According to the State Department website, on April 25, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), Roberta Jacobson, testified before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. You can read her testimony here.
It is embarrassing beyond belief, and fundamentally dishonest. I am sorry to say that; I know many people who work in WHA, and some are even my friends. This statement, however, is an outrageous misrepresentation of what happened at the Summit of the Americas (SOA), is pure nonsense re what is happening in Latin America, and blithely ignores the mounting threats to our core interests.
The SOA spin is egregious, to wit, "the Summit highlighted the many practical ways that countries and societies in the Americas are coming together to solve problems and build a more successful and interconnected future. President Obama reinforced the spirit of partnership that has been at the core of his administration’s policy in the region." When and on what planet did that SOA take place? The one that took place a few days ago in Cartagena, Colombia was a total bust for the US. Nowhere in this silly statement is there any mention of how we got hammered on Cuba and drugs. When I mentioned this yesterday to a senior political appointee in WHA, she also spun a tale of great victory, claiming that the lack of a joint declaration at the end of the SOA had been a great victory for the US as we had prevented the SOA from formally endorsing the presence of Cuba at the next SOA in three years. True, but false. The Latin American countries have made it clear that Cuba will be at the next SOA, or there will be no SOA. Even Colombia abandoned us on this as payback for the Obama administration's egregious handling of the FTA with Colombia. Our policy now depends on God. We must rely on God to "take care" of the Castros and Hugo. We have become a modern version of the South Pacific Cargo Cult, awaiting deliverance from the skies.
This official testimony, in fact, only mentions Cuba, Venezuela and the other ALBA thugs in a throwaway line in the penultimate paragraph, i.e., "we continue to support human rights activists and fundamental freedoms around the world through democracy programming, including in challenging environments like Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Cuba."
No mention of what Chavez and company are up to with the Iranians and the drug cartels; no mention of the arms deals with Russia; no mention of the increasingly authoritarian clampdown in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela; no mention of the imprisonment of American Allan Gross in Cuba; no mention of the increasingly deranged economic policies being followed by Argentina. No mention of anything real, just a lot of blather about partnerships and cooperation on a range of minor issues of no importance to the US.
I miss Jimmy Carter . . .