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  • Issue Brief posted February 25, 2015 by Ana Quintana Six Issues the U.S. Should Not Concede to Cuba During Normalization Talks

    The U.S. and Cuba will hold the second round of normalization talks on February 27 in Washington, DC. This follows the U.S.’s attempt in late January to negotiate the terms of reestablishing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. In those talks in Havana, Cuban officials made it clear that the regime will not change its political or economic system, despite the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 29, 2015 by Ana Quintana Congressional Oversight Needed as Obama Administration Moves to Remove Cuba from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

    The Obama Administration has recently chosen to normalize relations with Cuba. In addition to establishing embassies and expanding commercial transactions, the White House has also declared that Cuba will be removed from the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. To remove Cuba from the list would be to ignore both the Cuban government’s inherently…

  • Commentary posted December 29, 2014 by Ana Quintana Why This Cuban-American Millennial Will Never Support Obama’s Betrayal

    In May 1981, my mom and her family were forced to leave their home in Havana, Cuba. They, along with thousands of others, sought asylum at the Peruvian embassy, no longer wanting to live in a country where they could be brutally punished for not conforming with the Castro regime. My family came to this country during the Mariel Boat lift, part of the 125,000 Cubans who…

  • Issue Brief posted December 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana How Congress Should Respond to the President’s Radical Change in Cuba Policy

    On Wednesday, December 17, President Obama announced that the U.S. would begin to normalize relations with Cuba. This dramatic policy shift follows the release of American aid worker Alan Gross, who was held hostage for over five years by Castro’s regime, in exchange for three Cuban spies. Choosing to normalize relations with a regime whose chief export has been an…

  • Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014 by Ana Quintana Does the U.S. Need a “Plan Central America”?

    Due to the crisis on America’s southwest border, several Members of Congress and special interest groups have proposed replicating Plan Colombia in Central America. While it has become apparent that current U.S. policy toward Central America is not working, instead of creating a new plan, the U.S. should reform the existing system of the Central American Regional Security…

  • Commentary posted September 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Time to Focus on the Real Threat South of the Border: Cartel Violence

    It’s been an eventful couple of months in the criminal underworld. Following a narco-summit two months ago, the Zetas cartel formed a pact with the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) against their rival, the Sinaloa cartel. The Zetas scored another victory when Rogelio Gonzalez Pizaña, alias “Z-2” was released from prison early this week. Many expect Z-2 to rejoin the…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by Ana Quintana Misguided U.S. Policies Fuel Central American Immigration Crisis

    A massive influx of unlawful immigrants from Central America has policymakers searching for quick fix. While inadequate border security and false perceptions of U.S. immigration law have undoubtedly helped fuel the problem, they are just part of the equation. A thorough understanding requires a look further south. No longer do Mexicans constitute the majority of unlawful…

  • Issue Brief posted July 8, 2014 by Ana Quintana U.S. Foreign Assistance to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

    Current proposals in Congress would cut foreign assistance in response to the crisis at the border. As Congress considers any measures, it should be careful not to disrupt programs that serve U.S. interests and address the security conditions that have contributed to this problem. In particular, programs such as those run by the Department of Defense and other relevant…

  • Issue Brief posted June 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Improving Regional Security in Central America’s Northern Triangle

    The recent wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America further proves that the Obama Administration can no longer continue ignoring the security issues of Central America’s Northern Triangle. Rampant levels of crime and violence have reached a critical point, and the U.S. needs to address these issues head on. U.S. security assistance in the region is largely…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…

  • Issue Brief posted March 4, 2014 by Ana Quintana Venezuela: U.S. Leadership Needed

    For the past few weeks, Venezuela has been rocked by anti-government protests. What started as small-scale demonstrations in the capital city of Caracas has escalated to mobilizations throughout the country. In response, the Venezuelan government has ordered security forces from the national guard to armed motorcycle gangs to brutally crack down on the democratic…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014 by Ana Quintana, James M. Roberts Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

    In 2013, the Obama Administration seemed to take for granted U.S. relationships with our many friendly neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean—nations that share our democratic and economic values—while ignoring growing threats to our national security from some countries in the region that are openly hostile to America’s core principles. In 2014, Congress should…

  • Issue Brief posted December 31, 2013 by Ana Quintana The United States Needs to Expand Security Cooperation with Honduras

    On January 24, 2014, Honduran President-elect Juan Orlando Hernández is set to take the oath of office. This inauguration comes at a time when the Central American nation is in the midst of the worst security and financial crisis of its existence. Drug trafficking organizations and related violence have elevated murder rates in Honduras to the highest in the world.[1]…

  • Commentary posted December 23, 2013 by Ana Quintana International Criminality and Socialist Alliance Loom in El Salvador's Election

    There are seven weeks left until the presidential election in El Salvador, in which voters will be choosing between candidates with radically different plans for their country’s future. While there are several candidates, three are essentially leading the pack: Norman Quijano, mayor of San Salvador, of the anti-communist, pro-business ARENA party; Salvador Sánchez…

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