Well, it´s important to always express our solidarity with those braves men and woman that are inside Cuba that are willing to risk everything, willing to risk their lives, willing to risk their freedom for the cause of free and democratic Cuba.
There are many many opposition leaders and dissident activists that are opposing the Castro dictatorship inside Cuba that have been jailed every day, and we here outside of Cuba need to be always spreading the message, that there are people, heroes, inside Cuba willing to risk everything for the future of that country.
His view of the political situation in Cuba?
Every day, more and more, we are seeing greater challenges to the Castro dictatorship across the island, just this past year we have seen the largest wave of repression from the dictatorship, going from east to west, from Pinar del Rio all the way to Oriente and Santiago de Cuba, against the brave dissident that are raising their voices in opposition to the Castro dictatorship, so, it´s a growing, growing dissident movement, and every day gets stronger and every day gets louder.
Is the U.S. government, the Obama Administration, the State Department and USAID – on the right track when it comes to Cuba?
The most important thing we can do is support the dissident movement and make sure that we do everything to deny the Castro dictatorship the resources it requires to oppress the Cuban people, and what the Obama Administration have been doing is providing more and more resources to the Castro dictatorship by allowing more people to engage in travel to that country for example, that provides hundreds of millions of dollars in hard currency resources to the Castro brothers that they use to finance the military apparatus and the State Security apparatus.
So while the Cuban people are struggling to fight against the Castro dictatorship, this Administration is doing everything possible to help the Castro dictatorship find more hard currency resources. The policy of this Administration has been to provide unilateral concessions to the Castro dictatorship in the hope of somehow receiving a movement to a democratic reform in the island, and the reaction we see from the Castro dictatorship is actually the opposite.
We see more and more repression, more and more rejection of any rapprochement that this Administration tries to bring forward to the Castro brothers. It´s really been a complete failure policy in the sense of trying to get any reciprocity for democratic reforms on the island. If anything the Castro dictatorship is clamping down more and more as the Obama Administration tries to give them more and more oxygen.
What should the U. S. government do to support Cuba´s political opposition?
First of all we most to do everything possible to support the dissident movement on the island through democracy building programs, just as we did during the cold war in Eastern Europe, making sure that we can provide resources to those that are on the island, to fight for freedom and democracy and human rights, and secondly to do everything possible to isolate the regime, and isolating the regime financially, diplomatically in every, every possible way.
This Administration doesn´t seems to understand that is important to support the dissidents and isolate the regime. What they are doing is promoting policies that just open up the regime to more and more influx of a hard currency resources.
Does enough U.S. government democracy money reach dissidents in Cuba?
The greater effort possible is made to ensure that that money is going to the dissident movement on the island in terms of whatever resources they may need to carry on their important work of democracy building and civil society building. That´s the job of agencies like U.S. Agency for International Development.
We want to make sure that that money is been used in the most effective way possible to make sure that the dissidents, the opposition leaders on the island can use those resources to promote democracy and hopefully lead to a brighter and better democratic future for Cuba.
His opinion on letter that former Senate staffer Fulton Armstrong wrote criticizing USAID programs in Cuba?
Fulton Armstrong has been known for many years as an apologist of the Castro regime. He is probably one of the main advocates of providing unilateral concessions to the terrorist, totalitarian communist dictatorship of the Castro brothers. So, anything Fulton Armstrong has said about Cuba is complete discredited by anybody who wants to be on the side of the opposition leaders on the island. So, I wouldn´t put much credit in anything Fulton Armstrong sais because he is proving over the years to be someone that just advocate for the Castro brothers.