Wednesday, March 5, 2008

u.s.-cuba relations- a short intro

if you care about cuba like i do, the information compiled by the council on foreign policy on some of the basic facts of our doings with cuba will probably be deeply disturbing.

some of these things i knew tangentially, without specifics, but now that i've learned the specifics i'm pissed. ignorance is bliss, after all. excerpts of some of the most disturbing stuff below, and the full article can be found here.

What is the status of U.S.-Cuba relations?

-U.S.-Cuban relations are virtually nonexistent. There is a U.S. mission in Havana, Cuba's capital, but it has minimal communication with the Cuban government. Since 1961, the official U.S. policy towards Cuba has been two-pronged: economic embargo and diplomatic isolation. The Bush administration has strongly enforced the embargo and strengthened travel restrictions. Americans with immediate family may visit once every three years for a maximum of two weeks, while the total amount of family remittances an authorized traveler may carry to Cuba is $300, reduced from $3,000 in 2004.

-A small but vocal contingent of hard-line Cuban exiles, many of them based in Florida, do not want to resume relations with Cuba until Castro and his sympathizers are gone, says Julia E. Sweig, CFR senior fellow for Latin American Studies. (havestrength note: i know these people's children, and most of them suck.)

-Why is Cuba on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list?

According to the State Department, Cuba remains on the list because it opposes the global war on terrorism, supports members of two Colombia insurgent groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and provides safe haven to several Basque ETA members from Spain. But some experts say there is little evidence to support the State Department's allegations.

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