Trump Turns Back the Clock to 1960
Donald Trump wants to do a better deal with Cuba. What he really doesn’t understand is that Cuba will get a better deal from someone named Vladimir Putin. The same Mr. Putin who used similar language saying he would protect Russians in Ukraine without any respect for their sovereign state. And now, with Donald Trump slapping the sanctions back on Cuba, he has opened the door for Russia to come back into Cuba with gifts and money.
His denunciation of Cuban policies (6-16-2017) in Florida might have fired up the large community of anti-Castro Cuban-Americans in Miami, but didn’t match his actions. It’s a selective sucker punch against the current regime in Havana, but after sixty-years of blockades, sanctions and containment by America, Raúl Castro is already on the phone to Moscow.
Trump used words like maintaining blockades and sanctions and canceling the policy, but in reality, he only modified the Obama executive order. The new order from Trump might block US citizens and companies from doing business with establishments that are controlled by the Cuban military, but it doesn’t stop Americans from going to Cuba. It just adds red tape and more bureaucracy. His rhetoric of making things easier to do and ending unnecessary regulations has been thrown out of the window on this one.
The speech in little Havana in South Florida was full of stories about the struggles that Cubans and Cuban-Americans have endured since Fidel Castro converted the island to communism. The real changes that Trump claimed his new approach will deliver sound more like an attempt to dictate the terms of how Cuba will be governed, a la “nation building.”
Sure, asking them to have elections sounds like a good idea. They must already think it’s a good idea. Elections in Cuba involve nomination of municipal candidates by voters in nomination assemblies, nomination of provincial and national candidates by candidacy commissions, voting by secret ballot, and recall elections. But then, Trump speech writers probably don’t know that.
Donald Trump’s declarations of the human rights violations in Cuban might sound righteous on the surface, but not once did Trump cover the human rights and cruel and unusual punishments of his hosts in Saudi Arabia. And lost in this whole reality is that our government is still holding people without charges or due process at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, right on Cuban soil. As they say, this man speaks with forked-tongue.
Is this is his way of thanking Cuban Americans for their votes and keeping a campaign promise, while creating another opportunity to say something bad about Obama? Why do I find his actions feel like a way to fulfill rather than a introduce a well-thought-out way to change the way we deal with a country.
Trump may have sent a strong missive to other nations who abuse their people, but if America could help the Cuban people with tourism and more American influences, they just might take things into their own hands. We don’t need another Bay of Pigs invasion, but certainly tourism is better than isolation.
Due to the lack of free speech in Cuba, Trump’s harangue will not be heard by Cubans, but the stifling of the tourism industry will surely hurt Cuban workers. Of course, it’s easier to justify communism when things are going badly, but Trump gets to check a promise off the Bannon list.
The question that one should ask now, if you didn’t cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba, why not appoint an ambassador and start talk about a better deal? Or does Trump feel like he’s finished with it?