Behind the New Cuba – US Agreement

Isbel Diaz Torres

New hotel construction in Varadero. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – The news about the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States has taken nearly everyone by surprise, but perhaps it has not been as unexpected for those of us who have been following the process of capitalist restoration on the island.

The current diplomatic agreement will certainly help curb interventionist measures by the US government, particularly the unilateral blockade on the island, but it does not mean that the White House has abandoned its imperialist aims and will cease imposing economic and political models on the rest of the world.

The same agreement criticizes the previous approach but not its objectives. In that way, it insists on “implementing changes in Cuba” and the financing of “the programming of democracy in Cuba.”

“The administration will continue to implement US programs aimed at promoting positive change in Cuba”: this is the White House’s current position (which, conveniently, has not been divulged by Cuba’s official media).

The Cuban government knows that but Gen. Raul Castro claims we have arrived at this point without sacrificing any of our principles, when, in fact, what we have seen is the gradual abandonment of the anti-imperialist principles of the Cuban revolution and the aim of building socialism.

The agreement also does not mean that Cuba is considering a process of democratization and respect towards the political and civil rights of its citizens.

As I see it, the current change in diplomatic policy is, among other things, a reward the US government is giving Cuba for its efforts at normalization and its uncritical insertion in the world order, and it reveals the interests shared by the two States.

This, of course, stems from the fact these States are confident or estimate that this step will bring economic benefits to both their elites. Principles are never the main force that moves States.

I am of course in favor of putting behind the tricks with which both governments have alienated us for decades. Now, everything is much clearer, and USAID will be able to make its payments directly to the Cuban government, as per the “high-level commitment with Cuban officials” the White House mentions in its communiqué.

It is no accident the issue of private property in Cuba (one of the main, explicit demands of the Right and an implicit demand of the political and economic elites on this end) is addressed again and again in the document.

The longed-for moment in which the island is delivered into the hands of Capital is nearing, threatening to swallow us up in the predatory logic of the world order. Will that be better than the inefficiency and downright failure of Cuba’s model?

To shift my attention to another issue, I would like to point out that I support the release of prisoners by both countries, all of whom were “active victims” of the Cold War maintained by the two governments. At the human and family level, it is a highly positive decision, albeit one without much political importance.

In my view, it is a distraction that conceals more serious (systemic) issues, such as the development of a secret negotiations process whose terms have not been made public.

“We, the All-Mighty States, are the only salvation possible,” “look at how good we are”: is what they seem to be saying to us as they dismantle us as a society and individuals.

I hope that this abandonment of utopia (now made explcit) will at least help reunite Cuban families, the true victims of this hatred among States.

Isbel Diaz

Isbel Diaz Torres: Pinar del Rio and Havana are my cities. I was born in one on March 1, 1976, and I’ve always lived in the other. I am a biologist and poet, though at times I’ve also been a musician, translator, teacher, computer geek, designer, photographer and editor. I’m very non-conformist and a defender of differences – perhaps due to always having been an ever-repressed “model child.” Nothing enthralls me more than the unknown, nature and art; these serve as my sources of mystery and development. A surprising activism has been born in me over the recent period. Though I’m not very sure how to channel it, I feel that it’s a worthy and legitimate energy. Let’s hope I have the discernment to manage it.

12 thoughts on “Behind the New Cuba – US Agreement

  • January 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Poetic license aside, you make no sense, grammatically or otherwise. Castro bootlickers always fail in substantive debate. Maybe that’s the reason there is no freedom of speech in Cuba.

  • January 6, 2015 at 9:16 am

    “you deep but you shallow at the same time”

  • December 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Ironic isn’t it? Isbel would not have “limited access to the internet” if my comments really were “nonsense” instead of being the painful truth. Armchair Bolsheviks like you and your cadre of US-haters are good at sniping and making sarcastic comments but “a little light in the britches” when it comes to substantive and fact-based dialogue around the real problems facing the Cuban people.

  • December 28, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I hope Isbel won’t waste his limited access to the internet on any of your nonsense.

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