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U.S. Policy

A longer look at the history of U.S.-Cuban relations suggests that much of the newly opened debate over future engagement rests on some of the same assumptions that shaped previous relations in the decades before the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959).

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday asked the U.S. Justice Department to designate a special prosecutor to examine the CIA’s use of torture as well as other illegal measures when questioning terrorism suspects.

President Obama signed a bill yesterday authorizing sanctions against Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of protesters in the South American country earlier this year.

The gradual easing of commercial, economic and social sanctions can only send the right signals to Cuba and the rest of Latin America—that change is on the way.

Cuba released 65-year-old former U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor Alan Gross from prison today on humanitarian grounds, paving the way for normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

The Senate report unequivocally condemns the CIA’s behavior at the height of post-9/11 hysteria.  In so doing, it is fair to say that the Senate report is also a clear indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration, which used dubious legal opinions about the use of torture to look the other way.

This week's likely top stories: Brazilian prosecutor plans to indict at least 11 in the Petrobras scandal; Haitian protestors in Port-au-Prince demand long-overdue elections; Latin American currencies drop as U.S. job growth surges in November; U.S. releases six Guantánamo prisoners to Uruguay; Mexican government identifies the remains of one of 43 missing students.

The argument for a prisoner swap with Cuba today should be humanitarian; its effect on U.S.-Cuban relations may be short-lived.

The U.S. can save the upcoming Summit of the Americas—and update its anachronistic Cuba policy—in one fell swoop.

The United Nations General Assembly voted for an end to the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba for the twenty-third time on Tuesday.

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