Press release U.S. govt officials hold “law enforcement dialogue” with Cuban dictatorship officials, described by US intelligence expert “as a violent criminal organization masquerading as a govt.”

Press release

U.S. government representatives hold “law enforcement dialogue” with officials of the Cuban dictatorship, described by US intelligence expert “as a violent criminal organization masquerading as a government.”

Contacts: John Suarez  (612)-367-6845 and Janisset Rivero (786)-208-6056 

Center for a Free Cuba. February 7, 2024. Washington DC. “The dictatorship in Cuba is a violent criminal enterprise with documented links to international drug traffickers, and terrorists. Havana officials over the course of 2023 had repeated high level meetings with counterparts in fellow terror sponsor Iran, and representatives of the Hamas terrorist group. On November 23, 2023 the Cuban dictatorship held a forced 100,000 person march with students carrying high quality printed posters of Hamas terrorist Abu Obaida. Now is not the time for Washington to be whitewashing the Castro regime, but holding it accountable,” said Janisset Rivero, the program officer of the Center for a Free Cuba.

On February 7th, U.S. and Cuban officials met in Washington, D.C. to discuss law enforcement matters of bilateral interest under the sixth U.S. – Cuba Law Enforcement Dialogue since 2015. “The Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Justice co-chaired the dialogue for the United States.  Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Havana also participated,” reported the office of the spokesperson for the State Department

The phrase “law-enforcement dialogue” is counterfactual. In Cuba, there is no rule of law. To keep power the dictatorship maintains a repressive security apparatus that murders nonviolent dissidents extrajudicially. This is not “law enforcement.” The Cuban dictatorship is a transnational threat, and legitimizing it does not enhance U.S. advocacy for human rights. On the contrary, the United States loses credibility with the Cuban people, and diminishes U.S. soft power.

Consider, on October 28, 2022 a Cuban coast guard ship purposefully rammed and sank a boat just north of Bahía Honda, in the province of Artemisa that was heading north to the United States with Cuban refugees. At least seven were killed. Family members of the victims, and survivors spoke out, and were then targeted by the secret police. The U.S. Embassy in Cuba on October 29, 2022 tweeted that the massacre had been an “accident” repeating the Cuban government’s false narrative.  One of the victims bravely spoke out on December 4, 2022 to set the record straight, and three other survivors, who escaped the island in mid December, confirmed in a press account on December 15, 2022 that the Cuban government’s version was false.

On May 17, 2012, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on “Cuba’s Global Network of Terrorism, Intelligence, and Warfare.” Christopher Simmons, retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency with over 23 years of experience as a counterintelligence officer, presented the following analysis of Cuba.  “In many respects, Cuba can be accurately characterized as a violent criminal organization masquerading as a government. The island’s five intelligence services exist not to protect the nation, but to ensure the survival of the regime. … Transitioning to the issue of terrorism, Havana takes a three-tier approach to its involvement in terrorism: Regime-directed, regime-supported, and finally, alliances with state sponsors. For regime-directed activities, we’re looking at specifically bona fide acts of terrorism, Cuban Intelligence Service targeting of the U.S. war on terrorism, and ‘Active Measures.’ ”

Experts point to joint anti-drug operations between Havana and Washington sharing drug intelligence. What has this done in concrete terms for US citizens? In 1999, the year when Washington intensified these efforts 3,186 U.S. citizens died of cocaine overdoses. After 22 years of this “cooperation”, 23,513 Americans died in 2021

“Policy makers need to ask: What intelligence is being shared with Havana officials in these “law enforcement” dialogues? It is long past time to have a serious re-appraisal of  these attempts by Washington to legitimize the Cuban dictatorship,” said John Suarez, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.