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U.S. Policy
Immigrant and workers’ rights activists gathered in New York City last week to celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1—also known as May Day.

Brazil is betting on an eventual opening in Cuba. The bet is more than economic; it’s linked directly to a larger geopolitical project intended to draw Cuba toward its own model of economic and political organization as Cuba wakes up from its 55-year slumber under the Castro regime.

Likely top stories this week: Solís wins Costa Rican election; the Obama Administration faces increasing pressure on its deportation policy; Venezuelan government reacts after Spain suspends the sale of riot gear; a FIFA executive admits that Brazil is still behind schedule for the 2014 World Cup.

A UN report that was released on Thursday criticizes the United States for a poor performance on 25 human rights issues, ranging from torture and National Security Agency spying, to life sentences for juvenile offenders and the death penalty.

Our ability to play a larger, more constructive role in the deteriorating political situation in Venezuela is being held back by our utter lack of leverage over Cuba. 

Likely top stories this week: Nicaraguans vote in local elections; protests continue in Venezuela; the FARC says it will continue peace talks during elections; a Mapuche leader is sentenced to prison; Chileans no longer need visas to enter the United States.

The United States released the second member of a group of five Cuban prisoners—known as the “Cuban Five”—from an Arizona prison on Thursday.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Florida sugar magnate Alfonso Fanjul said he is ready to do business with Cuba “under the right circumstances.”  The questions are: “what are the right circumstances?" and “who benefits when American companies ‘do business’ with communist Cuba?”

With a series of statements by leading Cuban-Americans, stories of change inside the island, and growing public pressure and attention to liberalize the U.S. embargo toward Cuba, I’d wager that soon the Cuban government will do something to halt the process.

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