19 December 2010

Wikileaks Cuba: "very little evidence that the mainline dissident organizations have much resonance among ordinary Cubans."

According to the US Chief of Mission in Cuba, Jonathan Farrar: there is "very little evidence that the mainline dissident organizations have much resonance among ordinary Cubans."

09HAVANA221     2009-04-15 13:01     2010-12-17 22:10     CONFIDENTIAL     US Interests Section Havana

Other interesting bits:

"it is worth asking what the Cuban political opposition is doing and the role it may play in the future. Two recent op-ed pieces in the international press that have infuriated dissident leaders argue that the answers are: not much and none...Though dissidents have reacted very negatively to the articles in the international press, the fact is that they contain more than a grain of truth." Consequently, "we will need to look elsewhere, including within the government itself, to spot the most likely successors to the Castro regime."
"the dissident movement in Cuba has become as old and as out of touch with the lives of ordinary Cubans as the regime itself. The articles represented comprehensive and fairly balanced critiques of the dissident movement,"
"we see very little evidence that the mainline dissident organizations have much resonance among ordinary Cubans. Informal polls we have carried out among visa and refugee applicants have shown virtually no awareness of dissident personalities or agendas. Judging from the reactions we have heard from our dissident contacts, the most painful accusation made by the commentators was that the dissidents are old and out of touch."
"Despite claims that they represent "thousands of Cubans," we see little evidence of such support...we do not see platforms designed to appeal to a broad cross section of Cuban society. Rather, the greatest effort is directed at obtaining enough resources to keep the principal organizers and their key supporters living from day to day. One political party organization told the COM quite openly and frankly that it needed resources to pay salaries and presented him with a budget in the hope that USINT would be able to cover it. With seeking resources as a primary concern, the next most important pursuit seems to be to limit or marginalize the activities of erstwhile allies, thus preserving power and access to scarce resources."

Translated into ordinary English, this means they are more interested in lining their own pockets
"opposition members of all stripes complain that the intention of the exiles is to undercut local opposition groups so that they can move into power when the Castros leave. The islanders accuse Miami and Madrid-based exiles of trying to orchestrate their activities from afar, and of misrepresenting their views to policy makers in Washington."
"From our standpoint, however, there are few if any dissidents who have a political vision that could be applied to future governance. Though the dissidents will not acknowledge it, they are not widely known in Cuba outside the foreign diplomatic and press corps...it is unlikely that they will play any significant role in whatever government succeeds the Castro brothers. "

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