Just Americas: A Blog by LAWG


MIAMI - He returns late from his job in Hialeah, with his hands stained with soot and his soul weary under the weight of so many burdens in a foreign land. His domestic problems, which apparently grow at the same rate as his debts, leave no time for him to learn his new language.

In Cuba, his family waits for his timely remittances. Here, his small daughter goes to a nearby school and learns (in English) everything she needs to be independent. He is not happy, despite the enormous TV set he bought and his weekend sailings in the beautiful boat owned by his friend, the jeweler. 

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Cuban Americans Denounce Florida Legislators’ Position of Cuba on the Terrorist List

Today sixty Cuban Americans from across the United States released an open letter to the Obama Administration strongly disagreeing with the position of Cuban-American legislators from Florida on retaining Cuba on the State Department’s list of “state sponsors of terrorism.” The signers state that the Cuban-American legislators from south Florida do not represent them or their views on Cuba, or the views of the majority of Cuban Americans. “The removal of Cuba from this serious tool of U.S. foreign policy is long overdue,” maintain the signers. 
Their full statement follows.

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Vice President Biden’s Visit to Colombia: There Should Be Frankness Between Friends

This post first appeared as an op-ed in Colombian newspaper El Espectador on May 26, 2013, as Vice President Biden met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Topics that the Vice President of the United States and the President of Colombia should discuss: Washington’s role in the peace process, justice for military abuses, and the Labor Action Plan...

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Cuba Still Designated on 2012 Terrorist List

On May 30, the State Department released its 2012 Country Report on Terrorism. As we had expected, Cuba was still listed as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. But as we have seen in the past, the State Department does not use the release of the country reports to de-list a country from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. While it is frustrating to continue to see an unfair and untrue designation of Cuba as a state that sponsors terrorism, the results of this report do not end our campaign to remove Cuba from the list. In fact, our campaign will escalate.

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Justice Prevails in Guatemala: Ríos Montt Found Guilty

Kelsey Alford-Jones is the Director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA

“Justice is a right for victims and contributes to rule of law in our country. We believe that for a true peace to exist in Guatemala there must first be justice,” said Guatemalan Judge Yassmin Barrios.  She declared General Efraín Ríos Montt 
guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity on Friday May 10, a day that will be etched forever in Guatemala’s collective memory.

Ríos Montt was convicted of masterminding and overseeing the massacre of 1,771 Ixil Mayans in the department of El Quiché, as well as the forced displacement of 29,000 people, and 1,485 acts of sexual violence and acts of torture during the early 1980s. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison and was ordered into police custody. His director of military intelligence, José Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, was absolved of both crimes...

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