Biden’s change in Cuba raises hopes on the island | international

Cuba is watching with caution, but with some optimism, of Joe Biden’s landing in Washington, although the island authorities are aware that the dismantling of more than 200 penalties adopted by Donald Trump and the resumption of Obama’s policy of rapprochement, he said. The boss who is going to do it won’t be easy or fast. last Thursday , The US administration confirmed that it would “review” Trump’s policies towards Cuba. Among other international affairs. This stated goal indicates that the path of opportunity is open, although normalization will be slow and arduous.

In the absence of an official Cuban response to what the new president’s spokesperson said, the words of the Cuban President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, upon learning of Biden’s victory, give clues about the situation. It was a brief message contained in the Cuban road map in its relations with Washington: “We believe in the possibility of establishing a constructive bilateral relationship that respects differences.”

This position, on the one hand, means that the island is prepared to work with the United States even when the economic embargo and other harmful sanctions are still in effect, and on the other hand, it proves that the United States cannot expect anything from Cuba. Concessions or give and take to progress in standardization. The place Cuba will occupy among the priorities of the new administration in North America is unknown. The same applies to the extent that Biden wishes to recover from Obama’s policy, who is aware of the advantage of “knocking down the door” in US relations with Cuba, as it was opposed to dialogue with Cuba until that moment. From the Republican and Democratic parties.

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The political game in the US Congress and Senate, where the Democratic majority is scant and there is a very active Cuban American lobby, will be fundamental to Washington’s future moves. But according to experts on relations between the two regions, as well as Cuban officials in informal talks, there are reasons to harbor hope for a new breakthrough and the two countries can cooperate in various fields, as happened in the last two years of Obama’s rule. When Havana and Washington signed 22 agreements in various fields.

Although the White House spokesman’s statements were a simple response during a press conference, academic and former Cuban ambassador to the European Union Carlos Alzugarai notes in his words “two important aspects”: “Only nine days after the seizure of Biden, it was confirmed that Cuba On the agenda as part of the national security policy review process Second: “It is important to appreciate that in the spokesperson’s statement, the pejorative rhetoric against the Cuban government as a dictatorship has disappeared, a system… very common in the previous administration.


Most important to the Cuban government are the appointments to some of the key positions affecting Havana. The team Biden appointed to deal with foreign policy is aware of the Cuban issue. “Many of them had a relationship with the negotiations between the two countries and the implementation of Obama’s policy,” says Zogarai. They include Havana-born National Security Minister Alejandro Mayorcas, Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken or USAID (development agency) director Samantha Power. Zoghri points out that the three “know and know their Cuban interlocutors, which facilitates dialogue. Perhaps the first lady, Jill Biden, who made an official trip to Cuba in October 2016, should be included in this group. “

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Although the stars of normalization appear to be harmonious, Cuba faces three main obstacles complicating the approach: the presence of the blockade; Trump recently listed Al Jazeera On the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. And the existence of several Trump blacklists, in which there are more than 200 Cuban companies that North America cannot deal with. Of course, the Helms-Burton Act, which imposes extraterritorial penalties on companies with interests in Cuba, is another stumbling block. Yesterday, Spain demanded that Brussels request Washington to suspend its request quickly.

Cuba is confident that Biden will begin dismantling the sanctions scaffolding at some point. She declared that she is ready To restore normalization of Obama And sit down to negotiate if the new administration has that will and the political space to achieve it.

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