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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Our Man in Havana - James Cason - with commentary

Posted January 29, 2005 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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by Duncan Currie | The Weekly Standard

James Cason ponders the prospects for democracy in Cuba.

FOR ELECTION NIGHT 2004, America’s senior diplomat in Havana threw a party—the only such gala in town. James Cason decked out his residence with balloons, campaign materials, a giant-screen TV, and a mock voting station. His Cuban guests, maybe 180 people, watched CNN en Espaņol, and learned of U.S. electoral rules via telephone hookup. Many wore Bush-Cheney buttons. And when they cast mock ballots, it was George Bush in a landslide—only 15 percent went for John Kerry. Cason says his visitors stayed till 3 in the morning. “We couldn’t get rid of them,” he laughs.

Chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section (a de facto embassy), Cason is known for boldly promoting democratic ways in Cuba. His efforts thrill Cuban Americans, especially Republicans. “Jim Cason will be remembered as one of the great friends of the Cuban people,” says Miami-area congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Florida senator Mel Martinez likewise sees Cason as “a real historic figure.”

The New Jersey-born Cason, 60, is a 35-year veteran of the Foreign Service. He first made waves during a stint in Montevideo. In May 1982, Uruguay’s right-wing military regime expelled Cason for his contacts with Uruguayan democrats in the opposition.

Prior to assuming his Havana post in September 2002, Cason knew little about Cuba, but he’d had a taste of another Caribbean island. He says of his arrival in Grenada shortly after its 1983 liberation by the U.S. military, “I’d never seen people come running up to you and put their arms around you and say, ‘Thank you ...

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Member Comments

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On January 29, 2005, publisher wrote:

“Jim Cason will be remembered as one of the great friends of the Cuban people,” says Miami-area congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Florida senator Mel Martinez likewise sees Cason as “a real historic figure.”

1. James Cason never has anything constructive to say and contributes nothing to US Cuba relations. He is a mindless puppet for the Bush administration. He is not a diplomat. He is an idiot.

2. Licoln Diaz-Balart puts his own political selfish interests before those of his constituants. He is an idiot.

3. If newly elected Senator Mel Martinez thinks Mr. Cason is “a real historic figure” in a good way, he will be a useless self-centered politician like Mr. Diaz-Balart. Mel Martinez is learning to be an idiot when it comes to progress in US Cuba relations.

And Duncan Currie, if you think you are writing an article about three great men, you too sir, are an idiot.

Wise up people.

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On January 30, 2005, waldo wrote:

Absolute idiots totaly ignorant of the culture, needs, aspirations and thinking of the real Cubans, that is those living in Cuba and some living overseas. More like three egotistic stooges interested in their own personal carreer and/or money.

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On January 30, 2005, jesusp wrote:

Mr. Cason can be called many things, however, diplomat is not one of them. Mr. Diaz-Balart’ family history of close association with the Batista crowd speaks to his political ideology. Mr. Martinez would never have been elected if he had an open mind with regards to Cuban-U.S. relations.
These are the facts regarding these individuals, however, I do not agree with the publisher that they are idiots, to me they are worse than that, they are dangerous.