Death stalemate in Cuba

Editorial of the “World”. Cuba: nothing to report, alas! Evidenced by the testimony of dissident Yunior Garcia published in The world December 22. The young playwright, founder of a civic platform pleading for the democratization of the island, was silenced and then forced into exile, like many others before him.

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The replacement in 2018 of the presidency of the country from Raul Castro by an apparatchik, Miguel Diaz-Canel, as head of the Cuban Communist Party in April of this year, has in no way changed the nature of this tropical dictatorship. At the same time, the return of a Democratic president to the White House was not accompanied by an opening similar to that courageously sketched out by Barack Obama just six years ago, on December 17, 2014. Donald Trump had put it there prematurely and suddenly, preventing it from taking stock in the light of results.

Circumstances, it is true, did not help Joe Biden. Aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the endemic economic slump that is raging on the island sparked on July 11 a wave of historic protests, unprecedented in form and scale, severely repressed by the regime. Joe Biden had no choice but a conviction with penalties.

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The latter could only be symbolic, given the embargo imposed by the United States, which will pass its 60th birthday in February. The Cuban regime responded with an equally mechanical hardening, in accordance with a partition worn by dint of having served too much: that which makes Washington the sole source of all the ills of the country.

Popular discontent

The United States has believed time and again that its strangulation of Cuba will pay off in the end. First of all, after the disappearance of the Soviet godfather, who was to open the dark parenthesis of the “special period”, characterized by a collapse of the economy. After the implosion of Venezuela then Chavist, Caracas having taken over to bring the Castro regime at arm’s length. These hopes may have been dashed, Washington continues to cling to this policy at a time when China is showing increasing interest in the Caribbean area.

The Cuban dictatorship’s ability to survive should not, however, be underestimated. They range from the classic repression, which Yunior Garcia has had the trying experience, to the very occasional improvement of supplies to reduce popular discontent. The latter was one of the driving forces behind July 11, with more political slogans against the regime.

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To the misfortune of the Cubans, who find a rare unity when it comes to denouncing the embargo of the United States, the fate of the island is hostage to a perverse dynamic: the electoral considerations of American officials, mostly Republicans. They push the latter to the bidding to attract the good graces of a part of a willingly revenge diaspora, whose weight is considered significant in Florida, key state of any presidential election.

During the last campaign, Joe Biden had stigmatized this strategy of strangulation, assuring that the repression of Cubans by the regime had worsened during Donald Trump’s tenure, instead of diminishing. Given the ossification of a Castroism now devoid of Castro, despite limited reforms focused on the economy, the Democratic president must remain faithful to this analysis. Engaging in a long-term policy favoring the fate of Cubans by loosening the noose will always be preferable to the chimera of a great counter-revolutionary evening.

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Death stalemate in Cuba

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