Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cuba: U.S. diplomat joined demonstrators

I am loathe to move on to a new topic, considering how much fun the language comments are, but here is an interesting piece from Foreign Policy.

Cuba: U.S. diplomat joined demonstrators

Cuba's state news agency is reporting that Lowell Dale Lawton, an official at the U.S. interests section in Havana, joined a protest march by the womens' opposition group Ladies in White yesterday. The Miami Herald's Cuba Colada blog translates the report:

The American diplomat mingled with the demonstrators and walked with them the length of the provocation, which was spontaneously rejected by the local people," Prensa Latina said.

On Tuesday, the agency said, two other diplomats – one German, the other Czech – took part in a similar street protest "in open collaboration with the petty counter-revolutionary groups organized and funded by the United States and some European nations.

"These actions of provocation in Cuba, with the presence of diplomats from the United States and western European countries, take place amid a media campaign against the island that intensified on March 10, when the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning alleged human rights violations," Prensa Latina concluded.

Police used force to break up the march by Ladies in White, an organization of the female relatives of political prisoners.

Lawton, along with the German and Czech diplomats were reportedly shown on television participating in the March. It does seem unusual that a U.S. diplomatic employee would participate in a political demonstration, but if the reports are true, it would seem to be a sign that U.S. officials aren't backing down from supporting Cuban civil society groups after the arrest of USAID contractor Alan Gross.

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