Urgent action against McCarry visit

Campaign News | Friday, 11 April 2008

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign issued the following statement today on the visit of Caleb McCarry to the UK

The secretive visit of the Cuba Transition Coordinator, Caleb McCarry, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the next few days is an insult to the people of Britain.

This visit must be strongly opposed by all those interested in peace and cooperation between the UK and Cuba.

It symbolises yet another attempt by the US administration to pressure the UK into adopting its aggressive and failed anti-Cuba policy.

The fact is that McCarry has only one remit and that is regime change in Cuba.

As head of the US government’s Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (CAFC), he holds a post equal to that held by Paul Bremer as the administrator of the US occupation in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.

Why is the FCO is meeting with McCarry, when as far as we know the UK has no direct equivalent to his position? This goes against the UK’s stated policy of 'constructive engagement' with the island.

As head of CAFC, Caleb McCarry is responsible for a dangerous US policy of aggression, intervention and occupation of Cuba - one which would lead to dire consequences for the people of Cuba and the Caribbean.

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign calls on the British government to make clear its opposition to the failed and dangerous US by refusing to meet with Mr McCarry.

CSC calls on all peace loving friends of Cuba to write urgently to their MP and directly to the FCO protesting against the hosting of this visit.

Write to you MP at:


Write to Foreign Office Minister Megg Munn at:


Background information

The visit takes place at a time when there is a favourable EU rapprochement towards Cuba, and Washington is concerned that 27 nations could end sanctions against the island. It is no coincidence that McCarry is lobbying European governments now. In June, the EU will again review the measures imposed against Cuba since 2003. Their vote on this “common positon” brings into question whether the EU has an independent stance towards the island.

McCarry's visit highlights once again why the UK Government must be pressured into taking a more positive approach to Cuba. Even within the current EU common position countries such as Spain, France and Italy have made huge strides in cementing more normal trading, scientific and cultural exchange between Cuba and their countries. Yet here in the UK we have seen a massive 48 per cent decrease in United Kingdom exports to Cuba between 2000 and 2006, and a government that did nothing to penalise companies like Hilton and Barclays for adopting US directives on trading with the country.

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