Rui Ferreira

Rui Ferreira

Mi padre era actor y mi abuelo general. Una mezcla lo suficientemente explosiva como para generar un tipo que solo hace preguntas, no le gusta las respuestas a medias, y refleja todo eso en la mejor profesión del mundo. Por lo demás, me gusta viajar y fotografiar. A veces eso da plata, otras veces solo entretiene. Pero siempre vale la pena. Por lo que queda, dejémonos de pretensiones.

Politicians and activists

Politicians and activists of the conservative Cuban exile ask Biden to maintain a hard line towards the island

Since Joe Biden arrived at the White House a month ago, Cuban exile politicians and activists have launched a series of proposals to the new president on the evolution of the ties between the United States and the island. So far the new administration has said twice that it is reviewing those links and that any change will be conditioned by respect for human rights and the participation of Cuban Americans in the process. So far, several proposals directed at the Democrat have called for a recovery of the thaw policy of the Barack Obama administration, of which Biden was vice president and even greater participation of American civil society. During his campaign, the current president advocated for unrestricted remittances and ties with Cuban citizens, as well as the reestablishment of consular and commercial ties allowed by economic embargo-related laws. In this context, on Wednesday a group of senators, congresspeople, mayors, councilors, and activists gathered at the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora in Miami to reject any improvement in relations between the two countries. The activity, organized by the conservative Inspire America foundation, was presented as a bipartisan initiative, but the truth is that only one Democrat intervened in the...

The president of the Cuba Study Group, Carlos Saladrigas. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto/EFE/Archive.

Cuba Study Group proposes to Biden roadmap to approach Cuba

With the arrival at the White House of Democrat Joe Biden, who was vice president of Barack Obama—the U.S. president who launched the thaw with Havana with the phrase “this conflict began before I was born”—, a basically Cuban-American study and analysis group has launched a document that proposes to the current president that he resume ties with the island. “The urgency of the moment, compounded by Cuba’s needs in the midst of the most serious economic crisis it has faced in a generation, calls for bold action. If both countries do not achieve a comprehensive policy of rapprochement this time and do not set the path to normalization on firmer ground, we fear that there will not be another opportunity like this for many years,” says the 26-page proposal to Biden, prepared by the Cuba Study Group. “We are not in the driver’s seat, we can just make recommendations,” the president of the group, Carlos Saladrigas, commented in an electronic press conference. Saladrigas is not new to initiatives to strengthen ties between the two countries. He has traveled to the island, has dialogued with civil society and has given lectures on the private sector. It’s not for nothing that...

Photo: Kaloian Santos.

Biden administration announces review of Trump Cuba policy

The White House announced this Thursday that the Joe Biden administration will review the United States’ current Cuba policy. According to an internal statement released by the administration press secretary, Jen Psaki, the plan is to unblock the policies of former President Donald Trump, who strengthened the economic embargo and re-entered the island on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. “Our Cuba policy is governed by two principles. First, support for democracy and human rights—that will be at the core of our efforts. Second is Americans, especially Cuban Americans, are the best ambassadors for freedom in Cuba. So we’ll review the Trump administration policies,” emphasized Psaki. During his four years in the White House, the Trump administration reversed the bilateral rapprochement promoted by the Barack Obama administration, of which Biden was vice president. New economic sanctions, application of the third title of the Helms-Burton Act, restrictions on remittances and travel to the island, withdrawal of diplomatic personnel and reduction of consular procedures to a minimum, were among the measures applied by Washington, along with a return to the confrontational rhetoric of the Cold War. However, already during his presidential campaign, the current U.S. president announced his intention to resume...

Joe García, together with private farmer Fernando Funes, from the Marta farm in Havana
province, specialized in organic products. / Courtesy of Joe García.

