It’s Not That Easy Mr. Trump

By Angel Guerra Cabrera on May 29, 2019

President Donald Trump’s operators want to put an end as soon as possible to revolutionary and progressive governments in Latin America and the Caribbean and they blatantly say the Monroe Doctrine is still alive. But as months go by at least their boss has been compelled to feel that this task is not that easy. It has led him to express his frustration for the failure of a flash plan devised by National Security Advisor John Bolton to overthrow Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro. He got bored about the issue and started focusing on a irresponsible policy towards Iran, also devised by Bolton himself, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and dear son-in-law Jared Kushner. They made Trump believe that they would achieve a break up within Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Force so that at least a military group would remove Maduro from office, perhaps with a bit of support from Yankee special forces. Immediately afterwards, they thought, the Cuban Government would fall over like a domino piece and Nicaragua’s Sandinismo would not last another sigh. Look at it now.

Six months have passed since Bolton announced in Miami sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, what he called a “troika of tyranny” (November, 1, 2018). He added that the United States expected to see the falling of “every sordid triangle of terror” in Havana, Caracas and Managua.

In  March, conceited by the accolades bestowed on  him by Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro during his visit to the White House, Trump triumphantly proclaimed that the “twilight hour of socialism” had arrived. Months later, Bolton announced new sanctions against Cuba and the other two members of the “troika” during a  visit to Florida to heap praise on the members of the mercenary CIA brigade defeated 58 years ago in Playa Giron by the Cuban people. Bolton was wildly cheered by the dwindling group with his usual mendacity he invented battles and heroic deeds that occurred only in his fevered imagination. In that moment, such a martial air was inflamed by the Bay of Pigs freedom fighters and his own delirious lies that the super hawk exclaimed, “Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are beginning to crumble!”

In that speech it  was announced that they would not continue the waiver against lawsuits under Title III of the illegal and immoral Helms-Burton Act, decreed every six months since 1996 by President Bill Clinton and his successors, including Trump until Bolton’s announcement. That does not dismiss Clinton from his historical responsibility of course for passing a norm that embraced all the blockade laws, devised from its beginning almost 60 years ago. It was cynically described at the time by then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Lester D. Mallory, “The majority of Cubans support Castro… The only effective way to make him lose internal support is to provoke disappointment and discouragement through economic dissatisfaction and hardship… All possible means must be put into practice quickly to weaken economic life (…) by denying Cuba money and supplies in order to reduce nominal and real wages, with the aim of provoking hunger, despair and the overthrow of the government.”

Successive waivers to the mentioned Title III was only owed to an agreement with the European Union and Canada, which had fought back against the United States at a court of the World Trade Organization in case that provision of the law was enforced. Their investments in Cuba would be affected if former owners of properties nationalized by the Cuban Revolution had the possibility to claim vindications to those who benefitted from them, as it may be the case of investors in the Island. Another significant reason for the preceding waivers was the concern of what precedent the aggressive extra-territoriality would set.

But as is well known, the United States was never willing to respect international law. It will not care about it today either. Trump has broken treaties and agreements without blinking, even sensitive accords such as the Paris Agreement on climate change or the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. The case of the blockade against Cuba is paradigmatic of an unprecedented abuse to international law since, just as Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov said at a press conference with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, only two countries in the world vote favoring the blockade at the United Nations. What’s worst for Washington is that despite all the damage the blockade is causing to the economy and to Cuban citizens, it has not and will not succeed in subduing them, the same as the Venezuelans. It’s worth noting how Cuba and Venezuela, each of them in their own circumstance, are fighting to overcome this situation. This is one of the reasons why the self-proclaimed puppet of puppets has deflated in such a way that, contrary to all that he promised to his supporters, he has accepted to join the talks in Oslo, Norway, for a political agreement in Venezuela. But let’s be careful. The power up North will never accept independent countries in its backyard.

Source: La Pupila Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano North America bureau