The Clinton-Gore Agenda for Cuba

Editorial of La Nueva Cuba by Máximo Tomás

Copyright © 1999 La Nueva Cuba. All rights reserved.

(English version by Servando González)

It is not a problem of parties. I doesn't mind on which side of the political spectrum we are. It doesn't matter if we are democrats or republicans in the United states or liberals or conservatives in any other part of the planet. When Cuba is the issue we are always on the side of our hearts: we want a Cuba free and independent, without blandishments or behind-the-scenes ties. A free Cuba born out of the debate an the analysis of the national problems by its only legitimate actors: the Cuban people, in Cuba and abroad.

Since the beginning of his term the Clinton administration had its own agenda for Cuba. Its implementation, however, was a careful job requiring subtle political manipulation and some good luck. Such a task was assigned to a "technical" team in charge of "the Cuban affair," obviously a group already attached to the high circles of American power. The members of the team already had the purpose and the will to successfully carry out its agenda. They also had the arrogance of Lords, called to intervene in the lives and destinies of the Cubans-- a rebellious race of "natives," sometimes uncontrollable.

These "technicians" are by nature mercilessly hostile both to Cuban exiles and dissidents inside Cuba who oppose a dialogue with Fidel Castro. They don't think we are intelligent enough to discern neither the structure of their logic nor their frequent political schemes. These "technicians" only grant us stubbornness and passions.

The Halperins, the Feinbergs, the Sandy Bergers; all these brainy members of the Inter American Dialogue have developed the Clinton-Gore agenda with ingenuity and patience, but without brilliance. Had the Cubans not been alone in their fight, they had never constituted political adversaries of any value. Granted, they have not faced an easy task. They have had to adjust their agenda to the cyclical electoral needs. And that upsets them. But the fact that a large number of Cubans live in two states which are very important to the American electorial process created some complications. The agenda, therefore, had to be flexible enough to adjust to the political tides.

The agenda, however, is complex and vast. Politically dismantling the Cuban exiles was not enough. It was also necessary to demoralize and divide it, emotionally blackmail it, and change its face, its nature. It was not enough to take out from it its political influence; it was also necessary to break it down until make it disappear.

To do that they were somehow successful in creating the idea of a small gang formed out of allies of the Batista dictatorship, informers, buddies, and businessmen together under phantom "organizations" in order to crete a credible umbrella of Cuban organizations allegedly representing important segments of the Cuban community in the U.S. Then, they give them respectability, opened their doors to Washington, and even accepted their political contributions. They did the same with the small groups of Cubans who, though opposed to Castro, always favored the dialog and the transition presided by the Despot.

They created concentration camps for the victims. In conjunction with the Tyrant they developed the ominous Migratory Pact, and carried it out against all odds. They negotiated it behind the backs of their own diplomats. They violated their own rules in order carry it out. Did they add some secret parts to it? There are no reasons to doubt it.

The poor guys intercepted in the high seas while escaping the Island are given a mockery of interview on board a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, without witnesses or lawyers. Then an official of the INS orders to bring them back into the hands of the Ministerio del Interior, an organization qualified as "criminal" in Geneva. Even the semantics has changed. From "Cubans looking for freedom" they have turned into "illegals." The "technicians" have no limits in their gross lack of imagination.

Through this travesty they made a daily "acceptable" occurrence the collaboration of the Cuban and American authorities not only in the field of narcotics trafficking (a risible fact), but also in the political field to persecute anti-castro Cubans involved in the violent, armed overthrowing of the tyrant. They allowed Officials of the Castro government to participate as witnesses in American tribunals. They allowed them to provide criminal records of Cubans--criminal records manufactured by the Ministerio del Interior itself.

They changed the requirements for Cubans trying to emigrate to the U.S. From then on, ex-political prisoners, dissidents, persecuted, would not be allowed to emigrate. Now the participants on a political lottery for visas would be "professional technicians," which means people actually working for the Castro government. These twenty thousand-a-year new Cuban immigrants changed in a few years the physiognomy of the Cuban exile community. After that, cultural exchanges would fill Miami of a mixture of academics, painters, musicians . . . and officers of the Castroist intelligence services. According to this policy it became easier to immigrate to the U.S. to a privileged of the Castro nomenklatura than to a young opponent whose right to receive higher education was denied because of his political views.

The Clinton-Gore agenda, however, had two obstacles to overcome: the embargo and the radio and tv transmissions to Cuba, both created by the U.S. Congress and out of their control. And they worked hard to destroy both of them, because they had to comply with the Tyrant's request to destroy or neutralize them. Therefore, they devoted themselves to the task of neutralizing by all available means these two tools of the American policy, the result of the exile's influence, who acted as an obstacle to their efforts to temporize with and get closer to Castro's Cuba.

So, they gave the necessary steps to de facto eliminate the embargo. They were successfull in fighting their political battles and managed to, if not totally eliminate the embargo, to weaken it. Measure after measure, with calibrated steps, they have gradually diminishing its efectivity. The so-called "Gore Commission," was another of their maneuvers whose only goal was to help accomplishing their agenda. Currently the Gore Commission seems to have vanished, but it will only be a matter of time since it will reappear under a different disguise.

At the same time they have kept advancing their job in dismantling Radio Martí from the inside, finding the way to destroy its professionalism and credibility to the point of ridicule for a radio station that once was the most successful of all foreign broadcast services of the U.S. government. As a matter of fact, TeleMartí (Radio Martí's tv counterpart) stopped broadcasting since las September when it antenna-blimp was destroyed by high winds and has not been replaced yet.

The Clinton-Gore "technicians" have been working harder in removing both "sources of irritation" for the Castro government. They are convinced that the groundwork is ready. Though they think that their secret plans for resuming relations with Castro and neutralizing the Cuba exile community may not be accomplished during the remaining time of Clinton in power, President Gore will sure finish it. So they think.

However, it would be advisable that some of those individuals of Cuban origin who are helping them, may explain the "technicians" the historical context which made famous a Cuban saying, used to characterize the Cuban patriots: "Perro huevero . . . aunque le quemen el hocico." (You can't teach an old dog new tricks) And maybe, why not, they could learn its enigmatic meaning.