Cuba, Biden, and the Romantic Interlude

By Wafica Ibrahim – Mar 28, 2021

For those who dreamed of an idyl between the United States and Cuba after Joe Biden’s victory was confirmed in the U.S. elections, reality is starting to show the confrontational and interventionist nature of the U.S. establishment, once again.

As is the custom in “liberal democracies,” after tallying up the final vote totals, the electoral campaign and its promises are left behind. Although in rallies and interviews, Biden may have promised indifferently to change policy toward Cuba and to return to the progress made by Barack Obama, the reality is that, with respect to Cuba, what really counts is the situation, the political interests and the calculations around governability, especially in Congress. Added to which is the historic animosity felt by both parties for the rebelliousness of Cuba.

As the curtains were closing on the Trump era, one could already discern the obstacles that the most reactionary sector of the U.S. right-wing began to put into place to prevent any sort of turn toward Havana by Washington.

With everyone in the United States fully conscious of Cuba’s firmness in defending their sovereignty, it merely remained necessary to invent new pretexts to at least delay any Biden decision about the criminal methods of economic suffocation implemented against the Cuban people by Donald Trump.

They designed their actions around two fundamental core ideas: human rights and terrorism, themes that have been big box-office draws in the media mess directed against Cuba over the past 60 years, and more.

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In Havana, ravaged by the effects of the blockade and by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in a context distinguished by the efforts of Cuba to save lives—not only Cuban lives, but of people around the world—subversive groups put on a media show to injure the image of the country and its institutions and to show the world the “intolerance” of the government led by Miguel Díaz-Canel.

The squalid San Isidro group, made up of delinquent elements financed from the U.S. treasury, created conditions in which the Cuban authorities would have to intervene, a fact that they showed to the world as a supposed repression. However, the facts are that there is not even one person who has been tortured, disappeared, or even tried for these mercenary provocations and illegal actions.

This show was the reason that they attempted a demonstration, promoted through social media and designed according to the most basic “soft coup” schemes, of no more than a couple hundred youths and no-longer-youths, in front of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, demanding more facilities for “artists.” One can say that probably Cuba is the country in this region that has done the most to promote culture among the people, and that, among those who promoted this staged anti-government and pro-U.S. event, known employees of the U.S. agencies dedicated to financing the subversion of Cuba were found, people who have even called for an armed invasion against their own people. This was all done with the goal of following the pre-established script, attempting to feed the false myth of violations of human rights in Cuba, a Third World country where human rights are most respected and revered.

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The second focus of the campaign, terrorism, came from Colombia, the principal U.S. ally in Latin America. After decades of Cuban efforts to seek peace in Colombia, efforts recognized by the UN, the European Union, Russia, China, and the other countries of Latin America, the Colombian government slammed the door on Cuban diplomacy, demanding the extradition of the peace delegation of the ELN guerrilla movement who were in Cuba where the peace negotiations were being held; this demand was initiated by the Colombian government that preceded the current Iván Duque administration.

This unheard-of and illegal demand by the president of Colombia was one of the “strongest” arguments advanced by Trump for returning Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism, which involves additional financial and political implications for the Cuban people.

Faced with these pre-arranged decisions, all constructed precisely and with the back-up of the communications media, the White House spokesperson announced recently that a change of policy toward Cuba is not one the of Biden administration’s priorities.

Undoubtedly, Washington carefully watches for any possibility of a social explosion in Cuba in the midst of the hard economic and financial limitations. They do not want to lose this opportunity of seeing the rebellious and self-respecting island fall. It is clear that Obama decided to take the few steps that he did regarding Cuba in the last year of his second term—without forcing any concessions on the part of Cuba.

The intent to “democratize” Cuba, which is in reality simply an effort to destroy the most human and beautiful socialist alternative effort that has ever been constructed in the world, has been a desire of the hawks—both Democrats and Republicans—just as it was for the Obama administration in which Biden was the vice-president.

At the same time, voices are heard, just as happened in the 1990s, asking for concessions from Cuba in exchange for relaxation of the blockade and the illegal methods interfering with the daily life of the Cuban people. This is an unjust position, since Cuba is the one that is being attacked, and indeed it is Cuba itself that has reached out a helping hand to the world during the worst moments of the pandemic, as no other country has done.

The United States economic war against Cuba should stop because it is illegal, out of date, and because it is ethically unsustainable. Hopefully, Biden, who has just authorized the bombing of the people of Syria and who is adopting the same policy as Trump with regard to Iran, may be sufficiently honorable to put an end to this and other crimes committed by successive U.S. administrations. Meanwhile, those who believed in the honeymoon will have to open their eyes again and get into position for the struggle and the resistance against the empire.

Source: Al Mayadeen, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English

 

 

Featured image: Defiant Cubans caravan along the Malecon calling for the end of the US blockade. Photo: Alejandro Azcuy

(Resumen)

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Wafica Ibrahim
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Wafica Ibrahim is an advisor for Almajadeen Spanish and an expert on Latin America.

Wafica Ibrahim

Wafica Ibrahim is an advisor for Almajadeen Spanish and an expert on Latin America.