Otto Juan Reich

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{{Tobaccowik]] Otto Juan Reich, "born in Cuba, ... was the director of the Latin American division of the ominously misnamed Agency for International Development (AID) during the Reagan administration. According to declassified documents, former US attorney general and general adviser to AID, John R. Bolton, described the organisation as 'a subsidiary of the CIA which serves to promote political and economic interest of the federal government through financial assistance programs abroad.' Bolton is now George W. Bush's under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security.[1]

"Between 1983-1986, Reich was selected by the veteran CIA agent and propaganda specialist, Walter Raymond, to run the notorious Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), a covert psychological and media spinning unit which reported to Colonel Oliver North at the National Security Council. Raymond described the OPD's role as selling to the US 'a new product -- Central America'.[2]

"Working closely with the CIA, directed at the time by George Herbert Walker Bush, the ODP created a multitude of false news stories to garner congressional and public support for the right wing Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua."[3] See Iran-Contra scandal for more details.

Reich became in 2000 the vice-chairman of Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP), a group financed by the clothing industry to support sweatshops.

. . .

"... invoking a presidential privilege, George W. Bush's selection of Otto Reich [ed. to assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere] whilst the Senate was in recess in January [2002] was canny. In his new position, Reich will oversee US diplomatic relations with Latin America and has the kind of CV to send shudders down the spines of those who recall the United States' lamentable record of clandestine interference in South and Central American politics."[4]

. . .

"Otto Reich's appointment in particular has spread good cheer amongst the anti-Castro organisations in Florida. In 1996 Reich and Jonathan Miller, his former colleague at the Office of Public Diplomacy, formed RMA International, a corporate public relations and political lobbying company. RMA International's biggest corporate client is Bacardi Martini Inc, the rum corporation which fled Cuba after the revolution. To this day, the Bacardi corporation poured millions worth of support into anti-Castro groups in Florida. According to public records Reich's company has received more than $600,000 from Bacardi for political lobbying work. RMA International also represent the Lockheed Corporation, and were instrumental in helping to ensure that a 24 year old congressional ban on the sale of high tech military equipment to Latin America was abandoned, paving the way for sales of Lockheed's F16 fighter planes to Chile late last year.[5]

"Reich is also president of the US-Cuba Business Council an organisation established with the support of Bacardi in 1993, and the recipients of $520,000 worth of US government aid for its support for the maintenance of the US embargo on Cuba. A lawyer by training, Reich was instrumental in drafting the 1996 Helms Burton Act which penalises any company in the world which trades with Cuba. He also serves on the board of the Center for a Free Cuba which has received over $3 million from the US government to help fund its anti-Castro activities. Conflicts of interest in his new role as the US government's foremost Latin American policy-making position? The United States apparently remains untroubled by the paradoxes and inconsistencies."[6]

Lobbyist for:

[[7] Source]

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<tdo>search_term=Otto Reich</tdo> Search the British American Tobacco Documents Archive for more information on Otto Reich.