Ocwen Amps Up Borrower Outreach Efforts

first_img About Author: Scott Morgan Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save Ocwen Amps Up Borrower Outreach Efforts Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Foreclosure Prevention Loss Mitigation Ocwen Financial Ocwen Financial Corporation and Oakland-based NID Housing Counseling Agency will team up for a late-July event aimed squarely at low-to- moderate income and minority communities in California.The combined effort is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, in San Bernardino, as a way to discuss home ownership and prevent foreclosures in lower-income areas. Ocwen home retention agents and certified NID housing counselors will meet with distressed homeowners face-to- face with to “explore options to make their mortgages more affordable through sustainable loan modifications,” the companies announced Thursday.“We understand the pride and gratification derived from owning a home and the devastating consequences of losing it to foreclosure,” said Ray Carlisle, president of NID. “The foreclosure process does not just harm borrowers, but entire families and communities.”The event will offer assistance with preparing Request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA) packages; information on borrower eligibility for state and federal foreclosure assistance programs; counseling on possible mortgage solutions tailored to fit their unique situations; and information on free follow-up housing counseling and education with NID.Worries about California’s housing crisis have been growing over the last year or so. The state was hit hard by the recession, but bounced back to being a market of swift sales and rapidly escalating house prices. The downside to that growth has been limited inventory and increased competition that is especially daunting to younger buyers. Last year, the Los Angeles Daily News reported on the growing problem millennials are having trying to crack California’s housing market, and in February, Forbes named Riverside as one of the five overvalued markets (by 17 percent) that could be ground zero for the next housing bubble‒‒and pop.NID claims it has worked with approximately 1,250 homeowners annually over the last eight years, with an average balance of $135,000 among its clients, translating more than $168 million in home value designed to keep wealth concentrations within local neighborhoods and mitigate against destabilization.Ocwen, which is still grappling with the $30 million fallout revolving around accusations that accused the company of falsely certifying its compliance with federal mortgage programs services more than 265,000 mortgages in California during the recession, claims to have helped more than 625,000 families avoid foreclosure. In California alone, Ocwen has granted more than 80,000 loan modifications, of which 51 percent received a principal reduction. Previous: Investing? Do Your Homework Next: DS News Webcast: Tuesday 7/5/2016 Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago July 4, 2016 1,498 Views Related Articlescenter_img Home / Daily Dose / Ocwen Amps Up Borrower Outreach Efforts  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Loss Mitigation, News Foreclosure Prevention Loss Mitigation Ocwen Financial 2016-07-04 Brian Honea Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He’s been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agolast_img read more

Former NFL Star Orlando Thomas Dead at 42

first_imgOrlando Thomas, a defensive back for the Minnesota Vikings, has passed away at age 42 after a seven-year battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.Thomas, played his entire career wit the Vikings until 2001. He was later diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.  Victims diagnosed with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and only one drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival.  The viral Ice Bucket Challenge in support of ALS research that swept the globe during the late summer has helped raise awareness, and according to the ALS Association, more than $115 million was raised.Thomas was a second-round draft pick out of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in 1995, played solely with the Vikings until 2001. The former player who stood 6’2″ and around 225 pounds most of his playing career, reportedly whittled down to a mere 70 pounds at the time of his passing.  Thomas had a noteworthy career with his team, starting 82 of 98 career games for them and intercepting 22 passes. He scored four touchdowns, two on fumbles and two on interceptions.As a result of the debilitating disease, Thomas lost his ability to speak as his ALS progressed and relied on his wife, Demetra, and blinking letters in order to communicate with others.The Vikings organization released a statement on Monday with regards to Thomas’ passing:“Orlando was an outstanding player for the Vikings for seven years, but more importantly, he represented the franchise and the state of Minnesota with the utmost dignity and class. While his outgoing personality made him a favorite among his teammates, Orlando’s involvement in the community made him a favorite outside of Winter Park.”Thomas leaves behind his wife Demetra and two young children.last_img read more

