Not so fast, you say? Days before a meeting of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, the position of the administration on lifting Cuba’s suspension from the OAS is looking a little, well, murky. Not long ago Secretary of State Clinton told the Congress that the U.S. was opposed to any effort to readmit Cuba. But reports out of the region now indicate that the U.S. may be softening its approach and preparing to offer a resolution that would start a debate. The U.S. ought to get over this business of presuming to speak for the region on who gets to join the OAS and who doesn’t. Multi-lateral engagement with the Cubans makes just as much sense as bi-lateral engagement (see note above).
But this makes no sense what-so-ever. Several news sources are indicating that Microsoft has cut-off access by Cubans to its Messenger program (as well as access in Syria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea). Read this item below carefully. We don’t know if this effort has been joined by Google and AOL. Nor do we know whether these steps were taken voluntarily or at the behest of OFAC.
But as one friend told us, “This is beyond absurd, as it relates to Cuba, especially since the President has recently authorized U.S. telecommunications companies to do business in Cuba in order to increase communications between Cubans and Americans.” It’s absurd across the board – we need communications and greater exchange of information with precisely the kinds of people whose governments limit their access to the Internet.
We all get crazy when we lose our Blackberries. But does anyone think we’ll change the course of Cuba’s history by cutting the island off from IM???
Give us a break. Read, now, the news…