U.S. makes cuts to embassy staff in Havana official
A wire from Associated Press highlights that the announcement makes the U.S. decision last year to withdraw 60 percent of its diplomats from its embassy in Cuba, under the pretext of supposed “sonic attacks” against its personnel, practically permanent
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | firstname.lastname@example.org
march 2, 2018 16:03:34
From March 5, the United States Embassy in Havana will operate as an “unaccompanied post,” according to an official media note from the U.S. Department of State, published March 2.
The document explains that “The U.S. Embassy in Havana has operated under ordered departure status since September 29, 2017, due to health attacks affecting U.S. Embassy Havana employees. It will reach the maximum allowable days in departure status on March 4.”
Meanwhile, a wire from Associated Press highlights that the announcement makes the U.S. decision last year to withdraw 60 percent of its diplomats from its embassy in Cuba, under the pretext of supposed “sonic attacks” against its personnel, practically permanent.
However, after months of investigations by Cuban and U.S. authorities, no evidence explaining the cause or origin of the alleged health issues suffered by U.S. diplomats has been found.
AP adds that by law, the State department can only order diplomats to leave temporarily for six months before either sending them back or making the reductions permanent.
Meanwhile, the State Department noted that “The embassy will continue to operate with the minimum personnel necessary to perform core diplomatic and consular functions.”
This is exactly how the Embassy has been functioning since September 2017, when the U.S. government withdrew the majority of its staff, paralyzing consular services for Cubans and only maintaining core diplomatic services and functions relating to emergencies.
The measure comes amidst growing calls from different sectors in the U.S. to normalize operations at both embassies and rescind travel warnings to Cuba.
A bicameral delegation of U.S. Congresspeople which visited the island last week described the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel as “a mistake,” noting that the decision affects people on both sides of the Florida Straits and puts collaboration initiatives between both countries since December 17, 2014, at risk.
Meanwhile, On March 1, around twenty tour operators demanded that Washington eliminate travel alerts regarding Cuba, noting that the island is recognized as one of the safest destinations for international travelers by specialist tour agencies and international bodies.
STATE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES HARSH CRITICISM
Cuba has never perpetrated, nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any sort against diplomatic officials or their relatives, without any exception
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba in response to recent measures taken by the Trump administration following incidents involving U.S. diplomatic personnel in Havana
Author: Cubaminrex | email@example.com
october 3, 2017 16:10:00
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba in response to recent measures taken by the Trump administration following incidents involving U.S. diplomatic personnel in Havana:
On September 29, 2017, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the decision to significantly downscale the diplomatic staff of the US embassy in Havana and withdraw all their relatives, claiming that there had been “attacks” perpetrated against US Government officials in Cuba which have harmed their health.
Once again, on October 3, the US Government, in an unwarranted act, decided that 15 officials of the Cuban Embassy in Washington should depart from the United States, claiming that the US had reduced their diplomatic staffing levels in Havana and that the Cuban Government had failed to take all appropriate steps to prevent “attacks” against them.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protests and condemns this unfounded and unacceptable decision as well as the pretext used to justify it, for it has been asserted that the Cuban Government did not take the appropriate measures to prevent the occurrence of the alleged incidents.
In the meeting that, at the proposal of the Cuban side, was held with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, warned him against the adoption of hasty decisions that were not supported by evidence; urged him not to politicize a matter of this nature and once again required the effective cooperation from the US authorities to clarify facts and conclude the investigation.
The Supposed Policy Change: Will Trump Go Farther Than Obama?
By Esteban Morales
From Cuba Inside Out
Translated by Robert Sandels
It doesn’t take much effort to realize that the “Trump Effect” is just that; an irrational attempt to change Obama’s Cuba policy.
We don’t even know if Trump is really working to change the Obama policy because what little we know does not tend in that direction.
Comparing the attitude of both presidents we note the following: Obama did not do much to make investment easier. Now Trump puts investment in the “prohibited” file in negotiating with the Cuban military. He hasn’t advanced trade, but neither did Obama. the American banking system does not allow the dollar to circulate there. And finally, Obama has not freed up the dollar either, which was one of his deceptions. With Thump, everything indicates that the dollar will not officially circulate in Cuba either.
Trump has not broken diplomatic relations with Cuba, which is the most important thing since the embassies are continuing to function. It also appears that he has not eliminated family remittances or the 12 migratory categories that Obama set up, although Trump has eliminated the “People to People” visa program. Nor has Trump eliminated commercial flights or cruise ships. All this suggests that Cuban tourism, which has been growing year after year, will go on as before.
