Subversive Actions by USIS Head Exposed

Havana, December 20, 2004

By Jose A. De La Osa, Granma daily staff writer.

An Informative Roundtable of Youth and Students revealed the seditious and subversive role of recent US government actions against Cuba, including those of James Cason, head of the US Interests Section in Havana, with gross violations of diplomatic status and important international legislation.

"I imagine that most of the diplomatic corps would agree that Cason is anything else but diplomatic," journalist Lázaro Barredo affirmed.

The panelist reviewed the US government’s most relevant aggressive "landmarks" in the current year, expressed in speeches, documents, plans and measures aimed to destroy the work of the Revolution. He recalled the most recent monstrosity: the constitution of an anti-Cuba group within the US Congress, including the Díaz Balart siblings and Ileana Ross Lethinen (whom he referred to as the three musketeers) and, after imposing obstacles on family reunions, the intensification of repressive and punitive measures on enterprises handling tourism to Cuba.

There have also been increasing restrictions on US agricultural transactions with our country, our payment procedures have been hampered.

Barredo went on to describe Cason’s role as a link between the Miami terrorist mafia leaders and internal Cuban mercenaries, given that he has barefacedly acknowledged that his role is to unite the mafia and its employees on the island, by seeking out elements to accelerate the overthrow of the Revolution. Moderator Randy Alonso likewise detailed some of the provocative and subversive actions undertaken by Cason and other USIS officials in our country.

On September 5, the USIS chief attended an event at an official residence wearing a shirt with the following statement in the front: "We want to help them, but they won’t let us," and, on the back, "What an insolent man," with Fidel’s name underneath.

Alonso also remarked that three days later, several ringleaders and members of counterrevolutionary factions attended a reception at Cason’s residence, where they put up signs and placards referring to the mercenaries sentenced last year for collaborating with the enemy. They also set up a supposed replica of a prison cell with dreadful conditions which, according to them, illustrated the counterrevolutionaries’ confinement.

The mercenaries attending that activity were supplied with bags filled with brochures, magazines, subversive literature, radios, and T-shirts. On the same day, Cason granted the illegal TV Martí an interview, where he delivered his usual scathing anti-Cuba attack.

Similarly, on September 10 and 11, Kelly Keinderling, first press and culture secretary at the U.S. Interests Section, handed out some 100 radios smuggled into the country at the entrance to his residence and in the neighborhood. Together with the radios, she also gave away copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and texts with selected Martí quotes. Radios were still being smuggled into the country throughout November, reaching a total of more than 8,000. Alonso described Cason’s visit to the Czech Republic to participate in the conference orchestrated in Prague by the anti-Cuban organization International Committee for Democracy in Cuba, where he shared his anti-Cuban hysteria and furious attacks on the revolutionary leadership with José María Aznar and Vaclav Havel, the former Czech president. Cason also traveled to Madrid and Brussels with similar purposes. From September 15 to 17, Alexander Lee, assistant USIS head, and vice consul Erick Limberg traveled to Holguín and Camagüey on a consular visit. During their trip, they handed out several radios and subversive publications.

Meanwhile, in the capital, USIS officials visited notorious counterrevolutionary leaders’ homes on several opportunities to deliver subversive brochures. They also visited the so-called "independent libraries" with the same purpose. From September, the USIS public diplomacy section began to show videos recorded from the misnamed TV Martí in its waiting room, as well as the counterrevolutionary video La primavera de Cuba (Cuba’s Spring). At the same time it asked visitors on the audience levels of that counterrevolutionary radio and television station.

On October 1, Mr. James Cason attended the Chinese Independence Day reception at the Chinese ambassador’s residence with a provocative attitude, wearing a guayabera shirt decked with the grades of a U.S. corporal in a clear reference to a statement made by a revolutionary leader. The reception included comrades from the Cuban revolutionary leadership.

On October 11, Colette Cristian, second press and culture secretary, told The Chicago Tribune that the distribution of radios, books, magazines, and information is in line with the policy of the US president; that they are attempting to hand out radios to the largest number of people possible, and that they would utilize any means to disseminate information. Between October 11 and 21, USIS officials visited several counterrevolutionary ringleaders to supply them with subversive literature and videos, radios and other materials. On the 22 of that month, a new provocative action took place. Cason attended a reception to celebrate UN Day at the Palace of the Captains General, wearing his military outfit with the corporal grade.

Subsequently, the US Special Interests Section published a bulletin with texts from a subversive book and offensive caricatures of Fidel, Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos. On November 2, Cason organized a ridiculous event at his residency in the context of the US elections, where several counterrevolutionaries received electoral literature, a symbolic ballot, and expressed their opinions on the future of Cuba in a poll. At that farcical organized vote, the mercenaries overwhelmingly supported "their" President Bush. From November 8 through 10, at a conference organized at Miami University by the so-called Committee for a Free Cuba from the University of Florida Study center, Cason offered a futuristic vision of Cuba’s destiny, US style. ON TV Martí he delivered his anti-Cuban scathing attack and met mafia ringleaders. On November 23, the USIS opened a new computer room for their paid "independent journalists" to send manipulated information over the Internet and via e-mail. They also set up new printers to expand the subversive literature to be distributed in the country.

On December 6, along with the Christmas decorations, Mr. Cason unveiled in the USIS garden facing the Malecón an illuminated circle with the number 75, in clear reference to the mercenaries serving prison terms for their counterrevolutionary and treacherous activities.

To these crude provocations, enumerated by the Roundtable moderator, it should be added that of December 10, when Cason offered a dinner at his residence to celebrate Human Rights Day attended by approximately 30 individuals from the counterrevolutionary factions and the foreign press. There, they proceeded to ridiculously bury a black chest containing Bush’s speech of May 20, 2002, his reports on human rights in Cuba and other matters, and dozens of papers stating the future wishes of the Cuban counterrevolution for our people. Lit candles accompanied that funeral.

"We didn’t know, added Alonso, "whether they were burying their wishes or had finally realized that they could not fight against the Cuban people."

The moderator later noted that on the following day, the director of the North American Office of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs met Cason to deliver a diplomatic note of protest concerning the signs and provocative items placed in the exterior of the US Special Interests Section, and demanding their immediate removal.

Given the lack of response, he had a similar contact with Cason and delivered another note on December 10. On the same day, at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Cason summonsed the foreign press accredited in Cuba, and in a press conference reported to the media that MINREX had complained of the 75 sign and the prison cells set up in the exterior of the Interests Section. Defiantly, Cason told the international press: "Our position is that our Christmas decorations will remain there until the end of the celebrations and we will decide when to take them down. We are ready to pay whatever price for the cause we believe in," in what constitutes a new provocation to the Cuban authorities’ demand and another demonstration of the subversive role of the USIS in our country....