FROM Ted Piccone
Washington Opens Ties with Havana President Obama says isolation and punishment have not forced Communist Cuba to change, so he’s reversing 50 years of diplomatic policy. He said the US will end its isolation of Cuba and begin establishing normal relations by opening an embassy in Havana. Critics call normalizing relations an "undeserved bailout" of the Castro regime, based on the "illusion" that renewed ties will translate into political freedom. But supporters say it puts the onus on Cuba itself to further liberalize its economy, allow more dissenting voices and, ultimately, to establish democracy. Will it produce a historic transition or more of the same?
Cuba: A Country for Old Men In 2008, Raul Castro took the Presidency of Cuba from his ailing brother Fidel. Prior to last week's first Communist Party Central Committee meeting in 14 years, Raul promised economic reforms and what he called "systematic rejuvenation" of Party leadership. But, "We're not seeing new blood—this is the oldest blood Cuba has." That's according to Anne Louise Bardach, writer for Newsweek and the Daily Beast and author of, Without Fidel : A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington.
Cuba: A Country for Old Men Like other dictatorships, the leaders of Cuba face a new generation impatient for less repression and economic freedom. But computers, cell phones, Facebook and Twitter are in short supply in Cuba, as is information about what's happening elsewhere in the world. In 2008, Raul Castro took the Presidency of Cuba from his ailing brother, Fidel. Prior to last week's first Communist Party Central Committee meeting in 14 years, Raul promised economic reforms and what he called csystematic rejuvenation" of Party leadership. But Fidel Castro's chosen successors are as old as he is. What do they mean by economic "modernization?" Is democracy on their radar screen? What's President Obama's view of the US embargo?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.