Category Archives: U.S. Embargo

Cuba removed from list of state sponsors of terrorism, one step in the right direction

Cuba removed from list of state sponsors of terrorism
of Terrorism designation, effective today, May 29 The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signed the final order to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor

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Author: Prensa Latina(PL) | internet@granma.cu
may 29, 2015 13:05:44
Washington, May 29; a Press Statement by U.S. State Department spokesman, Jeff Rathke, informed of Cuba’s official removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
In the official statement, the State Department spokesman noted that “The 45-day Congressional pre-notification period has expired, and the Secretary of State has made the final decision to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, effective today, May 29, 2015.”

Cuba has been included on the unilateral list drawn up by Washington since 1982.
In the statement he also noted that the “While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.”
In order to come into effect, the decision must be published in the Federal Register (the daily newspaper of the Federal government), although the diplomatic office has assured that the decision is effective immediately.

 

 

Life expectancy: 78.45 years
The provinces of Las Tunas and Holguín have a life expectancy of approximately 79.5 years, the highest in the country
Author: Orfilio Peláez | orfilio@granma.cu
may 26, 2015 09:05:47

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A rise in the life expectancy of both sexes was recorded in all provinces. Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

At the end of the period 2011-2013, the Cuban population’s life expectancy was 78.45 years, placing the island among the top 25 nations registering the highest figure in this human development indicator.

Juan Carlos Alfonso Fraga MSc. director of the National Office of Statistics and Information’s (ONEI) Center for Population and Development Studies (Cepde), stated to Granma that the cited figure represents a 0.48 increase in comparison to the period 2005-2007, which registered an average of 77.97 years. A rise in the life expectancy of both sexes was recorded in all provinces.
Specifically, the life expectancy of Cuban women is 80.45 years, while it is 76.50 for men. On average, the citizens of Las Tunas, Holguin, Villa Clara and Guantánamo, surpass 81 years; while those born in Artemisa, Camagüey, Havana and Mayabeque fail to reach the age of 80.

 

Obama Fascista

Hillary Clinton Urged Obama To End Cuba Embargo: Book

| By MATTHEW LEE
Posted: 06/06/2014 12:29 am EDT Updated: 06/06/2014 12:59 am EDT
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PARIS (AP) — In her new book, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she pushed President Barack Obama to lift or ease the decades-long U.S. embargo on Cuba because it was no longer useful to American interests or promoting change on the communist island.th
In excerpts of the book “Hard Choices” obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release next week, Clinton writes that the embargo has given communist leaders Fidel and Raul Castro an excuse not to enact democratic reforms. And she says opposition from some in Congress to normalizing relations — “to keep Cuba in a deep freeze” — has hurt both the United States and the Cuban people. She says the 2009 arrest by Cuba of USAID contractor Alan Gross and Havana’s refusal to release him on humanitarian grounds is a “tragedy” for improving ties.

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Rethinking the Cuba perk

Legal Travel To Cuba

February 16, 2013

Cuban immigrant Ed Lacosta holds his baby Melody Grace, 6 months at a special Valentine's Day naturalization ceremony for married couples on February 14, 2013 in Tampa, Florida. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) held the Valentine's Day ceremony in Tampa for 28 married couples from 15 different countries. (John Moore/Getty Images / February 15, 2013)
Cuban immigrant Ed Lacosta holds his baby Melody Grace, 6 months at a special Valentine’s Day naturalization ceremony for married couples on February 14, 2013 in Tampa, Florida. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) held the Valentine’s Day ceremony in Tampa for 28 married couples from 15 different countries. (John Moore/Getty Images / February 15, 2013)

For Cubans who want to immigrate to the United States, the hardest part is getting here.

Since 1966, they’ve essentially been granted automatic refugee status upon arrival. The Cuban Adjustment Act was enacted then to address the legal status of 300,000 Cubans who’d fled Fidel Castro’s socialist revolution.

Almost half a century later, the Cubans who come to America rarely claim to be victims of political persecution. They want a better economic future, or to join family members already here, or both — just like most of the people who want to immigrate from anywhere else.

Unlike most immigrants, though, Cubans don’t have to wait years for a visa, or sneak across the border illegally. Once they’re here, they’re fast-tracked to legal residency, with a clear path to citizenship.

It’s a sore subject as Congress considers what to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants to whom the system has not been so generous.

Those immigrants — more than half of them from Mexico — live and work under the government’s radar, often for low wages, constantly in fear of being deported.

