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  • Nestor Garcia Iturbe
    6 dic 19:20
      News and Information about Cuba today

      CubaAhora  NEWS FROM CUBA 

      CubaAhora            sarahnes@...             Néstor Garcia Iturbe

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      6 Messages

      Digest #11998

      Messages

      Tue Dec 5, 2017 6:13 am (PST) . Posted by:

      "Walter Lippmann" walterlx

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-usa-exclusive/exclusive-t\
      rump-names-career-diplomat-to-head-cuban-embassy-sources-idUSKBN1\
      DZ047


      <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-usa-exclusive/exclusive-\
      trump-names-career-diplomat-to-head-cuban-embassy-sources-idUSKBN\
      1DZ047> #World News
      <https://www.reuters.com/news/archive/worldNews> December 4, 2017
      / 8:27 PM / Updated 13 hours agoExclusive: Trump names career
      diplomat to head Cuban embassy - sources
      Marc Frank <https://www.reuters.com/journalists/marc-frank>
      <https://www.twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Freut.rs%2\
      F2zNr24x&text=Exclusive%3A%20Trump%20names%20career%20diplomat%20\
      to%20head%20Cuban%20embassy%20-%20sources>
      HAVANA (Reuters) - The Trump administration has named career
      diplomat Philip Goldberg to head the all-but-abandoned U.S.
      embassy in Havana, according to three sources familiar with the
      matter, at a time of heightened tensions between the United
      States and Cuba.



      Goldberg has lengthy experience in a number of countries, and
      was described by a U.S. congressional aide on Monday as
      “career and the best of the best”.



      But his appointment may ruffle feathers in Havana. He was
      expelled from Cuba’s socialist ally Bolivia in 2008 for
      what President Evo Morales claimed was fomenting social unrest.



      The appointment has not been publicly announced.



      If approved by Cuba, Goldberg will arrive at a low moment in
      bilateral relations.



      The embassy was reopened for the first time since 1961 last
      year, as part of a fragile detente by former Democratic U.S.
      president Barack Obama.



      But the administration of Republican President Donald Trump has
      returned to Cold War characterizations of the Cuban government
      and imposed new restrictions on doing business in Cuba and
      travel.



      It has charged Cuba with responsibility for health problems
      affecting some two dozen diplomats or their family members,
      which it has termed attacks. Cuba denies the charges.



      The U.S. embassy has been reduced to a skeleton staff and has
      suspended almost all visa processing after the Trump
      administration in October pulled 60 percent of embassy personnel
      and ordered a similar reduction at the Cuban embassy in
      Washington, expelling 15 diplomats.



      The position is not an ambassador role and does not need to be
      approved by the U.S. Congress. There has been no ambassador
      since the embassy re-opened, after the Republican-controlled
      Senate opposed Obama’s pick.


      Instead, Goldberg will take over from Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who
      left in June, as Charge d‘Affaires.


      Goldberg’s other previous posts include the chief of
      mission in Kosovo. Most recently he has been the U.S. ambassador
      to the Philippines.


      “Appointing Ambassador Goldberg to head the U.S. Embassy
      in Cuba is rather provocative since he was expelled from
      Bolivia,” American University professor of government
      William LeoGrande, a Cuba expert, said.


      “But Ambassador Goldberg is a Foreign Service
      professional and will ably represent the policies of
      Trump’s administration. Time will tell if he has been
      instructed to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor ... or
      carry out a more hostile policy,” he said.


      The embassy was closed in 1961 when the United States broke
      diplomatic relations. The countries maintained lower level
      interests sections in each other’s capitals from 1977 to
      2016, under the auspices of Switzerland.


