An American couple charged several months ago with spying for Cuba have pled guilty. Walton Myers, 72, a former State Department official, agreed to a mandatory sentence of life in prison. His wife Gwendolyn, 71, agreed to a 6-7 ½ years sentence. Apparently driven by devotion to Cuba’s socialist system, the couple had been turning over U.S. classified information to Cuba since 1978.
Unfortunately, the plea bargain most likely will mean that the American people will never get to see the information that the Myerses turned over to the Cubans. My hunch is that U.S. officials will keep the information secret, notwithstanding the fact that Cuban officials already know what it is.
In other words, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, why keep the information secret from Americans given that the Cubans have already seen it?
And while U.S. officials would no doubt claim that the information was classified in the first place on grounds of national security, it also belabors the obvious to point out that the United States is still standing notwithstanding the fact that this super-secret, national-security information was handed over to the Cuban government.
The reason for preventing the American people from seeing the information would be because it would prove highly embarrassing to the U.S. government.
After all, it’s not as if the information deals with measures to protect the United States from a Cuban invasion or Cuban terrorism. Cuba has never threatened to invade the United States or attempted any terrorist acts against the United States.
Actually, it’s the other way around. Ever since the Cuban revolution, when Fidel Castro ousted the U.S. government’s puppet, Fulgencio Batista, from power, U.S. officials have been obsessed with effecting regime change in Cuba. To the chagrin of U.S. officials, Castro had refused to become a lackey for the U.S. government, declaring Cuba’s independence from U.S. government control.
Thus, ever since the revolution U.S. officials have embarked on programs of aggression against Castro, Cuba, and the Cuban people. These have included assassination attempts, coup attempts, a brutal 50-year-old embargo, a military invasion, terrorist bombings, and most likely other nefarious things that Americans have no idea about.
It is information about those acts of U.S. intervention and aggression that the Myerses most likely turned over to the Cubans. That’s the type of information that U.S. officials would like to keep secret from the American people. Better to not have innocent Americans seeing the dirty, little underpinnings of U.S. foreign policy.
After all, don’t forget that Cuba hasn’t been the only country that the U.S. government has targeted for regime change. Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, Chile, and Iraq come to mind.
Ironically, the Myers’s ideological devotion to Cuba isn’t really any different from the devotion to socialism that any self-respecting American conservative or liberal is devoted to. Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid. Free public schooling. Income taxation. Occupational licensure. Economic regulations. Government-run businesses. Drug laws. They all form the core essence of Castro’s socialist system. That’s what the Myerses were devoted to. It’s also what American conservatives, liberals, and U.S. officials are devoted to.
A somewhat related matter is going on in Florida — the case of the Cuban Five. In the 1990s Cuba sent five agents to Florida. Their mission? No, not to prepare for a Cuban invasion of the United States or to commit acts of terrorism against Americans. Instead, the men were to spy on potential anti-Cuban terrorist activities and report the information back to the Cuban authorities. In other words, their mission was defensive in nature — to protect Cubans from acts of interventionism and terrorism originating on U.S. soil.
U.S. officials discovered the operation and arrested the men. They were charged with espionage and convicted and are now serving lengthy sentences.
The message, of course, is clear: While the U.S. government is free to send its agents around the world to protect people from the terrorists, other nations are not free to send their agents to the United States to do the same thing.
Hasn’t the 50-year-old U.S. obsession with Cuba gone on long enough? Hasn’t it caused enough damage and destruction?
The time has come to put an end to the U.S. government’s decades-long, perverse obsession with Cuba. Give up on regime change. Give up on control of the Cuban people. Lift the embargo, give Guantanamo back to the Cubans, and leave them alone. And open those no-longer-secret files on U.S. aggression against Cuba so that Americans can see what their government has done to the Cuban people for decades.