One of the executives of the Directorio Democratico Cubano, Orlando Gutierrez-Baronat, must be worried. He felt that it was necessary for himself to "set the record straight" on the U.S. government funded programs directed towards interfering with Cuba. After the money for these programs were partly spent on Nintendos, Godiva chocolates, and cashmere sweaters, he begs people to understand why his group, and others like it, need to continue receiving dollars from the American people.
Unfortunately for him, his facts are phony. He refers to the "dissident" movements in Cuba, who are regularly featured in the international press, as grassroots movements. Let's take a look at how firmly these roots are planted in reality.
Since his little "Directorate" is one of the main sponsors for the Ladies in White", we can be safe to assume he imagines that group to be a "grassroots movement". They entered the scene a few years back when 75 people were jailed in Cuba for being found guilty of basically being on the payroll of the United States. What often goes unreported is that the participants of their marches are payed about $30 dollars per job, excuse me, per march. Receiving payments from abroad for marching may be enough to sustain a presence large enough for photo ops for the Miami Herald, but it certainly challenges Mr. Gutierrez-Baronat's assertion that they are homegrown protests or "grassroots". If there are roots, they are like to be found in the U.S. Interests Section or Miami. As the former head of the Interests Section pointed out, these people are ones “who are more interested in asking for money than carrying out programs.” As we all know, Johnathan Ferrar is no longer employed at the U.S. Interests Section after this revealing analysis!
Mr. Gutierrez-Baronat confirms what the Cuban government has long said calling the U.S. financial support a "permanent support infrastructure". When Cuban officials make this kind of a statement, the anti-Cuba extremists cry manipulation, yet this man, whose organization depends heavily on Washington's funding, is proud to be a part of the creation of such non-grassroots movements. If anything at all, I'd like to thank him for the acknowledgment of the U.S. hand in creating what is supposed to be considered internal dissent in Cuba. But by his own clumsy acknowledgement, he disputes his own logic. Unless he considers Cuban "grassroots" to be located in Miami!
He touts the media's manipulation of the "grassroots" movements as having made a contribution to the change in the international community's attitude towards Cuba. This is nearly delusional, a common symptom of the extremists operating in Miami, as he is surely aware that year after year the international condemnation of U.S. policy towards Cuba has only grown to almost complete solidarity with Cuba's right to determine its own course free from the pressures of the U.S. laws. Cuba's relationships have expanded acrross the globe, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union, which was an incedent that caused many to believe that Cuba would too collapse.
"Reality belies the propaganda.", stated Mr. Gutierrez-Baronat. Yes it does! And for the national secretary of the Directorio Democratico Cubano, he must be worried about something. Perhaps he feels that there exists sufficient evidence that his group shouldn't continue to receive funding from Washington. Perhaps he won't get a chance to buy new cashmere sweaters, update the Nintendo with a Playstation, or replenish his box of chocolates! So he pleads his case in the Miami Herald, preaching his distortions in an attempt to justify the wasted dollars of the American taxpayers. Hopefully his group will lose the funding, and we can get a chance to see how deep those roots of dissent in Cuba really are.