New paper worth reading for those interested in Cuba studies and law/international relations:
De Jesus Bu Marcheco, La Habana, Cuba
Spanish Abstract:Este artículo es una revisión de la literatura sobre las reclamaciones de la propiedad pendientes entre Cuba y los Estados Unidos, con el objeto de resumir el estado actual del conocimiento académico. Este artículo examina las reclamaciones entre las partes, los mecanismos legales diseñados para solucionar las demandas y los remedios para cada tipo específico de demandante.English Abstract: This paper contains a literature review designed to summarize the state of academic knowledge surrounding the outstanding property claims between Cuba and the United States. This paper examines the claims between the parties, the legal mechanisms designed to solve the claims and, the remedies tailored for each particular type of claimants.
By Scott Flaherty
Law360, New York (February 21, 2014, 6:29 PM ET) — Although a recent survey showed
most Americans favor easing the longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, experts say
continued support among congressional leaders and a lack of progress in Cuba on human
rights issues make lifting the trade restrictions anytime soon a long shot.
The Atlantic Council, a think tank that studies international affairs, released a study Feb. 11
showing that about 56 percent of Americans who participated in a survey were at least
somewhat in favor of the U.S. taking steps to normalize its relationship with Cuba and ease a
more than 50-year-old trade embargo.
But experts say growing support for more direct engagement with Cuba is not enough to
overcome a number of political hurdles that stand in the way of changes to the embargo,
which includes travel restrictions and a general ban on imports and exports passing between
the U.S. and Cuba, at any point in the near future.
Peter Hakim, president emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank focused on
policy in the Americas, said there is still strong support for maintaining the embargo among
influential members of Congress, such as Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who chairs the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is considered to be
a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016.
The embargo has been “held in place by a small number of highly committed people,” Hakim
said, adding that there doesn’t appear to be enough political will among Americans who want
to ease the embargo to outweigh the support that exists for keeping it in place.
“What does Cuba really matter to Barack Obama, or people who are concerned about a pivot
to China, or ordinary Americans?” he said.
Cuba’s track record on human rights is another hurdle, noted Florida International University
law professor Ediberto Roman, who said pressuring Cuba to clean up potential human rights
violations has been one of the key justifications for keeping the embargo in place for so long.
Although there may be economic reasons for the U.S. to move toward more normal trade
relations with Cuba, in part because it would open up the country’s market to U.S. goods,
Cuba’s continually poor human rights track record makes walking away from the embargo at
this point an implausible — if not irresponsible — choice on the part of the U.S., according to
“The human rights record hasn’t improved. If anything, it’s been worse,” Roman said.
As a practical matter, the embargo couldn’t be lifted at least until a new government takes
over in Cuba and the U.S. State Department certifies that it meets a number of requirements
laid out in the Helms-Burton Act, which was put on the books in 1996 and tightened U.S.
sanctions against Cuba, according to Judith A. Lee, chair of Gibson Dunn’s international trade
regulation and compliance practice.
To qualify for the certification called for in the Helms-Burton Act, Fidel and Raul Castro —
the current Cuban leader — would have to be out of government, and Cuba would need to
legalize all political activity, release political prisoners, organize free and fair elections, and
meet a slew of other requirements, according to the law.
But beyond the changes within Cuba that would need to take place before the country met
the Helms-Burton requirements, other U.S. political factors could keep the embargo in place
for the foreseeable future, Lee said. One of those is the passionate support for maintaining
the embargo that still exists in parts of the U.S., including in Florida, a key battleground
state with a sizable Cuban-American population.
“It’s not just the case that we [would] have to wait for the leadership in Cuba to recede,”
And there’s also another matter: the longevity of the Cuba trade embargo and the inertia
that has built up as a result.
“It’s the oldest sanctions program that we have, and it’s the strictest,” Lee said. “Even
though there’s support for relaxing the embargo … it’s still premature to think that it’s going
to happen anytime soon.”
But experts note that this month’s survey may indicate a generational shift in how Cuba is
viewed in U.S.
In a report detailing the findings of its survey, which sampled 1,024 people nationwide, the
Atlantic Council said the responses showed that Americans, for the most part, support
altering U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Hakim said Cuban-Americans who grew up in Cuba and fled the Castro regime have often
been vocal supporters of the embargo, but that is an aging group being replaced by younger
people who don’t have as strong of a personal connection to the issue and therefore don’t
have as much passion for keeping the embargo in place.
“It was pretty clear that the power of this issue was losing strength,” Hakim said. “There
was lots of evidence that there
It is Helen Chavez’s birthday month. Specifically on January 21st Helen turned eighty-six years old. Helen and Cesar Chavez along with a community of farmworkers created the United Farmworkers of America. From the UFW website we are told:
“Helen didn’t speak much, but she held deep convictions. In September 1965, while leaders of Cesar’s young Latino union debated whether or not to join a grape strike begun that month by members of a largely Filipino-American farmworker union, Helen, in her quiet no-nonsense way, settled the debate by asking “Are we a union or not?”
