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Havana Impedes Progress of Obama’s Policy Toward Cuba

Havana Impedes Progress of Obama’s Policy Toward Cuba / 14ymedio, Pedro

14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 18 July 2106 — Paradoxes of history: The
United States and Cuba began a process of normalization of relations on
17 December 2014 and with the visit of Barack Obama to Havana
in March of 2016, aimed at expanding and deepening what has been
achieved, came the counteroffensive of to put on the brakes
with his sarcastic Reflection column titled “Brother Obama.”

Since then, not only have they pushed the stop button on the process of
rapprochement with the “main enemy,” difficult by nature, but they have
increased the government’s repression against the opposition and those
who think differently, and begun advancing positions against the reforms
initiated and slowly developed since assumed power.

The clear moment of the halting of the process can be found in the
Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), which supported the
statist-wage model as the axis of the economic system, and the only
party as the base of the political system, while at the same time
postponing the expected renewal of the ruling elite.

Documents of the “conceptualization” and the 2030 Plan reference the
stagnation and recent speeches by Raul Castro and other deputies,
calling for confronting the critical situation looming with more of the
same. In the most recent session of the National Assembly, they
unambiguously supported the anti-reformist course.

This doubling-down on state-socialism comes accompanied by the decline
in the authoritarian wave Latin America, especially the crisis in .

Meanwhile, there is the push and pull in the US Congress for and against
the policy changes toward Cuba favored by Obama. More recently, in the
House of Representatives, support has grown to not loosen the strings of
the -blockade thanks to the Cuban government’s open reaction
against the new policy out of a fear that the rapprochement will end up
giving control of Cuba’s and society to the United States, as if
the “American Dream” did not already draw a great part of the island’s

In this sense, Mario Diaz-Balart, a member of the Appropriations
Committee of the House, told El Nuevo Herald that “there is bipartisan
support in the House to strengthen sanctions against the regime and
reject the policy of appeasement of the dictatorship.”

However, the counter-reform is in open contradiction with the economic
policy of the island Government that is trying to benefit from money
coming and expected from the exchange with the US and especially its
, particularly now that the Government of Venezuela is less able
to continue sending oil to Cuba.

Measures have already been announced that clearly recall the worst
moments of the so-called Special Period, which never ended. They want to
blame imperialism “for creating the crisis in oil prices and
destabilizing the Bolivarian Revolution,” when nobody doubts the
Party-Government-State’s opposition to undertaking real economic
reforms, to making consequent progress in the relations with the United
States and to relieving the pressures of the internal political environment.

With these policies, the Cuban government is contributing to
consolidating the support in the United States Congress for not
loosening the embargo, which is directly proportional to Havana’s
policies in support of Fidel’s faithful, reaffirming a proclamation of
isolation and “anti-imperialism,” while running like the devil from the
cross in the face of rapprochement, dialog and exchange.

The latest battle between the two forces just took place when the Cuban
government refused to allow the United States commission charged with
reviewing the conditions of the island’s airports to enter the country,
and when of a group of U.S. legislators presented a bill to block
to Cuba until the necessary security norms are met.

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it
will not allow flights to Cuba until it is convinced that island
airports are as safe as those of the rest of the world.

If anyone had doubts, this event is the latest evidence of how the Cuban
government, while showing a negotiating face, in practice hinders any
progress in the normalization of relations. But regardless of who is at
fault for the new Special Period, for the lack of progress in relations,
the failure of the tourism that would save us will surely be the fault
of the United States “blockade.”

Source: Havana Impedes Progress of Obama’s Policy Toward Cuba /
14ymedio, Pedro Campos – Translating Cuba –

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