ARTURO LOPEZ-LEVY: Alan Gross: por una solución negociada 2

Arturo López-Levy

En la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos el pasado año, el representante David Rivera (R-FL) exigió que Wendy Sherman, subsecretaria de Estado para asuntos políticos, revelara si Estados Unidos trató de negociar con La Habana, de alguna manera, una liberación de Alan Gross. Rivera dijo: “Es indignante que la Administración Obama podría estar negociando con un régimen terrorista para liberar a un rehén estadounidense”.

Esa política es correcta: Estados Unidos no debe ceder a las demandas de los terroristas pues solo incentivaría a los mismos a secuestrar otros rehenes. Pero nada de esto tiene que ver con Gross o con Cuba.

Si hubiese una lista de países no democráticos, Cuba debería figurar, pero las referencias de Rivera al terrorismo son una manipulación. El Departamento de Estado no ha registrado una sola acción terrorista patrocinada por Cuba en dos décadas. La semana pasada, La Habana fue sede de otra ronda de negociaciones entre la guerrilla de las FARC y el gobierno colombiano de Juan Manuel Santos, quien no solo agradeció la facilitación sino también demandó la inclusión cubana en la próxima Cumbre de las Américas. En España, el otro país supuestamente víctima de grupos protegidos por Cuba, ETA se ha desmovilizado y los sucesivos gobiernos socialistas y populares han agradecido a La Habana por recibir a comandos liberados de la organización vasca.

Gross fue detenido en Cuba, no secuestrado. Trabajaba bajo los auspicios de la Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) bajo la sección 109 de la ley Helms-Burton, una ley que ha sido condenada por las Naciones Unidas por violar la soberanía cubana. No es un rehén; Gross es una víctima de cinco décadas de conflicto, atrapado debido a nuestra política de cambio de régimen. Si Washington accediera a negociar con Cuba la libertad de Alan Gross, tal acción no crearía ningún riesgo de secuestro de otros estadounidenses. Cuba no secuestra a turistas norteamericanos, como Hamas y Hezbolá hacen con ciudadanos israelíes con el fin de provocar nuevas negociaciones.

La administración de Obama, repitiendo públicamente que la única opción para resolver el caso Gross es que Cuba le otorgue la libertad “incondicionalmente”, ha rendido la iniciativa política a la derecha cubana. Esas fuerzas, a las que el presidente Obama no les debe nada, pues trataron de evitar su reelección al presentarlo como asociado con Hugo Chávez y Mariela Castro, siguen sin reconocer su propia responsabilidad en el calvario de Gross. La detención de Gross fue una tragedia anunciada en la larga historia de conflictos de Washington con la soberanía cubana, provocada en gran medida por la insistencia de algunos grupos exiliados en mantener la política estadounidense de embargo contra Cuba e imposición de cambio de régimen desde el exterior.

Después de su reelección, el presidente tiene la flexibilidad de la que carecía antes de noviembre. Es tiempo de exigir una negociación que traiga a Alan Gross de vuelta. La acusación de Judy y Alan Gross contra el gobierno estadounidense es una interpelación contra los programas mal diseñados de USAID en Cuba. Si Gross fue desinformado sobre los riesgos que corrió y no se le preparó para enfrentarlos, ¿qué podría decirse de la irresponsabilidad de USAID al imponer riesgos a ciudadanos cubanos, que son usados en esos programas sin dar su consentimiento informado? Es importante pensar con creatividad posibles alternativas, como la transferencia de esos fondos millonarios de la USAID hacia iniciativas menos provocadoras e intrusivas. ¿No sería mejor brindar becas universitarias, o programas orientados al desarrollo económico y la ayuda humanitaria, fuera de toda conexión con la ley Helms-Burton?

Toda solución negociada tiene sus costos pero lo lógico es compararla con las alternativas. En Washington y Miami, el debate es incompleto si los intransigentes no asumen el costo de proponer que el gobierno estadounidense abdique de sus responsabilidades morales y legales con alguien que trabajaba para sus programas de la USAID bajo la ley Helms-Burton. Los sectores opuestos a una negociación han prevalecido sin siquiera explicar los beneficios, costos e incertidumbres del curso de acción que proponen. Es tiempo que expliquen a Judy Gross que su propuesta equivale a dejar a su marido tras las rejas por cuatro años y más.

