How do these “diplomats” manage to keep their jobs?

pellet-fleisman.jpg

Diplomats from the European Union in Cuba: Volker Pellet, of the German embassy, and Frantisek Fleisman, of the Czech embassy. Odd that they would fraternize with one another on the streets of Havana like that; one expects rather more discretion from people of their profession. What are they doing together? Just enjoying a casual smoke break? Funny, I don’t see any cigars.

Perhaps this might shed some light:

Lowell Dale Lawton, undersecretary for the Section of US Interests in Cuba, attended a church mass in the Párraga district of Havana, alongside members of the self-styled Ladies in White. When the liturgy was over, they all took to the streets together to protest against supposed human-rights violations in Cuba.

A televised report, broadcast on the “Round Table” program, showed the diplomat accompanying the so-called “dissidents” right down the main street of the Cuban capital.

The US diplomat blended in with the demonstrators and with them, walked the full length of Calle 23, to La Rampa. The provocation was spontaneously rejected by ordinary bystanders.

That evening, two European diplomats–Volker Pellet, from the German embassy, and Frantisek Fleisman, Third Secretary of the Czech embassy–participated in a similar demonstration, in open collaboration with little counterrevolutionary groups organized and financed by the United States and some European countries.

[…]

These provocative actions featuring US and Western European diplomats in Cuba took place in the midst of a corporate media campaign against the island. The campaign intensified after March 10, when the Europarliament adopted a resolution condemning Cuba for presumed human-rights violations.

The Cuban “Ladies in White” have acquired a certain fame in the Western press, which has elevated them to a symbol of the struggle for freedom. The women enjoy a degree of publicity that makes other opposition groups around the world green with envy, while in Cuba, they suffer the indifference or open rejection of the general population.

British diplomat Chris Stimpson assured that he was there only as an “observer to monitor human rights and freedom of expression”. However, he did not say whether this “observation” is an habitual British practice in other countries as well.

Last December 11, Cubadebate published a report taken from the television news, which showed another provocative demonstration in Havana, in which Lowell Dale Lawton appeared, accompanied by members of the so-called Cuban “dissidents”. Alongside Lawton was another functionary of the US Interests Section, Kathleen Duffy, a politico-economic assistant from the same office.

Also present were Volker Pellet of the German embassy, and Chris Stimpson, British diplomat, who made declarations to the international press against the government of Cuba until he was upbraided by counterdemonstrators, and had to be protected by Cuban security guards.

Translation mine.

The article suggests that the “Ladies in White” are paid employees of the US Interest Section. I don’t know if that’s true, but the very fact that this US diplomat…

lowell-dale-lawton.jpg

…was seen with them in public, not merely shaking their hands or talking to them briefly on the street, but engaging in a political march down the length of Havana’s main street, well…doesn’t that strike you as just a wee bit hinky? It does me…

And another thing: If there’s no freedom of speech in Cuba, as the detractors all insist, and the human-rights situation is really so terrible and the island is just one big political prison, why aren’t the “Ladies in White” all locked up? Their presence is criticized and scrutinized, as are all public demonstrations (here the same as there!), but they haven’t been beaten, haven’t been tear-gassed, haven’t had armed police with dogs rounding them up and taking them to jail. In that sense, they enjoy a lot more freedom than I did as a journalism student, when I narrowly missed getting beaten up and arrested at Queen’s Park by goon squads in the employ of a “freedom-loving” right-wing premier. (I was lucky enough to have left a demo before the riot cops showed up. Sometimes it’s good to be cold, hungry, and in need of a toilet.)

No, these “Ladies” are very lucky indeed…they face less repression than leftist opponents of the prevailing order in Canada, the US and Europe. Maybe they really do have special immunity thanks to their intimate association with the US embassy!

And if none of these “diplomats” are called home (for “consultations”!) by their respective governments, I think we can only take it as a sign that they were not doing anything they weren’t expressly sent to do.

Let’s keep watching them, shall we, and see if they keep their jobs.

EDIT: Here’s the “Round Table” video, in Spanish:

The Cuban report wasn’t lying when it said that these women were widely rejected by ordinary citizens of Havana; they were clearly outnumbered by counterdemonstrators. And yes, the presence of both the German and the Czech diplomats is confirmed here, as is the strong likelihood that the “Ladies” are paid for their “dissident” activities by the US. One man on the street repeatedly asks: “How do they eat?” He then answers his own question: “Imperialism.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
This entry was posted in Confessions of a Bad German, Cuba, Libre (de los Yanquis), Czech This Out, Do As I Say..., Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How do these “diplomats” manage to keep their jobs?

  1. Slave Revolt says:

    The hypocricy and the decontextualization (US supported terrorism and unrelenting agression) is brazen and par for the course.
    Of course, none of these countries scrutinize the US in similar fashion–or any of the repressive countries they make money in.
    Cuba is far and away more supportive of real human rights than these capitalist hypocrites.

  2. No question about it. They’re better at it than the “freedom-loving” capitalists up here, too. And it shames me as a Canadian to admit that.

Comments are closed.