Venezuela Inks MOU with American Oil Drilling Company

For colleagues who follow matters in Venezuela, it seems as if the Venezuela regime is supposedly inking contracts with American companies. According to an article that appeared in the government-owned Telesur media outlet, officials with Horizontal Well Drillers and the government have signed an MOU worth close to $1.3 billion. In the overall scheme of things, it …

Breaking Up the D.C. Latin America Policy Cartel

It was Fourth of July recess week in Washington, D.C. this week. A good time of the year to catch up with colleagues, especially those working on Capitol Hill. One of the many meetings I had this week focused on recent developments in the Western Hemisphere, especially Latin America and the Caribbean. Frankly, some of the …

Obama Cuba Deal Hurt American Farmers, Will Fare Better With Trump

Ever since President Donald Trump announced that he wanted a better deal on Cuba for U.S. taxpayers, opponents of Trump’s new approach have been lamented it will hurt American businesses, especially agriculture and others in the food industry. The U.S. Agriculture Coalition of Cuba, for example, issued a press release stating its members were “disappointed” …

Trump Re-Orientation of U.S. Cuba Policy Long Overdue, It Will Help U.S. Companies Make Informed Decisions

President Donald Trump’s re-orientation of policy, outlined primarily in his National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba (NSPM-5) was long overdue. NSPM-5, the U.S. Code, and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations will help you filter out the political noise. There is a lot of misinformation being disseminated about …

Trump Walking in Reagan’s Footsteps, Forges Path for Liberty by Putting U.S. Interests First

For decades Republican and Democratic presidents make perfunctory political pilgrimages to South Florida, Havana North, the political home of the Cuban Diaspora. With the exception, I think, of Jimmy Carter, every American President since John F. Kennedy has visited Miami to seek support from Americans of Cuban ancestry or, as President Donald Trump will do …

Is Lebanon Properly Safeguarding U.S. Defense Articles from Iran Proxy Hezbollah?

On December 22, 2016, I posted a short blog post on curious, albeit anonymous comments made by an Israeli defense ministry official who was expressing concern about U.S. defense articles falling into the wrong hands in Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. Furtive statements have been made before. What I found it odd was the timing. On its own, I would’ve likely ignored the …

Treasury Secretary Tells Congress That Economic Sanctions ‘Really Work’

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin told Congress this week that he is devoting a considerable amount of effort on economic sanctions and enforcement. About half of his time, Mnuchin told Congress Wednesday, is dedicated to figuring out how to best use economic sanctions. In response to a question from Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) about the resources available for …