Saturday, February 2, 2013

Odds and ends

  • From the right, here’s a critique of USAID’s Cuba operations (a “sordid affair”) from Jacob Hornberger of the libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation.  Over-the-top in places, but his main point is right: it’s wrong for the Administration to describe the Alan Gross operation merely as an attempt to assist the Jewish community in Cuba, and at the same time to present USAID’s overall program to its Congressional champions and others as a muscular effort to change Cuba’s political order.  If it were about helping the Jewish community, the money wasted on Gross’ operation could have delivered more than $1,000 to every Jewish household in Cuba.  And every penny was wasted, right down to the nice satellite equipment now owned by Cuban state security.

  • Outgoing National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon continues his role in Cuban diplomacy and is featured in Cuban media in recent weeks receiving officials from Bolivia, Brazil, and France, making it hard to conclude that his departure from legislative office is anything but a retirement (or, we’ll see, semi-retirement).

  • AP: Yoani Sanchez got her passport and is preparing to travel, while a passport was denied to a dissident who was released from jail but is technically still serving a sentence under licencia extrapenal.

  • The Hill: Ric Herrero of the Cuba Study group writes about how former Senator Hagel’s views on Cuba are in sync with those of Cuban democracy advocates. 

  • AP on the recreation of Sloppy Joe’s in Havana.

  • El Confidencial: “Sources close to the legal advisers” of Partido Popular activist Angel Carromero say that he is preparing a lawsuit against the Cuban government, alleging that its agents drove his car off the road, causing the accident that killed dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero last July.  The car’s other passenger, the Swede Aron “Rip van” Modig who has heretofore been silent about the circumstances of the crash, is said to have delivered a sworn statement supporting Carromero’s allegation.  A contradictory Europa Press report cites “sources close” to Carromero claiming there will be no lawsuit; it adds that Carromero is “recuperating bit by bit.”


Anonymous said...

Hornberger's comments, although well intentioned, fall somewhat short f the real situation.

In reality it was a provocation. A jew was used as an instrument by Cuban right wing groups.

He was sent like a lamb to the slaughterhouse so that he would be arrested by the security forces of the Cuban government and create a crisis in relations between both governments.

There was no necessity to set up the BFAns for a mesh network in territory under Cuban sovereignty when they could have been placed in places protected by diplomatic inmunity.

Nor should they have tried to introduce them through Cuban customs when they could have been sent through the diplomatic mail.

Gross's mission impossible was designed to get him arrested and he was sent to Cuba on five different occasions to make sure that eventually he would be detected and arrested by Cuban State security.

Gross was purposely fed to the Lions or in Cuban parlance "Thrown to the sharks!"

It is not casual that an American of Jewish extraction was chosen for this role.

Jewish Americans groups are generally liberal and progressive and have favored ending the embargo and fostering better relations between both governments.

Selecting Gross for thsi purpose would not only block better relations between the US and Cuban governments but complicate relations between the Cuban government and Jewish groups that are generally friendly to it.

The whole provocation was planned with crafty Machiavellian purposes!

Its hard to believe that Jewish analysts have not become aware of this.


Anonymous said...

This is speculation but between an European source and a Cuban American one on anything that touches Cuban politics, I will always go with the European one.

Cuban sources are likely to be influenced by wishful thinking or even to resort to outright lies for political purposes.

Given the Cuban political culture, sectarism will trump objectivity most of the time and political hacks will even tend to become mythomaniacs and believe their own lies.

I will not believe anything that is attributed by third persons to Carromero when the exile Cuban right wing has been trying for such a long time to find some reason to accuse the Cuban government of assassinating Paya.

I will only give serious analysis to such reports when they are made by Carromero himself.

They must also be logical and coherent and the first requisite for this is that Carromero must begin by providing a convincing answer to the question of why he has remained silent for so long.

There are too many pressures on him asking him to invent a story that would turn a traffic accident into a murder plot to in order to accuse the Cuban government of gross human rights violations.

I am aware of the fact that the Cuban government is a gross violator of human rights but I do not believe they are stupid enough to kill a well known dissident in the present of two foreign politicians and then allow the foreign politicians to survive and testify against them.

I believe that it is more probable that right wing emigre politicians will behave even more stupidly and pressure Carromero to make up childish tales in order to use them as political propaganda.

In the end, all such efforts at distorting the truth will turn out to be counterproductive and self destructive.