So, really, what has Donald Trump eliminated? I think we would have known after hearing about the presidential directive Trump signed in great theatrical style, but no one read or heard anything about Cuba among the pronouncements in his speech.
So, I think, as we say in Cuba, “I smell a rat.”
Students march carrying Cuban flags during a march against terrorism in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Youths marched today through downtown Havana in protest against the United States policy towards the island nation and demanding the that U.S. free three Cuban agents imprisoned there.
Students march carrying Cuban flags during a march against terrorism in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Youths marched today through downtown Havana in protest against the United States policy towards the island nation and demanding the that U.S. free three Cuban agents imprisoned there. Ramon Espinosa AP
JULY 19, 2017 3:07 PM
State Department drops Cuba entirely from annual detail of terrorist activity
BY TERESA WELSH
After spending 33 years designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. government, Cuba no longer has any activity that even merits its own report in the State Department’s annual review of terrorist threats around the world.
Statement by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba
Submitted by editor on Sat, 06/17/2017 – 16:04
On June 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech full of hostile anti-Cuban rhetoric reminiscent of the times of open confrontation with our country in a Miami theater. He announced his government’s Cuba policy, which rolls back the progress achieved over the last two years since December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced the decision to re-establish diplomatic relations and engage in a process towards the normalization of bilateral relations.
In what constitutes a setback in the relations between both countries, President Trump, gave a speech and signed a policy directive titled “National Security Presidential Memorandum”, which provides the elimination of private educational “people-to-people” exchanges and greater control over all travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of business, trade and financial transactions between US companies and certain Cuban companies linked to the Armed Revolutionary Forces and the intelligence and security services, under the alleged objective of depriving us from income. The US president justified this policy with alleged concerns over the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce the US blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvements in US-Cuba bilateral relations to our country’s making changes inherent to its constitutional order.
New York – New Jersey CubaSi
Contact: Joan Gibbs – 718-789-1801 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York 14 June 2017… On Thursday, June 15th hundreds of New Yorkers will gather at 4:30PM in front of Trump Tower – 725 5th Avenue at 56th Street –In a SILENT VIGIL demanding continued travel and engagement with Cuba.
On Friday President Donald Trumo is expected to announce his administration’s new “Cuba Policy” and has promised to overturn the moves toward full normalization with our closest neighbor to the South.
Late last month the conservative blog The Daily Caller reported that Trump was planning to make good on his campaign promise to “terminate” the Obama administration’s opening of engagement with Cuba. Just over two and a half years after the United States finally took steps to end more than half a century of hostility and restrictions on trade and travel, Trump wants us to go backwards.
Polls and statistics show that the majority of Washington policy-makers, as well as Cuban-Americans and U.S. Citizens at large, favor engagement with Cuba. So today we ask: Is it really “America First?” or Trump and the small power-hungry Cuban-American right wing FIRST?
We don’t want to return to the outdated, antiquated and cruel cold war policies of the past. We need friendship and peace in our hemisphere.
WE CANNOT SIT STILL!!!
Join us this Thursday – outside Trump Tower – at 4:30 PM – Let our legislators know we want to continue the path towards normalization with Cuba..
End the Travel Ban!!! End the Embargo!!!
Regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S. officially resume
JetBlue airline flight 387 landed at Santa Clara’s Abel Santamaría International Airport at 10:56am, today August 31, thus marking the official resumption of regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S., suspended for over half a century
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | email@example.com
Author: Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera | firstname.lastname@example.org
august 31, 2016 13:08:12
JetBlue airline flight 387 landed at Santa Clara’s Abel Santamaría International Airport at 10:56am, today August 31, thus marking the official resumption of regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S., suspended for over half a century.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was among the 150 passengers onboard the Airbus A320 which flew the route between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Santa Clara.
During his visit to Cuba, the U.S. official is scheduled to hold meetings with his Cuban counterpart and other authorities of the island, in Havana.
In addition to JetBlue, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines, also received licenses to operate flights from six U.S. cities (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia) to nine destinations on the island: Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.
Beginning in September, JetBlue will fly Monday, Wednesday and Friday between Fort Lauderdale and Santa Clara, with the schedule set to increase to daily flights from October.
The first flight from Fort Lauderdale to Camagüey is scheduled to depart on November 3 and to Holguín on November 10.