New Leaf captain Dunlap eager to lead by example

first_imgEvery team in every league enters a new season with dreams of success.The Nelson Leafs hockey club falls into that same category.However, a month into the season and the Leafs believe they are a little closer to enjoying that success at the other end of the rainbow.Nelson holds down top spot in the Murdoch Division with a 4-1-1-1 record, one point ahead of surprising Spokane Braves, with the team returning to the ice Friday for a home date against the Chase Heat at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.“We’ve only lost one game (so far this year) and getting at least one point every night is huge for us,” said Leaf captain Aaron Dunlap.“We’ve been able to stay near the top of our division so we’re just going to keep going.”Dunlap heaps a lot of praise for the Leafs early season results on coach Dave McLellan.The former Junior A skipper has been able to change the culture in the Nelson dressing room according to Dunlap.“(Dave McLellan) is a professional coach with experience at the Junior A . . . BCHL level and he preaches about hard work and hitting,” the player temmates call “Dunnie” said after collecting a pair of assists in Nelson’s comeback victory last Sunday against Sicamous. “All the guys are just falling into the systems and it’s working really well for us right now.”The 6-foot, 180-pound American born Dunlap said the players are like kids in the candy story, eating up what McLellan has to offer.“Dave’s a great coach and knows exactly what’s he’s talking about,” Dunlap said.“He’ll explain something and we’ll just go do it on the ice and it will work . . . like taking candy from a baby.“It’s a total change,” he adds.Dunlap was almost a no-show with the 2014-15 edition of the Leafs.However, a phone conversation with the new coach changed the mind of the Alaska native to return to the Heritage City for his final season of junior hockey.McLellan in turn rewarded Dunlap for his loyalty by naming the 20-year-old center the Leafs captain.“I’m so happy to be captain of the Leafs. I just want to take these boys to a championship,” said Dunlap, finishing last season with 15 goals and 29 points. “It’s a good spot to be in and I just want to lead.”“But having the “C” or having an “A” doesn’t make anyone any better than the next guy,” Dunlap added.“We’re a team and we’re all in this together.”LEAF NOTES: Nelson takes on a Heat team that has two wins on the season and sits last in the Doug Birks Division of the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference. However, Chase is coming off a win having defeated Princeton 6-4 in its last game. . . . Leafs added another player to the roster as coach Dave McLellan signed Aidan Geiger, who played last season in Fernie. In 47 games, the 6-foot, 150-pound forward from Calgary had 14 goals and 20 assists in 47 games. . . . Nelson takes to the road to face rival Castlegar Saturday in the Sunflower City. Nelson won the opening game between the two teams 5-3, September 13.last_img read more

BAFFERT TRIO HEADS FIELD OF EIGHT THREE YEAR OLD FILLIES IN GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA YNEZ STAKES AT SIX AND A HALF FURLONGS SATURDAY

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2015)– Four-time winner of the prestigious sprint, trainer Bob Baffert has once again set his sights on Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track as he trains three of the eight 3-year-old fillies entered. Graded stakes winner Pretty N Cool, as well as Treasuring and One Last Shot will contest the 65th running for the Hall of Fame conditioner.Sensational when breaking her maiden by four and a half lengths in her first outing over a sloppy track at Del Mar July 19, Pretty N cool went on to finish second in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile filly winner Songbird on Sept. 5. Though fourth in her last outing in her first attempt at a route of ground in the Grade I Starlet at Los Alamitos on Dec. 12, Pretty N Cool will return to a shorter distance Saturday as she seeks her first Grade I win.Pretty N Cool is owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman and is 6-3-1-0 overall with earnings of $362,000.After breaking her maiden by 7 ¼ lengths at Los Alamitos on Sept. 19, Smart Strike’s Treasuring went on to run second in the Desi Arnaz stakes by only half a length at Del Mar on Nov. 15 and most recently, ran fifth in the Grade I Starlet.Treasuring is owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc. and Edward McGhee and is 5-1-1-2 overall with earnings of $72,800.With five starts to her name, One Last Shot has run a mile on turf in three stakes, including the Grade III Jimmy Durante at Del Mar on Nov. 28 in which she ran 11th after having to steady at the quarter pole. The filly by Any Given Saturday who was purchased for $230,000 at the OBS 2-year-old in training sale in April will visit the main track at Santa Anita for the first time and will gain veteran Mike Smith in the saddle.The complete field for the Santa Ynez, to be run as the 3rd race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: My Dynamo, Fernando Perez, 119; Rockantharos, Edwin Maldonado, 119; Decked Out, Kent Desormeaux, 119; Treasuring, Victor Espinoza, 119; One Last Shot, Mike Smith, 119; Code Warrior, Anne Sanguinetti, 119; Pretty N Cool, Martin Garcia, 123; Forever Darling, Rafael Bejarano, 119.last_img read more

American Farm Bureau comments on FDA dairy food labels

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Consumers associate dairy foods with specific positive nutritional characteristics, and those qualities do not necessarily carry over to nut- or plant-based products labeled as “milk,” “yogurt” or “cheese,” the American Farm Bureau Federation told federal regulators.In formal comments to the Food and Drug Administration, AFBF said the mislabeling of nut- and plant-based beverages as “milk” confuses consumers from a nutritional equivalency standpoint. The FDA expects to issue a rule on the use of the names of dairy foods in the labeling of plant-based products later this year.AFBF told regulators that consumers know the nutritional value of products labeled “milk,” and likely infer that any product bearing this term possesses the same, or at least an equivalent, nutritional profile. However, this is not the case. For example, one serving of traditional milk contains 8 grams of protein while many plant- and nut-based beverages have a lower protein content.A recent survey conducted by IPSOS and commissioned by Dairy Management Inc. found that 53 percent of respondents stated they believed plant-based food manufacturers label their products “milk” because their nutritional value is similar – although it is not.While AFBF stated that it “wholeheartedly supports a consumer’s right to access dairy-free products from an allergy, intolerance, or personal dietary preference perspective,” consumers often “rely on product indicators, such as the name on a product’s labeling, rather than technical information on the back of a label.“This can create confusion when consumers are in the grocery store deciding to purchase milk or a non-dairy substitute,” Farm Bureau said. “Nut- and plant-based beverages are marketed as milk, and sold in the milk case, right alongside traditional milk.”AFBF reminded officials that FDA already has rules and a clear process for handling this issue: If the modified food is nutritionally inferior, as is most often the case in plant- and nut-based beverages, it must bear the word “imitation.” Even if the food is not nutritionally inferior, it must bear either the words “substitute,” “alternative” or another appropriate term.last_img read more

