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Biden’s Caribbean surprises

All elected leaders face two problems: crises that weren't on the agenda will strike from unexpected directions, and all possible responses are less than ideal.

Hey, Joe Biden, Cuba's on line one, and Haiti's holding on line two.

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Cuba internet censorship amid protests; pressure grows against Huawei

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Cuba has curbed access to messaging apps amid protests. How controlled and censored is Cuba's internet?

Well, any debate and criticism is tightly controlled in Cuba, including through information, monitoring and monopoly. But activists such as blogger Yoani Sánchez have always been brave in defying repression and making sure that messages of Cubans reached others online across the world. Now mobile internet has become accessible to Cubans since about two years, but accessing it remains incredibly expensive. But the fact that the regime in Cuba once again seeks to censor people through shutting down internet services actually shows it is its Achilles' heel. As Yoani has said, the Castros have lost the internet.

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Biden and Merkel will talk China strategy; Cuban economic crisis

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week from Washington, DC, with a look at the upcoming Biden/Merkel meeting, Haiti in crisis, and the ongoing protests in Cuba.

Biden is hosting Angela Merkel in Washington this week. What's on the agenda?

Most important is going to be China. That's not what the headlines are right now. They're all talking Nord Stream and cybersecurity and all that. But the reality is Biden wants to coordinate China policy with his top allies. He's had a lot of success with Japan. He's had success with South Korea. Those are the first two leaders to have been invited to Washington. He's probably going to have some success with Angela Merkel as well, because there is increasingly backlash against Xi Jinping and his efforts to consolidate a Chinese model, vaccine nationalism, lack of transparency on origins of the crisis, and all this kind of stuff. Technology hits, not allowing companies to IPO abroad. The Germans are angry too. And I think that is going to be the top issue they discuss.

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A rare revolt in Cuba

On Sunday afternoon, thousands of Cubans did something remarkable in a police state: take to the streets in the biggest protest against the government in almost 30 years. Yet only dozens were arrested the next day. They are all risking lengthy jail terms to demand access to scarce food, medicine, and COVID vaccines.

How did we get here, and what might come next?

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Protests in Cuba. How will the US respond?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, kicking off your week. A little Quick Take. Thought I would talk about Cuba, not a country we talk about all that often. Communist state, Raúl Castro just stepped down, and the biggest demonstrations across the entire country in decades. Talking about absence of vaccines, problems in healthcare, but also anger at the poverty, the economic mismanagement, the reality of the lack of liberty of living in a communist regime.

The Trump administration had put pretty significant sanctions back on after Obama tried to loosen up. I expect that this is going to make Cuba a bigger issue for lots of folks in the United States that would like to see the back of this Cuban regime. The question is, how does the United States try to address it? Does it shut the Cubans down even harder, make the country pay economically for the fact that they are treating their people so badly or does it use this as an opportunity to open up? I'll tell you.

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