      Reporting by Marc Frank in Havana; Additional reporting by
      Patricia Zengerle and Steve Holland in Washington, Editing by
      Rosalba O'Brien
      Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
      <http://thomsonreuters.com/en/about-us/trust-principles.html>

      ===============================
      WALTER LIPPMANN
      Los Angeles, California
      Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews

      http://walterlippmann.com/ <http://walterlippmann.com/>
      <http://walterlippmann.com/>
      https://www.facebook.com/walter.lippmann.33
      <https://www.facebook.com/walter.lippmann.33>
      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CubaNews/info
      <https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CubaNews/info>

      "Cuba - Un Paraiso bajo el bloqueo"
      ===============================

      Tue Dec 5, 2017 11:11 am (PST) . Posted by:

      duniatg1983

      More than 300,000 Santiago residents pay tribute to Fidel on behalf of all Cubans The Heroic City awoke early December 4, as the population joined the march that departed from the Plaza de la Revolución Mayor General Antonio Maceo Grajales
      Author: Eduardo Palomares Calderón http://en.granma.cu/archivo?a=102 | palomares@... mailto:palomares@...
      December 5, 2017 13:12:10


      Raúl Castro and other members of the Party Political Bureau paid tribute to Fidel on the first anniversary of his death. Photo: Estudio Revolución Santiago de Cuba.– More than 300,000 Santiago residents paid tribute to Comandante en Jefe Fidel on behalf of all Cuba, demonstrating that a year after his death, his work and example live on stronger than ever.


      As on the occasion of his funeral rites, the Heroic City awoke early December 4, as the population joined the march that departed from the Plaza de la Revolución Mayor General Antonio Maceo Grajales with the first rays of sunlight over the Gran Piedra mountain range.
      Along the same 2.7 kilometer route that the cedar urn with the inscription “Fidel” traveled a year ago, workers and the population in general marched the length of Patria Avenue, led by leaders of the territory and students of different educational levels, carrying enormous July 26 Movement and Cuban flags.

      Santiago residents marched to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery this December 4, representing the Cuban people. Photo: Eduardo Palomares “I live nearby and although I have come to honor him some 70 times already, today I could not miss it, because Fidel is an example and guide for all of us, and we will fulfill with dignity the mission that Cuba gave us to guard his ashes,” stated Blas Salvador Naranjo Frómeta, a professor at the University of Oriente, after laying flowers before the monolith that holds the ashes of the historic leader of the Revolution.


      From the same educational institution, María Magdalena Zamora Cabrera went to dedicate the crochet work she had lovingly made to the Comandante, as “It couldn’t be otherwise as I don’t know how to draw, and here are Martí and Fidel, a dove, the flag, the rank of Comandante and stars that symbolize his light.”


      Hundreds of portraits, his name on banners and even on skin, flags and a variety of shows of affection and respect were brought by the people to Santa Ifigenia cemetery.



      The population filled the streets from the early hours to demonstrate that Fidel remains alive among the Cuban people. Photo: Eduardo Palomares Dr. Martha Vinet Serrano explained why she was participating in the tribute: “I’m here because I came from a very poor background and I owe everything I am to him. I became a doctor, I have completed four internationalist missions in Angola, Haiti and Venezuela, and whenever I can, I will come here to seek new energies, to continue, at the age of 76, serving the Revolution.”


      From the start and throughout the march, many grateful international students or visitors joined the tribute, such as Analía and Soledad, from Argentina, who expressed their admiration for the legacy of the founder of the Cuban Revolution.


      “We’re here on vacation,” they noted, “and coinciding with the anniversary of Fidel’s death we traveled to Santiago de Cuba, to experience this significant moment alongside Cubans, for a man who represented all of Cuba, but also belonged to the entire world.”


      Meanwhile, Christophe Servais from Belgium traveled to the island for the twenty-seventh time, with his camera at the ready to capture the tribute to Fidel as, “He is a historic man for the whole world.”


      The record number of visitors to the cemetery this December 4, together with the 547,959 people (including 127,321 international visitors), who up until November 30 had come to pay tribute to the historic leader of the Revolution, confirm that Fidel lives on among us and in all the just causes of the world.

