We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support in paying for servers. Thank you.


Cubaverdad on Twitter

Daily Archives: November 21, 2016

… Sunday that he departed from Cuba and is going to Colombia … Government and the FARC in Havana. “I don’t know the … interview with Noticias RCN in Havana. The announcement of Timochenko’s … , agreed on Nov. 12 in Havana, includes contributions from sectors opposed … Continue reading

El senador Víctor Ozerov insistió en que delegaciones del Gobierno de Rusia que viajan a Cuba y Vietnam están analizando la reapertura de las antiguas bases en estas naciones, según publicó este lunes el sitio Sptuniknews.com.

leer más

Continue reading
President-elect Donald Trump Monday named Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the most active pro-Cuba embargo group in Washington, to his transition team. Claver-Carone has been one of the harshest critics … Click to Continue » Continue reading
  Con 95 años de edad y ocho décadas de carrera exitosa, el percusionista cubano Cándido Camero se ha despedido de forma “oficial” de los escenarios, pero aseguró que “seguiré … Click to Continue » Continue reading
… ’ve been visiting Cuba and filling the coffers of Cuba’s terror-sponsoring … ’s Bryant Gumbel characterized the Cuban-Americans who were (peacefully) protesting the … ) political and social habits of Cuban-American–instead of this literary clumsiness … Continue reading

Cubana de Aviación has blamed its disastrous state (once again) to the US embargo. "There are no aviation supply companies in the world that dare to sell direct to Cuba," the company's director recently alleged.

leer más

Continue reading
… games against Cuban Baseball Federation teams, attend classes and explore Cuba… guest speakers and discussions on Cuban music, art and architecture. There … Cuban Baseball Federation. "Our baseball team's trip to Cuba … with the U.S. and Cuban flags on their hats, along … Continue reading
El presidente de la compañía Techrrific Inc., Víctor Manuel Castro Vaquero, negó que esta utilizara mecanismos fraudulentos para ofrecer el servicio de llamadas y mensajes a Cuba conocido como Cuballama, … Click to Continue » Continue reading
Un megaevento de música popular bailable
Se le privó de libertad por no pagar una multa de ocho dólares Continue reading

Mauricio Claver-Carone, el director ejecutivo del US-Democracy PAC, el grupo de cabildeo proembargo más activo en Washington, fue nombrado este lunes como miembro del equipo de transición del presidente electo Donald Trump, informó el diario El Nuevo Herald.

leer más

Continue reading
… Cashel Mall in Christchurch, but Cuba St shoppers returned after only … the earthquake prone buildings on Cuba are classed as Heritage buildings … played. Wellingtonian Joel Ruys said Cuba St was a favourite haunt … would have been depressing if Cuba had been destroyed, there… Continue reading
… measures at international airports in Cuba and would specify other administrative … would prohibit airlines from employing Cuban nationals, unless they publicly disclose … Cuban nationals who are recruited or trained by entities of the Cuban … of the current agreements with Cuba prohibit disclosure, airlines would either … Continue reading
Artistas del género cubatón —una fusión criolla de reguetón, timba, rumba, guaguancó y otros géneros— deleitaron durante horas en las noches de sábado y domingo en el Hard Rock Live … Click to Continue » Continue reading
Mauricio Claver-Carone fue designado este lunes Continue reading

(EFE).- El nuevo arzobispo de La Habana, Juan de la Caridad, retomó por primera vez desde que accedió al cargo más alto de la jerarquía católica de la isla los históricos reclamos de la Iglesia al Gobierno cubano sobre el acceso al sistema educativo y mayor espacio en los medios de comunicación para llegar a más gente.

En su primera entrevista desde que sustituyó en ese cargo en mayo pasado al cardenal Jaime Ortega, Juan de la Caridad declaró a la revista "Palabra Nueva" -que publica el arzobispado- que la Iglesia "quiere tener escuelas o espacios en las escuelas, lo que también desea una parte considerable del pueblo".

