Foreign policy is not normally considered part of the remit of a municipal politician, and some commentators have criticised Ken Livingstone for behaving as if it is. These efforts have not obviously deterred him, so I have sent this email to Joy Johnson, of the Mayor's Press Office, in the hope of finding out more about Mr Livingstone's views.
I recall that last year, at a European Trade Union Solidarity Conference with Cuba and Latin America, the Mayor declared: "If I am lucky enough to be re-elected in 2008, one of the main features of my third term would be a major celebration of the Cuban Revolution on its fiftieth anniversary."
I wonder if the Mayor has noted a report from the BBC this week that a Cuban journalist, Oscar Sanchez Madan, and a lawyer and dissident, Rolando Jimenez Posada, have received long prison sentences for, respectively, "social dangerousness" and writing anti-government slogans. According to the independent Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation, the trials were held in secret and without defence lawyers present.
I should be glad to know if, in conjunction with his celebration of the Cuban Revolution, Mr Livingstone plans to make any statement or engage in any private diplomacy about these incarcerations. Given the importance of the subject, I should appreciate it if you or he were able to couch a reply in a form that you would not object to my quoting publicly.