Thursday, August 2, 2007

Falcoff on Cuba

Sharp and unsentimental, Mark Falcoff covers the waterfront in a wide-ranging on-line discussion on the Washington Post website. A sample:

Cabarete, Dominican Republic: Do you believe the [U.S. government]-funded Cuba democracy promotion activities have been useful in preparing Cuba for a transition to democracy? In what way could they be more useful?

Mark Falcoff: I do not think they have been particularly successful or are likely to be. The only thing they have done is to discredit those who take US money.


leftside said...

After years of wondering why US policymakers don't get this elementary point (about discrediting dissidents), I am now of the opinion that the inevitable backlash from authorities (in Cuba or Iran) is the real desired result. Our aid is more about identifying the (US approved) opposition for journalists to go seek out and then being able to point out the "repression" that occurs when paid agents are eventually rounded up and tried. The aid is for international consumption, not domestic.

Before US newspaper writers call these people "dissidents" they should ask what the US law says about people organizing politically against our own government using foreign funds from governments like Cuba or Iran. They should remind readers of way Russian connected groups in the US were treated when we viewed such things as national security threats - or the way "terrorism" threats such as getting money from Cuba or giving it to Middle Eastern orphanages is treated today.

leftside said...

Also Falcoff says the tourist industry in Cuban is 30 years behind the Dominican Republic, 50 years behind Mexico. He says the infrastructure is terrible and that US businesses would not be interested in investing in Cuba. What the hell is he talking about?? Cuba surely has more 4 and 5 star hotels than the Dominican Republic, and has a much more diversified tourist sector. Sure in DR there are a few well developed resort districts (as in Cuba), but Cuba also has a system of boutique historical hotels in most main cities - cities which are actually part of the tourist experience in Cuba - not something to be whisked through on the way to the beach. The infrastructure in Cuba is better than DR as well...