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Entries tagged "diplomacy"
October 5, 2012 · By Saul Landau
Five Cubans fighting terrorism in South Florida have served 14 years of prison, more than enough time for the U.S. public to learn from its media about the horrific injustice done by the U.S. government to these Cuban men. But the media has barely touched the grotesque frame-up of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino and Rene Gonzalez, the Cuban Five as they are called.
These Cuban intelligence agents volunteered in the 1990s to infiltrate violent groups of Miami-based Cuban exiles who had orchestrated bombings in Cuba of tourist spots – hotels, restaurants, clubs and bars, and even the Havana airport where vacationers from Canada and Europe arrive. By scaring foreigners with violence they hoped to intimidate tourists from visiting Cuba, and thus hurt the island’s economy.
Cuban intelligence chiefs sent agents into South Florida because the FBI had done nothing to stop the bombing plots or indeed discourage the exile plotters from continuing their terrorist war against Cuba. The agents’ job was to discover the plots, and alert Havana so the local police could thwart the violence.
Havana then recycled the agents’ information to the FBI. On some occasions, thanks to these men’s information, the Bureau did intercept caches of explosives and weapons destined to do harm inside Cuba. But the Bureau did not bother the terrorists. Instead in September 1998, FBI agents busted the Cuban agents, and the Justice Department charged them with conspiracy to commit espionage and one of them with murder. The last charge referred to a prosecution-concocted story that Gerardo Hernandez, the controller of the web of agents, had advised Havana of the date and time of Brothers to the Rescue’s planned flight time on February 24, 1996, and that he might possibly drop weapons into Cuba. Cuban aviation authorities warned the three small planes not to enter Cuban air space, but the pilots ignored the warning, and Cuban MIGs shot down two of the planes, killing both pilots and co-pilots. The craft carrying the Brothers’ leader, Jose Basulto, returned unscathed to Miami.
December 3, 2010 · By Joy Zarembka
The release of secret diplomatic cables by the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks is either a truth-seeker’s treasure trove or a massive threat to international security and diplomacy. While much of the information has embarrassed members of the U.S. Foreign Service for their snide and “undiplomatic” portrayal of world leaders, the content merely confirms what we already suspected - the Obama administration's diplomacy is more of what we have seen in the past, further evidence of the insanity of our foreign policy, conducted at great economic and political costs through either force or negotiations.
The diplomatic leaks are “an orchard of exposés over-ripe for cherry-picking,” as IPS fellow Phyllis Bennis states in her most recent article, “WikiLeaks: War, Diplomacy & Ban ki-Moon’s Toothbrush." Bennis points out, in a recent interview with the Real News Network, one of the more bizarre and frightening disclosure of the leaks is the fact that U.S. diplomats have been effectively turned into spies, tasked with obtaining biometric and other information on top world officials. IPS fellow Emira Woods, in her recent Voice of America interview, also emphasizes this aspect of the leaks and lauds the transparency and the free flow of information that the leaks provide.
While there are reasons to applaud WikiLeaks, there is also great concern that information taken and interpreted out of context could have negative and even fatal consequences. IPS scholar John Feffer points out how the current and possible future revelations exposed through leaks about South Korea, North Korea, and China can easily undermine secret negotiations in his latest article in the Institute's weekly foreign policy ezine, World Beat, “Transparency Fundamentalists.” Our hard-hitting analysis isn't top-secret but it's free and always worth a close read. Subscribe to World Beat today.
For 47 years, IPS has responsibly spoken truth(s) to power. We look forward to the many years to come.