Reporter’s Perseverance Gives Glimpse of State Dept.-Contractor Detained in Cuba-Destabilization Thread
There are some reporters in the State Dept. press pool who know “what’s up,” relentlessly try to get P. J. Crowley to state the obvious, and then retreat in utter exhaustion. This reporter goes a bit further by opening with a perfect Freudian slip that hovers over the entire exchange. Finally, in exasperation, yet not willing to give up, the reporter shifts into a transactional analysis dynamic of the Parent-Adult-Child model. In this case, the reporter is the adult and Crowley is the the child.
01/07/10 – Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs (Washington, DC) –
Remarks to the Press
Philip J. Crowley. Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of
Washington, DC January 7, 2010
QUESTION: Ricardo Alarcon in Cuba said this guy is a terrorist. I’m
wondering what your response is – I mean, not terrorist, is a spy working
for U.S. spy services.
MR. CROWLEY: Those comments are false. Cuba has a history of
mischaracterizing what Americans and NGOs in Cuba are doing. This person is
not associated with our intelligence services.
QUESTION: What are American NGOs doing in Cuba?
MR. CROWLEY: The individual in question was there and was part of the
process whereby we continue to encourage and help facilitate Cuban citizens
being able to do what citizens in most other parts of the world get to do –
connect with the internet, be able to communicate, be able to offer and
express their views on a variety of subjects. But it —
QUESTION: Try to (inaudible) the regime, basically?
MR. CROWLEY: Huh? No, we – I mean, put it – we —
MR. CROWLEY: We – the United States has a long history of building civil
society in various parts of the world, and that’s precisely what we’re doing
in this case.
QUESTION: Is the U.S. at all rethinking handing out computers and laptops
there? And I asked this question last year after he was arrested. Has USAID
encouraged or told contractors not to go to Cuba while this case is —
MR. CROWLEY: I mean, this particular program was designed to support and
show respect for fundamental freedoms. We’re not going to step back from
that critical foreign policy objective. We believe that the Cuban people
have basic rights. Those rights should be respected, and they should be
empowered to have a voice in Cuba’s future. And we will continue to – our
efforts to help them achieve that.
QUESTION: So there’s no ban on travel for – or you’re not encouraging USAID
contractors not to go right now?
MR. CROWLEY: We have these programs in place and we’re continuing to pursue
QUESTION: Can you address that question? It seems like a fairly
straightforward question whether you are discouraging contractors from going
there. Why is it so hard for you to say yes, we are, or no, we’re not?
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll – I’m not aware of any specific instructions to anybody
who’s working in these programs not to continue to do them.