Cuba slams US naming official to promote 'transition' on the island

Campaign News | Saturday, 30 July 2005

Cuba 'transition' coordinator will oversee destabilization plans

PANAMA CITY, 29 July: Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque harshly criticized the appointment of Caleb McCarry as the U.S. point man for democracy in Cuba, predicting on Friday that McCarry would grow old and retire without ever stepping foot in the island nation.

"I'm sure he will receive a juicy salary in his new post," Perez Roque told reporters in Panama City, where he was attending a summit of Caribbean leaders, "but I can assure you he will retire without ever setting foot in Cuba."

In Cuba, leading so-alled dissident Elizardo Sanchez said he considered it "a decision that is counterproductive and difficult to accept" that will worsen already bad relations between Washington and Havana.

"It will serve the government of Cuba, allowing it to continue holding up the scarecrow of foreign intervention," said Sanchez.

Perez Roque claimed that McCarry had been picked to be "the Paul Bremer for Cuba," referring to the former top U.S. administrator in Iraq.

"He would be the U.S. governor, to head up the process of annexing Cuba," Perez Roque said.

McCarry, a veteran congressional staff expert on Latin America, was appointed to a new State Department post aimed at preparing for a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba.

McCarry has served for eight years on the House International Relations Committee's Republican staff, frequently discussing policy issues with Latin America leaders in telephone conversations.

His appointment is one of two key personnel changes in the State Department's Western Hemisphere bureau. Roger Noriega, head of the bureau, is expected to leave the State Department soon and be replaced by Thomas Shannon, a career diplomat and Latin America expert at the National Security Council.

The Cuban American National Foundation, which speaks for many of Miami's more fervent exiles, lauded the appointment, saying McCarry has "a sense of personal commitment to the cause of freedom for the Cuban people."

The post of "transition coordinator" that is being filled by McCarry grew out of a 2004 report on Cuba prepared by a commission headed by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The report outlined the steps that the United States was prepared to take to assist a democratic Cuba and to bring pressure to bear on the Cuban government in the meantime.

The report said the United States should try to subvert the planned succession in Cuba under which power would pass from President Castro, 78, to his younger brother, Raul.

Bush regime creates new post to help 'Castro demise'

Washington 28 July: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced the creation of a new post to help "accelerate the demise" of the Castro regime in Cuba.

Caleb McCarry, a veteran Republican Party activist, was appointed as the Cuba transition co-ordinator.

Ms Rice said for 50 years Fidel Castro had condemned Cubans to a "tragic fate of repression and poverty".

Mr Castro accuses the US of funding unrest and vowed that dissidents would never bring down his government.

Castro's 'tyranny'

The post was recommended in a 2004 report on Cuba by a commission headed by Ms Rice's predecessor Colin Powell.

The report outlines the steps the US is prepared to take to bring about regime change in Cuba, such as subverting Mr Castro's plans to hand over power to his younger brother.

Introducing Mr McCarry at the State Department in Washington, Ms Rice said the US was working with advocates of democratic change on the island.

"We are working to deny resources to the Castro regime to break its blockade on information and to broadcast the truth about its deplorable treatment of the Cuban people," she said.

She said the aim of the effort was to "accelerate the demise of Castro's tyranny" on the Caribbean island, which he has ruled since 1959.

Earlier this week, in a speech marking the anniversary of the Cuban revolution, Mr Castro accused the US of financing dissidents and false propaganda.

"No other revolutionary process has been able to count on as much consensus and overwhelming support as the Cuban revolution has," he told supporters in Havana.

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