JUNIOR TOUCH CONTINUES TO BOOM

first_imgIt’s all happening in Junior Touch around Australia, whether it be the AusTouch program, new Junior competitions or the NSW Junior State Cup, it’s certainly looking promising for the future of Touch. SWQ- AUSTOUCH KICKS OFF AT CHINCHILLA: From South West Queensland Terry McSweeney and his team have kicked off the Aus Touch Program in Chinchilla… “As you would be aware the AusTouch program has been developed to increase participation in the sport of Touch and increase the skill level of the participants and to promote a healthy, safe after school activity for children. Yesterday, Wednesday the 16th of February saw the initial AusTouch program in SWQ with 106 children signing up to participate in the affiliate of Chinchilla 180 km west of Toowoomba. The number could well increase as a number of children were unable to attend the sign on day. The sign on was held from 3.30 to 4.30pm with the association President Brenda Rackemann and members of her executive including Lisa and Jo as well as a number of volunteers busily signing up eager children who flooded in straight after school. It was good to see so many parents looking to be involved in some capacity. The program will have 15 volunteer leaders to guide the children over the next 7 weeks and I think some of the leaders are as excited about the program as the kids. The first session of the program commences next week under the guidance of myself and Phil Gyemore with the leaders then taking the reins for a few weeks before our return mid program to provide assistance if require. If your association or school in South West Queensland is interested in running the AusTouch program just contact our office for further details, as going on the Chinchilla response it is going to be a much sort after activity. AusTouch can be run after school once a week over 6 to 8 weeks or as an intensive 2 day program. I’ll keep you up to date over the coming weeks as the Chinchilla program progresses!” Any enquiries on SWQ Touch contact Terry at: SWQ Touch Assoc PO Box 550 Darling Heights Qld 0746311464 0407130703 Any enquiries on AusTouch, contact Marianne Maguire on (08) 8373 3222 SQBD- BEENLEIGH TOUCH JUNIOR COMPETITION BEGINS: For Karley Banks the last few weeks have been more than a little hectic as she helped a Junior Touch competition kick off at Beenleigh… “We had 40 kids start last week, after a great response at the initial sign on days and really good coverage in the local media. The short lightning season (six weeks in total) will include skill development each week for 30 minutes before the teams take part in matches. There are two divisions, Under 10’s and Under 15’s – it’s a Mixed competition for this first season with the emphasis on coming along and trying the sport. Strudwick’s Sportsworld has sponsored playing shirts for the children and Beenleigh are keeping costs to a minimum to ensure their first foray into the sport is affordable, safe and fun. We’re hoping to expand the competition after this initial lightning season and Beenleigh are keen to develop the competition to a level where they can send representative teams away to this year’s Qlueensland Junior State Cup at the Glasshouse Mountains from the July 1-3.” Any enquiries on Beenleigh Touch, give Karley Banks a call at South Queensland & Border Districts Touch Association on (07) 34230887 or [email protected] NSW TOUCH CONTINUE TO BREAK RECORDS WITH JUNIOR STATE CUP: For New South Wales Touch this weekend is set to be their busiest of the year. Right now around 7000 kids state wide are packing their bags for a trip to Wollongong for the 2005 NSW Junior State Cup. Here’s a report on the event from NSW Touch: The NSW Touch Association’s (NSWTA) Junior State Cup will once again raise the benchmark for the largest representative Touch Football carnival in the world when it takes place this weekend in Wollongong. The event has continued its run of increases in participant growth and popularity. Since 2002 when 182 teams competed, the Cup has increased to set a world record of 274 teams at the 2005 event. The continual rise of the event reflects the current growth patterns in the sport; however with this being a junior event, it is particular pleasing for the organisers. “The popularity of this event far out weighs anything else in the touch world and that is a real positive for the sport,” NSWTA General Manager Dean Russell says. “However we are now really going to review our delivery as the event is nearly at a point where we have too many teams for the current format. It is a problem we enjoy having though. Its much better to have too many kids playing than not enough.” “This event continues to be a positive feature of our game that we must continue to capitalise on” Russell added. Overall 2004 State Champions Manly will once again be strong contenders filling teams in every division, however it is expected that they will not have it all their own way with home to town favourites, Wollongong, having planned a concerted effort this year to take the title. Strong junior competitions such as Wagga, Parramatta, Penrith, Cronulla and Newcastle are all favoured to do well and could very well hold the converted tag of overall State Champions come Sunday afternoon. However while the focus will be on Touch, the local community will be set for a big weekend with up 12500 visitors to the area over the two day carnival. Russell expects the financial boost to the community to be significant. “For these tournaments to be successful we need to have successful partnerships with the local community and with the likelihood of such a large number coming to town, the 2 day event will certainly provide an enormous economic boost to the whole Illawarra area.” The event will take place this weekend, February 19/20, at Thomas Dalton Park, Charters Lane, Fairy Meadow and is played in both boys and girls divisions from U/10’s through to U/18’s involving teams form all over NSW. Draws and times can be found at www.nswtouch.com.au Any requests for interviews can be made by contacting the General Manager on 0417 242 989 Event Statistics ,,X 275 teams over 10 divisions, 5 boys and 5 girls. ,,X Five age groups U/10, U/12, U/14, U/16 and U/18 ,,X Over 7000 players and officials with a further 5000 family members expected to attend ,,X Teams from as far north as Murwillumbah, South as Wagga and Griffith and West as Dubbo and Parkes as well as all the strong Sydney clubs will all participate. ,,X Some 767 games over two days in 20 hours of actual playing time ,,X Finals commence at with the U/10’s Girls at 2.30pm and conclude with the U/18’s Boys at 4.30pm Sunday afternoon. ,,X 25 fields running concurrently ,,X the Worlds largest Touch Tournament So things are happening for Junior Touch around Australia, that’s plain to see! It’s great for the direction and future of our status as the World’s leading Touch nation, as well as for the health and development of our kids. If your local, regional or State organisation has a story to share on the development of our future Touch Champions, send it to Rachel Moyle at [email protected]last_img read more

Florida Releases Official Depth Chart For Opening Contest

first_imgFlorida Gators depth chart for opening day.Florida Gators PlaylistThe Florida Gators take on New Mexico State this Saturday, and of course, fans want to know which quarterback – Will Grier or Treon Harris – will be starting under center. They’re going to have to wait until the game actually kicks off. Monday, Florida released its official depth chart, and both quarterbacks were listed. It specifically reads “Will Grier or Treon Harris.”#Gators depth chart for Week 1 vs. @NMStateFootball: pic.twitter.com/fagneeqMB1— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) August 31, 2015#Gators release official depth chart. pic.twitter.com/N8ZB2abf4E— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) August 31, 2015It was already known that both Grier and Harris would be playing in the season opener. It’ll be interesting to see which player gets more snaps – and – which player performs better.last_img read more

