cuba u.s. relations

DAVID J. PHILLIP / Associated Press

Immigration officials deported 120 Cubans on a single flight last week as part of one of its “largest” Cuba repatriation missions in recent history.

Last Friday’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter flight from New Orleans to Havana was one of many to come, two federal sources say, noting that officials have been quietly ramping up their efforts to detain and send undocumented Cubans back to the island.

A close look at the brains of 40 U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba who developed mysterious symptoms has found no evidence of injury. The State Department has said the employees were hurt by some sort of attack.

Credit Niall Macaulay / cheer.productions@mac.com

It used to be that Cuban artists from the island who performed in Miami had to be ready for backlash from anti-Castro exile groups.

In 1999, for example, Miami officials tried to prevent the Cuban dance band Los Van Van from performing in the city. When the band eventually got to perform, they were met with thousands of demonstrators. They were against Los Van Van and considered the group loyal to the communist government.

Donna E. Natale Planas / Miami Herald

The number of Cuban nationals being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has sharply risen over the last few years, according official data from the federal agency obtained by WLRN through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The recent U.S. ban on cruise ships traveling to Cuba has had a ripple effect on South Florida's cruise industry. Yet not all of it is bad news.

In fact, it's bringing more attention to the southernmost port of call for these big ships in the continental U.S.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

The Trump administration on Tuesday ended the most popular forms of U.S. travel to Cuba, banning cruise ships and a heavily used category of educational travel in an attempt to cut off cash to the island’s communist government.

The Trump administration has canceled a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to join professional teams in the U.S. and Canada.

Under the four-month-old agreement, a major league club seeking to sign certain Cuban players would have to pay a release fee – 25 percent over the player's signing bonus – to the Federation. The player would also have to pay Cuban income taxes on foreign earnings.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

It’s been less than a month since the visitor visas for Cubans coming to the U.S. were scaled down. A lot.

They used to be good for five years and you could come in again and again – similar to U.S. visitor visas for people from many other countries. But now: three months – and just one visit. And that’s clouded the future of Cuban entrepreneurs like Rubén Valladares.

Desmond Boylan / Associated Press

The top U.S. diplomat in Havana, Mara Tekach, has announced that visas for Cubans will be limited to just one entry. They also will be valid for only three months.

The change, which takes effect Monday, directly affects the B2 visas for family visits, health consultations and tourism and shopping trips, which were until now issued for five years and allowed multiple entries.

Tekach, who is deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Havana, said the change was the result of a “reciprocity alignment” underway at all U.S. embassies around the world.

Fernando Llano / AP

Tensions continued mounting in Venezuela. The issue even came up at President Trump’s State of the Union speech.

“We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime,” he said on Tuesday.

 

Cortesía El Político

The Trump administration is expected to name Mauricio Claver-Carone, one of the most outspoken opponents of the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Cuba, as the new senior director of the National Security Council’s Western Hemisphere Affairs, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the decision.

Trump's New Restrictions On Financial Transactions, Trade And Travel To Cuba Go In Effect Thursday

Nov 8, 2017
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The days of Americans legally staying at Ernest Hemingway’s Old Havana haunt, the Hotel Ambos Mundos, or making purchases at Havana’s only luxury shopping arcade, will be over under new regulations the Trump administration issued Wednesday as part of a crackdown on U.S. business and travel to Cuba.

Cuba Policy On Cuban-American Travel To The Island Has Political And Economic Tentacles

Oct 31, 2017
Associated Press

New travel regulations that Cuba announced over the weekend appear designed to make sure a steady flow of Cuban-American visitors continues.

But the rules — which include welcoming back Cubans who fled the island through irregular means, such as by rafts, and eliminating some of the bureaucracy associated with visits by the diaspora — also seem to be a response to a chill in the U.S.-Cuba relationship and a stricter Trump administration policy on travel between the two countries.

Associated Press

The United States is warning Americans against visiting Cuba and ordering more than half of U.S. personnel to leave the island, senior officials said Friday, in a dramatic response to what they described as "specific attacks" on diplomats.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Donald Trump becomes President on Friday – and now here we wait to see how he plans to keep his pledge to roll back normalized relations with Cuba.

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