      Related information Raúl pays tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-12-04/raul-pays-tribute-to-the-historic-leader-of-the-cuban-revolution Tribute to Fidel in Santiago http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-12-04/tribute-to-fidel-in-santiago

      Tue Dec 5, 2017 11:13 am (PST) . Posted by:

      duniatg1983

      Cuba attracts the attention of cruise lines A bilateral symposium held in the Cuban capital November 28-29 provided the opportunity to exchange experiences and evaluate the development of the cruise industry in Cuba
      Author: Iramsy Peraza Forte http://en.granma.cu/archivo?a=1419 | informacion@... mailto:informacion@...
      Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez http://en.granma.cu/archivo?a=958 | internet@... mailto:internet@...
      December 5, 2017 12:12:00


      José Manuel Bisbé, director of Viajes Cuba, reported that there are 68,000 hotel rooms available now in Cuba, with 69% in four or five star facilities, and 140 investment projects underway in the sector. Photo: Isel Quintana Cruise line executives from the world's most important companies agree on the interest Havana attracts as a port-of-call. A bilateral symposium held in the Cuban capital November 28-29 provided the opportunity to exchange experiences and evaluate the development of the cruise industry in Cuba.


      The central topic on the agenda was the tourist boom evident on the island over the last several years, which has favored cruise lines, and the creation of new alliances, paving the way for more business in the future.


      Josefina Vidal, director general for the United States at Cuba's Foreign Ministry and one of the participants in the symposium, emphasized on her Twitter account that industry leaders said Cuba has a special identity as a country and that Havana is the number one favorite stop among passengers on Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the U.S. companies operating here.


      "Cruise ship passengers love to come to Cuba, experience its natural beauty, security, and the warm, welcoming, attractive nature of its people," Vidal commented.


      During the last working session, José Manuel Bisbé, director of the Viajes Cuba Enterprise Group, discussed with his counterparts the potential for the cruise industry's development in Cuba.


      He recalled that some 4.2 million international visitors had arrived in Cuba this year through November 26, indicating that more than the projected 4.7 million could be expected by the end of 2017.


      This data makes clear the importance of tourism to the country's economy, as one of the most dynamic sectors, thus confirming the potential for collaboration, he said. Bisbé outlined Cuba's attractions as a popular tourist destination, highly regarded among Caribbean islands and locations worldwide, not only for its natural beauty, but for the cordial hospitality of Cubans.


      He discussed plans to expand port infrastructure with a view toward receiving a greater number of cruise ships in the future, and progress made in recovery efforts following damage caused by Hurricane Irma to tourist facilities.

      Of the more than four million tourists who visited Cuba in 2016, 112,000 arrived aboard cruise ships. Thus this modality has shown the most growth in the Caribbean over the last five years. Photo: Jose M. Correa Attending the meeting - sponsored by the Cruise Lines International Association, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, and the travel agency Havanatur - were American Cruise Lines, Virgin Voyages, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Club Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Celestyal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, and Pearl Seas Cruises, these last four from the United States. All operate successfully in Cuba, according to reports on other occasions.


      Since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, arrivals of visitors from that country have increased dramatically, given the decision by President Obama to make the travel license process for U.S. citizens more flexible.


      Although blockade-related laws still prohibit travel to Cuba for the purpose of tourism, the increase in visits continues. In the first half of 2017, the number of visitors from the U.S. was equal to the previous year's total.


      Since the beginning of the thaw in relations, Cuba has signed memoranda of understanding with port authorities in the states of Virginia; Louisiana (Lake Charles, New Orleans); Alabama; Mississippi (Pascagoula) and the cites of Houston and Cleveland, which will be key to facilitating expansion of the cruise industry.


      However, the new measures adopted by President Donald Trump, described in the meeting as an enormous step back in bilateral relations, not only limit visits to the island by U.S. citizens, but also infringe on the rights of U.S. companies to do business here.


      One of the steps taken by the White House was to prohibit commercial relations with a group of Cuban state enterprises, the majority in the tourist sector.


      GROWING INVESTMENT IN THE LEISURE INDUSTRY



      Speaking with Prensa Latina, José Manuel Bisbé, Viajes Cuba executive, recalled that 25 years ago there were 18,000 hotel rooms in Cuba, while the total has now reached 68,000, with 69% in four or five star facilities, and more than 140 investment projects underway in the sector.


