Monday, April 22, 2013

Mr. Kerry, Who'll Be Wearing Your Suit?

Mr. Kerry, despite your busy schedule, which has taken you to Israel to go through the motions of creating the illusion that the United States is interested in finding a solution that will please both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Although being such a powerful broker which can easily set terms by which Israel would likely have to accept, leading to a true negotiation and also having the ability to make demands of the aggressive  nation to stop with the stealing of land which has made a two state solution less probable.

Also, you've been busy explaining to your former colleagues in the Senate about our "backyard" which is not only offensive and arrogant, but an imaginary scenario believed by some sold out politicians working on a hill named "Capital" in Washington DC.

In the suit that you dress yourself up in every morning, is there anything left of that John Kerry who long ago spoke so eloquently of the abuses committed by our government against the Vietnamese people?  Kind of like the twisted buffoons who you campaigned against for the presidency in 2004, can I ask you if you are a flip flopper?  Did you stand against the abuses of our government before you helped perpetuate them?

Soon you'll send a recommendation to President Obama whether or not to include Cuba on your department's list of nations that support terror.  In case you've been to steeped in politics to be aware of the first line about the subject on the State Department's website, I'll repeat them for you here: " In order to designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."

 Let's review last years report.  As you'll notice, it quite frankly defies logic as to why Cuba remains on such a short list.

"Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982. Current and former members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) continue to reside in Cuba. Three suspected ETA members were arrested in Venezuela and deported back to Cuba in September 2011 after sailing from Cuba. One of them, Jose Ignacio Echarte, is a fugitive from Spanish law and was also believed to have ties to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Reports suggested that the Cuban government was trying to distance itself from ETA members living on the island by employing tactics such as not providing services including travel documents to some of them. Press reporting indicated that the Cuban government provided medical care and political assistance to the FARC. There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training for either ETA or the FARC.

The Cuban government continued to permit fugitives wanted in the United States to reside in Cuba and also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has identified Cuba as having strategic AML/CFT deficiencies.  Despite sustained and consistent overtures, Cuba has refused to substantively engage directly with the FATF.  It has not committed to FATF standards and it is not a member of a FATF-style regional body, although in 2011 it did attend a Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America meeting as a guest and prepared an informal document describing its anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing system."

For a nation of such prominence like the United States, after a report like this, it should be embarrassing to have continued making the claim that Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism.

But the past is the past and as much as people may wish it were different, all we can do is deal with the present so that the future can be better.  An intelligent decision from you on this issue is what many people hope for.

Having your own department's report seeming to admit that Cuba has distanced itself from the handful of members of ETA should be enough to conclude that the requisite that a country can be shown to repeatedly provide support for ETA's acts of international terrorism.  Forget the fact that the report never claimed that Cuba was supporting terrorism by ETA anyhow.

The connections between Cuba and the FARC are a bit more interesting this year to say the least.  It turns out that not only isn't Cuba sponsoring FARC terror, Cuba is actually sponsoring peace talks between that group and the government of Colombia!  Isn't that a gem?!  (If you do decide to keep Cuba on the list, I'm certain that the report will be a bit shorter this time!)  Obama himself said that he supports the peace talks, although I'm certain that the whereabouts of the talks has caused him to wince.  The Colombian president has also stated his appreciation for Cuba's help in making the talks possible.  How do you feel, Mr. Kerry?

As for the FATF and it's claim of "strategic deficiencies" on the part of Cuba, things are also quite different than a year ago.  Although it was brushed off earlier this year by the State Department, the FATF stated publicly last October that since June 2011 "Cuba has significantly enhanced its engagement and co-operation with the FATF and made a request to join GAFISUD. However, the FATF urges Cuba to continue its engagement with the FATF and to work with the FATF to develop and agree on an action plan in order to address its AML/CFT deficiencies."  There words, not mine.  Straight from the group your department decided to rely heavily on in it's determination last year to keep Cuba on that list.

I've watched our government's impotence when it comes to standing up to powerful lobbies in Washington and I'm aware of how disproportionately strong the anti-Cuba lobby is so I really have no idea which John Kerry will be showing up to work on the day that your recommendation is made.  For the sake of honesty, credibility, and justice, I do hope that John Kerry who stood for those things will be the one wearing your suit.

1 comment:

  1. A+

    Keep up the good work. I have totally lost faith about any of the corrupt politicians of Obama's Chicago gang.