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Thursday, April 26, 2018

New president, new restrintions for Cuba

Por qubano22005

The monarchy of the Castros apparently ended. The Cubans are living a historic moment, the transfer of power of the brothers who came down from the Sierra and who for almost half a century were the obsession of the different North American administrations. As expected, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has become the new president of the Council of State and Ministers of Cuba. Many changes in the island will depend on him, and hopes for transformations for the majority of the Cuban population that continue with a weak economy, despite the discreet progress under Raul Castro”s administration. But will US policy change towards the largest of the Antilles?

Several foreign policy analysts comment that far from cooling, the sanctions towards Cuba could intensify to the discontent of Cubans and the government, a strategy that has been used in Venezuela for more than a decade. Recently, Senator Marco Rubio commented that he expects the State Department to take advantage of the Cuban political situation to increase sanctions against the country and towards the "powerful" companies of the island that are in the hands of the military. It should be noted that Diaz-Canel, like his predecessors, has military training. He graduated as an electrical engineer in 1982 from the Universidad Central de las Villas Marta Abreu, and began his professional career as an officer of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) in Military Unit 3875, where he remained until 1985.

During the interview granted by Rubio to the Herald, the politician considered that Rex Tillerson was too soft with the approved sanctions if he wants to achieve a change in Cuba. The senator from Florida has been at Trump's side in shaping the foreign policy towards the largest of the Antilles and advising on Latin American issues. His animosity towards Cuba responds to the fact that his parents had to flee from the island because of, precisely, the Castros. Rubio has inherited hatred towards the Communist regime and from his position as Senator he promotes the bloodiest of sanctions. The last ones were related to travel restrictions and sanctions against military companies of Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group (GAESA).

Rubio confessed in the dialogue with the Herald journalist that he was confident that Mike Pompeo will support him in increasing punishments. Pompeo, who has always listened to Rubio's advice, may increase the list of entities controlled by the Cuban armed forces that should be "watched" more closely.

Although the new generations of Cubans have confidence that during Diaz-Canel Bermúdez’s administration the changes urgently needed by the island would be promoted; the economic entities that enter capital are still in the hands of the military. Unconfirmed sources estimate that GAESA, led by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, son-in-law of the current ruler Raúl Castro, owns about 180 companies, including hotels, factories, stores and other businesses, representing 60% of the economy of the nation.

On the other hand, Rubio will seek that the governments of the region that support US repudiate the new Cuban administration. Among the actions are the promulgation of the new US ambassador to the OAS, Carlos Trujillo, of a resolution that does not consider the new government authentic. The Florida senator believes that the transition of power has been fraudulent.

According to Rubio, some thirty Latin American countries must ignore the new government. Although as is known, the prestige of Cuba and its solidarity showed with nations of the continent have served as a shield for leaders of the region to contain themselves and follow the United States and Rubio's desire to isolate the Caribbean people.

The announcement of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as president will be made in the context of Fidel Castro's victory over the CIA troops that attacked the Bay of Pigs. Will the new president be victorious in a battle against the new mercenaries?