La Iglesia "desea tener parte activa y pública en la educación para las virtudes que quiten vicios y en el fomento de la concordia entre todos los cubanos, y quiere dialogar sobre todo esto o al menos paulatinamente", afirmó De la Caridad.

El nuevo arzobispo de La Habana, que antes estaba a cargo de la archidiócesis de Camagüey, también insistió en que la Iglesia Católica quiere tener "acceso a los medios de comunicación social de manera continua".

En Cuba la prensa está desde los años sesenta bajo control estatal y solo la Iglesia tiene algunos modestos medios para la difusión de la fe en templos.[[QUOTE:La Iglesia "desea tener parte activa y pública en la educación para las virtudes que quiten vicios y en el fomento de la concordia entre todos los cubanos, y quiere dialogar sobre todo esto o al menos paulatinamente"]]La relación entre la Iglesia Católica y el Gobierno cubano fue tensa desde los inicios de la Revolución, que se incautó de algunos de sus inmuebles y expulsó a sacerdotes, aunque la visita del papa Juan Pablo II en 1998 inició una etapa de distensión.

A partir de entonces se puso en marcha un acercamiento que profundizó un reformista Raúl Castro, en el poder desde 2008 y que anotó un hito en 2010, cuando acometió un importante proceso de excarcelación de presos políticos, tras un inédito diálogo con la jerarquía católica del país.

En medio de esa distensión, el Estado ha devuelto templos, inmuebles y terrenos que fueron propiedad de la Iglesia Católica, e incluso este año ha autorizado por primera vez desde 1959 la construcción de dos nuevas iglesias, una en La Habana y otra en la provincia occidental de Pinar del Río.

Además, se está permitiendo que religiosas den asistencia a enfermos en hospitales o a personas de la tercera edad, en un país que se enfrenta al reto de un progresivo envejecimiento poblacional.

En septiembre de 2015, con motivo de la visita a la isla del papa Francisco, la televisión estatal cubana ofreció dos insólitas entrevistas en horario de máxima audiencia con el entonces arzobispo de La Habana, Jaime Ortega, y el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal y arzobispo de Santiago de Cuba, Dionisio García.

Además, en febrero pasado Cuba fue el escenario del primer encuentro entre un papa católico -el argentino Francisco- y un patriarca ortodoxo -el ruso Kiril- tras casi mil años de cisma.

Continue reading
… people-to-people travel to Cuba, has launched a four-day Varadero + Havana vacation package … long weekend in Cuba. With the day trip to Havana included, and … Cuban driver All meals at the hotel; lunch and dinner in Havana are on one's own Certification of travel to CubaContinue reading
Pide garantías a las autoridades cubanas Continue reading
… was during Obama’s presidency. Cuba Donald Trump is not a … and Havana, which was launched after Barack Obama visit to Cuba in …  the restored diplomatic ties with Cuba. Cuban President Raul Castro congratulated Trump …  the US election were revealed, Havana announced a five-day long military … Continue reading
… along the malecon seawall in Havana, Cuba. According to the fishermen’s … of the balloon technique in Cuba saw a video of South … Continue reading

La empresa Cuballama, acusada por la prensa oficial de estar en una presunta "ruta de los fraudes telefónicos", emitió un comunicado en el que asegura que no ha hecho perder millones a ETECSA y busca "responder con la mayor claridad e inmediatez" a la polémica suscitada por el artículo en cuestión, publicado por el diario Juventud Rebelde.

leer más

Continue reading

La Veneciana, ubicada en Guantánamo, es la mejor pizzería de Cuba, según una declaración que algunos blogs y publicaciones locales han atribuido al vicepresidente Marino Murillo Jorge.

leer más

Continue reading

El periodista independiente de La Hora de Cuba, Henry Constantín, fue detenido por agentes de la Seguridad del Estado en el Aeropuerto Internacional Ignacio Agramonte, de Camagüey.

