State Department Postpones Forum on Cuba After GOP Uproar

Washington Free Beacon | 5/17/2018 | Susan Crabtree
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BY: Susan Crabtree

The State Department abruptly postponed an internal forum on Cuba planned for this Friday following complaints from Republicans on Capitol Hill and conservative foreign-policy experts that it featured only Castro apologists and opponents of President Donald Trump's stricter policies toward Havana.

Seminar - Lectures - Architects - Proponents - President

Originally planned as a three-hour seminar featuring lectures from some of the leading architects and proponents of President Obama's rapprochement with Cuba, the State Department postponed the event Wednesday after Republicans on Capitol Hill questioned why it was taking place and who organized it, according to three knowledgeable sources.

White House officials also intervened late Tuesday to try to shut down the event, two sources said.

State - Department - Spokesperson - Washington - Free

A State Department spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon "the event in question has been postponed."

"We will seek to reschedule at a late date with a broad cross-section of outside views," the spokesperson said.

Spokesperson - Event - Exchanges - State - Department

The spokesperson said the event is one of roughly a hundred "analytic exchanges" that the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, or INR, facilitates on an annual basis on "a wide variety of foreign policy and national security challenges."

"The events are intended for staff and policymakers. They are ‘off the record' and the views expressed do not reflect those of the [U.S. government]," the spokesperson said.

Critics - Seminar - Fact - Place - Weeks

Critics of the seminar said the fact that it was organized and planned to take place just weeks into Secretary of State Pompeo's tenure demonstrates there is still a lack of political oversight at the State department.

Although senior political officials moved quickly to shut down the seminar once they learned about it, the sources said the fact that it was planned and scheduled to take place this Friday shows that Obama holdovers and bureaucrats are still actively working to undermine the Trump administration.

Belief - Capitol - Hill - State - Department

"There is already a belief on Capitol Hill that the State Department...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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