HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 27. – Traveling to the United States is becoming an erotic experience for almost everyone. Even the European allies are forced to “strip” in front of the scanners, while a new kind of uniformed “voyeur” watches from the monitors.
The problem is that Washington made the “mistake” of giving a visa to a person who tried to destroy an aircraft. Now everyone else must pay the price, even though the culprit’s father had warned U.S. authorities about his son’s intentions.
Apparently U.S. law enforcement did not understand what this gentleman had told them. Maybe it was a translation problem or perhaps the words “radical Islamist son trained in Yemen” didn’t sound so alarming.
Those who do rate as highly suspect are the Cubans who visit relatives in Florida. They are now being thoroughly reviewed to ensure they are not carrying explosives to blow up airplanes or perpetrate violent attacks as they stroll down Calle 8 in Miami.
So the grandmothers and grandfathers of Cuba —who are the majority of those visiting that country— will take part in this erotic experience when, in the Miami airport, they feel the hands of security officials tracing every little crevice of their bodies.
All this might seem laughable given that over the half-century of confrontation there has been no evidence that Cuba has organized any military action against U.S. territory, much less any violence against its civilians.
Columnists for the Washington Post affirmed that the threat from Cuba “is equal to zero” and added that it is “a place where the idea of private citizens getting their hands on plastic explosives, or terrorist weapons of any kind, is simply laughable.”
In fact, the only civilian plane downed in those 50 years was a Cuban aircraft. Seventy-three persons including dozens of students were killed. The principle suspect of this offense lives freely in Miami. The US government will neither prosecute him nor extradite him for trial in another country.
One might consider this to be a thing of the past; but it is not. Not only does the US refuse to prosecute this character, but it also hires contractors to secretly distribute tens of millions of dollars among the Cuban opposition.
There is little doubt about this because Havana has just captured a U.S. citizen in action. Now “Cuba has the advantage,” acknowledged Chris Simmons, a former Pentagon intelligence analyst, because “it’s easy to make the contractor appear quite sinister.”
He’s right, especially if we take into account that the pro-US government in Kabul has accused some of the 100,000 “contractors,” who are operating in Afghanistan and are armed to the teeth, of killing civilians.
Likewise, the US cannot assume the role of victim just because Cuban spies were sent to its territory. This has been mutual. Even U.S. diplomats have been implicated more than once in acts of espionage.
The underlying problem seems to be more about politics than security and it will be difficult to convince the rest of the world that we will all be safer if we look for “terrorists” among Cuban airline passengers.
I just took a round-trip flight to Europe and I was not put through any more security measures than the rest of the passengers. In fact, I think less than other people, since it’s uncommon to find drugs, weapons or explosives on flights from Havana.
But Obama has his priorities. According to Havana, more resources are devoted to pursuing Cuba’s finances, and now closely scrutinizing Cubans visiting their relatives in Miami, than following the money trail of Al Qaeda
If U.S. policy toward Cuba were to achieve any result, it would be the news of the year. But I suspect that the President would need a lot of luck to find and capture the first “suicide bomber” of Cuban nationality.
*Havana Times translation of the original article; published with authorization from BBC Mundo.