01/22/13 - World War 4 Report - Cuba: documents describe US "transition plans"
New information about the inner workings of the Cuba Democracy and
Contingency Planning Program (CDCPP)--a multimillion-dollar program
administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)
ostensibly to promote democracy in Cuba-were made public on Jan. 15 when a
major USAID contractor filed program-related documents in federal court
in Washington, DC. The documents are being used in an effort by
Maryland-based Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) to win the dismissal
of a $60 million lawsuit against it and USAID by the family of US citizen
Alan Gross, a DAI subcontractor now serving a 15-year prison sentence
in Cuba for his work there for the CDCPP. The DC-based research group
National Security Archive posted the documents on its website on Jan.
The papers include a May 8, 2008 solicitation by USAID for bids on a $30
million CDCPP project and a memo by DAI describing an Aug. 26, 2008
meeting between USAID and DAI representatives. The CDCPP is intended to
"[s]upport the [US government's] primary objective of hastening a peaceful
transition to a democratic, market-oriented society" in Cuba, the USAID
officials explain in the documents. The US has "between five to seven
different transition plans" for Cuba, including "plans for launching a
rapid-response programmatic platform." "CDCPP is not an analytical
project; it's an operational activity," officials noted, and it requires
"continuous discretion." However, the USAID didn't classify the project,
in order to maintain the appearance of transparency; as a result, project
documents can be made public.
Gross won a contract with DAI to distribute communication devices to
members of Cuba's Jewish community as part of the CDCPP project. Cuban
authorities arrested him in December 2009 on charges of "acts against the
independence or integrity of the state," and he has been imprisoned ever
since. Currently he is poor health and is being held in a military
hospital, although the nature of his illness is in dispute. "[M]y goals
were not the same as the program that sent me," Gross told National
Security Archive analyst Peter Kornbluh during a meeting at the hospital
last Nov. 28. Gross called on the administration of US president Barack
Obama to resolve his case and other bilateral issues through negotiations.
Analysts have questioned the claimed purpose of Gross's mission. "[T]his
isn't simply a matter of supplying equipment to the tiny Jewish community
in Cuba," José Pertierra, a DC-based attorney who has represented
Venezuela in its extradition request against Cuban-born former US Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) "asset" Luis Posada Carriles, told the
Mexican daily La Jornada. The purpose was "to establish an alternative
network of dissidents used in the interests of the US," he said, adding
that "this is illegal in Cuba and in all the countries in the world-no
sovereign government accepts a foreign power involving itself in internal
activities aimed at promoting regime change."
Pertierra said he would like Gross to be freed on humanitarian grounds,
but he contrasted the case with the 2001 convictions in US federal court
of five Cuban men (widely known as the "Cuban Five") on charges of
spying against the US. "Gross's program had the intention of destabilizing
Cuba," according to Pertierra, who is active in work for the release of
the five Cubans. "The Five didn't have the objective of destabilizing the
US; instead, they were working to prevent acts of terrorism against Cuban
launched from and protected by the US." (National Security Archive
Electronic Briefing, Jan. 17; Along the Malecón blog, Jan. 17; LJ,
>From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Jan. 20.
Original Source / Fuente Original:
CUBA-L FAIR USE NOTICE
This server contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of Cuba's political, economic, human rights, international, cultural, educational, scientific, sports and historical issues, among others. We distribute the materials on the basis of a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. The material is distributed without profit. The material should be used for information, research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode/17/107.shtml.