“Political voyeurism” of U.S. democracy programs in Cuba has hurt efforts to promote a transition to democracy on the island, a Washington, D.C., lawyer said Monday.
Information about USAID programs in Cuba should be classified, Jason Poblete wrote on his blog, The Poblete D.C. Dispatches. Even program summaries should be shielded from public view, he wrote.
…they should be classified at an accurate security level and only accessible to Congressional oversight Committees as well as federal agency officials with a need to know.
Next time a report comes due, Congress and the Executive should seriously consider not making these reports public, not even through the FOIA process. I have no interest in knowing the details of these efforts – and they just put a bullseye on the opposition on the island. That is what I elect my Member of Congress to do, sort through the details and do the right thing. If people want to influence the process, they can always right a letter, an editorial; basically, do what every other taxpayer does when he or she has an issue with something that their federal government is doing.
While I support transparency and open government, there are limits when U.S. security and foreign policy goals are concerned. The Cuban regime trolls the web for any sliver of information it can use against the Cuban opposition and dissident movement. Let’s hope CMP and all other groups that report on these matter are judicious on how they discuss about these matters.
Poblete is a founding partner of Poblete Tamargo LLP in Washington. He has also worked for former Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., and was named one of Roll Call newspaper’s “50 Most Influential Staffers on Capitol Hill.”
He works with lawyer Mauricio Tamargo, former chief of staff and general counsel for U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Tamargo is former chair of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. He settled cases under the Second Cuban Claims Program, in which the commission received claims against the Cuban government for property taken after May 1, 1967.