Comments, Globe, In Focus, Latin America

US versus Cuba: point of no-return

Four years ago, on a Friday in June, as President, Donald Trump abrogated Obama’s presidential directive on normalising the ties with the island and signed a memorandum abolishing most of the progress made in the relations with Cuba. Such actions established a turning point for both nations.

 

Karina Marrón González

 

Just five months after being in office, Trump laid out the guidelines of how his administration would proceed against Cuba.

And he made his intentions clear by saying: “I am cancelling the entire bilateral agreement of the last administration. I’m announcing a new policy, as I promised during the campaign”.

He then announced severe restrictions on the influx of foreign currency to the Caribbean country, bans on tourism and an iron-clad enforcement of the economic blockade.

Therefore, only five months into his term, Trump established the guidelines of how this administration will deal with Cuba as he immediately increased the limitations of travels by US citizens.

Furthermore, he advised the Treasury and Commerce Departments to initiate the process of new regulations regarding Cuba, with greater difficulties for possible economic activities with their companies.

Thus ended the opportunities opened by Obama’s acknowledgment of the failure of more than half a century of economic blockade and even the likelihood of selling certain Cuban pharmaceutical products on US soil.

Trump marked the beginning of another race to suffocate the Caribbean country, obstructing its revenue sources while developing media and subversive campaigns against it.

This was stated by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which in January this year listed more than 240 unilateral coercive measures dictated by the Trump administration during its term in office that intensified the blockade imposed by Washington.

Among them is the List of Restricted Cuban Entities set up by the Department of State, with which people that are subject to US jurisdiction are prohibited from making direct financial transactions.

The aim of this decision was to hinder Cuba’s foreign trade exports, since more than 230 companies were included, from hotels to those related to sending remittances which lead to the closure of Western Union in the Caribbean nation.

Also the discontinuation of flights to Cuban airports, except to Havana, and the elimination of charter [flights]; as well as the approval of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act which allows those who make use of nationalised properties in Cuba to sue in US courts.

They also implemented the persecution of fuel supplies, as well as campaigns to discredit the Cuban medical cooperation programmes and pressure on the countries that received them.

Under the pretext of health problems suffered by the US diplomats in Havana, that could not be scientifically proven and reports from the US Department of State revealed governmental mismanagement, consular services in the Caribbean capital were closed.

This decision impacted the programme of reuniting families and the granting of visas for visits and the safe and orderly migration, as Cubans are forced to travel to third countries for all their formalities.

Including Cuba on the list of countries that are allegedly sponsoring terrorism was one of the last measures.

And Joe Biden’s administration, despite the campaign promises of returning to the pre-June 2017 path, has not eliminated any of Trump’s regulations, but instead has requested millions of dollars for subversive programmes. (PL)

(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: gcpopa83@gmail.com) Photos: Pixabay

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