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 fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
The free-flowing leaks in the Trump White House President Obama tried to clamp down on leakers, but the Trump Administration is besieged almost as never before. Are the "anonymous sources" partisans or worried professionals? Are they endangering the republic or performing a public service?
Concern deepens amid Trump's controversies President Trump delivered today's commencement speech to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. As he praised the accomplishments of the graduates, he listed some of his own… and made reference to reports that he leaked intelligence to the Russians and tried to shut down an FBI Investigation into his associates.