Daily Briefing – May 17, 2018

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The U.S. and Cuba Clash Over Human Rights at U.N.: The United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday listened to statements made by Cuba, the U.S., and some 140 other countries as it prepares a report on human rights in the Cuba. The council periodically reviews human rights records in all of the U.N.’s 193 members; this year it is reviewing 14 nations, including Cuba. The U.S. attacked Cuba for its not permitting more freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and political opposition parties. Cuba countered that U.S. elections were corrupt and that it’s criticism – and economic blockade – of Cuba amounted to foreign intervention. Many nations recognized Cuba’s progress in health and education, while urging the country to eliminate restrictions on freedom of expression and association. (Miami Herald)

Cuba’s New Leadership Offers the Chance to Change Relations with U.S.:The U.S. should approach Cuba in the same way that it would approach a corporation, argue pundits from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. A transition in leadership offers the chance to usher in a new era for a country as well as a corporation, and provides the chance to change priorities. In particular, the Trump administration should follow the theory of ‘curative international marketing’ developed by the McDonough School, which would advance U.S. business and strategic interests while fostering the growth of Cuba’s private sector. (The Hill)

Cuba and Russian Scientific Organization Sign MOU: The Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ROSATOM, Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, the organization reports. The MOU calls for the development of a strategic partnership in the development of irradiation technologies. One key project would be the creation of a training center in the Mariel Special Economic Zone for gamma-radiation applications. (ROSTRUM)

Canadian Tourist Sues Tour Company After Getting Prison Sentence: A Quebec tourist who killed a fellow Canadian while on vacation in Cuba last July is suing the company that arranged the trip. Toufik Benhamiche was found guilty of criminal negligence by a Cuba court after he lost control of a small boat he was driving, striking and killing a woman from Ontario. Benhamiche is appealing his case, claiming that travel company Sunwing Vacations did not adequately train or warn him about the craft. Sunwing says it was the fault of the local adventure tour company they subcontracted. Benhamiche is suing for $340,000 to compensate for suffering and loss of employment while being held in Cuba for 10 months. (The Canadian Press)

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