Cuba-United States Relations - U.S. Vision For Transition To Democracy

U.S. Vision For Transition To Democracy

In 2003, the United States Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba was formed to "explore ways the U.S. can help hasten and ease a democratic transition in Cuba." The commission immediately announced a series of measures which included a tightening of the travel embargo to the island, a crackdown on illegal cash transfers, and a more robust information campaign aimed at Cuba. Castro has insisted that, in spite of the formation of the Commission, Cuba is itself "in transition: to socialism to communism" and that it is "ridiculous for the U.S. to threaten Cuba now".

In April 2006, the Bush administration appointed Caleb McCarry "transition coordinator" for Cuba, providing a budget of $59 million, with the task of promoting the governmental shift to democracy after Castro's death. Official Cuban news service Granma alleges that these transition plans were created at the behest of Cuban exile groups in Miami, and that McCarry was responsible for engineering the overthrow of the Aristide government in Haiti.

In 2006, The Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba released a 93-page report. The report included a plan that suggested the United States spend $80 million to ensure that Cuba's communist system does not continue after the death of Fidel Castro. The plan also includes a classified annex which Cuban officials claim could be a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro or a United States military invasion of Cuba, though they have provided no evidence to support this claim.

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