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A laborious but positive review for the White House

cubaeeuuLast week, the White House spokesperson announced the will of the Joe Biden government to review US policy toward Cuba, the course of which was notably excoriated by the previous administration.

After the numerous steps in the right direction taken in the second term of Barack Obama – in order to establish relations between the two nations despite political and ideological differences – the Trump administration disrupted everything that had been done and frayed relations by maximum possible level.

Since June 2017, when he signed a Presidential Directive for Cuba, before an enervated audience in Miami full of anti-Cuban policies, mercenaries from Playa Girón and wage earners from the anti-Cuban industry in the United States, President Donald Trump applied 240 punitive measures against Cuba ; at the rate of more than one per week.

The New York billionaire, but with a legal seat in Florida, fiercely launched himself into the jugular of the Caribbean nation to try to subdue the Cuban government. It banned the travel of US citizens, drastically limited the amount of money remittances that Cubans living in that country could send to Cuba and forced the closure of Western Union offices throughout the Cuban archipelago, viciously pursued Cuban financial transactions and established a hunt to prevent the arrival of fuel, hindered all that foreign investment in Cuban soil could and even forced Marriot to withdraw from the administration under the Sheraton brand of a hotel in Havana (the only one that a US company had in Cuba).

Educational, cultural, sports and scientific exchanges between the two countries were also sabotaged.

The most aberrant decisions against Cuba by Trump and his team were: one, the total enabling of Title III of the so-called Helms-Burton Act (which no other administration had dared to put into effect), to promote unprecedented and unprecedented judicial processes against any company that has invested or uses facilities or lands nationalized by the Cuban Revolution – even if their owners at the time of the measure were not US citizens; and the other, in the final days of the administration, the inclusion again of Cuba in the particular List of Governments that support Terrorism , a step harshly criticized by various US sectors and the international community.

As you can see, the review by the Biden administration will be laborious. Trump, Pompeo, Claver-Carone and other representatives of the outgoing government, with the enthusiastic support of Marco Rubio and other anti-Cuban congressmen, wove a dense fabric of measures that were difficult to unleash and that limited as much as possible the declared purposes of change, from his election campaign, the new tenant of the White House.

This will has now been ratified, but it will face not a few obstacles: from some legal inconveniences to the active opposition of the anti-Cuban forces in Congress, through certain claims to establish a process of give and take in dismantling the measures, This would spoil an asymmetric relationship, where Cuba neither blocks, attacks, nor finances opposition forces, nor does it have a military base in the northern country, nor does it place the United States on spurious and manipulated lists.

But if Trump, based on decrees and resolutions, armed his aberrant anti-Cuban offensive in just 3 and a half years, the Biden administration can do the same in the opposite direction (although Cuba is not its priority in these times of pandemic and economic crisis)

What happened between 2014 and 2016, with the adoption of bilateral agreements in some twenty areas such as the environment, health, science, justice, sports, culture, education and others, for the benefit of both nations, show a Possible positive path, even in the midst of differences. Not a few members of the current administration know it.

(Originally posted on Al Mayadeen )

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