Please go to http://www.ufw.org to wish Helen a Happy Birthday and of course mil gracias for her dedication to working and supporting the workers that feed America.
A Tampa-area man, who is undocumented, passed the Florida Bar and would like to receive his law license. But can he practice law without a legal status? Law professor Ediberto Roman explains the evolving circumstances surrounding this case.
In June of 2005, LatinoJustice PRLDEF launched a new initiative called LAWbound®, a project whose aim was to increase the number of Latinos who successfully stay on the path to law school.
With the support of the Office of Diversity Initiatives of the Law School Admission Council, LAWbound builds upon our current pre-law programming and identifies Latino students early in their college career. The program provides targeted services that address some of the most common barriers to admission to law school, and helps students effectively navigate the law school admissions process, and, in turn, underwrite their own success.
Our goal is simple. To increase the number of Latinos who go to law school.
The LAWbound program plan includes:
- Outreach, recruitment and college activities
- The Luis J. DeGraffe LAWbound Summer/Winter Academy
- Mentoring and networking
- Wrap-around programming that improves access from law school to bar admission.
Program Eligibility Requirements
- Demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a legal education.
- Be of Hispanic heritage and currently enrolled as a college freshman or sophomore during initial application to the program.
- Demonstrate strong academic potential with a minimum overall B average or better and permit LatinoJustice PRLDEF access to your academic record.
Applicants must be able to attend the full summer prep program that takes place in August. Applicants for the winter class must be able to attend our new winter academy, which takes place the second week of January.
I am thrilled Latino Justice has asked me to Host the LAWbound Academy this year!
Hope to see some of you there!!
The “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game at the University of Texas at Austin is not just about the students of that university. It implicates everyone who lives in the United States today. Though it can be easily dismissed as political theater or as a publicity stunt, performance and spectacle reveal that, for some, immigration has become trivialized to the level of a “game.” Yet that game plays out in this country every single day with very real winners and losers.
The stunt isn’t a one-time aberration but a window into a culture of cruelty that treats immigrants like animals to be chased, hunted, and captured. It underscores a privilege that makes it acceptable to make a game out of something that is the literal embodiment of the pain of many communities. It is about the preservation of a campus climate that makes it clear that some people do not belong, were never meant to belong, and do not have the luxury of ever getting too comfortable.
And yes, Young Conservatives of Texas, it is about the performance of a racial anxiety that the United States is changing and the children of the people who have been scrubbing your toilets and trimming your rose bushes also have a claim to this place that for so long you have somehow thought of as yours alone.
And perhaps the most mortifying part of it all is that there is a “prize.” What is particularly shameful about this event is that the Young Conservatives of Texas set up the rules of the game to include a monetary incentive. A cash prize. A fair trade – engage in an act of degradation and walk away with your wallet a little fatter! That pretty much sums it up.
They didn’t mean to offend anyone, they assure us. But guess what, Young Conservatives of Texas? Your “game” does offend me.
Who am I? Like you, I am the graduate of a top, flagship public research university – a three-time graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Fifteen years ago, I cut my political teeth protesting “ethnic-themed” frat parties and defending my Chicana housemates who had racist slurs hurled at them from College Avenue windows while walking home from class. I am also a former lecturer at U.C. Berkeley. Each Spring I taught there, a racist incident at one of the U.C. campuses cropped up demanding our class time and collective attention – the noose at the U.C. San Diego library, Alexandra Wallace’s racist “Asians in the Library” rant, the notorious Affirmative Action Bake Sale.
And I have also spent the last decade learning from, working with, and researching undocumented college students. Students who have literally risked everything they have to get an education. Students who have slept in parks and the library because there was not enough money to pay rent and to buy school books. Students who work an all-night shift and then show up in class the next morning because it doesn’t make any sense to do the one if you are not going to do the other. These students deserve to attend a university without facing a mockery of their pain and sacrifice.
So yeah, Young Conservatives of Texas, I’m offended.
Those of us who are not at U.T. Austin can sit on the sidelines and shake our heads at the ignorance of students, hoping that they enroll in an Ethnic Studies course, or at least an American History course, and eventually learn how their ahistorical worldview is misguided, nativist, and racist. But we can do more: we can see their little racist performance for what it is – a reflection of the society in which we all live, a snapshot of our historical situation in which people are hunted like animals and traded in for small meaningless rewards. The “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game” is an inevitable outgrowth of a social, economic, and political context that treats many immigrants as less-than-human, i.e., as “illegal.”
In that sense, the U.T. Austin DREAMers and their allies who put up a fight and shut the event down are also a reflection of the society in which we live: a reflection of the growing number of people who insist that dehumanization is not acceptable, that racism is no joke, and that the world we are fighting for does not have space for the mockery of suffering. They give me hope that we can all do better than this.
Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco.