Daily Briefing – May 21, 2018

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The Company Whose Plane Crashed in Havana Had Received Complaints:The Mexican company which leased Cubana de Aviacion the plane that crashed last Friday had been the subject of serious complaints in the last decade, reports the Associated Press. The 39-year-old Boeing 737 crashed after takeoff from Havana, killing 110 passengers, including 20 evangelical priests. The plane and crew, rented from Mexico City-based Damojh, had received at least two major complaints about unsafe overloading, and had been barred from Guyanese airspace last year after authorities found it dangerously overloaded with luggage on flights to Cuba. (NBC NewsBusiness Insider)

Weekend Performance of Cuban Ballet in Chicago: Despite ongoing efforts by the Trump administration to cut all connections with Cuba, cultural exchanges between the two countries continue. Last week Washington DC hosted a gala of Cuban performers at the Kennedy Center. This weekend saw the return of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in Chicago, the first time the troupe has performed there since 2003. A national tour celebrating the Ballet Nacional’s began in Chicago Saturday night with a performance of “Don Quixote” to rave reviews in the local press. Cuba’s national ballet company was formed in 1948. (Chicago Tribune)

EU Will Use Cuba Model to Evade Iran Sanctions: The Europen Union has vowed to block to the effect of U.S. sanctions against Iran, using as its model a 1996 “blocking statute” it put into effect to get around the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. That regulation prohibited EU companies and courts from complying with the U.S. sanctions against Cuba, saying that foreign court judgements based on such embargos have no effect on members of the European Union. The 1996 regulation also made provisions for the EU to pay back any penalties that the U.S. levied on EU firms. (The Business TimesReuters)

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