We already know that the CIA’s use of a fake anti-vaccination program in Pakistan to try and find Osama bin Laden has caused the entire polio vaccination campaign in that country to become the target of the Taliban who have used that appalling strategy to portray all vaccination campaigns as potential CIA plots and even kill heath workers in those programs..
A new report says that USAID recruited young people from Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Peru and sent them undercover to Cuba to try and foment rebellion there. And one of their strategies? Setting up HIV prevention workshops.
The AP found USAID and its contractor, Creative Associates International, continued the program even as U.S. officials privately told their government contractors to consider suspending travel to Cuba after the arrest of contractor Alan Gross, who remains imprisoned after smuggling in sensitive technology.
In a statement late Sunday, USAID said the HIV workshop had a dual purpose: It “enabled support for Cuban civil society while providing a secondary benefit of addressing the desire Cubans expressed for information and training about HIV prevention.”
Apart from further evidence of the absurd obsession the US has with overthrowing the Cuban government when it should be normalizing relations with them, the use of health programs as a means of espionage and covert activities is an abomination since it breeds suspicion about health care workers who do valuable work often in under very difficult conditions.
Furthermore, if these young people are caught as spies, the US government will then try and use that to portray the host country as persecuting innocent young tourists. Remember the three young Americans who were arrested by Iran after they crossed the border into that country? They were eventually released but who could blame the Iranians for not believing the US that these were innocent hikers who had lost their way since the US seems to use such people as spies?
Such actions by US spy agencies endanger the lives of genuine tourists and aid workers by inviting suspicions but this is not new. In Sri Lanka back in the 60s, we used to suspect that that the young foreigners arriving as part of aid programs could be agents of the US or British secret services. I suspect that in some cases, we would have been right.