      He indicated that included in the projects are renovations of existing hotels, and the development of gold club resorts, as well as new facilities, encouraged by incentives established in the country's new foreign investment law.


      The executive reported that 20 international chains operate in Cuba, in 88 hotels, almost 65% of the total. Likewise, 27 joint ventures are responsible for 4,500 rooms in four and five star facilities.


      Bisbé recalled that Hurricane Irma's impact was felt, in one way or another, across the entire island, but that following a tremendous effort, all hotel facilities are now operating.


      Plans for 2016-2030 project reaching 103,000 rooms; 23 marinas and nautical facilities; 24 linked to golf courses; and 47 recreational/adventure sites.


      As examples he mentioned the Ramón Peninsula in the eastern province of Holguín, with plans for 19,159 rooms.


      He likewise noted Sabinal's 12,785 new rooms, and projects on Paredón Grande and Las Brujas Keys, the latter in the island's central region where 2,895 rooms are projected, and where Cuba's International Tourism Fair (FITCuba 2018) will take place this coming May.


      Tue Dec 5, 2017 11:15 am (PST) . Posted by:

      duniatg1983

      Maduro invites opposition to meet with government Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, invited opposition members to meet with government representatives at Miraflores Palace, in order to strengthen formal talks and review the six point agenda agreed upon by both parties in talks held December 1-2 in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic


      Author: AVN http://en.granma.cu/archivo?a=264 | internet@... mailto:internet@...
      December 4, 2017 15:12:45



      Caracas.– Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, invited opposition members to meet with government representatives at Miraflores Palace, in order to strengthen formal talks and review the six point agenda agreed upon by both parties in talks held December 1-2 in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.


      “I want to invite Deputy Julio Borges, Deputy Luis Florido, Deputy Timoteo Zambrano and Deputy Luis Aquiles Moreno, representing opposition parties, Justice First, People’s Will, Democratic Action, and A New Time, to Miraflores Palace this week,” Maduro stated during the 98th episode of the weekly television program he hosts on VTV, Los Domingos con Maduro.



      The head of state recalled that the Venezuelan government maintains a constant dialogue with all the country’s productive and social sectors, and highlighted the importance of consolidating formal talks with all political sectors for the well-being of the country.



      “Now we need a political dialogue with all the country’s political actors, with all political forces and factions, I have insisted a great deal on there being dialogue and a permanent system of transparent dialogue regarding the country with the opposition,” he stated, according to AVN.



      Maduro also highlighted the repeated calls he has made to oppositions sectors to participate in talks in order to achieve peace.



      “I have called for national dialogue on 372 occasions,” he stressed.


      Tue Dec 5, 2017 3:42 pm (PST) . Posted by:

      "Walter Lippmann" walterlx

      Subject: HouseWatch Alert for the week
      of December 5, 2017 Date:
      5 Dec 2017 12:03:42 -0500
      From: Rep. Kathy Castor
      <kathy.castor@...>
      <mailto:kathy.castor@...>
      To: karenlee726@...
      <mailto:karenlee726@...>


      [Rep. Kathy Castor]
      HouseWatch Alert for the week
      of December 5, 2017


      Dead Friend,



      The Republican majority is entirely focused on
      rushing through the outrageous tax bill that
      raises taxes on millions of middle class
      families, while providing massive permanent tax cuts to
      big corporations and the super-rich. Last night, I was
      named as one of five House Democratic conferees to
      negotiate with Republicans on the final version of the
      GOP bill. I will press for greater fairness so that the
      benefits do not go overwhelmingly to the top 1%. Tax
      reform should boost wages and productivity, invest in
      modern infrastructure in America and not add over $1
      Trillion to the national debt. During my years
      representing the Tampa Bay area in Congress, I haven’t
      seen a bill that is more unfair and unwise. The battle
      earlier this year over health care and narrow focus on
      the huge tax giveaway have crowded out action on other
      important legislation so the GOP must cram everything
      into the last few weeks of the year.


