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Government Contractor Arrested in Cuba

According to recent news reports, a US government contractor was arrested on December 5 by Cuban authorities. US news sources claimed the man was handing out telecommunications products in Cuba at the time of his arrest.

The Department of State confirmed that an unidentified US citizen was arrested in Cuba and that the man was not a US government employee. Development Alternatives, Inc., which says they have a contract to support democratic governance in Cuba, claims the arrested man was a sub-contractor who was working with Cuban civil society groups.

While the Obama Administration has sought to reduce tensions between the two nations, this could prove to be a set back. The telecoms industry in Cuba is relatively limited, particularly regarding internet access which is strictly controlled by the government.

Dan Erikson, an analyst with the Inter-American Dialogue specializing in Cuba believes the arrest may be a warning to the Obama administration about backing US AID programs that support civil society and human rights.

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