To come here legally, most Mexican laborers would have to wait decades for a visa. But Cubans who present themselves at our southern border — a common point of entry, thanks to the U.S. “wet foot, dry foot” policy — are allowed in once they show an ID.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify it to my colleagues,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who is the son of Cuban immigrants. Rubio is one of eight senators working on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. “I’m not sure we’re going to be able to avoid, as part of any comprehensive approach to immigration, a conversation about the Cuban Adjustment Act,” he said.

The special considerations are especially hard to defend now that Cubans can travel freely between the U.S. and their homeland, thanks to loosened restrictions at both ends.

In 2009, President Barack Obama lifted most of the limits that kept Cuban-Americans from traveling to the island to visit family. Last year, more than 400,000 of them did so, some dozens of times.

In January, the Cuban government began allowing citizens to leave without an exit permit. Passports are now granted more liberally, and those who leave can stay away up to two years without losing their residency. Most Cubans are able to come and go at will.

Together, the changes are likely to invite a new influx of Cubans to the U.S., where they are eligible for legal residency, while encouraging them to return frequently to visit family — and spend money — in Cuba.

We have no problem with allowing Cuban-Americans to travel back and forth to Cuba. Congress ought to kill the travel ban entirely, so that all Americans can visit the island. Tourists from other countries have been flocking to “terrorist” Cuba for years.

Mixing it up with the outside world is an important exercise for Cubans as they ponder a future without the aging Castro brothers.

But it’s hard to argue that Cubans who can come and go as they please are in need of special considerations normally reserved for victims of political repression. One does not flee communism only to return repeatedly with a suitcase full of money and merchandise for the family.

Nor does it make sense to allow entry to the U.S. based not on a claim of persecution, but on whether the person dodged the Coast Guard boats long enough to tag American soil.

To be fair, those immigrants aren’t lying about their circumstances. They’re not required to demonstrate that they’re political refugees. They come because they can. But it isn’t fair. Cubans who want to come here for economic reasons should play by the same rules as economic immigrants from other countries.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Sign the Petition

“Karen Lee Wald”

This is what I received, asking us to sign a petition on a White House website, asking the White House “to open an honest dialog with the Cuban government to secure the release of American Operative Alan Gross” I thought it was a put-on. The message read:
The White House has put this petition on its website. It asks the US government to open a dialogue with Cuba for the release of Alan Gross. Your signature is needed. http://1.usa. gov/TyOtlG

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Open an honest dialog with the Cuba government to secure the release of American operative Alan Gross
Include potential prisoner exchanges, admissions of wrong doing, drop of the embargo as incentives to bring this man home. His employer owes it to him.

When I first received an email urging me to go to the White House site to sign a petition of this nature, I thought it was a spoof or a virus or something — that it couldn’t be serious. So I asked around, and received this explanation:
It’s part of an initiative by the WH to “listen to the people”. So anyone can go there and post a petition. I think in this case it was LAWG/WOLA/ETC. Then if 25,000 sign it within an allotted amount of time, it gets bumped up to a higher level and at some point the most popular petitions get accepted and read by whoever at White House is in charge of this program. Supposedly it is a way for people to organize and be heard by the administration and for the admin to know what is important to large groups of people. Which means we need to get the largest number of people possible to sign this petition, and soon.

Here’s an explanation about how to do it:
Dear friends:

Here is how the White House Petition works. You have to open an account with them first:

1- Click on the link that goes to the petition.

http://1.usa. gov/TyOtlG

2- There is a blue square that reads “Create an account”. Click on it.
3- Fill in the blanks on the form: e-mail address, name, last name and zip code (optional).
4- Read and type the gibberish they put below [“Captcha” –used on many sites to make sure you are a real person and not a spamming machine. That’s the hard part for me because I often don’t see them in my browser. I’m not sure what you can do if you have the same problem. klw]
5- Click again on the blue square at the bottom “Create an account”.
Take a quick break and go to your e-mail inbox. You are going to have a message from them to confirm that you are in fact a real person.
6- After the first paragraph there comes a long link. Click on it and you have already set up the account with them.
7- After that you have to go back to the original petition:

http://1.usa. gov/TyOtlG

8- Click on the blue square which says “Sign in” and then fill in the blanks and you are all set. You’ll be immediately notified that your name was registered.

I know this sounds like a lot of hassle, but believe me, people who really want to see improved relations between the two countries believe this could be a very effective tool to get the Administration’ s attention, so it’s worth doing. If you can’t do it right now, don’t delete it — put it in some folder you will go back to when you have the time (I have one like that called “Activities” ) and do it. But don’t wait too long.
Thanks,

Karen