Monday, June 07, 2004

Keep an Eye On This Guy, Alright?

Otto Reich is the administration's special thug in the Caribbean and Latin America, sent to threaten the locals whenever too much democracy might break out. His new assignment? Probably the banana Republican state of Florida. - Jun 04, 2004 - Veteran of the Iran/Contra scandal, apologist for terrorists, Cuba basher, bullying Latin America envoy for President Bush, and lobbyist for the alcohol, tobacco and armaments industries -- Otto Juan Reich has done it all, both inside and outside of government. In early May, Reich announced that in June he would be leaving his post as the White House special envoy to the Americas and joining Team Bush's reelection campaign. While it's too soon to know how Karl Rove and company intend to use him, keep your eye on Florida, where Reich has longtime connections to the right-wing Cuban exile community.
The Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico has more on Reich's recent work in El Salvador.

The National Security Archive (not a gov't agency, it just sounds like it) has background on Reich and his work for the Reagan and Bush I administrations.

Two years ago, Duncan Campbell of The Guardian wrote how bringing Reich back into government was shameful:
Colombia, Argentina and Peru are in crisis. There are plenty of qualified Latin American hands who could have filled Reich's post and helped build bridges. President Bush's choice is a sad echo of the shabby days that so discredited his father's and Ronald Reagan's administrations in their dealings with Latin America.
Now we need to be wary of what Reich is doing outside the government.