Saturday, April 03, 2010

Cuba policy

Nicholas Maliska at The Havana Note writes about John Kerry's decision to put a hold on USAID funding for the Cuban opposition.  He makes two very good points.

First, aiding the opposition is counter-productive, and many of those opposition groups agree.  Far from weakening the Castro regime, it (like the embargo) offers it a propaganda tool.  Groups with U.S. money become tainted.

Second, current policy encourages Europeans and Latin Americans to travel to Cuba to increase "people-to-people" contact, while the FBI works hard to punish Americans trying to do the same.

So we end up with policy decisions that make lots of people annoyed and also don't achieve their objectives.  Hardliners will likely cause a fuss, arguing that we really need to get that USAID funding going so that we can...strengthen the Castro regime even further.


Anonymous,  9:43 AM  

I can't support this anymore than I can support Republican holds on air force refueling tanker contracts or Obama's appointments as ambassadors to Latin America. This is a ridiculous Senate procedure. If Kerry believes the policy is wrong, he should debate it on the floor and get a majority to attach conditions to the funding or eliminate the program. Our government ties itself in Gordian knots because of these antidemocratic Senate procedures.

mike a,  10:22 AM  

John Kerry has about as much foreign policy credit as a blind ape. He should stick to his ultra liberal crowd in Massachusetts and leave Cuba policy to the pros.

Greg Weeks 11:50 AM  

I am guessing the irony is unintentional.

Randy Paul 2:15 PM  


As is the lack of self-awareness, Sure, let's leave the Cuba policy to those who have accomplished nothing and defy the wishes of those in Cuba who oppose the current regime. That's a plan for continued failure.

leftside 4:33 PM  

I think folks are reading too much into the Kerry move. This temporary hold is only related to "waste, fraud and abuse" - according to Kerry's spokesman. He also made clear there is no attempt to change the US policy of regime change in Cuba - "we all agree with that" he said.

I don't see any reference that this is about the USIAD subcontractor presently behind bars in Cuba (for entering Cuba on false pretenses), let alone the larger issue of whether funding should be directed at Cuban dissidents. In fact, if anything, the mention of "waste, fraud and abuse" seems straight out of the GAO report last year and 2006, which harshly criticized the program because NOT ENOUGH money was being spent on the island directly supporting dissidents - much went to cronies in Miami and things like cashmere sweaters, chocolates and Nintendos...

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