Foreign Minister’s Criticism Of Obama’s Cuba Visit Betrays Nervousness / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 April 2016 — Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez harshly criticized Barack Obama’s trip to Havana this Monday. It was “a visit in which there was an all out attack on our conception, our history, our culture and our symbols,” the minister told the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.

The Foreign Minister’s comments had the tone of a reflection on the concerns of some sectors of the regime before the new situation created by the resumption of diplomatic relations with Washington. First, it was Fidel Castro with his “Reflection” column at the end of March that reproached the United States president for his “syrupy” words. Later, a video was posted in which the number two man at Cuba’s embassy in Madrid, Miguel Moré Santana, expressed himself with great crudity before the Spanish committees of solidarity with the Cuban Revolution.

In that video, circulating on the social networks, the diplomat describes the coverage of Obama’s visit in Spanish media as “a display of cultural, psychological and media war without parallel.” In addition, he criticizes that “mercenaries in service to the United States” are used as the only sources of opinion, which he considers “a lack of respect for Cuba.”

The deputy ambassador says, for example, that the Spanish public television channel collected the impressions of Cubans on the arrival of President Obama only through the words of the regime opponent Guillermo Fariñas.

Moré Santana lashes out against the image other foreign media gave of the presence of Obama in the island. “It would seem it was a successful visit,” excoriates the diplomat, but calls the guest a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and declares that now the Cuban government has to be “more measured” in its “discourse” because it already has diplomatic relations with the United States.

Moré Santana denounces “the constant slanders and campaigns of media contamination” against Cuba, starting with the idea of the embargo “that no longer exists or is on the path to extinction” or assertions that it is not the cause of the country’s economic problems. For the diplomat it is a battle “of the lion against the chained monkey,” because in his opinion the major media are able to influence and manipulate public opinion and also exercise control over social networks.

The diplomat argues that “the Cuban Revolution is experiencing the most difficult moment in its history,” because the mechanisms of destabilization used by the White House are now more subtle and are trying to “corrode” the process from the inside. He criticizes the flexibility measures implemented by the US administration, to ensure that “telecommunications is the number one target” in a new strategy “against Cuba.” They “come and tell us that they will facilitate – a kindness – free access for young Cubans to the Twitter network,” he adds.

Among Obama’s strategies criticized by Moré Santana is having contacted Panfilo “one day before arriving in Cuba… the most famous comedian” on the island. Through this telephone call, he says, Obama “opens the door, the easiest one of all, and that is of empathy,” and with this he “spread… the criticisms and thinking and many Cuban intellectuals who were in public debates” and “all that was effectively smothered.”

According to the diplomat, this policy is part of a plan of the “imperial powers” to “end the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela and create a domino effect that sweeps aside all the progressive and integration processes on the continent.”