Cuba Politics

Can’t blame Fidel

Posted April 29, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Politics.

The Washington Times | Inside the Beltway | John McCaslin

Albert Fox, who has spent years working to lift the travel ban to Cuba, was upset after directors of the Cuba Policy Foundation, created in the wake of the Elian Gonzalez episode, resigned over Fidel Castro’s recent human rights crackdown.

Or did the crackdown happen to come along at an opportune time? “They were disingenuous in their public statement,” says Mr. Fox of the Alliance for a Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation. “They folded for two reasons: one, because in light of the crackdown, it is conventional wisdom that nothing will happen on Capitol Hill for at least a year. “And two, funding is hard. They were out of money. It had nothing
to do with principle.”

Mr. Fox said the group’s “self-serving” public statement “demeans all the hard work” others have accomplished to lift the travel ban and U.S. economic embargo on Cuba.

Another insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity, agreed that the resignations “were a death-with-dignity ploy.” “They ran out of money.”

The first director of the Cuba Policy Foundation was Sally Grooms Cowal, a former ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. She resigned several months ago over a funding dispute with Smith Bagley’s Arca Foundation, a Democratic philanthropy organization. Arca says it gave the foundation $450,000 in 2001.

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