A Lot of Heat and No Fire / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 18 June 2017 — The policy toward Cuba, announced by United States President Donald Trump, in an event in Miami that was more buffoonish than serious, as well as the Declaration of the Revolutionary Government responding to it, constitute “a lot of heat and no fire.”

First of all, Trump’s speech was full of rhetoric and repetition of set phrases, with the objective of satisfying the small group of Cuban-Americans and Cubans who still remain frozen in the years of the Cold War, dreaming of a triumphal entry into Havana on the shoulders of Uncle Sam, something that neither Trump nor any other American president will provide them, rather than concrete measures against the Cuban government.

If we look behind the curtain, aside from repealing the previous presidential directive and signing the new one (nothing but a play on words), the only elements are: eliminating the people-to-people individual travel and blocking American companies from doing business with Cuban companies linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the intelligence and security services. All the rest, established by Obama, remains in place.

And in the Cuban case, as well, there is an abundance of revolutionary rhetoric that has been repeated for over half a century and that, carefully, “reiterates the will to continue respectful dialog and cooperation on issued of mutual interest, as well as the unfinished bilateral negotiations with the government of the United States.” All the rest of the long document can be forgotten about.

It seems as if both presidents have agreed to reassure their supporters, while “silently” continuing the conversations and exchanges of the Obama era. Trump is not as crazy as he seems, nor are there, in Cuba, new conditions of “historic confrontations.”

Let’s let things take their course.