Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leaks, Freedom House and reader complaints

Daniel Calingaert. Photo: Freedom House
Today I'm following up on Juan Tamayo's June 10 story in Miami Herald saying that Freedom House is returning $1.7 million in democracy funds to the U.S. government.
Freedom House officials complain that the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is now asking for too much information about how the money is spent.
They told the Herald they are worried that information about people involved in their Cuba programs could wind up in the hands of the Cuban government.
Daniel Calingaert, deputy director of programs at Freedom House, told the Herald:
We take very seriously the need to be accountable for these programs. (But the USAID requests for information are) not just onerous. They really raise the risk of what we do, especially in the age of Wikileaks.
If any readers would like to share their views on the Freedom House development, please comment on this post. Or drop me an email.
My latest story on the USAID in Cuba appeared in Spanish today in CubaEncuentro. See
"Afirman que programas de EEUU en favor de democracia funcionan en Cuba."
I've gotten two complaints for using the term democracy programs. Cuba expert Nelson Valdes wrote:
Why do you insist in calling the US subversive programs - "democracy programs" [without the quotes]?

They are subversion programs under the façade of democracy promotion. This phenomena was studied over a decade ago by William I Robinson.
The US does NOT promote democracy anywhere, not even in the US! I suggest you read an essay I wrote 9 years ago.
Valdes wrote:
The characterization of a subject, with or without quotes, is not neutral. Language seldom is. I suggest a fresh reading of George Orwell’s magnificent essay “Politics and the English Language [1946].
Robinson in his book Polyarchy showed the falsity of “democracy” promotion and why the term is used. Accepting the term is accepting the facade.
A Cuban who supports the socialist government also complained:
Today I read your claim that U.S. programs for democracy operate in Cuba and the references you make to Cuba subversion as "U.S. programs to bring democracy to Cuba", "President Barak Obama's attempt to promote democratic change in Cuba", "democracy programs ", etc., and it did not seem fair. I expected of you a more detached, less biased view because your description gives them a legitimacy that honestly they do not have...
U.S. policy, he wrote, is "indefensible."

1 comment:

PolO said...

"A Cuban who supports the socialist government also complained:"
Well, looks to me you just bite the bait.
It sounds very nice, fair and balanced take and publish that "cuban who..." words as the opinion of an individual; the problem's the cuban government has hundreds of "virtual guerrillas"(made in U.C.I.)fighting the "Batallas de Ideas" on the Web, the new battlefield of modern politics to win the world's public opinion.
Any website (and the people behind it)touching the "cuban subject" become a target of Cuba's intelligence/counterintelligence services.
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"A cuban who..." Yeah Right!