Top US Experts on Cuba Resign En-Masse
Just a few days alter his US Agency for International Development (USAID) boss took off to join John McCain's run for Presidency, the agency's "program director" for Cuba, David Mutcher, has now resigned. The moves come in the wake of the sacking of "the super spy" appointed by Bush to watch over Cuba and Venezuela, former CIA agent Norman Bailey, under a torrent of bad news for anti-Cuba activists.
Where to begin. For in the last month we've seen some historic scenes. USAID's dealings with Cuba have come under sharp robuke, after a GAO study found evidence of widespread waste, fraud and abuse - and "no oversight." Turns out my taxdollars bought cashmere, Godiva, crab, mountain bikes and playstations for those willing to work with us as "clients." Mutchler was in charge of all this, though was likely just carrying on as it always has been. The USAID program to Cuba was never designed to be transparent, just effective at helping right-wingers friends in Miami and (to a lesser extent) Cuba.
Mutchler is also one of the inventors of the conversion of agents recruited by the US Interests Section in Havana into “independent journalists” and "independent librarians" used in the campaigns against Cuba. Everyone who has actually studied the matter concludes that these agents were neither independent, nor journalists nor librarians. But the phrases read good on page 6 of the NY Times.
The gutting of the USAID and intelligence departments on Cuba and Venezuela was probably an easy call for Bush and Co. One gets the feelig they probably did not relish another nasty public hearing in front of Congress asking questions that these three could not apparently answer (the GAO study was a massive exercise in "we have no idea where the money went and don't want to know)."
Bailey's premature exit, at the request of new intel boss Mike McDonald, may have have been a result of the apparently terrible intelligence relating to Cuba and Venezuela. McDonald may have been a bit upset that he told Congress just last month that Fidel was out for the count, Raul was consolidating power, the Revolution is ready to fall and that a trip to Latin America would be good for Bush. (He also predicted wrongly that Chavez would not "submit to a referrendum" two years ago) If they would just listen to me...
UPDATE: As I was about to post this, it appears two more have bitten the dust. The number 1 and 2 at the State Department Cuba desk have decided to rotate to the easier, greener pastures of Baghdad.
Wow, with two more falling it is hard to supress the notion that maybe something more sinister is going on here. Could it be these 6 were not up to Bush's plans for Cuba? Let us hope it is just coincidence.