Former Senior CIA Official: Cuba’s Transition Has Begun

The National Intelligence Officer (“NIO”) for Latin America from 1990-1994, Dr. Brian Latell, published an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that does a good job summarizing key recent events regarding the inevitable change in leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba.  His analysis builds upon some of the arguments advanced in his book, After …

In the news …

No Oscar for Hugo Chavez/Castro as their FARC hostage public relations side show ends for now, with a dud.  My prior posts on this subject can be found here. During the weekend Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to expel our Ambassador and ban trade in U.S. dollars if newly imposed sanctions were not removed by the Bush …

Sudan Divestiture Act Becomes Law

Yesterday from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush signed into law the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007.  Among other things the law authorizes state and local governments to divest assets in companies that conduct business operations in Sudan and prohibits U.S. government contracts with such companies.  In a prepared statement the President said: …

ExportLawBlog Post Triggers Santa Claus Hiring DC Lawyers, Bah Humbug

A colleague sent me a link to a somewhat humorous post at the ExportLawBlog about Santa Claus possibly being denied entry into the U.S. because he will have visited Cuba and delivered toys.  Before reading my comments, be sure to read “How OFAC Stole Christmas” first. My sources in North Pole advise that Saint Nick hired some top-notch attorneys …

Treasury Releases 2006 TSRA Data

Earlier this week the Department of the Treasury published data covering licensing activities undertaken pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (“TSRA”) and covers activities undertaken by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) under Section 906(a)(1) of the TSRA ‘from October through December 2006. The Department says …

U.S. GAO Cuba Sanctions Study Based on Outdated Thinking, Selective Review of Law, Policies

Late last month the General Accounting Office (GAO) published a report requested by Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-New York), “Economic Sanctions: Agencies Face Competing Priorities in Enforcing the U.S. Embargo on Cuba.” Statements such as the “48-year U.S. embargo” or “For nearly five decades the U.S. has maintained” U.S. sanctions on Cuba figure prominently in …

Congress Approves Sudan Divestment Legislation, Constitutional Issues?

As the 110th Congress winds down for 2007, it has approved a set of export control and economic sanctions items that are sprinkled throughout various pieces of legislation.  Yesterday, the Senate approved the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act that had been approved in the House earlier by a vote of 411-0. The law provides a …