      For example, Speaker Ryan must
      propose a bill to fund the government by Friday
      or face a government shutdown.
      In a properly-functioning Congress,
      appropriations for the government are adopted
      prior to the start of the fiscal year in October.
      Reliance on short-term “continuing resolutions” has
      become too common and damages the ability of agencies
      like the Department of Defense, National Institutes of
      Health and Department of Transportation to function.
      Republicans likely will offer a two-week “CR” until
      December 22 and then hope to craft another bill to fund
      the government through September 30, 2018. Republicans
      control the House, Senate and the White House so it is a
      bit mystifying why they cannot govern on a basic
      responsibility.


      Other vital initiatives that hang in the balance
      are emergency funding to Florida, Puerto Rico,
      the U.S. Virgin Islands and Texas following the
      harshest hurricane season on record. The GOP
      Congress also allowed the Children’s Health
      Insurance Program to expire as of September 30 and
      states are running out of money to continue to provide
      health services to kids who need it. Flood insurance
      reform also must be dealt with before Congress
      adjourns. Democrats and some Republicans are pressing
      to hold President Trump to his word that our Dream Act
      students would be allowed to apply for citizenship
      before the end of the year.


      Last week, I filed a bill to end taxpayer-funded
      and campaign-funded settlements for workplace
      harassment and discrimination by members of
      Congress.

      Fundamental changes are being considered to make
      workplace harassment reviews more timely and more
      transparent. Congress must completely reform the
      process for complaints and timely resolution of cases as
      is contemplated in the “Me Too Act” by Rep. Jackie
      Speier (D-CA) that I have cosponsored.


      Republicans in the House also have scheduled
      votes on the following bills:

      H.R. 38
      <https://castor.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=443911-70\
      267441> – In an effort to provide a
      holiday gift to the powerful gun lobby, the GOP
      is rushing the firearm “concealed carry
      reciprocity” bill to the House floor. The
      bill would require all states to honor a permit to
      carry a concealed gun from any other state in America,
      regardless of the issuing state's procedures to ensure
      that the permit-holder can safely use a gun. The bill
      will allow persons in one state to "shop around"
      and apply for a concealed carry
      permit in less restrictive states
      like Utah where persons can apply for a concealed
      carry permit simply by going online.

      More than 15 million people already have permits
      to carry concealed guns in the U.S. "This bill
      flouts state law and allows
      anyone to carry a gun at any time anywhere,
      regardless of existing state laws
      that establish procedures for how and when a
      concealed weapon can be obtained and carried,"
      said Kris Brown, Co-President of the Brady
      Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "We already
      have an epidemic of gun violence
      in America, and adding more concealed weapons in
      more sensitive places, like … hospitals,
      airports, restaurants and schools creates a
      nationwide public safety disaster."

      In committee, Democratic amendments were rejected
      that would have established a minimum age to
      carry concealed guns, protect state laws that
      prohibit carrying concealed guns in bars and
      require background checks for all gun sales. The
      bill also comes up short on bump stocks and calls
      instead for an unnecessary study on the firearm
      accessory used in Las Vegas instead of acknowledging how
      the bump stocks turn certain guns into killing
      machines. Meanwhile, I recommend that you read the
      letter to Congress
      <https://castor.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=443912-70\
      267441> from a number of America’s top
      military leaders, including the former U.S. Special
      Operations Commander Admiral Eric T. Olson (Ret.) who
      served many years in Tampa at MacDill AFB.

      H.R. 3971
      <https://castor.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=443913-70\
      267441> – This bill would allow larger
      bank servicers to avoid important consumer
      safeguards by stopping the Consumer Financial
      Protection Bureau (CFPB) from requiring escrow
      accounts for riskier, high-priced loans at
      institutions with less than $25 billion in assets.
      This is a dramatic increase from the current $2 billion
      asset threshold. Escrow accounts are an important
      consumer protection mechanism that reduces the risk of
      mortgage default and ensures homeowners have funds for
      recurring homeownership-related expenses that can result
      in losing the home – like property taxes – or an
      inability to rebuild or replace, like insurance. The
      bill revives some of the abusive and fraudulent business
      practices involved with predatory lending that
      contributed to the financial and homeowner foreclosure
      crisis less than a decade ago.



