Cuba

Carnival Corporation / Courtesy

The first lawsuits against a corporation have been filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act — a tool unleashed by the Trump Administration as part of a multi-pronged strategy against the Cuban government.

Desmond Boylan / AP

Last week, National Security Advisor John Bolton came to Miami to announce President Trump is unleashing a tool of the Cuban embargo: Title III.

“Americans who have had their private and hard-earned property stolen in Cuba will finally be allowed to sue,” Bolton, to resounding applause, told hundreds of mostly conservative Cuban exiles at a luncheon for Bay of Pigs veterans.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

President Trump’s national security advisor came to Miami on Wednesday to announce more get-tough measures on Cuba. But some re-tightening of Cuba policy - particularly a cutback in remittances to the island - will get more jeers than cheers from many Cuban-Americans.

EMICHOT@MIAMIHERALD.COM

The Trump administration is tightening restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba, reversing the engagement policies of the Obama era while increasing pressure on the island’s government in response to its support of the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela.

The changes were announced during a speech by National Security Advisor John Bolton at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Wednesday afternoon.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

There is a provision of the Cuban trade embargo that no U.S. president has ever used. President Trump has decided to be the first, according to White House officials. But it’s far from clear if it will do much to dislodge the island’s communist government.

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.

Donna E. Natale Planas / Miami Herald

For a long time, it was much easier for Cubans to migrate to the United States than other immigrants. U.S. foreign policy was set up to give haven to people fleeing communism in our backyard. But that special status is rapidly changing.


Ariana Cubillos / AP

Most of the news from Venezuela in recent days is not encouraging for the restoration of democracy there. Late last week President Nicolás Maduro's regime arrested Roberto Marrero, the top aide to opposition leader Juan Guaidó - whom the U.S. and 50 other countries recognize as Venezuela's legitimate president. Then on Sunday, Russia flew a military advisor and 100 troops into Venezuela to support Maduro.

WLRN's Luis Hernandez spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett on Sundial about the latest developments.

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.

AL DIAZ ADIAZ@MIAMIHERALD.COM

It’s snack time and a social worker brings five servings of yogurt with a side of bread and cream cheese into the television room where a group of elderly ladies are watching a Colombian soap opera called La Nocturna.

Other participants in this Círculo de Abuelos (Grandparents’ Circle) at Nuestra Señora de la Merced church in Old Havana stop their games of dominoes or pause from reading the newspapers to get their cups of yogurt. After their snack, many sit in rocking chairs catching the breeze that comes in from the balcony or go back to their board games.

AP Photo/Franklin Reyes

Odilon Almeida was 25 when he first walked into a Western Union. He was working for Colgate Palmolive in Toronto and wanted to send money to his nephew back in Brazil for his birthday.

Almeida wasn't impressed with the experience. "I have a very big Latin name," he remembers, "and they were not used to that."

Today, Almedia runs global money transfers for Western Union from Miami. The division generates 80 percent of the company's revenues -- over $4 billion per year.

Desmond Boylan / AP

Cuban exiles and other foes of Cuba's communist government woke up Monday morning hearing that President Trump was going to get tougher on the regime. Specifically, they expected Trump to activate an unused tool of the Cuban embargo known as Title III. He did. But what they got instead was more of a letdown than a crackdown.

WLRN's Luis Hernandez spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett about Title III – and why a lot of Cuban-Americans right now say it's still an unused tool.

People in Cuba vote Sunday on whether to make socialism "irrevocable" on the island and establish the Cuban Communist Party officially as the "supreme guiding political force" in the state and society.

In recent weeks, debate around those propositions has been unusually intense for an island not known for democratic processes, and it has featured the growing strength of religious leaders.

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.

 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the late 19th century, Key West was home to a large community of Cuban exiles. Poet and revolutionary leader José Martí visited the island several times to unite exile factions. On Monday, Marti made a return visit of sorts.

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