Adrienne Arsht's Political Hatchet Job

Friday, January 31, 2014
In September 2013, prominent businesswoman Adrienne Arsht donated $5 million to The Atlantic Council for the creation of a Latin America Center.

Surely, with so much money, the first few months of The Atlantic Council's new Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center would focus on democracy, free markets, technology, security and human rights.

Apparently not.

Instead, it is focusing on domestic politics.

As such, it has commissioned an expensive push-poll on U.S. policy towards Cuba, which targets Florida, New Jersey and Hispanics.

The poll will be presented at an event featuring U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont (D) and U.S. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona (R) -- both known for their strange obsession with unconditionally normalizing relations with the Castro dictatorship.

(What do they know about Florida, New Jersey and Hispanics?)

Also to discuss the poll at the event will be CNN analysts Paul Begala and Alex Castellanos, who are probably getting paid to appear at this event, for neither knows much about Florida, New Jersey or Hispanic politics. Let alone Cuba.

Of course, that's not what this event is all about.  The invitation makes it clear that this is simply a high-priced public relations stunt aimed at lobbying the Obama Administration to lift further sanctions toward Cuba.

Otherwise, why not do an event that includes opposing views, such as those of courageous Cuban democracy leaders, like The Ladies in White, who have stressed the importance of not lifting sanctions toward Cuba?

Why not discuss and debate the merits of U.S. policy?

Why not include political leaders from Florida and New Jersey, or Hispanic leaders?

Why opt for a biased, one-sided, political hatchet job?

After spending so many years in Miami, where Ms. Arsht cultivated close ties with victims of Castro's regime and has been held in high regard, it's hard to believe she would agree to this shameless stunt.

If so, it's very disappointing.

If not, The Atlantic Council is doing a great disservice to her good name and reputation.