Wednesday, December 16, 2009


From yesterday’s State Department press briefing:

QUESTION: P.J., could you give us a little bit more information, if you have it, on the American being held in Cuba? And also, I’d be interested in the Cuban democracy program, and the use of giving out cell phones, laptops, communications equipment. What exactly do they give out and what’s the purpose?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let me keep those two issues separate. It – regarding the U.S. citizen, he remains in custody. We have on multiple times – occasions, both on December 8th, December 11, December 12, we have asked for consular access. We have been assured that it will be granted. It has not been granted at this point. And since we haven’t met with him, we don’t have a privacy waiver, so it’s difficult for us to get into any more specifics on that case.

Regarding our work on civil society in Cuba, it obviously is important. The United States policy is to encourage improved human rights conditions. That includes respect for fundamental freedoms, democratic reforms in Cuba, the ability of Cuban citizens to participate freely in civic life and to promote the free flow of information both into and out of that country.

Again, going back to what the Secretary said yesterday in her speech, it is about promoting the ability of people to organize, to communicate around the world. And when you do have countries like Cuba or countries like China that are afraid of that flow of information, in fact, it is inconsistent with the global trends that are going to propel the 21st century.

QUESTION: Do they define specifically what kind of communications equipment can be given to people?

MR. CROWLEY: Does Cuba?

QUESTION: No. Do we? I should say the United States.

MR. CROWLEY: I think our – part of our programs are centered on providing and helping groups provide a capability to network and to communicate.

QUESTION: In other words, I guess what I’m asking is we’re talking about cell phones, computers, et cetera. Would it include things like GPS or would it include things like satellite phones?

MR. CROWLEY: I think it is the ability to communicate globally.


Fantomas said...

Excellente answer by Mr Crowley

way to go

Anonymous said...

cuba sends propaganda to the US all of the time, including in the form of people. in a free and democratic country, that is not a problem because it is not a threat.

in cuba, however, open communication and the free flow of information of any kind is a generally prohibited.

hopefully this incident helps to again highlight the lack of freedom in cuba.

jose r. said...

But the problem is that Cuba and USA aren't the same in terms of power.

B/c USA is so much more powerful than Cuba (or most countires), the 'free flow of information' is totaally lop-sided.

Like having a football match between David (cuba) and Goliath (USA), with the same rules.

we are bullies, with deep-seated imperaial mind set, nothing else. Spain and england has this mind set too, but now they are smarter and let countries 'be'.

Anonymous said...

anon 926 what a ridiculous comparison; are you totally ignorant of cuba-america history since 1959? which country is under siege? It's not about communication, it's about America trying out another method to disrupt and undermine the legitimate government in Cuba. No country in the world, including the United States, would permit this activity.

All the freedoms in teh United States you claim there are; how long would Taliban or Al Queada operatives last handing out communication information in America, in violation of American laws, for the purpose of undermining the American government?
really, get over this comic book perspective and try to be a little more intelligent.

Anonymous said...

On Planet Imbecile, cell phones and laptops are threats to the Cuban government's legitimacy.

Anonymous said...

In planet anonymous, communication devices put in the hands of terrorists or subversive factions by a foreign government isn't a threat to a govern legitimacy.

Anonymous said...

are you implying yoani sanchez and the other bloggers are terrorists?

Anonymous said...

"terrorists and subversive factions"

there you have it folks, in black and white, for all the world to see, the absolute apex of leftist lunacy...

Anonymous said...

its not lefist luancy.

I just want my country (usa) to behave as the rest of the world , respecting the sovergnity of other countries, even if you disagee and even if dictatorship.

the deal is that US or any government should not meddle in internal affairs of other countries.

Its outrageous that the right wingers want this type of gov. intervetnion.

Most of us 'lefists' know that cuba is bad dictatorship, with pittiful freedoms, HOWEVER, that does not give USA right to use gov. apparatus to attempt to destablize other countries gov. that rest of world recognize.

Anonymous said...

"No country in the world, including the United States, would permit this activity."
What activities? He was giving computers and cell phones! You could by those in a Cuba store if you have the money.
The reality is Cuban Gov needs to stop the free flow of information to exist.

Anonymous said...

"I just want my country (usa) to behave as the rest of the world , respecting the sovergnity [sic] of other countries, even if you disagee and even if dictatorship [sic]."

Apartheid South Africa, Pinochet's Chile, Cedras in Haiti, Micheletti in Honduras, the Balkans, Sudan, I need to go on?