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									Briefs                                                                                                  The Council
Cuba                                                                                                   on Hemispheric
   On April 13, White House officials announced changes in the U.S. policy towards Cuba
during the first-ever bilingual briefing held there. In addition to eliminating all travel and             Affairs
remittance restrictions for Cuban Americans, the Obama administration announced that
it will remove various restrictions related to telecommunications. This modification comes                  1250 Connecticut Ave. NW
roughly one year after Cuban President, Raúl Castro, lifted restrictions on the private owner-           Suite 1C Washington, DC 20036
ship of mobile phones and other electronics. Dan Restrepo, a senior director for Western
Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), explained that the changes                                  Volume 29
illustrate that the U.S. is getting, “out of the business of regulating the relationship between
Cuban families.” He added that the Cuban government would be well advised to follow suit by
removing heavy fees levied against remittances.                                                                            Issue 7
   Another motivation behind the policy change is Washington’s belief that U.S. telecommu-
nications services will promote a free flow of information on an island, where the government                       April 26, 2009
heavily censors almost all forms of media. However, the degree to which these new freedoms
will become a reality in Cuba depends on whether Raúl Castro will permit, “U.S. companies                  Washington Report on the Hemisphere
to provide services on the island,” Restrepo explained. At least one factor that the Cuban                        © 2009 Published biweekly
government will be largely unable to regulate will be the islanders’ use of cell phones that are          (23 issues per year including index) by the
paid for by relatives living in the U.S.                                                                        Council on Hemispheric Affairs
                                                                Research Associate Graeme Wood
Peru
                                                                                                                     phone: (202) 223-4975
   On April 7, former Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori, was sentenced to 25 years in                               fax: (202) 223-4979
 prison for human rights violations which he committed during his tenure between 1990
 and 2000. Fujimori, a Peruvian with Japanese descent, was found guilty of mass murder and                           e-mail: coha@coha.org
 kidnapping. The conviction comes as a landmark decision, since Fujimori is the only Latin                                issn: 1275-559
 American leader to have been convicted for human rights violations in his own country. The          Chairperson: Judith Chiara
 most significant charges against the former leader, are linked to two massacres of civilians by
 the Colina group, a paramilitary squad structured and commanded by Fujimori himself. In             Editor-in-Chief: Larry Birns
 1991, the Colina group opened fire on a crowd attending a barbecue in the Lima neighbor-
 hood of Barrios Altos, killing 15 people, including an 8-year-old boy. A year later, the renegade   Managing Editor: Michael Ramirez
 group kidnapped and murdered nine students and one professor at La Cantuta University.
   In order to avoid facing charges of corruption in Peru, Fujimori fled to Japan in 2000. Dur-
 ing his presidency, he revived Peru’s political and economic climate, saving it from a total        Assistant Managing Editor: David Rosenb
								
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