Monday, December 28, 2009

Cuba's paranoia

Cuba's paranoia
Monday, December 28, 2009

Get caught spreading pro-democracy materials or even humanitarian aid in
Cuba and chances are you'll sample the Castros' hospitality behind bars.

The communist island dictatorship that employs one of the most
aggressive intelligence networks in the world remains committed against
even the lowest level of outside interference -- and is as paranoid as ever.

"If you work for a human rights organization, it's naive to think they
don't know who you are," says one expert on Havana's autocracy.

Earlier this month Cuban authorities arrested an American subcontractor
for a Maryland economic development firm. Reportedly he was distributing
cell phones and laptops in Cuba. President Raul Castro insists the
American was supplying opposition groups with satellite communication
equipment and accuses the Obama administration of maintaining hostile

Although Raul says he's open to a "respectful dialogue" with the U.S.,
bitter brother Fidel remains ever critical of the Obama administration.

So much for Washington "recasting" its relationship with Cuba, in part
by attempting to soften a 47-year trade embargo. For all its ill-advised
efforts the U.S. has done nothing to change a narrow mind-set whose
priority remains iron-fisted control.

Nothing will change in Cuba until the brothers Castro are relegated to
history's dustbin of despots.

Cuba's paranoia - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (28 December 2009)

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