In Cuba Everyone Expects Favors From Trump / Iván García

In Cuba everyone expects favors from Trump

Ivan Garcia, 28 January 2017 — Betting political capital or relying on such an erratic guy as Donald Trump is not good business. Only the desperate, shameless and amoral could argue that the New York magnate is a convinced altruist or humanist.

Expecting the enraged Trump to negotiate strategies that address the inefficient Cuban economy, or open doors to unstoppable emigration, or give a blank check to the local opposition, is like throwing dice in a casino to get national prosperity.

Until Wednesday, 25 January, when Raul Castro spoke at the 5th CELAC Summit in the Dominican Republic, and said he was willing to maintain a respectful dialog with Donald Trump, “but without making concessions,” no official statement had been released in Cuba about the attitude of the new president of the United States.

The silence of the state media and government spokespeople in the face of Trump’s insane projects was already embarrassing.

That a president, like the unpresentable Maduro or grizzly Castro, who present themselves as socialists and communists, as a political strategy would shut up or celebrate (in the case of Venezuela when Trump took possession) the most retrograde and conservative of US presidents in the last 30 years, was a contradiction.

On the other hand, where is the so-called “Latin America solidarity” towards a nation like Mexico, at this moment when it is experiencing an authentic low-intensity war, unfounded accusations and threats on the part of Donald Trump.

Much of the current Latin America Left now in power is a fraud with no more ideology or convictions that those emanating from its corrupt power and the looting of the public treasury. Which is why they remain silent. They prefer to establish a friendship with Trump to please their ally Vladimir Putin, with an imperial strategy without dissembling, that defends his fake doctrines of “humanism and social justice.”

The new tenant of the White House has overturned the world order. He has discredited many institutions, in his own country and internationally, except those of the Kremlin. He is a threat to everyone. For the establishment, the Republican Party and for liberal trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump is not a Democrat. He is him. A great manipulator who has conquered half of the American people with half truths and lies without fundamentals. With his isolationism and protectionism, if he manages to do it, the United States will regress to the level of Spain, at least. His journey into the past is suicide.

People and societies grow. We no longer live in the stage of the industrial revolution. The world has become a global village. Whether Mr. Trump likes it or not.

A friend of mine who resides in Miami, a homeowner in the south of the city, told me that she voted for Trump so that the clothing and toy factories that once employed thousands would return to Florida.

To exemplify the horror of the new times, she mentioned that even the fruit cocktail sold at Publix Supermarket is made in China. I am afraid that this segment of deep America is rightly observing with dismay the decapitalization of its cities and low wages.

But when the iPhone comes to be assembled in Cupertino, Apple’s California headquarters, and Fords are built in Detroit, then do not complain about the skyrocketing prices. Global industries and brands move to other countries because of the low costs.

Let’s hope Trump solves the problem. Concerned as he is about fixing the world in his own way and making America great again, he won’t have much room on his agenda for the Cuban issue.

Cuba is no longer a problem. Fidel Castro died and for decades the regime has not subverted central America or Africa with arms and guerrillas. The main ruling clan, five or six elders, who together have been alive almost five hundred years, continue to hate “Yankee imperialism” and bet on the end of modern capitalism.

They are by the book dictators. But power, money, family and the biological factor have called them to change or come up with new strategies. For one simple reason: if Cuba is still stranded between the invasive marabou weed and lack of productivity, at some point social conflicts will begin.

To pull the car forward you need a locomotive. Once it was Russia. Then it was Chavez’s petrodollars. Now they sigh for the green cash of the former American enemy.

Meanwhile, on the Island, a wing of dissent is celebrating with the arrival of Trump. With their political naivety they think that the new president will increase the flow of dollars to the opposition and gain them international recognition.

A serious error of not a few opponents: to believe that the problems in Cuba can be solved by the United States. I tell you one thing: if we are not able to conquer our universal rights, no one will do it for us.

Dependence always creates compromises. The fate of Cuba is a matter for Cubans. Those of the diaspora and those of the island. No one else’s. It would be good for Trump to understand this.