27 June 2006

Christopher Sabatini

I don't think the administration wants to hear much more of this testimony from Christopher Sabatini (senior director, Policy, Council of The Americas/Americas Society). From CQ:

Even in Cuba (the one non-electoral democracy in the region) democracy activists
registered over 3,000 examples of civic resistance to the Castro regime last

One might conclude that there’s too much resistance to contain, although that’s not the context he puts it in.

Or, on the other hand, the authoritarian regime may be letting off steam, lightening up.

Without talking to the Cubans who acted in resistance, we don’t know. And what fool would believe the cronies now?

USAID statement to the Senate

Anti-Castro Americans will take comfort in hearing that the administration continues to believe that the embargo is the path to a peaceful transition to democracy. From CQ:

President Bush, again on May 20, 2006, reaffirmed U.S. government support to the
Cuban people to help promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba.
The Castro regime continues to deny Cuban citizens the most fundamental human
rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to organize
independent labor unions and political parties, freedom of religion, and other
freedoms contained in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. Amnesty
International, in its May 2006 Annual Report, cites the Castro regime`s
harassment and intimidation of Cuban human rights activists, especially through
violent attacks by the government`s ``rapid-response brigades,`` in collusion
with members of State security. Similarly, Freedom House lists Cuba among the
eight most repressive regimes with failing scores in political rights and civil

The USAID Cuba program works closely with the Department
of State`s Cuba Transition Coordinator and the Bureau for Western Hemisphere
Affairs to help strengthen Cuba`s independent civil society by increasing the
flow of accurate information on democracy, human rights, and free enterprise to,
from, and within Cuba. Since 1996, USAID has granted more than $48 million to
U.S. universities and nongovernmental organizations to build solidarity with
Cuba`s human rights activists, give voice to Cuba`s independent journalists,
defend the rights of Cuban workers, strengthen independent Cuban nongovernmental
organizations, and help the Cuban people plan for a transition to democracy.

So how many chickens, tomatoes, beans and rice can 48 million buy in Cuba?

Adolfo Franco of USAID

Adolfo Franco, Assistant Administrator Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development, admits that USAID is being used, not just to aid the suffering, but to subvert governments, a task that should be left to the CIA.

We need to be able to point to one agency, such as USAID, that does good for the sake of doing good, not for the sake of advancing our property claims. From CQ:

We at USAID believe that our work is critical to meeting the aforementioned
challenges and consolidating democratic gains in the hemisphere. Some of the
complex challenges ahead are surfacing in Bolivia, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua,
Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

Paula J. Dobriansky of the State department

As if to confirm the commie’s charge that the “independent librarians” in Cuba are in fact in the service of the US Gov’t, Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State, says on CQ

We have procured and shipped thousands of democracy, human rights, and free
enterprise books and pamphlets to support Cuba`s growing independent library

The main problem with this policy is that it compromises the integrity of the Castro’s critics.

It’s one thing if Cubans, without compensation and under the cover of darkness, distribute literature critical of their government, as American revolutionaries did.

But it’s quite another to do so for pay from a foreign agent. And unfortunately, in 2006 Cuba, that line is too hard to find. Too many Cubans are on the take, begging for a hard currency.

23 June 2006

"Bolivia protest over Cuba medics"

From the BBC,

Over 1,000 doctors are reported to have been dispatched by Cuba to provide health services in Bolivia, along with several thousand in Venezuela.

Cuba has reportedly equipped some 20 Bolivian hospitals and is behind Operation Miracle, a drive to operate on the eyes of 14,000 Bolivians with cataracts.