Friday, August 28, 2009

Richardson in Havana, Day Five (updated)

Sort of a triangular approach: Governor Richardson concludes his visit by saying he will report to President Obama and by offering to set up a dialogue between the Cuban government and Cuban Americans.

He urges Cuba to act, “especially in the humanitarian area,” and wants both Washington and Havana to ease travel restrictions. “Normalizing relations is going to take time, it is a complicated thing and there are a lot of issues to address…It will take time, but we have to do it,” he said.

He said that the United States has suggested that the two governments drop restrictions on their diplomats’ movements, and he urged Cuban officials to agree to the idea.

Update: Mexico’s La Jornada reported in more detail on Richardson’s presentation at the press conference, saying that the governor had presented a specific “plan of reciprocal actions to normalize relations with Cuban authorities.”

The plan would defer larger and more contentious issues and start with the two sides taking humanitarian steps. The United States would put into effect the announced Obama policy ending restrictions on family travel and remittances; allow greater sports, cultural, scientific, academic, and business exchanges; and allow Americans in general to travel to the island. Cuba would end “bureaucratic restrictions and high fees” that make family visits more costly, accept a U.S. proposal to end the restrictions that limit both sides’ diplomats to the Havana and Washington capital areas, and start an “informal dialogue” with Cuban Americans.

Richardson also said that he sees no need for a U.S. special envoy and doesn’t think he will have a role in U.S. diplomacy toward Cuba.

At Cubaencuentro, there’s some CBS video of the governor’s press conference.

Coverage here from AP, Reuters, AFP.

[AP photo]

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

why does the phrase "fart in a whirlwind" come to mind?

chingon

Anonymous said...

because that's what you are chingon, unless you have direct access to the meetings, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. now that's a surprise
but keep up the good work earning that nice big CANF check.

Anonymous said...

richardson's advice re cuban americans involvement -- step aside, and STFU. do no more harm.

his intent in cuba is accomplished, to present himself as a person both sides can channel through. it's call diplomacy, something there was none of under Bush the war criminal. now lets see if saner heads can prevail, on both sides.

Anonymous said...

"now lets see if saner heads can prevail, on both sides."

Exactly right! When, oh when, will the vicious rightists in this country join the chorus of Peace and *true* Democracy, as exemplified by such paragons of sanity as the Venceremos Brigade and the Pastors for Peace?

We will know this blissful day has arrived when the Five Heroes are finally given their due, as celebrated during their tickertape parade down New York's Che Guevara Boulevard, formerly known in Imperialist times as Broadway.

Anonymous said...

"We will know this blissful day has arrived when the Five Heroes are finally given their due, as celebrated during their tickertape parade down New York's Che Guevara Boulevard, formerly known in Imperialist times as Broadway."
And naturally Leftside will the Grand Marshall of the parade properly dressed in his red
star outfit with the hammer and sickle in full display.

Anonymous said...

"And naturally Leftside will the Grand Marshall of the parade properly dressed in his red
star outfit with the hammer and sickle in full display."

This comment is unfair! Surely, on such a memorable event as the tickertape parade of the Five Heroes down Che Guevara Boulevard, Lefty will not appear in his usual clown suit. Instead, he will "dress up" for the occasion in something more appropriate, such as the uniform of his ultimate hero, Joseph Stalin.

John McAuliff said...

Phil should bar anonymous comments and not publish any that are simply gratuitous insults. They pollute the atmosphere and diminish his very valuable blog.

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

Anonymous said...

John McAuliff,

I would not agree with barring anonymous comments but I have been complaining about the insulting remarks from both sides of the aisle (sort of speak) for a long time now. I do appreciate the anonymity that Phil Peters has extended to me in the past. I encourage all anonymous posters to sign with a handle.

Has there been any public confirmation that Governor Richardson met with either Raul or Fidel Castro?

There are two interesting articles published yesterday and today in the Cuban press: one in Juventud Rebelde by Jorge Alejandro Rodriguez and another in Granma by Felix Lopez. They may point to a Cuban glasnost effort.