Constantín relató a DIARIO DE CUBA que regresaba después de una estancia de 14 días en Estados Unidos, adonde había viajado para participar de un seminario organizado por el Centro de Estudios Cubanos y Cubanoamericanos en la Universidad de Miami.

leer más

Continue reading

El secretario ejecutivo de la alianza opositora Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), Jesús Torrealba, invitó este lunes al presidente del país, Nicolás Maduro, a debatir públicamente para mostrar "lo que son maneras diferentes de encarar la crisis" que atraviesa Venezuela.

leer más

Continue reading
Mauricio Claver-Carone, el director ejecutivo del US-Democracy PAC, el grupo de cabildeo proembargo más activo en Washington, fue nombrado este lunes como miembro del equipo de transición del presidente electo … Click to Continue » Continue reading

Cuba sobresale en Iberoamérica entre los países con menor disponibilidad de computadoras por estudiantes, con solo un equipo por cada 25 alumnos, indica un informe realizado por la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos, que a su vez da un sobresaliente a la educación secundaria de la Isla de toda Latinoamérica.

leer más

Continue reading
Enough With the War Games / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, Havana, 20 November 2016 —
Tiredness, in the voice of the friend who calls and asks when they are
going to mute the sirens that have been going off since morning.
Exhaustion, in the neighbor who couldn't get home in time after work
because traffic was diverted due to military maneuvers. Annoyance in the
young reservist who was ordered to participate in military exercise on
the exact days he was planning a getaway with his girlfriend.

The three days devoted to "Bastión 2016" have left many Cubans feeling
extremely saturated. Especially because after 72 hours of aggressive
confrontation, and just when it seemed that the nightmare of machine
guns was over, the government decreed this Saturday and Sunday to be
National Days of Defense. For those who don't want to fight… three bullets.

Exhausted from so much "trench warfare" and too many allusions to the
enemy, we wonder if it wouldn't be more coherent to use all those
resources to alleviate daily problems. To reverse the chronic
difficulties of urban transport, the quality of the bread in the ration
market, or the shortages of medicines in the island's pharmacies, would
be better destinations for the little money contained in the national
coffers.

Why waste money on fuel for war tanks that could be used to improve
elementary school lunches?

The threat of battle is part of the mechanisms of control. The trench is
the hole where we are immobilized and reduced; the platoon erases our
individuality; and the canteen filled with water that tastes of metal
and fear exorcises our demons of prosperity.

The war games have reminded us that we are only soldiers. As the bugle's
roar pulls the uniformed from their beds, these days of military
exercises have awakened the country from any dreams of citizenship.

Source: Enough With the War Games / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/enough-with-the-war-games-14ymedio-yoani-sanchez/ Continue reading
When Bread Is Also Medicine / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 20 November 2016 — The corner of Infanta
and San Lazaro just awoke from its always busy Friday night. In
the bakery of the El Biky restaurant, Carlos Bernabé tastes one baked
treat after another. Faced with a delicacy filled with coconut, the
demanding eater suggests "only the madeleine could be improved."

He says it knowingly, because the Spaniard comes from a family of bakers
in Valencia and presides over the Indespan company. His excitement to
explore new horizons has brought him to the island several times in the
last five years. He says that the challenge here is to "encourage
innovation in the bread and bakery sector."

Barnabas takes a bite of his pastry and a sip of coffee. He explains
that his firm has done innovated research "in the field of healthy
baking." Outside the windows of the café where he speaks with 14ymedio,
the sun begins to shine through everywhere, defying the clouds and traffic.

Over a year ago the entrepreneur came to train and supply the employees
of La Antigua Chiquita bakery, and he affirms that "since then, the
bakery has exclusively dedicated itself to preparing breads and pastries
for the celiac population." Celiac is a disorder that obliges those who
suffer from it to each gluten-free foods.

