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Feb 2, 2017 0 Comments

Détente No Help to Cubans Media Mentions

Two years after President Barack Obama relaxed America’s stance toward the communist regime in Cuba, citizens of the island nation are still waiting for any substantial benefits.

Although Obama managed to widen the crevice for U.S. companies in the Cuban market, Cubans have seen little improvement in their economic freedoms, while their political freedoms remain abysmal.

Obama started to drop restrictions on Cuba in December 2014 and over the next two years opened diplomatic relations and secured limited access to Cuba for U.S. travelers, telecommunication companies, and banks.

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Jan 30, 2017 0 Comments

With New “Superpowers” Maduro Elevates El Aissami to Second in Command Media Mentions

Nicolás Maduro recently granted the new vice president of Venezuela, Tareck El Aissami, new and broad powers through presidential decrees, which has prompted speculation about possible succession plans.

According to Bloomberg international news, El Aissami has the power both to determine ministerial budgets and to expropriate private companies as he sees fit.

Likewise, El Aissami, of Syrian origin, and recently appointed to his post, is authorized to issue economic orders on matters ranging from taxes to foreign currency to hiring practices to state-owned enterprises.

This information was published in the Official Gazette on January 26 but was not distributed until January 30.

The new powers surpass those that have historically been granted to the vice president of Venezuela and could entail something approaching a new level of power sharing.

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Jan 28, 2017 0 Comments

January 2017 • Issue 2 Global Dispatch

Russia in Our Blind Spot: Using Intelligence Networks in South America to Infiltrate the United States

by Ricardo Neeb

Click on image to download Dispatch

Russia, like the Soviet Union before it, is a source of expansion and aggression in Crimea, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Syria, and in cyberspace. These are regrettably only the visible signs. In Latin America, after a temporary lapse, Russia has returned to increase its influence and to exploit any real or perceived U.S. weaknesses. This time, taking advantage of U.S. foreign policy focused on the Middle East and, therefore, leaving a blind spot south of the Rio Grande.

This Global Dispatch examines Russia’s use of Latin America as a veritable bridge from which to cultivate intelligence operations and infiltrate the United States. Providing a brief history of Soviet intelligence in Latin America and assessment of current Russian intentions in the region, the Dispatch also examines one major case where Russia’s external intelligence agency used Chile as a staging ground for entry into the United States.