      H.R. 477
      <https://castor.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=443914-70\
      267441> – This bill would exempt certain
      merger and acquisition brokers from registration
      as broker-dealers with the Securities and
      Exchange Commission (SEC). This legislation is
      not necessary, as the SEC has “no-action
      guidance” in place that already exempts certain mergers
      and acquisition brokers from SEC registration
      requirements. That SEC guidance was well thought-out
      and has worked effectively since being issued in 2014.
      While this bill includes some of the SEC “no-action
      guidance,” it excludes certain critical protections that
      could leave investors vulnerable.

      Sincerely,

      Kathy Castor

      P.S. Remember to join me on Facebook
      <https://castor.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=443915-70\
      267441> for more pictures and information
      about issues important to our community.

      To unsubscribe, please visit my web
      site
      <https://castor.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=443916-70\
      267441> .
      Click Here
      <https://castor.house.gov/news/email/show.aspx?ID=YPAIBXGWSECND4I\
      FBMULO5TCBE> to view this email in your browser
      Click Here
      <https://castor.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/?Delete=true&MessageI\
      D=193728&Email=karenlee726@...> to be removed from this
      list

      Tue Dec 5, 2017 3:53 pm (PST) . Posted by:

      "Walter Lippmann" walterlx

      KAREN LEE WALD observes:

      There are several important aspects that don't appear in the
      Reuters headline, but which can be seen or read between the
      lines when you get further into the article.

      Although it would seem like a step forward to have a new
      "head" of the US Embassy in Cuba (not the "Cuban embassy
      -- I'm assuming that someone other than the author, Marc
      Frank, wrote the headline), it clearly is not. It might be
      the opposite.
      Trump did NOT appoint Goldberg as Ambassador, but rather as
      Charge d'Affaires --a glorified administrator at best.

      --Although it would have been logical to appoint an
      Ambassador in 2014 when the embassy was reopened by Obama
      for the first time since the US closed it in response to
      the Cuban Revolution, naming an Ambassador requires
      Congressional approval, and Obama's choice was blocked by
      Congressional Republicans.

      Democrats could presumably do the same thing if Trump had
      appointed Goldberg as an Ambassador instead of Charge
      d'Affaires, in this case not because they don't want to see
      any ambassador there at all (the Republicans' reason) but
      because the man named is so inappropriate (even though Reuters
      quotes an unnamed source as calling him "the best of the
      best". One can only ask oneself "the best at doing
      WHAT?")

      --Even more important --and the reason some Democrats who
      actually want to see a moving ahead in US-Cuba relations
      would likely oppose him-- is that man who Trump named is
      regarded by many in Latin America and the Caribbean as a
      CIA-style provocateur. He was expelled by President Evo
      Morales from Bolivia on that basis, in any case.

      [Evo accused Goldberg of "fomenting social unrest" in an
      attempt to bring down the Morales government].
      Anyone who wanted true "diplomatic relations" between the US
      and Cuba would certainly question naming a person with
      that history to a post in Cuba.

      --Which leads to the next speculation: Cuba would have to
      approve the new ambassador. Did Trump pick Goldberg in
      the hope that Cuba would reject him, thus, minimally, leaving
      the situation "as is" - with no Ambassador in the US
      Embassy in Cuba-- or worse, giving Trump a pretext to remove
      the Cuban Ambassador from the Cuban Embassy in
      Washington??? (He's already decimated both embassies by
      removing most US personnel from the US Embassy in Cuba and
      kicking out most Cubans from their embassy in Washington
      DC, on the most absurd of pretexts -- an imaginary "sonic
      attack" against US diplomats.)
      [comments from informed readers would be welcome]

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-usa-exclusive/exclusive-t\
      rump-names-career-diplomat-to-head-cuban-embassy-sources-idUSKBN1\
      DZ047