Barnabas boasts that the breads and pastries prepared under his
company's methods "become medication." He evaluates the initiative that
started at the bakery on Carlos III Street as "a resounding success"
because "it is the first bakery in Cuba that offers good quality
products for celiac sufferers," and that has been able to maintain a
stable supply of products.

The businessman has not wanted to stay only in Havana and the project is
expanding to other provinces. On his most recent trip he helped to "set
up the second gluten-free bakery for celiacs," now in Santa Clara. In
this effort he was accompanied by two bakers from his team in Valencia.

This type of preparation "was totally unknown" to the Cuban employees,
but after three days of practice "they know how to make different kinds
of products such as breads, hamburger buns, pizzas, cakes and muffins,"
says Indespan's president.

In these last five years, while promoting his ideas on the island, he
has been approached at his presentations by everyone "from crying
children" to "mothers of adult children who were finally able to eat
warm bread." He found that many felt socially excluded because at
parties and recreational activities "all the sweets contained flour,
contained gluten," which is dangerous to their health.

Last Friday Barnabas did a demonstration at El Sylvain on Calzada de 10
Octubre in Havana in which he made breads and desserts for diabetics,
"with zero sugar," he says.

He explains that in this effort to introduce formulas and methods for
healthy eating in Cuba, he has found "great support" and "those
responsible for the bakeries are very concerned about it." He maintains
"a fluid conversation with all those involved so he doesn't run out of
supplies," and in order to avoid "celiacs not having their food, their
medicine."

The baker is not done in terms of projects. He plans to increase the
variety of products and on his next trip will bring "gluten-free pasta
so celiacs can make spaghetti, cannelloni and lasagna at home."

He estimates that there is a need for more than "five hundred bakeries
of this type" throughout the country to satisfy the demand. "The
important thing is to start on the path and then offer the facilities
necessary for the self-employed to be able to continue," he says, in
relation to the private sector.

However, to achieve this "the most important thing" is "to improve the
supply of raw materials." In his conversations with Cuban entrepreneurs
he has learned that "their main problem is supplies," stable supplies
"to make bread for diabetics or to get mixes."

There needs to be "in the very near future, a way for private
individuals to get the raw materials necessary to give the population a
quality product," Bernebé emphasizes. Having a wholesale market still
seems like a dream, but even though the projects are "going slowly" the
baker believes that "we have to keep pushing."

