Fernando Damaso, 19 March 2016 — The big question this weekend has been, “What made Nicolas Maduro and his entourage come to Cuba, two days before the arrival of President Barack Obama?
Besides being an unannounced visit, unlike normal procedires, the objectives put forward are laughable: “To sign cooperation accords for the present year (we are already in mid-March), and for 2030 (by someone whose days as president are numbered).
Also notable is the great display by the Cuban authorities, with an official reception ceremony (this character visits Cuba every month), more handing out of the Order of José Martí (someone with a low level of acceptance among Venezuelans, who have demonstrated their incapacity and ineptitude to govern).
The Order of “José Martí” has been converted into a utlilitarian article, awarded to anyone who displays unconditional support for the regime, regardless of what they do in their respective countries. The long list of mediocrities who have been awarded it confirms this.
Returning to the initial questions: Did he come to report and receive instructions? Did he come to “make noise” with respect to the visit of the American president? Did he come to ask them to intercede for him? Time will tell.
However, it may also be that his “strange visit” is a part of the incomprehensible “gestures” of the Cuban authorities, prior to Obama’s arrival. The absurd editorial in the Party newspaper Granma, the declarations of the “orderly planning” of “governmental organizations” of civil society and the repetitive and empty statements by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, all cut from the same cloth and following a far from original script.
We wait to see how it all ends, and if the historic visit of Obama truly deserves such a qualifier, or if it is diluted in the face of the systematic suicidal intransigence of the Cuban government.