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US permits lawsuits against companies using property seized by Castro’s Cuba, Pompeo announces

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US permits lawsuits against companies using property seized by Castro's Cuba, Pompeo announces

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the Trump administration will not suspend a previously revoked provision in a 1996 law that allows Cubans who fled Fidel Castro’s regime to sue companies that have used their former property on the island. The move marks a sharp departure from previous administrations and opens the door for a windfall of legislation against foreign firms operating in the island nation.

Pompeo said that he would not suspend the bar on litigation in the Helms-Burton Act that has been renewed by every presidential administration since Bill Clinton. The move could affect dozens of Canadian and European companies doing business in Cuba – embroiling the businesses in litigation that could cost them billions of dollars and upending relations between Washington and its traditional allies.

“Any person or company doing business in Cuba should heed this announcement,” Pompeo said.

CUBA CITES LACK OF EVIDENCE IN MYSTERIOUS SONIC ATTACKS ON DIPLOMATS

Pompeo said the administration was acting because it recognized the “reality” that the bar on lawsuits, which has been in place since 1996, had not achieved the goal of pressing Cuba to enact democratic reforms or reining in what he called its export of oppression throughout the Western Hemisphere, particularly in Venezuela.

“We see clearly that regime’s repression of its own people and unrepentant exportation of tyranny in the region has only gotten worse because dictators perceive appeasement as weakness, not strength,” he told reporters at the State Department.

The decision deals a severe blow to Havana’s efforts to draw foreign investment to the island and comes as President Donald Trump steps up pressure to isolate embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who is holding power with help from other countries, including Cuba, China and Russia.

The announcement also comes at a moment of severe economic weakness for Cuba, which is struggling to find enough cash to import basic food and other supplies following a drop in aid from Venezuela and a string of bad years in other key economic sectors.

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Pompeo’s announcement is part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to put pressure of the leftist governments in Latin America – particularly Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

National security adviser John Bolton is expected to discuss the new policy during a speech in Miami, home to thousands of exiles and immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua – countries he has labelled as a “troika of tyranny.” The speech at the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association is to be delivered on the 58th anniversary of the United States’ failed 1961 invasion of the island, an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hillary Clinton warns Dems about impeachment push, says she was ‘target of a Russian plot’

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Hillary Clinton compares ‘Game of Thrones’ to real life political drama

It seems Hillary Clinton still isn’t over her 2016 election defeat.

In a fiery op-ed published in the Washington Post, the former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president charged Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlined: “a serious crime against the American people.”

“Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It documents a serious crime against the American people,” the piece begins.

Clinton — who admitted early in the column, “this is personal for me, and some may say I’m not the right messenger” — then discussed the man who defeated her in 2016, and seemingly warned her party against pushing for impeachment.

SEAN HANNITY: IMAGINE IF THE CLINTONS ARE GUILTY OF ALL THE CRIMES THEY HAVE ACCUSED TRUMP OF COMMITTING

“The debate about how to respond to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack — and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law — has been reduced to a false choice: immediate impeachment or nothing. History suggests there’s a better way to think about the choices ahead,” she wrote.

“My perspective is not just that of a former candidate and target of the Russian plot. I am also a former senator and secretary of state who served during much of Vladi­mir Putin’s ascent, sat across the table from him and knows firsthand that he seeks to weaken our country.

“I am also someone who, by a strange twist of fate, was a young staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate impeachment inquiry in 1974, as well as first lady during the impeachment process that began in 1998. And I was a senator for New York after 9/11, when Congress had to respond to an attack on our country. Each of these experiences offers important lessons for how we should proceed today.”

Clinton continued in the piece to call on Congress to “hold substantive hearings that build on the Mueller report and fill in its gaps,” and said the country needs “clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship.”

GEORGE CONWAY PRAISES HILLARY CLINTON FOR HER OP-ED ON MUELLER PROBE: ‘I’M WITH HER’

Clinton’s op-ed was published after Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray explained why he believes the former secretary of state is “exactly wrong” to claim President Trump would have been indicted if he weren’t president.

Ray said he believes the report disputes that, adding that Barr speaking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller prior to the release of the report — and his press conference — only further weight on the opposite side of Clinton’s claim.

