Just ran across this item from last month: the February 12 “Annual Threat Assessment” testimony by Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence.
, though an economic basket case, can still influence the Latin American left because of its so-called ‘anti-imperialist’ stance.” Cuba
- “President Raul Castro’s record since formally taking power in February 2008 indicates his primary objective in the coming year will be to make
’s dysfunctional socialist economy more efficient. His task has been made more difficult, however, by the extensive damage to the country’s already weak agricultural sector and infrastructure by three major and successive hurricanes last year. The global economic downturn will further slow growth, diminishing the regime’s options for addressing public dissatisfaction with living conditions.” Cuba
’s competent and immediate response to the hurricanes underscores the effectiveness of regime controls and indicates that it remains capable of preventing a spontaneous mass migration. Nevertheless, we judge that at a minimum the annual flow of Cuban migrants to the Havana will stay at the same high levels of about 35,000 legal and illegal migrants annually that have prevailed over the past several years.” United States
- “Raul almost certainly will continue to proceed cautiously on any reforms to the economy in order to maintain elite consensus and avoid raising public expectations beyond what he is able or willing to deliver.”
- “We assess Raul will continue his efforts to bolster
’s international legitimacy by projecting a more moderate political image. Nevertheless, Havana almost certainly will remain heavily involved behind-the-scenes in counseling and supporting authoritarian populist governments in Cuba Latin Americaand otherwise seeking to undermine US influence across the region.”