Ardin was visiting Cuba to research her PhD thesis, 'The Cuban Multi-Party System'. Her 'field tutor' was Miriam Leiva, a prominent member of the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White). In 2003, the Cuban government arrested Miriam Leiva's husband, Oscar Espinosa Chepe, for receiving money from U.S. 'diplomats'. Chepe was writing anti-Castro propaganda for Cubanet and CubaEncuentro, both of which were funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which in turn is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), an organisation funded by the U.S. State Department. Chepe's arrest was a part of 'Black Spring', a crackdown on 75 U.S. funded dissidents involved in 'destabilization' / 'pro-democracy' activities. The 'Ladies in White' consists of the wives and other female relatives of the jailed dissidents.
After Anna Ardin was asked to leave Cuba due to her political activities, she travelled to Miami to continue her research, interviewing prominent expatriate Cuban anti-Castro and anti-Communist activists. In Anna Ardin's 39-page thesis she does not mention U.S. interventionism in the internal affairs of Cuba, or how this might affect a future multi-party democracy. She does not mention that all of the political parties she explores receive U.S. funding, or the influence and control exerted by the United States upon these groups. The sources she cites are the same U.S. State Department-funded publications that Oscar Espinosa Chepe worked with. They are part of an ongoing attempt to manufacture, support and finance a U.S.-friendly internal opposition movement in Cuba via a range of organisations. The 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry called the 'Varela Project' and other interventions "counterproductive" and stated that dissidents receiving money from U.S. sources, especially from the CIA, were immediately discredited. In 2008, the State Department and USAID triple previous levels levels of funding, 'awarding' $45.7 million in ‘Cuba democracy’ grants.
The links between Miami-based anti-Castro Cuban-American organisations and the U.S. government's Central Intelligence Agency forms one of the darkest episodes in U.S. history; the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by a counter-revolutionary militia trained and funded by the CIA, the Cuban missle crisis blow-back and the tangled horror of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In Miami, Anna Ardin interviewed CIA counter-revolutionary militant Lino Fernandez aka Ojeda. Fernandez and five hundred of his men were captured while awaiting a CIA air-drop one month before the invasion at the Bay of Pigs. In Cuba, Anna Ardin interviewed Manuel Cuesta, a leader of Arco Progresista, who said “[she] advised us on how to form a political party, we exchanged bibliographies and her group gave us a minimal amount of economic assistance. She tried to influence us too forcefully on how we should lead Arco Progresista. Our reluctance generated a certain uneasiness on her part.”
Sweden has continued to support U.S. interests in Cuba. Oswaldo Payá, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) and the Varela Project was killed in a car crash on 22nd July 2012 at the age of 61. Swedish politician and chairman of the Young Christian Democrats Jens Aron Modig and Spanish politician Angel Carromero Barrios, deputy secretary general of Nuevas Generaciones (the youth wing of Spain’s Partido Popular) were present and survived with minor injuries. As with Anna Ardin, they entered Cuba on tourist visas and later acknowledged that their visit was solely to conduct political work with dissidents. Jens Aron Modig said he first came to Cuba in 2009 to meet and support dissidents, and that on this trip the gave Oswaldo Payá $4,900 for his opposition work and help organising dissident political youth groups. Henrik Ehrenberg, a spokesman for Sweden's Christian Democratic Party, said that any cash carried by its members to dissidents was "private money", and that "quite a number of Christian Democrats" had visited Cuba to show "moral support and solidarity" for Oswaldo Payá's civil rights movement. Jens Aron Modig said he made the two trips under instructions of the Christian Democrats international department and admitted that “we don’t perform these types of activities in any other country.”
In 2006, the U.S. became increasingly disenchanted with the Miami-based anti-Castro organisations. Congressional auditors accused the USAID of failing properly to administer its program and of having channelled tens of millions of dollars through exile groups, which were wasteful and kept questionable accounts. The auditors concluded that 30% of the exile groups who received USAID grants showed questionable expenditures. The failure of the Miami-based organisations to make any perceivable impact on Cuba's internal dynamics has clearly led to a change in U.S. strategy. Young Mexican and European politicians acting under the banner of activism have been recruited with their governments' assent to work as U.S. proxies.
07.11.12 Stjärna Frånfälle