“That is why the attorney general, before the report was released to the public went back to the special counsel apparently on more than one occasion, as he said in his press conference,” Ray said during a Wednesday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

He continued, claiming the purpose of going back to Robert Mueller was “to inquire about” whether the reason why Trump wasn’t indicted is that he’s sitting president.

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“The answer that came back is, no, that is not what I’m saying,” Ray said.

“So I know people in some quarters don’t want to listen to what the attorney general actually said but while that is a reasonable question, Hillary Clinton has it exactly wrong. That is not the reason.”

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Cindy McCain responds to reports that her family will endorse Joe Biden in 2020 race

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Cindy McCain responds to reports that her family will endorse Joe Biden in 2020 race

Cindy McCain, the widow of late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded to the reports that her family will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

McCain tweeted Wednesday: “Joe Biden is a wonderful man and dear friend of the McCain Family. However, I have no intention of getting involved in presidential politics.”

Her daughter, “The View” host Meghan McCain retweeted the remarks.

JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

Biden officially announced his candidacy for president Thursday in a video message, capping off weeks of reports that he will join the crowded Democratic field. Biden unsuccessfully ran for president in 1988 and 2008.

McCain’s comment comes after a report in the Washington Examiner that said the McCain family would support Biden. The report cited sources close to the family.

“The source said they expected Meghan McCain to speak out in favor of Biden should he get the nomination, but a Cindy McCain endorsement could come sooner,” according to the Washington Examiner.

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During the 2016 presidential election, Sen. John McCain withdrew his support for then-candidate Donald Trump following the “Access Hollywood” tape. Trump recently criticized McCain by saying he was not “a fan” of the late senator. McCain died in August 2018 after a battle with cancer. Trump has made a habit of attacking McCain, even after his death.

Fox News’ Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

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Ocasio-Cortez-aligned group attacks Biden, says he’s ‘out-of-touch’ with Democratic Party

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Joe Biden announces 2020 presidential bid: 3 things to know about the former vice president

A progressive political group that boosted New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s bid for Congress last year vowed to oppose former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, blasting him as part of the “old guard” and accusing him of standing in opposition to the “center of energy” in the Democratic Party.

JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

“While we’re going to support the Democratic nominee, we can’t let a so-called ‘centrist’ like Joe Biden divide the Democratic Party and turn it into the party of ‘No, we can’t,’” the group Justice Democrats said Thursday.

Biden announced his candidacy for president Thursday. He enters a crowded field of Democratic contenders aiming to unseat President Trump — nearly 32 years after he announced his first campaign for president. The campaign is Biden’s third bid for the White House, having also unsuccessfully run in 1988 and 2008.

“The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can’t be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today,” Justice Democrats said. “The party needs new leadership with a bold vision capable of energizing voters in the Democratic base who stayed home in 2016.”

The group added: “Joe Biden stands in near complete opposition to where the center of energy is in the Democratic Party today.”

BIDEN’S SENATE RECORDS HELD BY HIS ALMA MATER WON’T BE RELEASED UNTIL LATE 2019, POSSIBLY EVEN LATER

“Democrats are increasingly uniting around progressive populist policies like ‘Medicare-for-All,’ a Green New Deal, free college, rejecting corporate money, ending mass incarceration and deportation. We don’t need someone who voted for the Iraq War, for mass incarceration, and for the Bankruptcy Reform Act while voting against gay marriage, reproductive rights, and school desegregation,” Justice Democrats said.

Others, though, took issue with the group’s claim about the energy in the party.

“It’s probably worth noting that while this group, Justice Democrats, calls Biden ‘out-of-touch’ with the ‘center of energy’ in the Democratic Party, only 26 of the 79 candidates it endorsed last year won their primaries, and only 7 of those went on to win the general election,” said Nate Silver, the editor of FiveThirtyEight.

According to its website, Justice Democrats says its mission is “to elect a new type of Democratic majority in Congress, one which will create a thriving economy and democracy that works for the people, not big money interests.”

The attacks could foreshadow the looming clash between the progressive and establishment wings of the party: Biden, along with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who enjoys the support of Democratic Socialists in the party — have consistently topped the polls in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Fox News’ Lillian LeCroy and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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