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's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.