Wednesday, September 13, 2006

US Gov't Monitoring Cuba in "War Room-like Setting"

A (movie-styled) poster in front of the US Interests Section reads "Injustice trembles, Coming soon to a court in north America: 'The murderer' starring Posada Carriles and George W. Bush"... woud be funny if not proven so true.

So we have a new CIA office dedicated to Cuba. We have a "Plan for Transition" report. We have a newly freed anti-Cuba terrorist set free. And now we have 5 new US government groups meeting to "track events in Cuba," including one headed jointly by the NSC/Pentagon.

Looks to me from the incessent harping on Castro not coming back, the US may seriously see that as a critical goal during this period. Problem is, Castro's coming back - he's out of bed now and the past weeks have shown his people want him. And the more the US says stuff like this - plus all the crap that came out of Miami - will make him more determined to regain his role. You know he's dying to talk about all the news lately (see below)...


WASHINGTON - Convinced that Fidel Castro will never regain the power he once wielded, the Bush administration has created five interagency working groups to monitor Cuba and carry out U.S. policies.

The groups, some of which operate in a war-room-like setting, were quietly set up after the July 31 announcement that the ailing Cuban leader had temporarily ceded power to a collective leadership headed by his brother Raúl, U.S. officials have told The Miami Herald.

Their composition reflects both the administration's Cuban policy priorities as well as the belief that the 80-year-old Castro's status as the island's undisputed leader is finished, regardless of the nature of his still-mysterious ailment.

Thomas Shannon, U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, said last month that Castro ''does not appear'' to be in a position to return to day-to-day management.

Eric Watnik, a State Department spokesman on Cuban issues, went further, telling The Miami Herald that Castro ''will never come back to the position that he previously enjoyed.'' He declined to detail any evidence the U.S. government has for such a belief.

U.S. officials say three of the newly created groups are headed by the State Department: diplomatic actions; strategic communications and democratic promotion. Another that coordinated humanitarian aid to Cuba is run by the Commerce Department, and a fifth, on migration issues, is run jointly by the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security.

Many members of the groups work out of the same State Department office in what one person familiar with the operation described as a ``control room.''
And check out this nugget at the end. The long piece of sanity is DOD??!
The Department of Defense, for instance, has balked at acting too aggressively for fear of igniting a crisis in the U.S. back yard at a time when U.S. forces already are stretched thin by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.



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