Many actions by the executive branch in other realms can significantly impact future discussions of bilateral relations in both countries. The natural tendency will be to hold these steps as bargaining chips in negotiations, but their value may be greater by utilizing them to create parameter and perception shifts at critical points in the process.
1) Officially disavow “Regime change” as the goal for
3) Utilize the US Interests Section as a diplomatic beachhead in
4) End restrictions reciprocally on the travel of Interest Section diplomats (as well as UN Mission staff) for appropriate visits and meetings outside of the respective capitals (and
5) Suspend Cuba Democracy Fund expenditures by USAID and its grant recipients, including the National Endowment for Democracy, pending objective evaluation of purpose and effectiveness. Cancel grants and contracts that were political rewards for Cuban American Republicans and that sustain a partisan anti-change lobby in
6) Turn off TV Marti as both illegal and a big waste of money. Make Radio Marti an objective source of news rather than a vehicle for exile politics.
7) Remove objections to
8) Allow normal credit and payment procedures for sales of US agricultural and medical products.
9) Permit recognized US NGOs and religious agencies to undertake humanitarian and
development aid projects without the costly, time consuming and political vetting process of licenses from the Treasury or Commerce departments. (The fact that a project obtains official
10) Shred the two presumptuous reports by Bush’s Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba.
11) Stop OFAC’s embarrassing efforts to enforce our unilateral embargo in third countries,
such as barring Cubans from staying at or meeting in hotels owned by US companies.
12) Clear the legal decks by freeing prisoners convicted as agents of the other (Black Spring Fifty-five; Cuban Five) and dropping extradition claims (Posada Carilles and Bosch; Joanne Cheismard, et.al.)
13) Grant visas to Cuban academics and professionals to attend conferences and reestablish or initiate personal contact with US counterparts.
*(Contact with all sectors of opinion in a host country, including critics, is a normal diplomatic function. However the Bush Administration was deliberately provocative, contributing to the Black Spring crackdown and resulting Congressional reluctance to change policy, as may have been intended by Otto Reich and Roger Noriega when they set “ambassador” Jim Cason’s marching orders.)
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