I go away for a few days and come back to find the Orioles in first place, and a document posted by Henry Gomez on Babalu where a Washington lawyer describes me (in what looks like a memo to his client) as a former CIA employee. Not so – my work in the executive branch, long time ago, was in the State Department. For some readers that may have worse connotations, and I understand.
Regarding the other questions Henry raises, I’ll say the following.
Ever since the Cold War ended, and long before I started working at
My work is supported by private donors; my agenda is my own. (Your donations are tax-deductible, by the way.)
I have sponsored Congressional trips funded by private foundations, and I have assisted with other trips where the legislators’ travel was paid for by the
These Congressional trips have indeed included conversations with foreign investors who do business in
The Congressional trips have also led to Oswaldo Paya’s living room, where I have translated his views on foreign investment and other topics for U.S. legislators; to conference rooms for talks with Cuban officials (including Fidel Castro on a few occasions); to talks with vendors in farmers markets, entrepreneurs in their places of business, U.S. diplomats, foreign diplomats, reporters, and academics; to the little pharmacy upstairs in the synagogue in Vedado, where the congregation distributes medicines (many donated by Americans) to Cubans who need them; to the provinces to see how the Catholic charity Caritas works; to farms and a sugar mill south of Havana; to meetings with Cardinal Ortega; to a church service in Havana’s outskirts with one Congressman who met Cubans who share his faith and I was the privileged translator; to talks with American students studying at the University of Havana; to a March 2003 meeting in a hotel with dissidents, some of whom were arrested weeks later; to a meeting with the wife of one of the arrested, in her home. And to retail stores, and a
Now back to regular blogging.