information received from medical specialists has raised concerns of a new type of acquired brain injury, a senior Canadian government official said on Monday.

CubaBrief: Cuba's historic setback at UN / Duro golpe a Cuba en ONU

April 13, 2018, Geneva. Today, Cuban diplomats were conspicuously absent as the Cuban government was strongly condemned for its treatment of human rights defenders and, particularly, for preventing two activists from traveling to Geneva to speak at the pre-session to Cuba's third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN Human Rights Council.

CubaBrief: NEW VENEZUELA POLL - Atlantic Council Findings Reveal Deepening Despair and Political Mistrust Ahead of Presidential Election

The Atlantic Council just released a poll which underlined the deteriorating Venezuelan situation, while Cuban troops deployed by Raul Castro there continue to repress and abuse the Venezuelan people. The Chavez- Maduro government destroyed the oil industry that made Venezuela one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, just like the Castro brothers destroyed Cuba’s sugar industry, the engine of Cuban progress and development for more than 200 years.

CubaBrief: Goodbye Castros, Hello Communist Party

CubaBrief:  In a thoughtful opinion column just published by The New York Times, two professors from Amherst College and the University of Sidney write that "on March 11, Cuba will hold elections for the National Assembly, which in turn will select the country’s next president on April 19. President Raúl Castro, [Fidel's brother], will not run for re-election... The National Assembly is widely expected to choose a successor from outside the Castro family. Some believe "this could be the first step toward democracy," but Professors Javier Corrales and James Loxton, say that "Cuba is heading for more of the same: undemocratic one-party rule." 

CubaBrief: Chavez, Maduro, and the pernicious role of Castro’s Cuba in Venezuela

In the spring of 2017, and all through the year, social media feeds in Venezuela were filled with images of deprivation and despair: long lines of people hoping to purchase food; women fighting over a stick of butter; mothers who could not find milk to buy; children picking through garbage in search of something to eat; empty shelves in pharmacies and stores; hospitals without stretchers, drugs, or minimum levels of hygiene; doctors operating on a patient by the light of a cell phone; women giving birth outside of hospitals.

CubaBrief: The return of American terrorists in Cuba should be a precondition of future negotiations with Havana.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) should be commended for introducing a Senate Resolution for the immediate extradition of American terrorists enjoying the hospitality of the Castro regime.  According to the FBI there are more than 70 American fugitives “charged with offenses ranging from hijacking, to kidnapping, drug offenses, to murder” receiving safe harbor in Cuba.  

CubaBrief: Secretary Tillerson, President Trump on Venezuela and Cuba

In this CubaBrief we focus on recent statements by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Cuba and Venezuela.

“My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.” President Donald Trump, State of the Union, January 30, 2018.

CubaBrief: Killings in Venezuela, Amnesty appeals to Raul Castro, His Reforms have not managed to turn things around, And the sadness of Cuba’s healthcare

According to The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady “It’s instructive that Venezuela’s dictatorship chose to kill former police pilot Oscar Pérez and six other counterrevolutionaries in an extrajudicial execution last week. …He pleaded on social media for a chance to surrender to police. Instead the military dictatorship eliminated the celebrated dissident and his cohorts. It was front-page news.” 

CubaBrief: a Cuban hero dies and nobody notices, 14ymedio threatened by regime, Venezuela murders, and the Inter-American Dialogue focuses on the Cuban economy

In this CubaBrief the Inter-American Press Association (SIP)  condemns threats by state security against independent journalist. Also five former American diplomats call on world leaders to come to the assistance of the Venezuelan people suffering under Nicolas Maduro and Frank Calzon, the Center for a Free Cuba executive director is featured among answers to the latest Inter-American Dialogue publication.

CubaBrief: Havana wants you to believe Cuban intelligence knows nothing about U.S. Diplomats injured in Havana. Raul's gifts to Obama: $5,000 worth of presents

Earlier this week, Josefina Vidal, Raul Castro’s chief negotiator with Washington during the Obama Administration, objected to the testimony of Francisco Palmieri, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America before a Senate subcommittee about the American diplomats who suffered serious health issues, including mild brain trauma while working at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Ms. Vidal, quoted [on January 9, 2018] by the Miami Herald’s Mimi Whitefield, said that “the “irresponsible statements” by Palmieri were “unacceptable.” 

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.