Villanova University's Lowell Gustafson, PhD, Professor of Political Science and expert on Latin American politics and international political economy, is available for media comments surrounding the Obama administration's USAID program that secretly sent young Latin Americans to Cuba to provoke political change.
Professor Gustafson offers the following initial thoughts:
"Given a long history of U.S. clandestine interventions in Latin American politics, it is not surprising that this recent and clumsy attempt would backfire once it inevitably became known. It discredits legitimate programs such as HIV prevention workshops. This is not to deny that Cubans would be better off if they could trade with us and live in a democratic polity. We should foster that by lifting an embargo that became anachronistic once the Soviet Union fell, offering Fulbright and other scholarships to Cuban students, and encouraging U.S. teachers and students to visit Cuba. The U.S. needs to work openly to foster transparency, freedom, and democracy in Cuba."