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Tag: embargo

Homeland Security Deputy Director to Visit Birthplace of Cuba to Help Ease Tensions

Alejandrom Mayorkas

Alejandrom Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The second-ranking Homeland Security official will visit his hometown in Cuba to help ease tensions with the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security deputy secretary, was 6 months old when his family fled Havana and moved to Miami.

For the first time, he is returning for a three-day visit intended on restoring diplomatic relations.

It’s part of a larger effort by President Obama to ease restrictions on U.S. travel and investment in Cuba as Congress considers dropping the decade-long trade embargo.

Myorkas said his father longed to visit Cuba.

“He always dreamed of returning with his children and sharing Cuba with them,” Mayorkas said in an interview, his eyes beginning to tear up. “It was always my hope and intention to return with him, so this visit will be quite emotional.”

FBI Considered a Sting Aimed at Newt Gingrich in 1997

By James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post

WASHINGTON –It is a curious case in the annals of the FBI: The bureau considered a sting operation against then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich after sifting through allegations from a notorious arms dealer that a $10 million bribe might get Congress to lift the Iraqi arms embargo.

The FBI ended up calling off the operation in June 1997. It decided there was no evidence that Gingrich knew anything about the conversations the arms dealer was secretly recording with a man who said he was acting on behalf of Gingrich’s then-wife, Marianne, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.

But details of the case, which became public this week in an article and documents posted online by a nonprofit journalist, show how a series of second- and third-hand conversations alleging that the top man in Congress might be for sale caught the attention of federal investigators.

To read full story click here.

Feds Say Father-Son Thwarted Iran Embargo Through Deception

By Justin Blum
Bloomberg

WASHINGTON — In its search for American-built F-5 fighter jet parts, Iran turned to a father-son company operating out of a yellow stucco cottage on a country road on Ireland’s northwest coast.

Tom and Sean McGuinn are accused in a U.S. indictment of conspiracy, trade violations and making false statements to illegally export items with military uses beginning in 2005. Over the past decade, the McGuinns shipped more than $120 million in U.S.-made equipment to the Islamic Republic, Clark Settles, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, said in an interview.

They succeeded through simple deceptions and persistence, according to court and government documents and interviews with U.S. officials and people who did business with their company, Mac Aviation Ltd. They are still free in Ireland.

Their tale illustrates how Iran is leaning on a network of people often operating out of houses or storefronts to evade a U.S. embargo and obtain parts with military uses, American officials said.

To read more click here.