Lazaro Lozano, center, protests against President Obama's decision to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States while at Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho in Miami on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
President Barack Obama shook up a half-century of U.S.-Cuba relations Wednesday, announcing the two countries had agreed to start normalizing relations. Obama wants to set up an embassy in Havana, loosen travel restrictions and allow more trade between the two countries.
South Florida's Cuban-American delegation in Congress criticized the announcement -- calling Obama the "Appeaser-in-Chief." Protesters shouted down the president in Little Havana.
The most tectonic shift in U.S.-Cuba relations in half a century – and the release of a U.S. citizen from a Cuban prison – were brought about thanks largely to the most famous man in the world (the Pope) and to a man whose identity we may never know.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:34 am
For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.
Among the signers of a letter calling on the president to ease restrictions in the Cuban embargo are, clockwise, former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, former ambassador Paul Cejas and former Secretaries of the Interior Bruce Babbit and Ken Salazar.
A group of businessmen and former high-ranking U.S. officials is asking President Obama to relax the embargo on Cuba. They want the President to ease travel and investment restrictions to help Cubans with their economic and social needs.
A letter sent last week by the group had 44 signers including former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group.
This year has seen a growing chorus of polls, studies and statements calling for an overhaul of U.S. policy on communist Cuba. On Monday a new group called #CubaNow added its voice -- and signaled the growing generational shift among Cuban-Americans.
#CubaNow, based in Miami and Washington, D.C., is comprised mostly of younger Cuban-Americans who feel that a half-century of isolating Cuba has failed. They favor more open economic engagement as a way to help democratize the island.
Charlie Crist, Florida’s ex-Republican governor and now its leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, assumed a real political risk this month: He called on Washington to lift the 52-year-old U.S. trade embargo against communist Cuba.
In an interview with WLRN, Crist insisted his changed stance is a matter of common sense.
Nineteen years after the crime, Jimmy Ryce’s killer has been put to death. Juan Carlos Chavez is the second death row inmate to be executed in Florida this year, as state legislators look to strengthen sexual predator laws, enacted after Ryce’s killing.
This week on the Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson will discuss the Ryce case with Fernando Vila of Fusion, Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times, Amy Driscoll and Juan Vasquez of the Miami Herald and Rhema Thompson of WJCT Public Radio in Jacksonville.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:02 pm
In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:
"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.