Joe García: “I don’t want to be an ambassador, what I want is to serve my community”

When José Antonio García, better known in Miami as Joe, was appointed executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation at the beginning of the new century, he didn’t even know what Cuba smelled like. Now, two decades later, he has been to the island five times and has conversed with important officials and academics. Those trips have allowed him to polish his vision of the land of his parents and grandparents. Joe was born in Miami Beach in 1963. He was a Democratic leader and a congressman from that party in the federal House of Representatives. He is a controversial politician in Miami because he tends to advocate topics that most disagree with. He does not hide that the economic embargo is counterproductive for both countries, and since the last decade he has been advocating the normalization of ties between the two countries and, even more, for an improvement in the treatment of Cubans residing in the United States. Whenever Barack Obama, as a presidential candidate and later as the president, visited South Florida, Joe García was usually his host. One day it occurred to him to take him to eat Cuban fritters. Later, he organized a lunch for...

Marco Rubio claimed on Saturday, November 7, that an elected president cannot be proclaimed without finishing the counting of all the votes. | CNN

Political action committee created to remove Marco Rubio from the Senate in 2022

Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio is the next high-value target for Democrats now that Joe Biden is president-elect. Two Democratic strategists have launched a super PAC (Political Action Committee) to raise funds to remove Rubio from the Senate in the next legislatures in two years, when he runs for re-election. The super PAC is accompanied by a website called “Retire Rubio” and an account on the social network Twitter created a few years ago and which was reactivated. The idea launched by Democratic strategist Ben Pollara has more than 13,000 followers on Twitter and was presented as an effort “to singularly focus on defeating this weak, sad, disappointing and absent senator in 2022.” The group’s first ad, titled “Little Marco,” shows Trump himself questioning Rubio’s eligibility and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also a former presidential contender, criticizing Rubio’s absences from the Senate. “Little Marco” is an old nickname coined four years ago by Donald Trump when he confronted Rubio in a crowded Republican primary for the 2016 presidential election. After being defeated by Trump in the primaries, Rubio ran for re-election at the last minute, which he won for a second period. Since then, the 49-year-old Cuban-American has been a...

Cuban-Americans celebrate the Democratic defeat in Florida in front of the Versailles restaurant in Miami. Photo: Cristobal Herrera / EFE

Biden lost in Florida due to lack of commitment from the Democratic machine, analysts estimate

He came, he saw, he spoke, but he couldn't make it. Although it was known that President Donald Trump had his traction in Florida, among the opposition hosts there was hope that former Vice President Joe Biden could regain the state. This did not happen, the president obtained 51.24% at the state level and Biden 47.85%. This places the victory protected by the rural vote, its traditional breeding ground. But in an urban area like Miami-Dade County, it was the other way around. Trump lost by 45.98% and Biden won with 53.31%. No Republican has won the presidency in Miami-Dade since 1988. Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz But the most important thing, in Cuban-American terms, is that Trump's victory dragged down the defeat of the Democratic vote at the local level. Democrats lost almost every vote for councilors, state representatives and senators, judges, chiefs of police. The only truly significant local victory was that of Daniella Levine-Cava, who as a rookie Miami-Dade County Commissioner defeated the veteran Republican operative, an old local political fox, Esteban Bovo, who also as a county commissioner tried to get to Mayor. It was a historic moment. For the former mayor of Hialeah and now...

A line at a voting center in Miami Beach | Lynne Sladky / AP

Miami: regular election day, but with some tension

This election day, by dawn in Miami, almost all the voters had already voted. About 2-thirds exactly, 1.1 out of just over 1.5 million registered voters. That had never been seen. It is true that since the 2000 presidential elections, the number of voters in South Florida has grown gradually, accompanying the country's political polarization that began with the controversial duel between the then-Republican Governor of Texas, George W. Bush, and the former Democratic Vice President Al Gore, which ended up being decided by the Supreme Court. It continued with the election of Democrat Barack Obama, in 2008, when the Republican party suffered a process of dismemberment that woke up the far-right forces and the radicalization of the party, and with the election of Trump in 2016. “This avalanche still amazes me. We expect some 200,000 to 300,000 voters to come to the polls today, ”explains the spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Elections Board to a group of journalists. There were no incidents by closing time, and no problems with the voting machines. "I don't think there are reasons for concern," he adds. Miami-Dade tends to count votes fairly quickly, with fewer than a third of voters remaining at the...

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