Source: When Bread Is Also Medicine / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar –
Translating Cuba -
http://translatingcuba.com/when-bread-is-also-medicine-14ymedio-luz-escobar/ Continue reading
El móvil preferido de los cubanos suena Blu, Blu, Blu ZUNILDA MATA, La Habana | Noviembre 21, 2016 Diseñado en Estados Unidos, fabricado en China y con una legión de clientes en Cuba. Así podría definirse el teléfono inteligente producido por Blu Products. Este terminal tiene poco que envidiar a las marcas más reconocidas y […] Continue reading
Basta de bastión YOANI SÁNCHEZ, La Habana | 20/11/2016 Cansancio, en la voz de la amiga que llama y pregunta cuándo van a enmudecer las sirenas que suenan desde temprano cada mañana. Hastío, en el vecino que no ha podido llegar a tiempo a su casa después del trabajo porque el tráfico se desvió con […] Continue reading
Fidel Castro, el mito creado para sí mismo 20 de noviembre de 2016 – 13:11 – Por Luis Leonel León Desde 1959, una de las ganancias de este caudillo de los desposeídos del Tercer Mundo ha sido su prolífica producción de mitos La pasada semana disfruté un documental que me hizo reflexionar sobre una realidad […] Continue reading
Retienen a periodista independiente a su regreso de EEUU Martinoticias.com Henry Constantín Ferreiro declaró que las autoridades de Inmigración le interrogaron sobre dónde había estado, quién pago su viaje y qué le parecían las recientes elecciones presidenciales en EEUU donde resultó ganador el republicano Donald Trump. El periodista independiente Henry Constantín Ferreiro fue retenido el […] Continue reading
Cubanos cuestionan despliegue de recursos para juegos militares Martinoticias.com Tras una semana de ejercicios militares que buscan preparar al pueblo para la supuesta y por décadas esperada agresión enemiga, muchos se cuestionan cuál es la lógica detrás del más reciente Bastión ahora que Cuba y EEUU ya no son enemigos. El reciente simulacro de guerra […] Continue reading
Desde marzo gobierno impide a Damas de Blanco asistir a misa noviembre 20, 2016 Idolidia Darias Berta Soler, líder del movimiento femenino, recordó que “la última vez que entraron a misa fue la semana siguiente de Obama visitar Cuba”. Desde entonces son golpeadas y arrestadas cada domingo. La sede del Movimiento opositor Damas de Blanco […] Continue reading
Niegan entrada a Cuba a disidentes noviembre 20, 2016 Idolidia Darias El ex preso político Darsi Ferret, y el activista del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación Evelio Rodríguez, no podrán viajar a la isla tras la negativa de las autoridades de habilitar sus pasaportes con el permiso requerido. Autoridades consulares cubanas negaron el permiso de entrada a […] Continue reading
Una novela de clases sociales en la Cuba castrista-leninista Ronaldo Menéndez escribe en ‘La casa y la isla’ una crónica de las desigualdades, el desencanto y la resistencia al individualismo en La Habana de su adolescencia LUIS ALEMANY 20/11/2016 20:50 No hay escritor cubano en el mundo que no está seguro de que su adolescencia, […] Continue reading
‘Futbolistas cubanos deben jugar en el extranjero para subir nivel de la selección’ LUIS F. SÁNCHEZ lfsanchez@elnuevoherald.com El volante Ariel Martínez aseguró que si los futbolistas cubanos tuvieran más oportunidades de jugar en el exterior, en estos momentos la selección de la isla estaría en condiciones de pelear en el hexagonal final de la CONCACAF […] Continue reading
El listado que parece va a quedar sobre la mesa para el presidente Trump Continue reading
El hecho ocurrió frente al estadio de beisbol, durante un partido contra Holguín
Cuba: otra oportunidad perdida La tensión social crece mientras el gobierno frena el despegue de la economía Lunes, noviembre 21, 2016 | Miriam Leiva LA HABANA, Cuba.- La tensión social crece al constatar los cubanos que el gobierno no acomete un plan integral urgente para estimular el despegue de la economía, con cambios en el […] Continue reading

14ymedio

En la noche de este domingo, el activista Henry Constantín fue retenido en la Aduana del Aeropuerto Internacional Ignacio Agramonte de Camagüey, en el momento en que arribaba desde Miami. El disidente fue conducido a una estación policial donde confiscaron su teléfono móvil junto a la computadora portátil, según informó a 14ymedio. El reportero independiente fue liberado cerca de las diez de la noche y afirma que comenzará un proceso legal para reclamar sus pertenencias.

Constantín llegó a Cuba alrededor de las cuatro de la tarde en vuelo directo con American Airlines y estuvo retenido en el aeropuerto hasta pasadas las ocho de la noche. Los oficiales de la Aduana General de la República insistieron en incautar sus pertenencias para "revisar el contenido", pero el activista se negó enfáticamente.

[[QUOTE:El reportero independiente afirma que comenzará un proceso legal para reclamar sus pertenencias]]El director de la revista literaria La hora de Cuba dijo a los aduaneros que podían revisar los terminales en su presencia, pero no lejos de su vista. Tras cuatro horas de espera, Constantín fue conducido a una estación policial en el reparto Montecarlo.

En la unidad de la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR), los uniformados le tomaron "huellas de todo tipo", según explicó a este diario. El reportero se negó a firmar el acta de decomiso de los objetos cuando los policías le aseguraron que no le entregarían una copia del documento.