El día que exista voluntad política en Washington y La Habana para resolver los problemas estructurales de la relación bilateral entre los dos países, resolverán con creatividad el caso Gross. Por eso el peor escenario es la ausencia de conversaciones sobre temas de interés mutuo. En La Habana también deben pensar. Nada sería peor que perder cuatro años de un segundo mandato de Obama, sin promover una relación menos conflictiva de Cuba con EEUU. No ayudaría al interés nacional cubano ni a la situación de los agentes que queden sin expirar sus condenas en 2016.

Profesor Adjunto, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

Castro Apologist Promotes “Cuba Opening” by Obama 1

Extract from Arturo Lopez-Levy’s article, “The Latin American Gorilla”

Room to Maneuver on Cuba?

Another example of how changes in U.S. Latino groups can change the context of policymaking occurred in Cuban-American Miami. For years, Cuban-Americans have voted Republican for president and sent to Congress pro-embargo legislators like Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, who oppose Cuban-American travel to the island, and Sen. Marco Rubio, who has filibustered presidential nominations in retaliation for alleged “abuse” of people-to-people travel.

But Obama won a record share of the Cuban-American vote (47 percent to Romney’s 48 percent), showing the power of a new bloc of Cubans consisting both of recent immigrants and Americans of more distant Cuban descent. This bloc rejected the McCarthyism propaganda of the pro-embargo right-wing forces, enabling the president to campaign on more liberal U.S. policies toward the island.

For the first time, the election resulted in victories for candidates favorable to greater contact between the Cuban-American community and the island. In one closely contested House race, Democrat Joe García defeated Republican Rep. David Rivera, one of the most fervent supporters of the embargo. The evolution of García, a former director of the Cuban American National Foundation who now supports Cuban-American cultural exchanges, is evidence of the moderation now prevailing among a major component of the Cuban-American elite.

The same tendency was seen in the election to the Florida state Legislature of José Javier Rodriguez, a Democrat who supports exchanges between the Cuban-American community and the island. García will enter the House just as Rep. Ros-Lehtinen leaves the chairmanship of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in line with the Republican caucus’s term limits.

Outside of Florida, the elections had ambiguous results. In Texas, voters elected Republican Ted Cruz, a Cuban-American who will join fellow embargo supporters Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in the Senate. On the Cuba issue, however, Cruz’s victory is offset by that of Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, who has been the most consistent anti-embargo voice in the U.S. House in the past decade.

All told, Obama owes nothing to the pro-embargo lobbyists who accused his administration of “unilateral appeasement” toward Havana and paid for spurious campaign ads connecting the president with Raul Castro’s daughter and Hugo Chavez. Now it’s payback time. Anti-embargo groups should work to ensure that the virtuous cycle represented by increased travel and the creation of communities who are interested in new ties with Cuba can continue for four more years.

The messages that have been sent out from a more plural Miami, combined with greater flexibility in Obama’s second term, offer the president more maneuvering room for a rational treatment of the Cuba issue. Taking Cuba off the State Department list of terrorist countries would be a symbolic first step in the right direction. Cuba, as the rest of Latin America, was not absent from the election; the voters put it into play.

Arturo Lopez-Levy is a doctoral candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies of the University of Denver.

Read the entire article here:  http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/opinion/the-latin-american-gorilla-318169.html

Cuba Hints at Swapping US Contractor for Cuban Spies 1

By JUAN TAMAYO — The Miami Herald

One week after President Barack Obama won re-election, Havana offered a “draft agenda” for U.S.-Cuba negotiations that largely repeats its years-old positions but almost directly offers to swap American Alan Gross for five Cuban spies. The statement by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla Lopez to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday received little initial media attention. It was disseminated more broadly Wednesday by his ministry and Cuba’s diplomatic mission in Washington.

Obama has lifted nearly all limits on Cuban-American travel and remittances to the island, allowed educational visits by other U.S. residents, and restarted – and then stopped again – bilateral talks on migration issues. But his administration has repeatedly said that more significant improvements in bilateral relations can come only after Cuba frees Gross, a U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Wayne Smith, a former chief U.S. diplomat in Havana and now a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, said Rodriguez laid out a list of issues that Havana has long said it wanted to discuss in any bilateral talks. “He simply reiterated their position. I don’t see anything new there,” Smith said. “This is a nonstarter. Same demands as in the past. No offers of major concessions on human rights, etc.,” Jaime Suchlicki, head of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, wrote in an email.

Arturo Lopez-Levy, a former Cuban government analyst now lecturing at the University of Denver, called Rodriguez’s speech “a list of maximum demands that shows the bilateral conflict can be handled better but not solved” during Obama’s next term. But he added that the foreign minister’s words evoked Obama’s offer of a “new start” in relations with Cuba shortly after he won the White House in 2008. The U.S. State Department said it had no comment on the Rodriguez proposal.

