Trump’s Shadow and Cuba’s Ruling Classes

Lynn Cruz

The head of Cuba’s Communist Party, Raul Castro and Donald Trump. File photo:

HAVANA TIMES – When US president, Donald Trump, came into power, I remember reading an essay by Deepak Chopra in which he warned that Trump represented America’s shadow and that we’d have to wait and see whether the world was ready to live in his shadow.

Those words really left a mark on me. For this US president has created a policy of rumors and theater during his time in office with his Twitter account. His actions aren’t in line with his words a lot of the time, but the terrifying enfant terrible effect he has does the trick. He is putting the entire world on edge.

Trump isn’t the president of any old country, he is the president of the most powerful country, and his politics are based on making shit hit the fan.

His compulsive nature is returning national pride to “America” (US). This, as well as economic growth, increases his support base, especially of those who have suffered the vicious cycle of poverty which ruling classes create. I think Trump has quite a good chance of winning his reelection. We’re lucky that he’s only allowed to run for a second time.

Here in Cuba

Something similar to the Trump phenomenon happened in Cuba in the early years of the Revolution, only it was a “lighter” version of the ruling class, and it was almost tongue-in-cheek the way they waited for people to call Fidel Castro “a madman” in the news, every morning.

There was a mass exodus of Cubans in the ‘60s, mainly the island’s bourgeosie. They thought that it would be wiser to wait for the end of this revolutionary frenzy, from afar. But, that decision automatically stripped the island of its political opposition. It was defining in terms of the entire country’s power falling into the hands of a single man. Of course, the existence of the former Soviet bloc also conspired in favor of Fidel Castro.

This first migration of Cubans was what led to the creation of Miami. As they were the old ruling class, they spoke English, many of them were already doing business with US companies when they were in Cuba, it was easier for them to pick up their capital and leave, take hold of political power in Florida (which is the same as economic power), and they are the ones with a deciding vote in elections.

That said, they feel like they are victims of expropriations and Castrismo. They aren’t the only ones, mind you, there are plently of examples of tragedies at sea, trying to flee the socialist paradise and seeking asylum in the US. 

My take on it is that in these past 60 years, most Cubans have lost out, especially the generation that brought about the Revolution and put their hearts into the process. Today, they have a ridiculously low pension. This is the punishment that has befallen those Cubans who supported Fidel Hood back in the day, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

However, if you have power, then you are right. That’s the way the game goes. The people ruling Cuba today are hiding behind the US embargo. Cubans in Florida don’t want to accept their mistake, of having downplayed Castro.  We know today that a candidate has to please the Cuban exile community if they want to be US president, like Trump did. That’s why, the situation that the Cuban people are suffering now depends on the duel between the Castro family and the first wave of Cuban emigres.

Lynn Cruz

It's not art that imitates life, its life that imitates art," said Oscar Wilde. And art always goes a step further. I am an actress and writer. For me, art, especially writing, is a way of exorcising demons. It is something intimate. However, I decided to write journalism because I realized that I did not exist. In Cuba, only the people authorized by the government have the right to express themselves publicly. Havana Times is an example of coexistence within a democracy and since I consider myself a democrat, my dream is to integrate this publication’s philosophy into the reality of my country.

8 thoughts on “Trump’s Shadow and Cuba’s Ruling Classes

  • June 20, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Thanks for your comments. Very usefull to understand better.

  • June 8, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    CNN showed an interview with Trump held in a US military cemetery in France with row upon row of white crosses in the background – each over the grave of a lost American. So what was Trump talking about in those surroundings? Why. Nancy Pelosi of course and how she is in his opinion losing her mind. It was an awful illustration of how the President of the US has lost all sense of decency – if he ever had any.

  • June 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I agree with everything in your comment Mr MacD. War is a terrible business.
    Thankfully there has been peace in Europe since the end of the conflicts in Ireland and Former Yugoslavia.

    In the end, I think the D Day commemorations were fine. Very moving.