      <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-usa-exclusive/exclusive-\
      trump-names-career-diplomat-to-head-cuban-embassy-sources-idUSKBN\
      1DZ047>
      #World News <https://www.reuters.com/news/archive/worldNews>
      December 4, 2017 / 8:27 PM /
      Updated 13 hours ago
      Exclusive: Trump names career
      diplomat to head Cuban embassy - sources
      #WORLD NEWS <https://www.reuters.com/news/archive/worldNews>
      DECEMBER 4, 2017 / 8:27 PM /
      UPDATED 13 HOURS AGO Exclusive:
      Trump names career diplomat to
      head Cuban embassy - sources
      Marc Frank
      <https://www.reuters.com/journalists/marc-frank>
      3 MIN READ

      *

      *


      HAVANA (Reuters)
      - The Trump administration has
      named career diplomat Philip
      Goldberg to head the
      all-but-abandoned U.S. embassy in
      Havana, according to three sources
      familiar with the matter, at a time of
      heightened tensions between the United
      States and Cuba.

      Goldberg has
      lengthy experience in a number of
      countries, and was described by a U.S.
      congressional aide on Monday as “career
      and the best of the best”. [By
      whom? Best what?]


      But his appointment may ruffle
      feathers in Havana. He was
      expelled from Cuba’s
      socialist ally Bolivia in 2008 for what
      President Evo Morales claimed was
      fomenting social unrest.


      The appointment
      has not been publicly announced.

      If approved by Cuba, Goldberg will
      arrive at a low moment in bilateral
      relations.
      ADVERTISING
      The embassy was
      reopened for the first time since 1961
      last year, as part of a fragile detente by
      former Democratic U.S. president Barack
      Obama.

      But the
      administration of Republican President
      Donald Trump has returned to Cold War
      characterizations of the Cuban government
      and imposed new restrictions on doing
      business in Cuba and travel.

      It has charged
      Cuba with responsibility for health
      problems affecting some two dozen
      diplomats or their family members, which
      it has termed attacks. Cuba denies the
      charges.

      The U.S. embassy
      has been reduced to a skeleton staff and
      has suspended almost all visa processing
      after the Trump administration in October
      pulled 60 percent of embassy personnel and
      ordered a similar reduction at the Cuban
      embassy in Washington, expelling 15
      diplomats.

      The position is
      not an ambassador role and does not need
      to be approved by the U.S. Congress. There
      has been no ambassador since the embassy
      re-opened, after the Republican-controlled
      Senate opposed Obama’s pick.

      Instead, Goldberg
      will take over from Jeffrey DeLaurentis,
      who left in June, as Charge
      d‘Affaires.

      Goldberg’s other
      previous posts include the chief of
      mission in Kosovo. Most recently he has
      been the U.S. ambassador to the
      Philippines.

      “Appointing Ambassador
      Goldberg to head the U.S. Embassy
      in Cuba is rather provocative since
      he was expelled from Bolivia,”
      American University professor of
      government William LeoGrande, a Cuba
      expert, said.

      “But Ambassador
      Goldberg is a Foreign Service professional
      and will ably represent the policies of
      Trump’s administration. Time will tell if
      he has been instructed to follow in the
      footsteps of his predecessor ... or
      carry out a more hostile policy,” he
      said.

      The embassy was
      closed in 1961 when the United States
      broke diplomatic relations. The countries
      maintained lower level interests sections
      in each other’s capitals from 1977 to
      2016, under the auspices of
      Switzerland.

      Reporting by Marc
      Frank in Havana; Additional reporting by
      Patricia Zengerle and Steve Holland in
      Washington, Editing by Rosalba
      O'Brien
      Our Standards:
      The Thomson Reuters Trust
      Principles.
      <http://thomsonreuters.com/en/about-us/trust-principles.html>

      Marc Frank <https://www.reuters.com/journalists/marc-frank>
      HAVANA (Reuters) - The Trump
      administration has named career

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

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