Cuba: US Brings Terrorist's Money to "Dissidents"
Cubans protesting US sponsored terrorism march past the US Interests Section in Havana in 2007
It is public knowledge that groups funded by the US Government send cash directly to anti-Government activists in Cuba. We also knew the US Government imports things like computers, radios and fax machines to folks working with US officials as well. But the US always denied directly giving cash directly to Cubans. Things appear to have changed.
Today Cuba held a news conference where it unveiled emails and videos that show the US Interest Section (USIS) Chief, Michael Parmly, has himself acted as a courier of cash to (at least) several high-profile dissidents (Martha Beatrice Roque and Laura Pollan, head of the Damas de Blanco). Not coincidentally, the recipients of the cash were the same folks who chatted with George Bush via video-conference last week. The USIS responded by not conforming or denying the charge but did defend the general practice of assisting Cubans.
The fact that the USIS did not deny the report, accompanied by the Cuban evidence, tells us the story is true. This would be scandalous enough - a secret change in an 11 year old foreign policy that explicitly forbids such direct monetary support. But Cuba is alleging a much more sinister detail. The money appears to have originated from a foundation headed by none other than convicted terrorist Santiago Alvarez - who was given a light sentence 2 years ago for getting caught with grenade launchers, C4 explosives, dynamite, dozens of machine guns, detonators, etc intended (by admission) to use on the Cuban island. Alvarez is also known as chief benefactor for terrorist mastermind Luis Posada Carriles - wanted for a 1976 airline bombing that killed 73 people (as well as many other bombings).
As a Cuban diplomat asked today: "One wonders whether the U.S. government, which has declared the fight against terrorism as a cornerstone of its foreign policy, is aware that its main diplomat in Havana is working with a notorious terrorist."
Surprisingly, the Cuban authorities did not respond with any threats to expel the diplomat (perhaps knowing that Parmly is on his way out anyhow) or arrest the money recipients, but instead requested a thorough investigation and an end to the practice. However, they have also said more information is to follow.