Trump slams rate increases by independent Federal Reserve

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday cast aside concerns about the Federal Reserve’s independence, saying he was “not happy” with the Fed’s recent interest rate increases.Trump told CNBC in an interview: “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark rate for a second time this year and projected two more increases in 2018. Its rate hikes are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and igniting high inflation. But rate increases also make borrowing costlier for households and companies and can weaken the pace of growth. In particular, the Fed’s most recent rate hikes could dilute some of the benefit of the tax cuts Trump signed into law last year.The president acknowledged that his comments about the Fed would likely raise concerns. The central bank has long been seen as needing to operate free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.The Fed’s dual mandate is to maximize employment and stabilize prices. By maintaining its independence, the central bank can make politically contentious decisions to combat economic challenges, like the huge bond purchases it made after the 2008 financial crisis to help drive down long-term rates to support the economy. That policy drew rebukes from many Republican lawmakers.In February, Jerome Powell, Trump’s hand-picked choice, became Fed chairman. Last week, Powell said in an interview with the radio program Marketplacethat he didn’t expect to face pressure from the White House.“We have a long tradition here of conducting policy in a particular way, and that way is independent of all political concerns,” Powell said. “We do our work in a strictly nonpolitical way, based on detailed analysis, which we put on the record transparently.”He added, “No one in the administration has said anything to me that really gives me concern on this front.”The reaction to Trump’s remarks in the financial markets was muted. The U.S. dollar fell to 112.46 yen from 112.84 yen earlier, and yields on Treasurys dipped slightly.After Trump’s interview with CNBC was made public, Lindsay Walters, a White House spokeswoman, said the president “respects the independence of the Fed.”“The president’s views on interest rates are well-known, and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments,” Walters said.Speaking about Fed policy in his interview with CNBC, Trump said he is “letting them do what they feel is best.”But his comments raised alarms, including with some former Fed officials who saw in his remarks a possible effort to apply public pressure on the central bank.“I am not pleased,” said Carl Tannenbaum, a former Chicago Fed official and chief economist at Northern Trust. “The remarks certainly aren’t an immediate threat to Fed independence, but they break with the tradition of respectful distance.”Randall Kroszner, a former Fed governor, said the central bank has withstood political pressure before and will continue to do so under Powell’s leadership.“The Fed has often faced political pressures — from Congress, presidents, Treasury secretaries and innumerable outside groups,” said Kroszner, an economics professor at the University of Chicago. “My experience at the Fed is consistent with what Jay Powell recently said — being non-political is deep in the Fed’s DNA — and I believe that Jay will keep it that way.”During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump was highly critical of the Fed and accused its policymakers of keeping rates at ultra-low levels to favour Democrats. But he also told CNBC during the campaign that he is a “low interest-rate-person.”Past efforts to apply political pressure on the Fed have sometimes hurt the economy. President Richard Nixon encouraged Arthur Burns, the Fed chairman at the time, to help boost economic growth ahead of Nixon’s 1972 landslide re-election. That episode ultimately triggered runaway inflation that took a decade to tame and required raising the Fed’s policy rate above 15 per cent — more than eight times the rate’s current average.George H.W. Bush’s administration complained that he felt the Fed’s failure to cut rates more quickly in 1992 contributed to his re-election defeat that year.When Robert Rubin led President Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council, he adopted a rule of never commenting on the Fed’s actions — a policy that was subsequently followed by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.___AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.last_img read more

