ARMANDO CHAGUACEDA | Ciudad de México | 21 de Junio de 2017 – 10:47 CEST.
Donald Trump’s announcement of an alteration of his country’s policies
towards Cuba caused a great stir. Despite its limited scope – in terms
of affecting Obama’s legacy and the foreseeable impact of the measures –
adversaries and officials in Havana were quick to applaud or condemn
Trump’s move. For some it represents a firm stance in the face of the
enduring communist dictatorship, while for others it constitutes an
imperialist aggression against national sovereignty.
However, it would be worth taking a good look at the Cuban government’s
recent decisions and actions in order to more fairly assess Washington’s
degree of responsibility for internal dynamics on the Island. Despite
the scant confidence in Cuba’s national sovereignty that this perception
denotes, an impression shared by both pro-government figures and members
of the opposition alike, the truth is that the facts speak for themselves.
Let us look at the socio-economic sphere. Is the Treasury Department
responsible for failing to achieve the promised monetary unification and
appreciation of the peso, the cause of the famous economic recession of
2016? Is the Federal Reserve to blame for the credit and tax policies
stifling the potential of Cuban entrepreneurs? Is the US National Park
Service responsible for Cuba’s ineffective measures and their failure to
reverse environmental degradation? Are Betsy DeVos and Tom Price to be
held directly responsible for the deficient coverage and low quality of
the island’s education and health systems?
Let us look at the political arena. Are Homeland Security agents
responsible for the regime’s repressive strategy that has imposed severe
prison stays (and not just brief detentions, as some Cubans claim) on
more than 150 opposition activists, including a large number of poor,
black peasant women? Was it the FBI that recently expelled faculty and
students from Cuban universities (including several socialists) because
they were critical of the government? Is the US Attorney General
providing counsel, in silence and without taking into account citizens’
demands and proposals, for the elite’s clandestine revision of the Cuban
Constitution and Electoral Law? Is the CIA, in a display of its
expertise in subversion and coups, supporting Nicolás Maduro’s current
assault upon the Bolivarian Constitution and democracy? Is it the
Pentagon and the NSA that are strengthening ties between the FAR and the
North Korean army (including the sale of UN-prohibited weapons) and
between the MININT and Russian intelligence services?
The above are just some of the actions and results of the Cuban
government in recent years in response to Obama’s less restrictive
policies. They indicate that Trump’s measures are not responsible for
the course chosen by Havana. The regime’s tightening of control,
vis-a-vis the opening up is, as a sociologist would say, an independent
variable. The recent crackdown has more to do with the fundamental
makeup of the Cuban regime than a set of sanctions that can be
summarized with a popular saying: much ado about nothing.
This article originally appeared in the Mexican newspaper La Razón. It
is published here with the author’s permission.
Source: Trump’s Fault? | Diario de Cuba –