Monday, November 24, 2008

Brookings report: end travel ban, terrorist designation

A “Partnership for the Americas Commission” convened by the Brookings Institution has issued a report on U.S. relations with Latin America, with a separate chapter on Cuba. Recommendations include ending travel restrictions and ending Cuba’s designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Former UN Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo were the co-chairs; half the members are from the United States, half from the region.

The report’s summary contains the full list of recommendations and a link to the whole document, with full discussion in the Cuba chapter. New York Times coverage is here.

Speaking of commissions and recommendations as a new U.S. Administration prepares to take office, a new essay by Carlos Alberto Montaner calls for establishment of an advisory council on Cuba for the Obama Administration. Specfically, the council would advise the Obama Administration appointee (if indeed there is one, which come to think of it will be interesting to watch) as Cuba Transition Coordinator, following the departure of President Bush’s appointee to that post, Caleb McCarry. Montaner calls for bipartisan membership that would consist of the six Cuban Americans who serve in the United States Congress. They are the ideal members, he says, because they are well informed, know the Cuban American community, and would make excellent advisors. Plus, he might have added, they can be trusted.


Mambi_Watch said...

Ileana, Mario and Lincoln as advisors?! Montaner is not being serious.

Montaner has been a longtime supporter of the embargo, and in the past has made recommendations that would have tightened the embargo.

His recommendations of Ileana, Mario and Lincoln is highly suspect.

Anonymous said...

putting the Cuban-American congress members on the board is nothing but a joke. trusted to make sure American designs on cuba continue, and guaranteed to maintain the failed policies of the past 50 years. well informed to spew the same old crap; excellent advisors to say the same old things. how can anyone take american policy towards cuba seriously? each one of the cuban american congress members come from the ideological frame that has done nothing to promote mature policies towards cuba; they all just favor the continuing punishment of the cuban people. but then it's all americans fault isn't it. well, yes it is.

theCardinal said...

I am a huge Carlos Alberto fan so it pains me to disagree with him so vehemently. CAM has been hedging and appearing more moderate for years so this latest gambit makes no sense. First of all what other country in the hemisphere requires a commission of this sort? In terms of our interests Cuba shouldn't rank in the top 5 in LatAm. We waste too much time discussing and worrying about what goes on in Cuba. I believe that we are right to hold the detainees in Guantanamo but if you want to get technical we are holding more known political prisoners on the island than Castro himself. Should Cuba release them, of course. Should we make it terms for some concessions on our side? Sure. Does it merit a Transition Coordinator and a Commission? Hell no.