November 16, 2012 |
Washington and Havana have taken baby steps over the last four years to end some of the more destructive elements of their relationship, like a U.S. prohibition against Cuban Americans' visiting their homeland more than once every three years and Cuba's demand that citizens get exit visas to go abroad. But this week's overwhelming international censure of the U.S. embargo against Cuba -- a 188-3 vote of condemnation by the U.N. General Assembly -- was a sobering reminder of how little has changed between the Cold War adversaries despite President Obama's 2008 campaign vow to end half a century of ideological standoff.
April 17, 2012
Once again, Cuba was absent from the Summit of the Americas. Yet the communist nation might as well have attended the gathering last weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, because it took center stage, despite U.S. efforts to focus on other issues. Ecuador's president refused to attend the summit in protest of Cuba's exclusion. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Brazil's Dilma Rouseff, both moderates rather than left-wingers, said there should be no more Summits of the Americas without Cuba.
September 8, 2011 |
President Obama will have to decide by next week whether to continue, for yet another year, provisions of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. Without a presidential extension, these provisions — though not others that were instituted by congressional action — will end this month. The ending of the embargo is long overdue. The current economic crisis provides a useful rationale for doing so. There is precedent for taking such a step with a communist nation during hard times. In the face of the Depression, prominent American businessmen began arguing that recognition of the Soviet Union would lead to a substantial increase in trade and so provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy.
September 15, 2010
Cuban President Raul Castro has been moving slowly but steadily over the last couple of years to relax his government's grip on the country's ailing economy, yet it is the news that half a million state workers will get pink slips in the coming months and will be expected to find jobs in the private sector that has created a front-page buzz in the United States. Change is underway in the Cuban economy. It is time for Congress to end the archaic and ineffectual U.S. trade embargo and get out of the way of U.S. investment in Cuba before American firms lose out to those from Europe, Brazil and elsewhere.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2010
Glenn Shadix Character actor worked with Tim Burton Glenn Shadix, 58, a character actor best remembered for his portrayal of the portly, pretentious interior designer Otho in director Tim Burton's 1988 ghost comedy "Beetlejuice," died Tuesday at his home in Birmingham, Ala., according to his personal manager, Juliet Green. Shadix's sister, Susan Gagne, told the Birmingham News that he had been using a wheelchair for mobility and appeared to have fallen in his kitchen and struck his head.
September 4, 2010
Fidel Castro is back from the dead (his words) and has been reincarnated as an Internet junkie. Not only is he a prolific blogger on Cuba's online Granma newspaper but, it turns out, the 84-year-old greybeard consumes 200 to 300 news items a day on the Web and is fascinated by the WikiLeaks site, with its trove of 90,000 formerly secret U.S. documents on military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The "resuscitated" revolutionary is smaller and shakier than he was before the intestinal illness that prompted him to hand power to his younger brother in 2006, but no less verbose.