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LA JORNADA Profiles Cuban-Am, Carlos Pascual, New Ambassador to Mexico

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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-03-09 08:58 AM
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LA JORNADA Profiles Cuban-Am, Carlos Pascual, New Ambassador to Mexico
All I can say is -- shades of Castaneda.

March 27, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Carlos Pascual is a Cuban-American and a Harvard graduate
Next US ambassador an expert on "failed states"

"When chaos prevails, narcotics trade can flourish", he wrote in 2004

From the editorial department

Born in Cuba and taken to the United States by his parents at age three, Carlos Pascual is shaping up as Barack Obama's next ambassador to Mexico. An expert on 'failed states', he has drawn up plans about "changing the very social fabric of a nation" in order to create "democratic and market-oriented ones" and, as he claims in his own biography, "helped dismantle the former Soviet Union".

Pascual, 48, currently director of the US State Department Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization, previously served as the ambassador to Ukraine, according to the web portal Source Watch. He is also the vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings Institution, a public, nonprofit body of experts on national and international economics, government and foreign affairs.

Following the creation of the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization in April 2005, journalist and activist Naomi Klein wrote about Mr. Pascual: "Fittingly, a government devoted to perpetual pre-emptive deconstruction now has a standing office of perpetual pre-emptive reconstruction. Gone are the days of waiting for wars to break out and then drawing up ad hoc plans to pick up the pieces. In close cooperation with the National Intelligence Council, Pascual's office keeps 'high risk' countires on a 'watch list' and assembles rapid-response teams ready to engage in prewar planning and to 'mobilize and deploy quickly' after a conflict has gone down. The teams are made up of private companies, nongovernmental organizations and members of think tanks."

Klein, also a feature writer for La Jornada, added that Pascual himself has admitted that this, still barely-known office has plans to "change the social fabric" of nations, which is not about rebuilding any old states, but to create democratic and market-oriented ones.

Pascual's views on "state failure" are laid out in a piece he co-wrote with Stephen Krasner for the July-August 2004 issue of the journal Foreign Affairs: "In today's increasingly interconnected world, weak and failed states pose an acute risk to the United States and global security. Indeed, they present one of the most important foreign policy challenges of the contemporary era. When chaos prevails, terrorism, narcotics trade, weapons proliferation, and other forms of organized crime can flourish. Left in dire straits, subject to depredation, and denied access to basic services, people become susceptible to the exhortations of demagogues and hate-mongers. Such was the situation in 2001 in Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world and eventually the starting point of the most deadly attack ever launched on the U.S., a tragic and graphic sign that a country's problems can be felt elsewhere too," he said, trying to explain George W. Bush's invasion of the Asian nation in retaliation for having sheltered Osama bin Laden, architect of the 9/11 events.

The Brookings Institution, which Pascual joined while serving as Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, describes him as "one of the most accomplished career diplomats of his generation, and for over two decades an innovator in addressing some of the most important challenges facing the United States and the international community. His career has included work in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the former Communist world. He has had experience both in the field and at high levels of the executive branch, advancing political and economic reform in developing and transitional countries, combating terrorism and weapons proliferation, and dealing with sources of instability".

Brookings quotes his biography saying that from 1995 to 2000 Pascual worked in the White House National Security Council, ultimately as senior director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs, where "he helped dismantle the former Soviet Union, the emergence of a democratizing Russia, and the safeguarding of nuclear weapons and material. He was well prepared for that task, having been a key member of the U.S. government team that dealt with South Africa and Mozambique in the years leading up to their own transitions".

As the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine between 2000 and 2003, Brookings holds, Pascual "helped build a strong private sector and worked with the Ukrainian government on fighting terrorism and, eventually, on helping secure their participation in the Iraq war". Pascual graduated from Stanford and Harvard.


March 28, 2009

Misgivings about the new U.S. ambassador to Mexico

Andrea Becerril

Rosario Green, president of the Senate Foreign Affairs Commission, stated her hopes that Carlos Pascual's ambassadorship will not be a case of "the messenger being the message", taken into account that he is an expert on 'failed states', a term by no means applicable to Mexico.

For her part, Senator Yeidckol Polevnsky, of the Democratic Revolution Party, pointed out that U.S. president Barack Obama ought to keep in mind Mexico's efforts to develop its relations with Cuba and appoint a more suitable person to represent his government in our country.

As Rosario Green also remarked, there is every indication that the next U.S. ambassador has to do with such perception. "We will never acknowledge that we are a failed state, because that is not true", she stressed.

Carlos Pascual, she said, "was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. at age two. He's a career diplomat, has worked in the Security Council, and is now a professor who has developed a whole theory about states either failed or in crisis, and that's being quite close to what they say we are".

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs added she hopes Carlos Pascual's work will run counter to "what someone said about the messenger being the message. I really hope it won't come to that".

Senator Polevnsky, who sits in the Foreign Affairs Committee for North America, pointed out in this respect that the appointment came as a 'great surprise", given that the U.S. surely knows that the Mexican government has put a lot of effort into reestablishing relations with Cuba".

Their decision to send a diplomat of Cuban extraction is full of controversy. "Besides," she added, "they have appointed other Cuban-born diplomats who have caused problems with other countries.

"If Carlos Pascual is confirmed as U.S. ambassador after all, I hope he won't come with the intention of holding sway over the Mexican government's links with Cuba".

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-03-09 11:54 AM
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1. You know, the President must be hell bound to win over that Cuban constituency, and gain control
of the Florida electoral votes, 25 or more, I think.

Surely they're thinking of numbers, because morally this thing stinks to high heaven. These people are violent, loathesome scums.

He had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with this one. He might as well be a missing Bush. You remember so well how many of these cretins Dubya placed in his ugly mob of a-holes.

Oh, no! My eyes, my eyes!

Carlos Pascual.
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