HAVANA – When the Trump administration announced this week that Cuba was a supporter of state terrorism, the reaction in Havana was quick and loud.
The Cuban government accused Washington of hypocrisy and called the label an act of President Trump’s “political opportunism” to thwart ties between Cuba and the incoming administration of President Joseph Ariden Jr ..
In addition to the indignation, the Cubans are poised to move on, a sentiment underlined by their president Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, who tweeted on Tuesday that the decision was made by the Cubans. Americans arose in “The death of a failed and corrupt administration”;
For the Cuban government and its people, a change in the rule of the American president could not happen quickly enough.
Trump’s difficult approach to Cuba’s leadership has put a number of restrictions on tourism, visas, remittances, investment and commerce that have already contributed to the economic deterioration. The epidemic has created problems for the most part, disrupting tourism, a major source of foreign currency.
Faced with huge shortages of essentials such as medicine and food, Cuba was forced to stand in line for hours in hopes of dealing with very few stocks. Consumables dwindled until the government required people to buy rice in addition to the government’s illegal monthly allocation.
In the midst of this difficulty, many in Cuba are hoping Mr Biden will change American policy in ways that may help mitigate the economic crisis. The elected president has spoken little publicly about his policy goals for Cuba, although during the campaign he attacked Trump’s approach to Havana, saying: “Cuba is not close to freedom and democracy in Cuba. Now more than four years ago. “
And Mr Biden’s adviser allowed normalizing relations with Cuba, essentially a return to Obama’s era, is the best strategy to bring about positive change.
Senior foreign policy officials in Biden’s transformation team include Antony Blinken, a nominee to Biden’s Secretary of State, and Alejandro Mayorkas, a nominee to Mr. Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary. Negotiations with Cuba during Obama’s second term
“Biden’s team is not just skydiving without prior experience,” said Rafael Hernández, political scientist and editor-in-chief of Temas, a leading Cuban social sciences magazine.
And that is the hope of many people in Cuba.
“Biden means: Hopefully the worst is over,” said Hal Klepak, professor emeritus of history and strategy at the Royal Military College of Canada, who lives part-time in Havana. His new Obama debut, he meant: Hear the CIA, Pentagon, and Homeland Security on Cuban values as friends and collaborators, not enemies. ”
The decision to return Cuba to the list of states accused of supporting terrorism, a designation that was in place for more than three decades until President Obama raised it in 2015, citing the government’s relentless efforts. Trump on setting economic and diplomatic restrictions on the island.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others “worked with a focus on abolishing anything that could be seen to be of benefit to the Cuban government,” said Ted A. Henken, associate professor of sociology at Baruch College in New York.
Although Mr Trump’s firm was looking to invest in Cuba shortly before his inauguration as president, he attacked the communist-ruled island with the harshest sanctions in more than half a century. American cruise ships are banned on the island, shipping from the United States is banned and tankers from Venezuela are prevented from arriving with their cargo.
“The only thing left is diplomatic relations,” Henken said. “We still have a formal diplomatic relationship with Cuba, even though they are on the ice in practice.”
These efforts by the Trump administration to reverse Obama’s initiative have brought back on private development in Cuba and the short-circuiting efforts of American businesses that seek to build ties, according to Obama. Madetentei said.
Amid the restrictions on streets in Havana’s colonial district, which were once packed with tourists, traffic has been reduced significantly and continued to decline during the outbreak. Fuel shortages cause occasional power outages and worsen shipping. Decline in solid currency for imports means in some places, drug shelves are empty.
But it was clear that the economic slump did not destroy Díaz-Canel’s leadership. Loyalists of the Communist Party who became president in 2018 and their government have continued to crack down on political conflicts.
Mr. Díaz-Canel This low-key figure, chosen by his predecessor Raúl Castro, highlights the continuation of the Castro era. But has moved forward with economic reforms
On January 1, he combined the country’s currency pair system to make the island’s economy more transparent and easier to navigate for foreign investors. Last year, his administration allowed the private sector to import and export directly, movement analysts said it was a practical response to the economic crisis.
Mr. Díaz-Canel Most were silent, at least publicly, about the dissolution potential after Biden took over. But on Nov. 8, he acknowledged Biden’s victory with a suggestion of hope, writing on Twitter: “We are aware that the US people have chosen a new approach to the presidential election. We believe in the possibility of constructive bilateral relations while respecting our differences. ”
If Mr Biden moved to normalize relations with Cuba, the Díaz-Canel administration would It will call for the cancellation of the scheduled terrorist condition, analysts said.
When Obama announced during his second term that he would normalize relations with Havana, the Cuban government insisted on being removed from the list.
“The reason why Cubans are so sensitive is that they have been subjected to hundreds of terrorist attacks,” most of whom are deported Cubans based in the United States and trained and organized by CIA William Leogae. Grand said. Government professor at American University in Washington
So he said that Cubans “Take a great offense to be branded as a terrorist advocate”
In restoring Cuba to the list of terrorism, Pompeo cited the host of 10 Cuban rebel leaders, along with a handful of American refugees who wanted to commit crimes in the 1970s and the “terrorist act of terrorism”. Cuban support of Venezuela’s dictator Nicolas Maduro
While the Cuban government has spread on social media and in the Cuban media in opposition to the naming of terrorists, some Cuban terrorists have processed the news with displeasure.
“The US is doing this to make things explode,” said Liber Salwat, 35, a carpenter in Havana, who has been out of work and has been unable to catch lumber since the outbreak.
“It would be better,” he said, “if they help us.”
Ed Augustin reports from Havana and Kirk Semple from Mexico City.