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is a blog to give a fresh angle on a fascinating and beautiful Caribbean Island country that, despite being relatively small and with only 11 million people, has been a major player in American and world politics for a half century. I also suggest you try

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hillary Tough on Cuba Spies

by Circles Robinson

When you have spent a half century trying to overthrow a neighboring country’s government, assassinate its leaders and officials, and umpteen other types of sabotage, it should be no surprise that somebody’s conscious might go astray from the norm.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed outrage this week about the former government employee Walter Kendal Myers, 72 and his wife Gwendolyn Myers 71, having passed on classified information to the Cuban government, which they reportedly admired.

Clinton did not say whether the Myers put in jeopardy terrorist actions planned against Cuba by Miami exiles with US government support, a practice that has been steadfast policy practically since Fidel Castro rode into Havana in 1959.

"I have directed our security personnel to review every possible security program we have, every form of vetting and clearance that we employ in the State Department, to determine what more we can do to guard against this kind of outrageous violation," Clinton told reporters at a news conference in Indonesia, reported Reuters.

Myers and his wife were arrested and charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and conspiracy to communicate classified information to Havana. A hearing on Wednesday will determine whether the retired couple —who pleaded not guilty— will remain in prison until their trial.

The Myers, who live in northwest Washington D.C. face a possible 35-year sentence that would all but assure their death in prison.

The Obama administration is the 11th consecutive US government to maintain an economic blockade on Cuba and continues to forbid its citizens from traveling to the Caribbean island nation without special Treasury Dept. permission.

Bills are currently in committees in both US House of Representatives and the Senate to relax portions of the blockade and eliminate the travel ban. President Obama has not supported nor said whether he would sign such bills if they reach his desk.

On Tuesday, the Jamaica Business Observer quoted Daniel Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue and Sarah Stephens for Centre for Democracy in the Americas as saying at a conference in Kingston that at least the travel ban on US citizens wanting to visit Cuba may be lifted “by September or October.”

At the same time Stephens said “It will be very tough to get to that final ending of the embargo (called a blockade in Cuba) anytime soon. But I think that the lifting of the travel ban is real.”

Numerous business and travel related groups lobbying Congress to end the travel ban believe that an influx of US visitors to Cuba will eventually pressure the Obama administration to restore normal diplomatic and trade relations with the neighboring island.

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7:17 AM  

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