Former Cuban Spymaster: Obama's Policy Strengthens Castro

Monday, July 6, 2015
First of all, the reciprocal opening of embassies benefits the Cuban government and hurts the Cuban people's struggle for the democratization of the country. It can benefit U.S. sectors and entrepreneurs interested in the Cuban market. But by no means is this opening and the development of tourism going to produce an impact that helps the democratization of the country, insofar as what the government has done has been to intensify repression, which is going to increase its income and strengthen it in order to be able to repress better. And I want to point out that this statement is made not because I believe the embargo should continue, and that relations should not be normalized. I have always been in favor of these, but with conditions that guarantee the Cuban people will truly benefit and on a base of real democratic opening and not one of trickery. Fidel Castro and Raul have said in years past that, when the hostile policy of the United States would end and relations normalized, the relationship could bring about openings in Cuba, but none of this has happened. To the contrary, repression has intensified, they have changed their ways of great trials and convictions to brief detentions, but all of the repressive system continues intact and will be strengthened in order to have total control over the new North American diplomats that arrive in the country.
 -- Pedro Riera Escalante, former senior Cuban intelligence official, served as the Group Chief of Section Q-1, in charge of operations against the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),, 7/6/15