The State Department’s Cuba “Experts”

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While keeping Cuba on this year’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, the State Dept. mealy-mouths that:

“there is no evidence of direct financial or ongoing material support (from Cuba to Colombia’s FARC.)”

From 1956-59 Herbert Matthews served as the U.S. State Department’s most trusted Cuba “Expert.” Upon his appointment as U.S. Amb. to Cuba in 1957, Earl Smith (replacing the obnoxious Arthur Gardner whose insufferable nagging about Castro as an anti-American Marxist had finally exhausted his superiors’ patience) was sent to get his briefing and orientation on Cuba from the person the U.S. State Dept. regarded the reigning expert on the country–the NY Times’ Herbert Matthews.

So we can only wonder who they rely on today.

At any rate, in the spirit of the late Arthur Gardner, a report from Colombia’s military intelligence DAS ( Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad) obtained by the Colombian paper, El Espectador, reveals that the FARC ( Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, the largest, oldest and most murderous terrorist group in our Hemisphere, with a murder tally multiple times Al Qaeda and Hezbollah’s combined) maintains a major office in Havana. The report also describes a visit by FARC officers Hermes Aguilera and Olga Marín to Cuba in August 2010 for some brainstorming with Castro’s DGI. The report mentions that this very Olga Marin “receives a $5,000 monthly stipend through the Cuban bank account of a Venezuelan government office.”

“Thanks to Fidel Castro” boasted the FARC’s late commander Tiro-Fijo in a 2002 interview, “we are now a powerful army, not a hit and run band.”

The El Espectador article summarized here in English.

Unreal