Cuba Politics

Senator Martinez threatens successive Cuban government

Posted July 21, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ

U.S. officials on Friday condemned potential outside interference in Cuba’s future by those who don’t support democratic elections there - singling out Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as “meddling” in Cuban affairs.

U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., distinguished between aid from Venezuela and other countries to help the current Cuban government maintain its control over the island after 79-year-old Cuban President Fidel Castro dies, and U.S. aid to promote democracy.

“There’s a big difference between attempting to prevent a transition and being of assistance to a transition,” Martinez said. “If there are those who believe they can impose upon Cuba a succession of a tyranny, they are wrong, and this government will not permit that.”

Martinez, who fled Cuba as a teen, was joined by three Cuban-American U.S. Congressional representatives and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to promote a presidential commission report calling for democracy in Cuba. They met with reporters after speaking at an event sponsored by the nonpartisan lobbying group Cuba Democracy Advocates.

The 93-page report, released earlier this month, includes a proposed $80 million to help develop Cuban civic society and open communication on the island.

Gutierrez, who is also Cuban-American and co-chaired the commission’s report, told reporters that during a transition in Cuba, the U.S. would help with food and humanitarian aid and assist in helping set up elections only if asked.

“That’s a different story than trying to be in there and manipulating and planning something regarding the lives and future of the people of Cuba,” he said.

The report repeatedly cites the relationship between Castro and Chavez and efforts by the two to expand their influence throughout the hemisphere using money Venezuela receives from its oil exportation.

The U.S. buys more than $30 billion in petroleum related products from Venezuela, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Martinez said recent tightening of the U.S.’ 47-year embargo on Cuba has not had the desired effect because Cuba has turned to Venezuela and China for aid, but he cautioned that the U.S. should not abandon the policy.

Member Comments

On July 21, 2006, publisher wrote:

What an idiot!

It’s okay for him to promote regime change in Cuba but it’s not okay for any other government to be involved in Cuban politics.

Also, he says “If there are those who believe they can impose upon Cuba a succession of a tyranny, they are wrong, and this government will not permit that.”

So, Senator Martinez, are you saying right here and right now that you know of plans to invade Cuba within minutes of Fidel Castro’s death?

Am I misunderstanding your comments?

And you say other governments are “meddling” in Cuban affairs?

On July 22, 2006, MiamiCuban wrote:

Right, and I suppose the Commission’s report isn’t a total and complete plan to overtake a foreign government?  I think this goes beyond the definition of “meddling”.  Also, notice how they say they will provide food and humanitarian assistance “only if asked.”  I noticed that the Commission’s report also uses this catchy phrase “only if asked”, not once, but several times throughout.  Do they think we’re stupid?  Who “asked” for the Commission report in the first place?

On July 24, 2006, CanadianCuban wrote:

When the moment arrives…Let My People Choose.

Enough! The U.S. is a big bully instead of the big brother image it seeks to portray to the rest of the world. If, and indeed, when the time comes for a nuevo Cuba, let the Cuban people (ie the ones who are actually on the island, not the ones who were lucky/coward/rich enough to leave), determine who they should look to for assistance and guidance…Canada/Germany/United Kingdom etc…I refer to those countries who are brave enough to risk the wrath of the U.S. and who conduct a limited amount of business with the island.