“El periódico ha de estar siempre como los correos antiguos, con el caballo enjaezado, la fusta en la mano y la espuela en el tacón.  Debe desobedecer los apetitos del bien personal y atender imparcialmente al bien público”.
José Martí

Cuba in the Trump Era

Rosa María Payá y otros disidentes aplauden de pie y felices el endurecimiento de la política contra Cuba.

Trump in the theater where he announced the change in policy towards Cuba.

The Theater, set design, script, soundtrack and even the audience chosen by Trump to announce the end of the rapprochement process with Cuba couldn’t have been worse. In political communication terms, the new US president is just a caricature of Obama.

He chose a theater which symbolizes the US defeat at the Bay of Pigs, they didn’t have the tact to put up Cuban flags, they returned to the old rough talk of the Cold War, the music was left in the hands of the son of a famous murderer and he congregated a group of Cubans in an auditorium who shouted “USA! USA!” in unison as if they were possessed.

The new resident of the White House is transparent in his intentions when it comes to Cuba. He is returning to the failed strategy used in the 1960s. The idea was by creating hunger, misery and desperation among the ordinary Cuban people it would drive them to rise up against the government and end the Revolution.

Barack Obama’s goal was to support the modest economic boom of Cuban entrepreneurs so that they were the ones to transform socialism into capitalism themselves. Trump’s policy is to drive these small private businesses into the ground so that business owners and employees take to the streets.

Gracias a Telesur, los cubanos pudieron ver el discurso de Trump contra Cuba y el show que lo rodeó.

Thanks to Telesur, Cubans could watch Trump’s speech against Cuba and the show he put on.

Who is losing out when restrictions are being placed on tourism? Analyst Pedro Monreal explains that 76% of US citizens stayed in casas particulares (private rentals); 99% of them ate in private restaurants; 86% bought crafts or artwork from independent artists, and 85% of them traveled in private-owned taxis.

The majority of Canadians, Europeans and Latin Americans go and stay in “All inclusive” hotels and leave the bulk of their money in the State’s coffers. US citizens come of their own accord, they eat in private restaurants, they rent out casas particulares and they travel around in ‘50s convertibles.

The show put on June 16 in Miami transformed Trump into a soloist accompanied by a select choral group of Cuban-American legislators, plus veterans from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and some Cuban opposition members. While the son of the murderer of Frank Pais “sawed” away at a violin.

Dissidents present at the event were Jorge Luis Garcia (Antúnez), Angel de Fana, Antonio Rodiles, Ailer González and Rosa Maria Paya. They sang the US anthem euphorically in spite of Donald refuses to give them the 20 million USD that his predecessors handed over per year.

Extremists are happy because we’re returning to the Cold War days. On one side of the Florida Strait, some Cubans are clapping in frenzy because another president is promising them the end of the Revolution. Meanwhile, those on this side of the shore declare themselves to be the “chosen ones”, the only ones who have a right to defend Cuba.

En el público estaban los sobrevivientes de la invasión a Cuba, quienes se rindieron antes de 72 horas y fueron cambiados después por compota al gobierno de J. F. Kennedy

In the crowd, there were survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion, who surrendered after 72 hours and were later exchanged for applesauce by J.F. Kennedy’s government.

These are the ones who exclude and destroy, while the rest of Cubans feel like the country is above any kind of difference of opinion. The latter talk about uniting everyone who loves Cuba, and create a huge alliance to stand up to Trump and prevent his strategy from being put into practice.

The new policy allows us to see a grim view, as clear as day. The attack isn’t directed against the government or the military like they claim it to be but is rather against all Cubans, looking to sabotage their efforts to get by, by developing a more flexible economy.

Lifting the US embargo doesn’t depend on Cuba but on the political ties of elephants and donkeys in Washington. The Cuban people can’t do a lot; they don’t have enough economic, military or political strength to be able to pressure a global superpower.

So there are very few options left, one is to give in and accept the US’ right to dictate national politics in Cuba, just as they did during the time of the pre-Revolution governments. The other option is to return to the old trenches and to continue to be as dignified as they are poor, for centuries on end.

However, the most intelligent response to prevent them from sinking the Cuban people to starvation, misery and desperation, could be to speed up national economic reforms which are necessary to be able to resist with a degree of prosperity until the White House comes to its senses.

Con las restricciones al turismo de estadounidenses a Cuba, Trump afectará en gran medida a los emprendedores cubanos.

With restrictions on US travel to Cuba, Trump will mainly affect Cuban entrepreneurs.

Translation: Havana Times

About Fernando Ravsberg

Nacido en Uruguay, corresponsal de Público en Cuba y profesor del post grado de “Información internacional y países del Sur” de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Fue periodista de BBC Mundo, Telemundo de EEUU, Radio Nacional de Suecia y TV Azteca de México. Autor de 3 libros, El Rompecabezas Cubano, Reportajes de Guerra y Retratos.


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