“Today, here and now, I am again submitting to the U.S. government a draft agenda for a bilateral dialogue aimed at moving towards the normalization of relations,” Rodriguez said. His agenda items included lifting all U.S. sanctions; removing Cuba from the U.S. list of countries with links to international terrorism; and ending the Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet-foot, dry-foot policies, which Havana complains unfairly lure Cuban migrants to the United States.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/11/15/2769003/cuba-hints-at-swapping-us-contractor.html#storylink=cpy

 

Castro Apologist Reaches Out to Obama 1

The Real Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis

By Arturo Lopez-Levy, October 31, 2012

“When I saw the rockets being fired at Mario’s house, I swore to myself that the Americans would pay dearly for what they are doing. When this war is over a much wider and bigger war will begin for me: The war that I am going to wage against them. I know that this is my real destiny.”

Fidel Castro wrote these words in 1958, the decisive year of his guerrilla war against Dictator Fulgencio Batista. Mario was a peasant from Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountain range whose house was bombarded by the regime’s U.S.-equipped air force. Although Fidel Castro had expressed an adolescent admiration for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by 1958, he was acutely aware that a clash with Washington was probable if not inevitable. In Latin America, Washington’s support for dictators such as Batista was the norm, not the exception. No matter how terrible they were to their people, dictators were considered a safeguard against communist penetration in the hemisphere. Following this logic, not only communism, but most types of nationalism were considered anathema to Ike Eisenhower’s Washington.

In January 1959, the revolutionary army entered Havana and Fidel Castro became the most popular Cuban leader in history. The Cuban state took control of the main sectors of the economy after several nationalizations of foreign companies, including big American ones. The government mobilized workers, peasants, and a significant segment of the middle classes to launch campaigns against illiteracy and extreme poverty, and for land reform. By early 1960, Fidel Castro and his closest allies—especially his brother Raul and Commander Che Guevara—were already in contact with the USSR. In September, at the General Assembly of the United Nations, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev went to the Hotel Theresa in Harlem to meet Fidel Castro. Khrushchev declared to the press that he didn’t know whether Castro was communist, but he himself was a “Fidelista.”

Feature continues here:  http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_real_lessons_of_the_cuban_missile_crisis

Arturo Lopez Levy Adds San Francisco to Book Flogging Tour Reply

“Solidarity supporter” Walter Lippmann, writing in today’s edition of CubaNews, made the following announcement about doctoral candidate and Castro apologist Lopez-Levy:

Arturo Lopez-Levy, author of Raul Castro and the New Cuba will share his experiences growing-up in Cuba in the last decades of the 20th Century, and his insights about Cuba in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, September 11, 6-7:30pm, JCCSF — Gallanter Hall, 3200 California Street, San Francisco

Born in Santa Clara, Cuba in 1969, to a well-connected Cuban-Jewish family, Arturo Lopez-Levy left a privileged life in Cuba in 2001 to pursue studies in International Affairs and Political Science.  He is a citizen of both the U.S. and Cuba, currently residing in Denver, Colorado, where he is a Josef Korbel Fellow and Lecturer in International Studies at the University of Denver.  He is a sought after speaker on U.S.-Cuba relations, frequently quoted and published in the Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun, and blogs.  He has a Masters degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a PhD from the University of Denver. Lopez-Levy was an Inter-American Fellow at the Carter Center in Atlanta, and a Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  In 2009 he lived in Taipei studying Political Liberalism.  In 2010 Lopez-Levy was one of the three Cubans (and the only non-catholic) living overseas invited to participate in the dialogue with the Catholic Church at the time of the Church’s mediation about the release of prisoners and the dialogue with the Cuban government about the current economic reforms process.  He is also an authority on Cuba and Zionism: Relationships between Cuba and Israel and wrote an article about this issue during a Vinnik visiting Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  The article was published by the journal of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy.  Lopez-Levy is active with “Cuban Americans for Engagement,” and can speak from the perspective of a new generation of Cuban-Americans.

Arturo Lopez-Levy to Flog His New Book at Berkeley Reply

From “Global Justice  & Anti-Capitalism:”

Arturo Lopez-Levy will be in Berkeley to promote his new book on Cuba foreign affairs and talk about Cuban/Israeli relations in the Library at 1316 University Avenue, Berkeley.  He is a research associate at Josef Korbel School of international Studies at the University of Denver is well known in the media as an expert on Cuban social and political life.

