Tag Archives: dai

Rene González and Alan Gross: speed and bacon

Disparates – (español)


I suppose the Latin American term for an apples and oranges comparison is peras y manzanas.  [Pears and apples.]  Somehow it doesn’t have quite the same ring.  In Spain, the expressions are funnier.  No hay que confundir el culo con las témporas. [No need to confuse the ass with the temporal bones].  No confundir churras con merinas.   [Don’t confuse the sheep that produces itchy wool with the sheep that makes merino].

But at the moment, thinking of Rene González and Alan Gross, I prefer the Spanish no mezclar la velocidad con el tocino [don’t mix up speed and bacon], because it’s an expression that highlights the absurd, and nothing is more absurd than the comparisons that are being marketed by the mainstream U.S. press on behalf of the State Department about these two men. Continue reading


Yoani Sánchez’s faked Obama interview

Annals of Shame: How to fake an interview with the President of the United States of America and be sure nobody will notice

“The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” – Joseph Goebbels

Some years ago I accompanied a Cuban friend who needed to sign a document in front of a U.S. consular official at the U.S. Interests Section (USIS) in Havana.  Once past the waiting room where TV Martí plays to its small captive audience – the only one it can legitimately claim on the island – and back toward the section where such transactions take place, I noticed a couple of idle computer terminals.  I asked if I might go ahead and check my email while we waited.  The consular official narrowed his eyes at me.  “No,” he snapped.

That’s the nature of things when you’re a lowly U.S. citizen inside Fortress USA on Havana’s Malecon.  Continue reading

DAI’s not so invisible puppet show

As we wait to learn the identity of the mystery Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) “subcontractor” who was handing out cellphones and laptops like Santa Claus in Cuba this December, let’s deconstruct the recent statement by Dr. James Boomgard, DAI Chief Executive Officer, denying DAI’s relationship to U.S. intelligence services.

Boomgard said: “The detained DAI subcontractor was not working for any intelligence service.”

In this post Clinton “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” world, perhaps that was meant as some kind of denial.  What Boomer did not say was that the detained subcontractor was not doing the work of U.S. intelligence.

In an interview the former CIA agent Phil Agee gave to Dennis Bernstein of the Flashpoints radio program in March 2005, he explained how intelligence work came to be shifted from the CIA to contractors such as the National Endowment for Democracy and their associated subcontracting NGOs such as DAI, Chemonics International (“an international development consulting firm that promotes meaningful change to help people live healthier, more productive, and more independent lives”), Partners for Democratic Change, Albert Einstein Institution, Freedom House and countless others.  Agee was speaking specifically though not exclusively of Venezuela on that occasion. Continue reading