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17 December 2009
Cuba arrests U.S. agent
Cuba has arrested an American government contract agent who had entered the country as a tourist and was then found to be distributing mobile 'phones and laptop computers to dissidents on the island. The chancer works for an outfit called Development Alternatives Inc., which received over $391,000 in government funding last year.

Given that Cubans can buy computers and telephones, it is unclear why the Americans decided to sneak someone into the country to hand them out in such a cack-handed way. Certainly it did not take the Cubans all that long to figure out what the still unnamed man was up to and then arrest him, presumably for breaching the terms of his entry visa.

What this incident makes clear is that the warmer relations with Cuba that Barack Obama promised soon after taking office are not going to happen. Furthermore, the affair provides Cuba with a reason to crack down on the country's growing blogging community, so it is really difficult to fathom just what was going through the minds of the people who ordered this idiotic operation in the first place.

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