from The Great Debate:

Where has this Obama been hiding? Six takes on the State of the Union

By Allison Silver
January 21, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

from The Great Debate:

Time to end special privileges for Cuban immigrants

By Susan Eckstein
January 6, 2015

Cuban refugees hold up empty jugs as they beg for water while floating on the high seas in home-made..            

President Barack Obama has taken initial steps toward overhauling the broken U.S. immigration system and failed Cuba policy. It is also time to bring Washington’s Cuban immigration policy in line with other foreign-born people. Cubans enjoy unique immigration privileges that are no longer justifiable.

from The Great Debate:

U.S. sanctions fail two-thirds of the time. And allies are often to blame

By Bryan Early
January 5, 2015

Handout photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guiding the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a multiple-rocket launching drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Dec. 30, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

from The Great Debate:

U.S.-Cuba deal: What the two sides get out of it

By Peter Hakim
December 18, 2014

A vintage car drives by a mural showing Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro in Havana

President Barack Obama has inverted U.S. policy on Cuba. His Wednesday speech adopted the proposals of those who have spent a half-century arguing for a rethinking of Cuba policy. The president recognized Washington’s failure to achieve its goal of bringing political and economic openness to Cuba.

from The Great Debate:

Secret meetings with Cuba finally pay off

By William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh
December 17, 2014

A rainbow is pictured in the sky over Havana


Presidents frequently conduct sensitive diplomatic dialogues in secret, because the furor of public attention makes it politically impossible to reach the compromises necessary for agreement. These secret talks are often crucial for diplomatic advances -- as we learned Wednesday with the stunning revelations about the impending talks between Washington and Havana that have been underway secretly for the past few months. President Barack Obama's far-reading initiatives are reminiscent of the secret talks Henry Kissinger held with Beijing to lay the groundwork for President Richard M. Nixon's historic diplomatic opening to China.

from The Great Debate:

Gitmo: Too dangerous to release? Not so fast.

By Daphne Eviatar
May 15, 2014

File photo of detainees sitting in a holding area at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay

When the National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens Thursday, we will finally have a national institution dedicated to exploring the effects of the tragic events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

from Reihan Salam:

Why Congress must rethink sanctions on Cuba

By Reihan Salam
April 11, 2014

Alan Gross, the 64-year-old American who has been imprisoned by Cuban authorities since 2009, is an unremarkable man on the surface. He could be a friend or colleague, or an uncle you’ve been meaning to call.

from The Great Debate:

Cuba’s uneasy Internet connection

By Emily Parker
April 8, 2014

Last week, an Associated Press article, “US Secretly Created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to Stir Unrest,” sparked an uproar. The U.S. Agency for International Development had funded a Cuban version of Twitter called ZunZuneo , the AP reported, that attracted more than 40,000 users before ending in 2012, according to the story.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Obama, Castro, and the perversity of the Cuban embargo

By Nicholas Wapshott
December 16, 2013

There has been a lot of clucking about President Barack Obama shaking hands with Raúl Castro at the funeral of Nelson Mandela. For some it was bad enough that a president the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin accused of “palling around with terrorists” should extend his hand to a Cuban communist tyrant, while mourning a world hero that former Vice President Dick Cheney still thinks was a terrorist.

from Photographers' Blog:

A child’s autistic world

July 23, 2013

Havana, Cuba

By Enrique de la Osa

When I arrived early at the Dora Alonso School, Julio came over, shook my hand and gave me the latest weather report. He did it with such precision that I didn't know what to say. Julio is 24 years old and a die-hard meteorology aficionado. But instead of working as an expert predictor of the weather, he was making a living sweeping the school’s patios. Julio is also a patient at the school - he suffers from autism.