Creeping over Cuba

first_imgAlready embarked upon overthrowing Venezuela’s socialist government, the Trump administration is now renewing its efforts to squash Cuba as well, and Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act is joining an arsenal of weapons employed by the US in what Cubans regard as genocidal aggression. This is the latest addition to the US’ long record of implacable hostility toward Cuba, which features terror attacks, military invasion, germ warfare, internal subversion, and almost 60 years of economic blockade. Devoid of natural resources and ready for US plunder, Cuba offends by having defended socialism and national independence. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe Helms-Burton law is complex, but it centres on tightening the economic blockade against Cuba, preparing for a transition government, and, by means of Title III, inflicting suffering and destabilisation. Title III opens the door for the former owners and the heirs of properties nationalised by Cuba’s revolutionary government to bring actions in US courts to gain compensation for what they lost. These live in exile, mainly in the United States. Persons or companies presently occupying such properties, or profiting from them, and who are located in third countries, would be required by the courts to pay off the aggrieved parties. Because the properties are in Cuba, the courts would lack direct enforcement capabilities, but that doesn’t mean the US can’t use the courts’ decisions to wreak havoc on Cuba’s drive for foreign investment. Also Read – Insider threat managementIn 1996, when the law was introduced, the European Union and other critics insisted that the US government delay implementation of Title III. It did so, and for the next 23 years, at semi-annual intervals, the United States announced one six-month delay after another. But a new era dawned on January 16 when the State Department declared that this time suspended implementation would end at 45 days. Something was up. On March 4, the State Department indicated that in 30 more days, Title III would be applied to the foreign and Cuban “traffickers” in nationalised properties. Also, Title III would, as of March 19, be extended to 200 Cuban enterprises controlled by Cuban security forces or state agencies, many of them connected with Cuba’s tourist industry. The US government in November 2017 had already put those facilities off-limits to US tourists. As of early April, international investors, aid agencies, and business-persons active or looking to be active in Cuba will be facing vast uncertainties. The former owners of nationalised properties may be suing them in US courts. Concerned about a slippery slope of US disfavour, they may cease involvement with Cuba. And what with unsettling news, foreign lenders may shy away from possibly risky loans for projects in Cuba. Title III promises what Cubans call “extraterritorial” effects. It further universalises the application of the US blockade which, potentially involving all countries, violates their sovereignty. But in a Machiavellian twist, the State Department will apparently wield the “trafficking” charge selectively. Cuban analyst Reinaldo Taladrid Herrero explains: “The road to Havana passes through Caracas.” Specifically, “They are going to exempt all businesses of countries allied with the United States, above all Canada and the European countries…. Implementation will be centred on adversary countries like Russia, China, and Venezuela.” Others share his views. Title III violates international law, according to Russia; Cuba solidarity groups have protested. A few business-oriented US groups oppose Title III out of concern that future US commercial ventures in Cuba would be vulnerable. Cuba’s government argues that nationalisation was and is legal according to international norms and court decisions in the United States. Cuba has sought satisfaction from the United States for deaths and destruction due to US assaults. Negotiations taking place briefly during the Obama era looked at balancing Cuba’s claims with US demands stemming from nationalisation. Title III means major trouble for Cuba. The government there is presently mounting an effort to bolster the nation’s economy. Foreign investors will assume a major role in the project. They would provide $2.5 billion annually toward building or refurbishing Cuban institutions, companies, and infrastructure. But any goodwill on their part may well evaporate once threats loom as to court actions in the United States. The availability to the Cuban people of food, health care, schools, building supplies, medicines, and transportation rests on loans and export income from abroad and on income from joint ventures with foreign entities. By 2014, Cuba needed $2.5 billion annually in direct foreign investment. The fact that food imports alone currently require an annual outlay of $2 billion suggests that current requirements are greater. Title III contains the seeds for havoc in the event that Cuba’s socialist government is no more and the United States takes charge. According to Cuba’s Granma newspaper, Cubans “would be forced to return, reimburse, or pay US claimants for the house in which they live, the area on which their communities are built, the arable land where they cultivate produce, the school where their children are educated, the hospital or polyclinic where they receive medical assistance.” Cuban Journalist Lázaro Barredo, formerly editor of Granma, summarises: “Helms-Burton literally has no precedents in the legal history of the United States. [It] constitutes an attack on sovereignty within the international community [and] represents political terrorism.” Helms-Burton would “extend US jurisdiction to other countries in an extraterritorial manner with the perverse intention of frightening, scaring, blackmailing, or dissuading persons interested in investing in Cuba.” We see a decision “to repossess the island, annex it, and move it toward total subordination to the United States.” This report closes with a condemnation of the generalised cruelty and cynicism that is rooted in the strategic thinking of US power brokers. For example, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, presiding at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on March 7, heard testimony from “Cynthia Arnson of the U.S.-funded Wilson Center.” She “agreed with Rubio that ‘widespread unrest’ is useful, but cautioned that … ‘starving people don’t get out in the streets.'” In other words, a little starving is OK, but not too much.( The author practiced and taught pediatrics for 35 years and long ago joined the Cuba solidarity movement. He writes on Latin America and health issues for the People’s World. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more