Where is the reciprocity from Cuba’s totalitarian dictatorship?
"Be nice to them," the "Cuba Experts" tell us and Cuba's Castro dictatorship will be nice back. Yeah, right. Because repressive and murderous dictatorships historically have always responded well to capitulation.
Must-Read: Where's the Reciprocity?
Former U.S. Ambassador James Cason discusses his experience as head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana for the "Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History" series of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST):
Read the full transcript here.
Below is a noteworthy excerpt regarding the lack of "reciprocity" in the treatment of U.S. diplomats by the Castro regime:
The playing field was never level. I couldn’t meet anybody in their legislature or in their courts or talk to professors or their journalists. Yet in Washington they could go up and lobby Congress, visit universities and get their articles published. So it was not a level playing field. They had a much freer range under our democratic system than we did in a totalitarian country.
Washington was too timid in enforcing reciprocity. They didn’t want to bother. We had a system during the Cold War that made the communist diplomats get all their support via the State Department. That had been dismantled and our bureaucrats didn’t want to go to the trouble of reestablishing it. For example, the Cubans had cards that exempted them from taxes. We didn’t. They could choose where to live. CUBALSE showed us only certain homes and told us what we had to pay. The Cubans could get services at will whereas we had a strict limit on how many technicians could come to Havana to fix elevators, copy machines, etc. The Cubans used their offices in DC to issue visas to tourists and make a lot of money for the government, and as a base for their extensive spying networks. They had very large spy networks running out of there and from their UN offices in New York.
They were eager to keep their Interests Section open. I told [Ministry of Foreign Affairs official] Dausa that if they ever crossed the line in harassing us, or if they PNG’ed [declared persona non grata and expelled from the country] any of our officers for their support of dissidents, that they would suffer the consequences in terms of their operation in Washington. That threat gave me a lot of freedom to operate. If their conduct towards us ever got really egregious, we would throw out their spies. And we did that after discovery of the Ana Montes spy operation. She was the head of the Cuba desk at the Defense Intelligence Agency and had been a long time Cuban agent. Right before our invasion of Iraq the FBI arrested her and disrupted her operations. She was trying to get information on what was going to happen in Iraq and elsewhere, our plans for invasion. We booted out quite a few Cuban intelligence agents in reprisal but they didn’t expel any of our officials in retaliation.