    The presence of trump was entirely dwarfed by the presence of the surviving veterans.

  • June 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Wonder who wrote his speech for the banquet at Buckingham Palace Nick?
    Nothing can diminish respect for those who took part in the Allied invasions of Italy and D-Day. In early 1945, the Italian communists were taking revenge upon the Italian fascists – at Monfalcone, 14 bodies of fascists were recovered from a well – prior to the communists killing them, they had cut off their genitals. I know, because I saw the photographs – taken by my father. I say that because it demonstrates the awful level of hatred that developed between people of the same nation. Allied troops (and notice I include all Allied troops) had horrific experiences.
    One addition – to demonstrate civilian courage. When in 1938, the Nazis entered Austria, Viennese Dr. Max Pammer (Doctor of Law) was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp. He left his pregnant wife and two sons in Vienna. When in 1945 -seven long years later- Dachau was captured, Dr. Pammer insisted upon walking out of the gate unaided – he had survived. Upon returning to Vienna he met his seven year old daughter Lisl, for the first time. Later, he became the head of Austria’s State Police. I am still a friend of his oldest son as our fathers met in May, 1945.
    Man’s inhumanity to man is awful, but at it’s best, mankind as illustrated, can be astonishingly wonderful.
    How sad it is that we the following generations have not learned from the two World Wars, but continue to slaughter the innocent.
    So, relative to others and their contribution who the heck is Donald Trump?

  • June 4, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    The dark shadow of trump has gone over to the UK and lingers there until the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.
    It is a great shame that much of the focus will be taken away from the last surviving veterans on their last big anniversary of the largest ever seaborne invasion by the presence of the USA’s Liar-in-Chief and the inevitable protests that will ensue in his wake.
    It is darkly ironic that on this day, which should be their day, those who fought against fascism will, to some extent, be overshadowed by the presence of this sick and twisted U.S President who can count modern day fascists amongst the ranks of his supporters.

  • June 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    In reply to Lynn Cruz they don’t call Trump ‘ Master of The Spectacle ‘ for nothing. There may be a case of megalomania involved with his character. – MAGA – Make America Great Again is his cause and with a 22 trillion National Debt I can see he needs to blame The Whole World for this huge deficit. May cooler heads prevail in the weeks and months ahead.

  • June 3, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    It isn’t the US that is opposing the introduction of free enterprise in Cuba. It is Castro regime policy. When over forty years ago Vietnam introduced capitalism, Fidel Castro was highly critical as he and current dictator little brother Raul pursued Stalinist type communism. That remains the policy in Cuba. As for the hope initiated by Barack Obama both by diplomatic recognition and by his visit to Cuba in March 2016, when he opened the door to negotiation in his speech of March 21st at the Alicia Alonso Theatre, that was rejected seven days later with a letter purported to have been written by the failing Fidel Castro, read in full on all eight TV channels (14 minutes – I timed it) and published in Granma, on March 28th 2016.
    That successfully doused the hopes which had begun to grow in Cuban minds. So, just connect those dots!
    Just remember the recoded fact that Fidel Castro urged Nikita Khrushchev to make an initial nuclear strike upon the US population – Vietnam never did that.

  • June 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    1975 Vietnam wins..US loses…US institutes an embargo on Vietnam..1995 John Kerry goes to Vietnam..under Democratic US Gov…ends embargo (Vietnam kill 65,000 US kids)..1995 to the present Vietnam see massive economic growth..tourist come from all over the world..everyone has in door plumbing, cell phones,motor bikes and smart TVs. People call Denang the NEW MAUI..But cheaper.
    On the other hand the US has held the embargo against Cuba since 1960(Cuba did not kill a single US citizen) CAN WE CONNECT THE DOTS HERE. I was just in Cuba for 10 days..everyone had hope under the Republicans as always side with the ruling class. If they had continued the Obama policies..their probably would have 5 Home Depots (or something similar)in Havana and many of the buildings would have started with repairs..and the money would be flowing..just like Vietnam.

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