Central America & Caribbean

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Letter From,
Michael J. Bustamante

Average Cubans on depressed state salaries are already hurrying to grab the last of this year’s delayed crop of potatoes. Across town,Sara’s Bar draws patrons from the island’s foreign-currency-holding elite with a conspicuous imitation of South Beach chic. And ten minutes away, the red flag of the Soviet Union proudly advertises a new private Russian restaurant, complete with Lenin-era propaganda posters to lend the décor the right amount of nostalgic kitsch.

Snapshot,
William M. LeoGrande

The State Department's recent recommendation that Obama take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of international terrorism removes a major roadblock to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana. If Obama acts on the recommendation, he will significantly strengthen Washington's diplomatic position in Cuba and Latin America more broadly.

Snapshot,
Hervé Rakoto Razafimbahiny

Haiti is at risk of returning to a dangerous cycle of coups and conflict unless the country and the international community work together to tackle the root of the instability: bad governance, corruption, widespread poverty, and inept foreign intervention.

Snapshot,
Jose W. Fernandez and Eric Lorber

Easing the U.S. embargo on Cuba will provide companies with immediate economic opportunities, so long as they are willing to bear the administrative and bureaucratic burdens of conducting business in a nation untouched by U.S. industry for 54 years.

Snapshot,
Victor Gaetan

The United States and Cuba could not have restored diplomatic ties without the Catholic Church. But the church could be the negotiations' biggest loser: many Catholics resent its intervention.

Postscript,
Michael J. Bustamante

The agreement reached between the Obama administration and the Cuban government is by any measure historic, necessary, and overdue. Yet as the diplomatic rubber hits the road and Cuba continues its precarious transition to a mixed economy, old disputes may take on new forms.

Snapshot,
Lauren Carasik

If a decrease in border crossings is the metric upon which Obama's response to this summer's immigration crisis is judged, he has succeeded. But his is a hollow victory, particularly since it came at the cost of imperiling the lives of refugees the United States is bound to protect.

Snapshot,
Omar G. Encarnación

It was hoped that Pope Francis would revive the Catholic Church in Latin America, but it is increasingly clear that his relationship with the region runs both ways. Even as he has tried to buoy the church there, his experiences in Latin America have helped transform the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, particularly when it comes to economic and social justice and support for gay rights.

Snapshot,
Fran Quigley

A deadly 2010 outbreak of cholera in Haiti was quickly traced to a UN camp, but the UN has been slow to take responsibility. In response, Haitian lawyers and advocates have decided to sue the international organization for damages. They might not win their case, but their efforts could at least leave Haiti with a better-functioning legal system.

Snapshot,
Patricio Asfura-Heim and Ralph H. Espach

In order to maximize the benefits and avoid the pitfalls associated with bringing vigilantes into the fold, the Mexican government should consider a few lessons from around the world.

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