Tras la Reforma Migratoria implementada por el Gobierno en 2013, se ha vuelto una práctica común la confiscación de computadoras, cámaras de video y celulares de activistas a su llegada al país.

Continue reading
El poeta cubanoamericano fue el primer latino en leer un poema en una investidura presidencial Continue reading
La apuesta de Castro: más obreros extranjeros Se estima que para 2020 la cifra de obreros indios y chinos en Cuba será tres veces mayor que la actual Lunes, noviembre 21, 2016 | Enrique González Pérez LA HABANA, Cuba.- Pasado un mes de haber quedado suspendidas en el aire las dudas generadas por un artículo […] Continue reading
U.S. businesses to pressure Trump to keep ties to Cuba
Alan Gomez , USA TODAY 4:12 p.m. EST November 20, 2016

MIAMI — A powerful coalition of U.S. companies is preparing to appeal to
President-elect Donald Trump's business instincts and drop his vow to
reverse one of President Obama's signature achievements: renewed
relations with Cuba.

Candidate Trump pledged to close the recently reopened U.S. Embassy in
Havana, cut the economic bonds established over the past two years and
roll back regulations that made travel to the long-estranged island
easier for U.S. citizens.

Now, dozens of major American companies that have started or expanded
operations in Cuba under Obama's policy will try to persuade Trump to
ignore the political side of his brain and listen to the business side.
That will be the ultimate test for Obama's Cuba strategy of creating so
many business opportunities that his successor would face the full
weight of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a long list of businesses
pushing to maintain the new links to the communist government that
controls the country.

That list includes most major airlines, which have started regularly
scheduled commercial flights to Cuba, and Carnival Corp., which is
already running a regular Cuba cruise. It will include Starwood Hotels
and Resorts, which is operating three Cuban hotels, and Airbnb, which is
being used by more than 8,000 Cubans to rent their rooms to travelers.

There are tech giants, like Google and Cisco, trying to develop Cuba's
bare-bones telecommunications infrastructure, cellphone giants offering
roaming services and banks starting to offer U.S.-issued credit and
debit card services.

"Everybody is looking for a seat at the table," said Pedro Freyre, a
Miami-based attorney for the Akerman law firm, which represents many
U.S. businesses operating in Cuba. "All of us who are stakeholders in
Cuba are very active in lobbying. At this very moment, they are seeking
an audience with the teams that will be part of the new administration."

On the other side, the long-standing political coalitions that oppose
any opening with Cuba will be tugging at the billionaire
businessman's ear as well. That is led by a powerful bloc of
Cuban-American members of Congress. They have described Obama's opening
as a failed policy that has done nothing to moderate government control
of the economy and a dismal human rights record.

"By any objective measure, President Obama's unilateral policy changes
have failed, and they are not in the best interest of the American
people or the people of Cuba," said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. "Rolling
back President Obama's one-sided concessions to the Castro regime, a key
campaign promise shared with President-elect Trump, will be a top
priority for me next year."

Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the historic end to
their countries' estrangement on Dec. 17, 2014, ending 55 years of
isolation between the Cold War foes and sparking a surge in trade and
travel between the United States and Cuba.

Travel to Cuba as a tourist is still forbidden under the economic
embargo the U.S. maintains — and that Congress has vowed will remain.
But in the first six months of this year, 136,913 Americans visited
Cuba, up 180% from the same period in 2015, according to Cuba's National
Office of Statistics and Information.

Defenders of Obama's policy say the rush of Americans has helped
everyday Cubans, especially the growing numbers of private entrepreneurs.

Ricardo Torres Pérez, an economist at the Center for Studies of the
Cuban Economy in Havana, said those tourists provide tangible benefits
to Cubans who rent their homes to them, drive them around in taxis, take
them on tours and feed them in restaurants.

"More interest in Cuba that helps some businesses and gives hope to the
people? That is good," Torres said. "That doesn't reach all Cubans, but
it's a good start."

The increased travel has gone the other way, too, helping Cubans visit
relatives, set up business relationships and study in the U.S. Many are
Cuban entrepreneurs like Marta Deus, 28, a Havana resident who spent six
weeks studying marketing and sales at Florida International University
in Miami through an exchange program created after the rapprochement.

Deus now runs an accounting firm for Cuban entrepreneurs, a messenger
service in Havana and a business magazine launched this month, and
she employs nine full-time employees and several part-time contractors.
She said the Cuban government has not made enough changes to take full
advantage of the opportunities created by the Obama administration, but
Trump's proposal to close the door would hurt regular Cubans in so many
ways.

"All those cultural exchanges, they're important," she said. "No country
can flourish if it's closed to the world."

Guillermo Fariñas sees all those changes and scoffs. The leading Cuban
dissident, who recently completed his 25th hunger strike protesting the
Cuban regime, said they've done nothing to change the underlying problem
in Cuba: its political system and horrid human rights record.

The Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party ended in April with no
changes to the government's one-party rule. And Fariñas, one of the
dissidents who met with President Obama during a March visit to Havana,
said Cuba's crackdown on political opposition has only increased.

In 2013, the Cuban government made 6,424 arrests of dissidents and
political prisoners, according to the Cuban Commission of Human Rights
and National Reconciliation. Through the first 10 months of 2016, that
number is already 9,125.

Fariñas said that should have been expected since the Obama
administration gave plenty during its negotiations but secured little in
return.

"Like you would see in any negotiation, the Cuban government should be
expected to give something to get something back," he said. "On the
contrary, the Cuban government was given many economic concessions,
political credibility and (Castro) has only responded by increasing
political repression."

Source: U.S. businesses to pressure Trump to keep ties to Cuba -
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/11/20/cuba-donald-trump-barack-obama-diplomatic-opening/93956270/ Continue reading
President Obama Continues To Loosen Cuba Sanctions
Last Updated: November 21 2016
Article by Andrea Fraser-Reid
Torres Law, PLLC

In December 2014, President Obama announced a shift in U.S. policy to
Cuba and initiated a process leading towards normalizing relations. In
the latest step in that process, the Office of Foreign Asset Controls
("OFAC") announced new amendments to the Cuban Assets Control
Regulations ("CACR").1 The regulatory changes became effective on
October 17, 2016 when they were published in the Federal Register.2 The
changes include the following:

Health-related Transactions

The latest amendments authorize U.S. persons to engage in commercial and
non-commercial medical research projects with Cuban nationals. The
regulations now also allow certain transactions incident to securing
U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for certain Cuba-origin
pharmaceuticals. Note that this general license does not authorize
imports of sample quantities of Cuban-origin commodities for research
purposes.

Humanitarian-related Transactions

The authorization has been expanded to include grants, scholarships and
awards to Cuba or Cuban nationals related to scientific research and
religious activities. In addition, OFAC is now authorizing U.S. persons
to provide to Cuba or Cuban nationals services relating to the
development and repair of infrastructure, including, for example, public
transportation, water and waste management, non-nuclear electricity
generation and electricity distribution sectors, hospitals, public
housing, and schools.

Travel-related Transactions

OFAC travel-related changes are intended to support people-to-people
contact by facilitating authorized travel. To that end, OFAC authorized
persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to make remittances to
third-country nationals to cover travel by third-country nationals to,
from or within Cuba provided the travel would be authorized if conducted
by a U.S. person.

OFAC has removed its limits on the goods a traveler may hand carry from
Cuba. The limit for goods for personal use had been $400, with no more
than $100 of such merchandise consisting of alcohol or tobacco
products. Note that the duty and tax exemptions normally applicable to
travelers and their accompanying baggage apply.

The regulations have been revised to remove the requirement that the
underlying reason behind authorized travel by U.S. persons to attend or
organize professional meetings or conferences in Cuba not be for the
promotion of tourism in Cuba.

