The End of the Embargo in Exchange for Democracy in Cuba?

The singer Yotuel Romero, one of the architects of the anthem for change in Cuba ‘Patria y Vida’, opened a debate on Tuesday through his networks. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 June 2022 — The singer Yotuel Romero, one of the architects of Patria y Vida, the anthem for change in Cuba, opened a debate on Tuesday through his social networks that has ignited Cubans, especially from outside the Island.

“And if we ask at the Summit of the Americas for the end of the embargo on the Cuban dictatorship, in exchange [for]: the release of all Cuban political prisoners and free elections in Cuba, multiparty [and] supervised by an international commission and let what the people choose win?” This is what the musician — who has been invited by the United States to the Civil Society Forum that will take place within the framework of the summit, between the next 6 and 8 June in Los Angeles — suggested on his Facebook wall.

Immediately, he received passionate comments, especially against. One of the harshest was that of Alex Otaola, who in his Wednesday program said that it could not be that “the face of Patria y Vida suggested the end of the embargo… What must be asked at the Summit of the Americas is that a dictatorship not be oxygenated,” the ‘influencer’ commented on Yotuel’s proposal.

“Were you invited to the Summit of the Americas or to the ALBA-TCP Summit? I don’t understand anything,” said independent reporter Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho, exiled in the United States.

The also independent journalist Iliana Hernández responded, from Spain: “The embargo is eliminated when the created conditions exist in Cuba, freedom for political prisoners, freedom of the press and free elections. The embargo is a law, they persecute human trafficking, in Cuba there is a slave system.”

Internet user Odalys Menéndez replied to Hernández: “Those who implemented the embargo and keep it active at half throttle do nothing to ensure that the conditions are met, rather they are accomplices,” to which the journalist replied again: “It’s that it’s not them [the US] that have to do it, it’s us.”

The controversy that arose was such that Yotuel himself deleted the original post and, instead, published a video clarifying his words. The singer explained before the camera that “there are some very basic and very important conditions for the freedom of Cuba” and that “if there is freedom of expression, if there is freedom of political prisoners, if there is freedom of elections supervised by a foreign body… that embargo ceases to exist automatically.”

The clarification generated enthusiastic sympathy, such as that of Estela Puertas Borges (“Very well said, brother! Now all Cubans on the island need to understand that it is like that!”) and that of Daimiry Ríos Valiente (“I don’t think that this time Otaola is right. We have to take off Cuba’s mask in front of all of Latin America”).

Also, there were some ironic comments in favor, such as that of Guena Rod: “It is incredible, but we have arrived there. Yotuel only showed the same conditions established by the Law of Freedom of Cuba (Helms-Burton) to lift the general sanctions against Cuba. Luckily he did not mention that in that same law, there is a significant part that stipulates a great “economic aid” for the island after the conditions, that is, muuuucho money for Cuba once the same thing that Yotuel asked for has been fulfilled. It is not going to be that they also accuse him now of wanting to give $ to the dictatorship.”

However, it has continued to arouse misgivings. “We are at a time where you have to be exact with each term that is used, especially when you represent a people without a voice. With the dictatorship there is nothing to negotiate, nothing to discuss,” expressed Heidy Pérez.

“You can’t negotiate with them, you have to remove them from power. Only that!” Esther García emphasized. Maga Noa was more forceful: “First dictators go to prison,” as was Zafiro Sony: “The embargo is lifted when the Freedom Law is fulfilled!”

Others, like Pedro Fechter, allowed themselves another critical nuance: “I think your idea is very good, only that it starts from the wrong premises. I also think that people did not understand your post well because in the text the first thing you say is: and if we ask for the end of the embargo… I advise you for the next one, first put the ultimate goal and then the means to achieve it.”


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