Tuesday, November 01, 2005

After Syria, Cuba?

I hadn't heard that there was an official office dealing with the transition of Cuba from Castro's rule to something post-Castro. Via MSNBC we learn otherwise:

US planning for Cuba's "transition" after the demise of Fidel Castro has entered a new stage, with a special office for reconstruction inside the US State Department preparing for the "day after", when Washington will try to back a democratic government in Havana.

The inter-agency effort, which also involves the Defense Department, recognises that the Cuba transition may not go peacefully and that the US may have to launch a nation-building exercise.
I have to wonder just how closely the people in this office are watching our current "nation-building exercise" in Iraq. Knowing the rest of this administration, I'd say they're not watching at all. After all, there's no sense "looking backwards."

I did find this paragraph amusing:

Caleb McCarry, the Cuba transition co-ordinator, is working on the project within the Office for Reconstruction and Stabilization, which was established by the Bush administration to prevent and prepare for post-conflict situations.
Was this office formed before or after the post-Mission-Accomplished activities in Iraq? If it was before... we've seen how well it works. If after, again, we've seen how little any part of BushCo. learns from experience. However, later in the article we learn the real purpose of the group - as usual it has very little to do with the name of the office (think "Clear Skies").

Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, appointed Mr McCarry in July. His post was recommended by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, which she noted was created by President George W. Bush "to accelerate the demise of Castro's tyranny".
No need to worry about the efficacy of the office, though. In what has become a signature BushCo. move, the office and its activities are critically underfunded.

And finally, in case you were worried that something might actually come of all the planning and thought on the toppling of Castro (how long have we been trying to do that?) and what would come afterwards, don't worry. There was an ulterior motive to the whole thing. What could that have been?

From the administration on permanent campaign mode:

Some suspect Mr Bush drew attention to the issue in 2004 with an eye on securing votes in Florida from Cuban exiles.

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