Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Odds and ends

  • A House subcommittee yesterday included language in an appropriations bill to return to the Cuban American family travel rules that were in effect before 2004: visits allowed once per year, and visits to cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. are permitted. No action was taken regarding remittances. Also, language was included to change the requirement that companies that sell agricultural products to Cuba must receive payment before the shipment leaves the United States. The legislative language that was approved doesn’t seem to be available. Reuters coverage here.

  • From the Tampa Tribune, an interesting article on U.S. nationals’ property claims in Cuba. It seems that investors, sensing the possibility that claims might be settled soon, are offering to buy claims from those who lost property and registered their claims decades ago with the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. The Commission issued this notice last March reminding everyone that no negotiations are occurring between Cuba and the United States to settle the claims, and that – investors take note – if you buy a claim and the two governments reach a settlement, your share from Uncle Sam won’t be more than you paid for the claim. If someone has a clearer sense of this, please say so – but it seems to me that it would only make sense for an investor to buy a claim if he expects that, before the two governments negotiate, he could take the claim and get paid directly by Cuba.

  • In an introduction to a new book, Fidel Castro recognizes blogger Yoani Sanchez and laments “that there are young Cubans who think that way, special envoys that serve as point men and a neocolonial press from the old Spanish metropoli that gives them prizes.” So if you differ, and in this case if you use the Internet and get recognition, you’re an agent of a foreign power.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, "recognizes" is too mild a term. "Threatens" would be more accurate. If she is lucky, it won't be long before, as in the case of Eliecer Avila (the UCI student who dared to grill Ricardo Alarcon) she appears "voluntarily" on Cuban TV to denounce her exploitation by the Empire. If she is less lucky, she or here husband will disappear into the Cuban gulag.

And by the way, young Eliecer (as pointed out by Yoani herself) has been "volunteered" to head the group of Cuban apparatchiks who bombard dissident bloggers with hundreds of angry, threatening and obscene messages.