Giorgi Gogia from Human Rights Watch has summarised the latest developments in Azerbaijan in an opinion in Politico. The situation in the country has drastically went from bad to worse as free media is being limited and more dissidents are being imprisoned while struggling for a free and democratic Azerbaijan.
“US President Barack Obama has agreed to take Cuba off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House said Tuesday. Obama’s move comes just three days after the US President held a historic hour-long meeting with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro. According to France24, this was the first face-to-face talk between the presidents of the two nations in half a century. (…) Talks continue on trying to re-establish diplomatic ties between the two nations and US Secretary of State John Kerry is about to make a historic trip to the Caribbean island to reopen the US embassy, but a date isn’t yet confirmed.”
Despite the new bilateral co-operation between the U.S. and Cuba and the abolition of sanctions aimed Cuban economy, the question still remains whether it will benefit the ordinary people or just Cuba’s government elites. Spyridon Mitsotakis writes an interesting article in Breitbart on what he calls Cuba’s “internal embargo”, which separates the ordinary people from the government elites with two different currencies to prevent Cuban people from participating in the economies of the elite and the outside world.
U.S. president Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro had an historical face-to-face chat during the Panama summit, which was the first between U.S. and Cuban heads of state since 1956, WLRN reports. WLRN writes further that the new policy engagement with Cuba won’t turn Cuba into a democratic country with respect for human rights over a night, but that it gives the U.S. a better position to promote it after a half a century of isolating the island nation.
Cuban exiles from Miami clashed with pro-Castro Cubans in Panama ahead of the important American summit. According to the dissidents, they were having a peaceful march to a park where there’s a Jose Marti monument when there was an outbreak of violence. South Florida politicians blamed the pro-Castro regime and U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart said “Today, the Castro regime once again demonstrated that it is the same violent, terrorist dictatorship that it has always been, as it continues to export its brand of thuggery and aggression anywhere that it finds dissent.”
According to the Miami Herald, who quotes U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, there will be an interaction between the U.S. president Barack Obama and Raúl Castro at the Panama Summit. She says further that it will be an important handshake in the ongoing process of trying to renew U.S.-Cuban relations. Human rights advocates fear however that any recognition of Castro will lend the rough nation legitimacy internationally, undermining the struggle of political dissidents on the island.