A Look at Cuba — and the Harm Trump has Done

In 2011, when Raúl Castro cautiously allowed Cubans to start their own small businesses, Ms. Limonta became one of Cuba’s first legal capitalists.

Eventually, with help from a church-sponsored business incubator, she created her own company, rented space for a workshop, hired seamstresses and started turning out clothing of her own design. When President Barack Obama visited Havana in 2016 to see for himself how Cuba was responding to the opening he had set in motion, Ms. Limonta was among the Cuban entrepreneurs who met with him.

But the good times didn’t last. The Trump administration undid much of the Obama opening, tightening the screws on Cuba and promising a quick end to the Castro regime. As American tourists stayed away, Cuba made life more difficult for fledgling capitalists like Ms. Limonta and her son Oscar, who had his own design business. Despite the increasing hardships, she hoped that the arrival in 2018 of a Cuban president who was not named Castro, and of a new constitution a year later, would persuade him to stay in Cuba.

It didn’t. Late in 2018 he joined the tidal wave of young people fleeing Cuba. So did two cousins and their mother, Ms. Limonta’s twin sister, Esperanza.

…To expect that if only things get bad enough, Cubans will rise up, when they are struggling just to stand, is not just unrealistic. It is cruel.

NY Times

Europe is abandoning Trump on the world stage as it turns away from the US toward China

  • Recent polling suggests Europeans are turning away from the US under Trump’s leadership.
  • Public opinion toward America has declined in major European countries since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Seventy-six percent of Germans in a new poll said their view of America had deteriorated since the start of the crisis.
  • Roughly equal numbers of Germans in the poll favored maintaining close relationships with China and the US over the other.
  • One poll last week found that just 2% of French people trusted Trump to provide world leadership.
  • China is exerting growing political, diplomatic, and financial power across Europe.

Business Insider

How Deep Does Israel Have Its Hooks in the U.S.?

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job

The anti-BDS Israel oath was included in Amawi’s contract papers due to an Israel-specific state law enacted on May 2, 2017, by the Texas State Legislature and signed into law two days later by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott. The bill unanimously passed the lower House by a vote of 131-0, and then the Senate by a vote of 25-4.

Child language specialist, Bahia Amawi, is a U.S. citizen received an offer to extend her teaching contract for another year, but it required she sign a promise not to participate in a boycott of Israel (BDS).  She refused to sign because of the pro-Israel oath, was not re-hired, and is now suing over violation of her First Amendment rights.

At the time that Texas enacted the law barring contractors from supporting a boycott of Israel, it was the 17th state in the country to do so. As of now, 26 states have enacted such laws — including blue states run by Democrats such as New York, California, and New Jersey — while similar bills are pending in another 13 states.

The Intercept