In an effort to support safe air travel, OFAC issued a new general
license authorizing U.S. persons to provide services in connection with
civil aviation safety to Cuba and Cuban nationals.

Trade and Commerce –

In an effort to further bolster trade and commercial opportunities in
support of Cuba's private sector, OFAC has amended general licenses
authorizing certain transactions incident to Bureau of Industry and
Security ("BIS") authorized exports and reexports by deleting the
reference to "100% U.S.-origin items." In-so-doing, OFAC is endeavoring
to minimize the circumstances requiring OFAC authorization for
BIS-authorized transactions.

In an apparent effort to enable U.S. companies to prepare for further
relaxation of restrictions, OFAC added a general license authorizing
entry into certain contingent contracts for transactions prohibited by
the CACR and to engage in transactions ordinarily incident to
negotiating and entering into such contracts. The performance of such
contracts would have to be contingent upon OFAC authorizing the
underlying transactions or another development that results in the
removal of any licensing requirement. The same contingency requirement
applies in the event that another agency of the U.S. government has to
authorize the transaction.

OFAC has narrowed the definitions of "prohibited officials of the
Government of Cuba" and "prohibited members of the Cuban Communist
Party" to mean members of the Council of Ministers and flag officers of
the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and members of the Politburo, respectively.

To further simplify authorized transactions, OFAC clarified that
BIS-authorized exports and reexports of agricultural items, such as
pesticides and tractors, are not subject to payment term restrictions.
U.S. depository institutions may provide financing, such as letters of
credit for such exports and reexports. Exports of agricultural
commodities, however, occur pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and
Export Enhancement Act3 which limits financing options to "payment of
cash in advance" or financing by a third country banking.

OFAC has added a new general license authorizing imports into the U.S.
or a third country of items previously exported or reexported to Cuba.
This essentially permits the return of goods for service and repair.
Returning the repaired item or providing a replacement would still need
a license from OFAC in addition to any needed licensing from BIS.

Finally, OFAC has removed the "180 day" Cuba port restriction.
Previously, the Cuba program prohibited, absent specific authorization,
foreign vessels that call on Cuban ports from entering U.S. ports for
the purpose of loading or unloading freight for 180 days from the date
they depart Cuba. OFAC has now waived this restriction for any vessel if
the items carried onboard would be designated as EAR99 if subject to the
EAR, or would be controlled on the Commerce Control List only for
anti-terrorism reasons.

The latest revisions represent an ongoing relaxation of restrictions and
provide opportunities to prepare for business opportunities and to
engage with Cuba and the Cuban people. However, the newly authorized
conduct is somewhat specific, and it is important to remain aware of the
continuing restrictions on activities in Cuba. Although these amendments
further the Administration's efforts to ease sanctions on Cuba,
normalizing trade with Cuba ultimately will require ending the embargo,
and that will require Congressional action.

Footnotes

1 Office of Foreign Assets Control; Cuban Assets Control Regulations;
Final rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 71,372 Oct. 17, 2016) available at
https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-25032.

2 The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security
concurrently issued amendments to the Export Administration Regulations
(EAR). The Final Rule amended a license exception to authorize cargo
aboard aircraft to transit Cuba when that cargo is bound for
destinations other than Cuba; authorized export and reexport of certain
items sold directly to individuals in Cuba under a license exception;
and, revised the lists of ineligible Cuban officials for purposes of
certain license exceptions. Bureau of Industry and Security; Cuba:
Revisions to License Exceptions; Final rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 71,365 (Oct.
17, 2016) available at https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2016-25034.

3 Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA), PL
106-387.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to
the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your
specific circumstances.

Source: President Obama Continues To Loosen Cuba Sanctions -
International Law - United States -
http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/546106/international+trade+investment/President+Obama+Continues+To+Loosen+Cuba+Sanctions Continue reading