WASHINGTON — Cuba is getting a free pass on its human rights abuses from many of the world’s leading democracies, with visitors from Canada, Australia and Switzerland failing to criticize the Castro regime or meet with dissidents while on the island, according to a confidential diplomatic cable sent to the State Department from Havana.
The cable, transmitted in November 2009 and signed by Jonathan D. Farrar, the top American diplomat in Cuba, hinted that there were economic motives behind the accommodating approach. But if so, the cable concluded, these countries were not getting much of a payoff.
The rewards for acquiescing to Cuban sensitivities, it said, were “risible: pomp-full dinners and meetings, and for the most pliant, a photo-op with one of the Castro brothers.” The cable added, “In terms of substance or economic benefits they fare little better than those who stand up to” the government.
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