U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) appeared on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell slamming U.S. efforts to provide Cubans with a Twitter-like social media network.
This was part of a broader, global U.S. program to provide connectivity to the censored citizens of closed regimes.
As a matter of fact, Senator Leahy has been a champion of these programs throughout the world, but apparently feels the Cuban people aren't worthy of the same support merited by Syrian, Iranians, North Koreans and the victims of other repressive regimes.
Here's language from Leahy's very-own 2014 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill:
SEC. 7072. (a) Of the funds appropriated under titles
8 I and III of this Act, not less than $44,600,000 shall be made available for programs to promote Internet freedom globally: Provided, That such programs shall be prioritized for countries whose governments restrict freedom of expression on the Internet, and that are important to the national interests of the United States: Provided further, That funds made available pursuant to this section shall be matched, to the maximum extent practicable, by sources other than the United States Government, including from the private sector.
Thus, we ask Senator Leahy:
Is Cuba not a government that restricts freedom of expression on the Internet?
Is Cuba not important to the national interests of the United States?
Or, are Cubans just second or third-class citizens less deserving of Internet freedoms?
In Leahy's false outrage on MSNBC, he also stated:
“If you’re going to do a covert operation like this for regime change, assuming it ever makes any sense, it’s not something that should be done through USAID."
So how come your very-own bill states:
Funds made available pursuant to subsection (a) shall be—made available to the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for programs to implement the May 2011, International Strategy for Cyberspace and the comprehensive strategy to promote Internet freedom and access to information in Iran, as required by section 414 of Public Law 112–158.
Senator Leahy should be commended for his global commitment and leadership on Internet freedom.
However, Senator, be consistent -- for Cubans are no less deserving of these freedoms.
at 9:45 AM Friday, April 4, 2014
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