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

McAuliff wrote: "Phil should bar anonymous comments and not publish any that are simply gratuitous insults."

I agree. As in Cuba, no so-called "dissidents" or "free speech" should be tolerated while pursuing the Fund for Reconciliation's grand project of making life as comfortable as possible for Communist regimes around the world.

Besides, poor Lefty's feelings have been hurt. Lefty, just like the Coma Andante of the First Free Territory of the Americas, is very sensitive, you know.

Anonymous said...

"Has there been any public confirmation that Governor Richardson met with either Raul or Fidel Castro?"

You are a perceptive person, Vecino, so I am surprised at your question. The Castro regime is like a religious cult. The LAST thing the cult leaders will allow is a genuine opening for change, such as a substantive meeting with Richardson, which to the cult leaders has the menacing goal of a peaceful transition to freedom.

The Cuban people are angry and disillusioned, but they are culturally conditioned to refrain from any active dissent.

In order for the nomenklatura to survive, the cult leaders (AKA the Castro brothers) know they must focus on maintaining support and funding from the outside world (or at least the witless bozos who still can't see through the hoax, such as McAuliff.) Therefore, at all costs, the cult leaders must avoid any hint of possible change, such as an end to the "genocidal embargo," which is the alibi for all of their crimes.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous August 31, 2009 11:31 AM,

Do you know if there has been any public confirmation that Governor Richardson met with either Raul or Fidel Castro? Sorry to ask again, but but I was out dealing with other issues the last few days.

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

"Phil should bar anonymous comments and not publish any that are simply gratuitous insults. They pollute the atmosphere and diminish his very valuable blog."

Excellent post, John. Only polite, rational and caring people should be allowed to post on this board in the future, such as yourself, Leftside, the Pastors for Peace and members of the Venceremos Brigade.

Thank God Chavez is putting this principle into practice through his new project to democratize the Venezuelan press, a prime example of the way Cuban Triangle should also be democratized in the future. But will Phil listen to the Voice of Reason?

leftside said...

Anon 12:02 - are not aware that the Venezuelan media law you speak of was labeled dead on arrival by the National Assembly?

Anonymous said...

Leftside,

"...the Venezuelan media law you speak of was labeled dead on arrival by the National Assembly". Is this another sign of bipolarity in Pres.Chavez' personality?

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

Lefty sez: "are not aware that the Venezuelan media law you speak of was labeled dead on arrival by the National Assembly?

Thanks for correcting my error! Silly me, I let myself be persuaded by those venomous gusanos that Chavez is NOT a member of the ACLU!

And now those same esqualidos descarados are claiming that the National Assembly just passed a law doing to education the same thing that the Great Bolivarian Leader is doing to the press. Can you imagine, Lefty? Can I get you your smelling salts?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Phil should bar all those annoying and anonymous insults from the regime bootlickers that pollute this very important blog.

chingon

theCardinal said...

impossible that any Cuban-American that hates the Castros will even think of talking to Richardson...he refered to Alarcon as "my friend." Any conservative Miamian would lose standing the moment he associates with a "friend" of Alarcon. To be a mediator you need to appear impartial to both sides, in this case Richardson is unlikely to be percieved as such.

Anonymous said...

another string of examples why the viejitos' love of shouting meaningless insults from 50 years ago has no bearing on the present day reality. It's too bad that a blog with such substance gets mired into such idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous September 1, 2009 7:48 PM,

Which "viejitos" are you referring to: the ones in Miami, or the ones in Havana? Many of both love to shout insults and not just because they are old. Fidel Castro loved to insult people calling US Presidents SOBs (Hijos de Perra) in the middle of many of his speeches. Many of the current young ones also love to insult freely. It's a sign of lack of imagination not of aging.

Vecino de NF

Kenneth said...

It seems to me, mostly from watching Cuban TV channels, that a kind of glasnost is definitely underway there. Read more here: http://www.dialoguewith.us

More on Cuba: http://www.dialoguewith.us/2.html