Mr. Lopez-Levy was born and raised in Cuba.  He was a member of the Communist Youth Party for several years but left out of ideological differences.  He continued his education at the University of Havana but finally left Cuba to further his doctoral studies in political theory which he pursues at the University of Denver.  He has become a popular speaker around the country on U.S.-Cuba relationships, writing frequently about the issue in journals, newspapers (such as the Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun) and blogs.  In 2010, he was one of the three Cubans (the only non-catholic) living overseas invited to participate in the dialogue with the Catholic Church at the time of the Church’s mediation about the release of prisoners and the dialogue with the Cuban government about the current economic reforms process.

Date and Time: September 12, 2012 7:30PM

Lopez Levy Denounces Cuba’s Continued Designation as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” Reply

Cited as a “Cuban-American scholar” by the Havana media, Castro apologist  Arturo Lopez Levy told the Cuban News Agency (ACN) yesterday that the “inclusion of Cuba in Washington’s list of states sponsors of terrorism exposes the fact that that the US policy of Cuba is a cemetery for ethics and rationality.”

In statements to Prensa Latina, Lopez Levy said the US action is another politicking maneuver by a stubborn minority of the Cuban community in the United States.  A doctoral candidate in Colorado, Lopez Levy continues to minimize his family connections and past service to the Castro regime while consistently promoting pro-regime positions.  He declared the sustained presence of Cuba on the State Sponsors of Terror list as “particularly harmful to bilateral US-Cuba relations.” Lopez Levy insists, according to ACN, “the US blacklisting of Cuba as a state sponsoring terrorism presents the island as a threat to the United States, which favors certain climate of tension in which unexpected incidents by provocateurs may generate a security crisis.”

Castro Propagandist Arturo López Levy Talks to CNN About Oswaldo Payá (in Spanish) Reply

¿Quién era Oswaldo Payá?

Para el analista político Arturo López Levy, el disidente cubano Oswaldo Payá fue el arquitecto de una estrategia opositora moderna o ‘poscastrista’, basada en el uso del orden constitucional existente desde 1976.

http://blogs.cnnmexico.com/aristegui/2012/07/25/%C2%BFquien-era-oswaldo-paya/

 

McCarthyism and Castroism: A Case Study 1

By Miguel Fernandez

Soon after Professor Carlos Alvarez (Florida International University- FIU) and his wife, Elsa Prieto, were arrested on espionage charges, the Castroite parliamentary speaker Ricardo Alarcon branded this FBI operation as a move to create a sort of “McCarthyist atmosphere” in order to have an influence on the Cuban Five’s case.  The last Antonio Maceo Brigade militant, Andres Gomez, pealed the bell in Areito Digital.  He stated that the alleged guilt of Alvarez and Prieto was the base for “a dangerous McCarthyist campaign” against those who advocate the normalization of Cuba-U.S. relations.  Alvarez’s lawyer, Steven Chaykin, argued that the reputation of his client and his wife was being destroyed by “the McCarthy-like hysteria” stirred up by the prosecutor.  “This kind of hysteria also grows in the Hispanic media from Miami,” remarked the Castroite agitprop cadre Max Lesnik. Nevertheless, Alvarez and Prieto ended up pleading guilty. Since the first Alvarez’s debriefing by the FBI on June 23 and 24, 2005, the case did not anything to do with the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, but with the still alive Fidel Castro.

Every time Castroite espionage becomes an issue in the U.S. academic world, McCarthyism is the quick response.  The doctoral candidate Arturo Lopez-Levy gave a sort of updated operational definition:  McCarthyism is “the use of anonymous reports, which mix defamation with half-truths, for condemning and persecuting those who dissent from the undemocratic right.” Thus, the report with full names and truths, without any intention beyond the clarification of the issue, seems to be no McCarthyist at all.

See the entire article here:  McCarthyism and Castroism

New Hints at Looser Rules on Travel Stir Hope in Cuba Reply

The New York Times and Castro apologist Arturo López-Levy, who continues to remain coy about his familial ties and government service before emigrating to the U.S., make some really illogical observations on possible developments in Cuba.  The Times article states:  “If it does become easier for Cubans to legally leave the island, the reform could spur economic migration and deepen ties between the island and the two million members of the diaspora, …”   So in the considered opinion of the Times, if Havana makes it easier for Cubans to emigrate, this would trigger an economic exodus which would deepen ties between Cuban exiles worldwide and those that stayed behind.  What???   To make the Times claim more laughable, doctoral student Arturo López-Levy calls a significant change to the migratory law “a watershed”  that could unleash “the whole reform program.”