Simon Tisdall. Wednesday March 9, 2005. The Guardian.
Unrelenting US pressure on Cuba, set to ratchet up again at next week's UN human rights commission meeting in Geneva, is testing relations between the Bush administration and a new generation of centre-left Latin American leaders.
As it has done each year since the early 1990s, the US will urge the commission to adopt a resolution condemning Cuba's human rights record. And Cuban officials predict that the US will again use "arm-twisting and threats" to get its way.
Republican attacks on President Fidel Castro's communist government intensified during last year's American election campaign. The treasury secretary, John Snow, tightened the 42-year-old US embargo and vowed to "bring an end to the ruthless and brutal dictatorship".
But George Bush's victory has not eased the pressure - rather the reverse. A Republican-led congressional committee gave a platform to Cuban dissidents last week to publicise Cuba's "atrocious" behaviour. Porter Goss, the CIA chief, recently described Cuba (and Venezuela) as a source of regional instability...