Elio Delgado Legón
HAVANA TIMES — After diplomatic relations were reestablished between Cuba and the US and the long and complicated process of normalizing relations between the two countries began, I published a commentary in Havana Times entitled: New Cuba-US Relations: Business over Politics, where I stated the following:
“The US is also interested in importing many products from Cuba that they can’t find in other markets – some because they are made exclusively in Cuba and others because they are made to a much better quality here.”
“Another issue that, as I see it, is even more important than trade, is the possibility of investing in Cuba, particularly in the Mariel Special Development Zone, which has already received numerous applications from businesspeople from other countries.”
“In my opinion, the interests of US businesspeople will prevail over those of the Cuban-American legislators and their war-mongering supporters.”
It hasn’t been long since all of this began and the facts prove that I was right in at least a part of the problem, as dozens of US citizens have come to Cuba interested in strengthening their economic ties. The visits have included government officials, Congress members and business people.
Pressure on Congress has been increasing, as I foresaw, and I think we can safely say that if legislation designed to end the trade embargo, totally or partially, were to come up for a vote, the majority would be in favor.
However, I was very mistaken about another aspect of the problem. I assumed we were dealing with a democratic Congress as it belongs to the country that preaches to be the number one defender of democracy in the world. But that’s not really the case. The US Congress has just proven that it isn’t democratic in the slightest, as everything suggests that the decisions they make are dictated by certain interests.
Interests in the health sector stopped President Obama’s plan for giving medical attention to millions of people who don’t have access to medical care today from being approved. Arms manufacturers and dealers’ interests prevented a restrictive measure with regard to selling arms from being adopted, even though thousands of people die, victims of gun shootings, every year. To achieve this end, they invoked an ammendment in the Constitution dating back to the 18th century, when it was a totally different time and situation to the one we have today.
More recently, two congressmen announced that they would present ammendments to the State Budget Law, one to remove restrictions on traveling to Cuba and the other one was to normalize agricultural exports to the island. Both of them had a good chance of being approved; however, the unexpected happened: three congress people of Cuban descent, representatives of Miami’s anti-Cuban mafia, got together with the other two congressmen who were going to put forward these ammendments and soon after, these two declared that they wouldn’t propose the amendments, not today and or in the future.
What was the pressure they used on both these legislators so that they would make this decision? I’m absolutely certain that it was blackmail, and quite possibly the threat that horrible things could happen to them or their families.
I must confess that I was wrong when I predicted that the US Congress would end the trade embargo sooner or later. I wasn’t aware back then that this legislative body was dominated by Miami’s anti-Cuban mafia.