State Department official praises 'tone' of talks in Havana with Cuban gangsters

Thanks to Alberto de La Cruz for bringing this to our attention.

Can someone explain this to me and anybody who believes in freedom of the press and the rule of law? 

Senator Rubio has just sent a letter to Secretary Kerry about something that just happened in Cuba

"Dear Secretary Kerry,   

I am greatly disappointed and concerned about the unprecedented decision to allow Mr. Alex Lee, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere to hold a press conference while visiting Havana in the context of the Administration's migration talks with the Cuban regime. I am particularly troubled that his press conference and remarks in Havana, as reported by media outlets, diverged from and were incoherent with the goals of U.S. policy. 

As you know, the Cuban regime has maintained its enduring and close ties to U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, such as the FARC, continues to support regimes allied to Iran and their proxies, and has yet to take any meaningful actions to stop harboring American fugitives responsible for the death of U.S. law enforcement officers. The regime holds a dubious record as the worst human rights violator in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, while Mr. Lee was praising the "tone" and "constructiveness" of his discussions with the Cuban regime, human rights activists were being brutally beaten and arrested by the authorities. Among those arrested was renowned blind lawyer and dissident leader Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leyva. 

It was particularly distasteful to read Mr. Lee's praises of the tone of his discussions with Cuban officials while Mr. Alan Gross, an elderly American humanitarian worker, remains unjustly incarcerated by Mr. Lee's interlocutors. As you know, Cuban authorities have steadfastly refused several appeals for Mr. Gross' unconditional, humanitarian release, despite numerous requests and widespread concern in the United States for his condition. Furthermore, I am concerned that, while you have previously declared the Cuban regime's demand to exchange Mr. Gross' freedom for the release of four Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. a non-starter, Mr. Lee was reported as merely "taking note" of the regime's reiteration of this demand, rather than reaffirming your previous clear stance on this sensitive matter. 

Given these facts, I question the wisdom of authorizing an unconfirmed, mid-level official to conduct an unprecedented press conference in Havana, which gave a much needed propaganda coup to a beleaguered totalitarian regime desperate for international credibility. Please clarify the reasons behind such a decision, as well as the role of officials in your department, including Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson, Mr. Alex Lee, and Chief of Mission Caulfield in that decision and the drafting of Mr. Lee's comments."

Why Cuba?  Why a country that has no free press?

I think that we need an explanation for this.

Who authorized this? I can't believe that a State Department bureaucrat just got on a plane and went to Cuba without getting clearance from someone on Secretary Kerry's staff. 


P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


Thanks to Alberto de La Cruz for bringing this to our attention.

Can someone explain this to me and anybody who believes in freedom of the press and the rule of law? 

Senator Rubio has just sent a letter to Secretary Kerry about something that just happened in Cuba

"Dear Secretary Kerry,   

I am greatly disappointed and concerned about the unprecedented decision to allow Mr. Alex Lee, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere to hold a press conference while visiting Havana in the context of the Administration's migration talks with the Cuban regime. I am particularly troubled that his press conference and remarks in Havana, as reported by media outlets, diverged from and were incoherent with the goals of U.S. policy. 

As you know, the Cuban regime has maintained its enduring and close ties to U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, such as the FARC, continues to support regimes allied to Iran and their proxies, and has yet to take any meaningful actions to stop harboring American fugitives responsible for the death of U.S. law enforcement officers. The regime holds a dubious record as the worst human rights violator in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, while Mr. Lee was praising the "tone" and "constructiveness" of his discussions with the Cuban regime, human rights activists were being brutally beaten and arrested by the authorities. Among those arrested was renowned blind lawyer and dissident leader Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leyva. 

It was particularly distasteful to read Mr. Lee's praises of the tone of his discussions with Cuban officials while Mr. Alan Gross, an elderly American humanitarian worker, remains unjustly incarcerated by Mr. Lee's interlocutors. As you know, Cuban authorities have steadfastly refused several appeals for Mr. Gross' unconditional, humanitarian release, despite numerous requests and widespread concern in the United States for his condition. Furthermore, I am concerned that, while you have previously declared the Cuban regime's demand to exchange Mr. Gross' freedom for the release of four Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. a non-starter, Mr. Lee was reported as merely "taking note" of the regime's reiteration of this demand, rather than reaffirming your previous clear stance on this sensitive matter. 

Given these facts, I question the wisdom of authorizing an unconfirmed, mid-level official to conduct an unprecedented press conference in Havana, which gave a much needed propaganda coup to a beleaguered totalitarian regime desperate for international credibility. Please clarify the reasons behind such a decision, as well as the role of officials in your department, including Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson, Mr. Alex Lee, and Chief of Mission Caulfield in that decision and the drafting of Mr. Lee's comments."

Why Cuba?  Why a country that has no free press?

I think that we need an explanation for this.

Who authorized this? I can't believe that a State Department bureaucrat just got on a plane and went to Cuba without getting clearance from someone on Secretary Kerry's staff. 


P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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