By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES — Donald Trump’s victory in the US’ presidential elections was very surprising here like in most places. The favorite for the majority in the US seemed to be Hillary Clinton, because of her experience, her discourse and because of the scandalous comments her rival made (as well as those made about him).
Even though the polls gave very little margin for a Democrat victory, it was expected that these would be much greater on Election Day. “Frustration” is the word that’s going around these past few days and spreads a kind of Trump panic across the entire world, mainly on the stock markets.
With regard to the mistaken predictions, this shock is logical; we’re used to politicians losing their support outright when their image is stained with moral and principle scandals like those that have affected Trump. However, the US people have said “yes” to him and the majority is willing to entrust the fate of their country and place it in the hands of a controversial multi-millionaire.
The Cuban vote in Florida seems to have favored the magnate and could be considered a “punishment vote” against the Democrats because they didn’t agree with the kind of negotiations that they were making with Cuba. Even so, his victory in the State of Florida can’t be attributed to this because it was a general trend across the nation. Trump, regardless of all the crazy things he said, was a novelty and successfully exploited sensitive issues, such as the outsourcing of industry and its consequent jobs. He’s an unusual Republican just like Obama was in his time as a Democrat, placed before an electorate that wants change.
At this point Trump inspires uncertainty for Cuba
Here on the island, listening to people’s reactions, you can feel that Trump doesn’t inspire a lot of trust and after his last few campaign statements regarding Cuba, many believe that there will be a setback in relations. And it’s perfectly possible because the embargo laws are still in effect and all of the progress that has been made is thanks to presidential directives; that is to say that they can be repealed in the same way. It’s already happened once before when George W. Bush (Republican) went back on Bill Clinton’s (Democrat) agreements with North Korea to stop their nuclear program and to encourage peace throughout the peninsula, which remains split even up until today because of that decision.
However, it’s very unlikely that Donald Trump will break off relations with Cuba. However, as he has made clear from the very beginning, he’ll try to do it differently, to make “a better deal”. He’s a businessman, he’s very pragmatic and he’s not going to beat around the bush. It’s very likely that he will hurt the Cuban leaders´ “sovereign and nationalist sentiments”, who honoring their “great dignity” are capable of distancing themselves from this dialogue.
Beyond whoever is the US President and going beyond their campaign speeches to attract the Cuban vote in Florida, our problems are much more urgent as a nation. The embargo hinders the development of our economy and we need polite relations with our powerful neighbor, better than they were in the past. However, what our people really need, what they’re truly in desperate need of, can’t be resolved by Obama, or Hillary, or Trump, because only we can achieve them.
We need to rescue our popular sovereignty from the hands of the Communist Party; establishing a democratic system that maintains the good things we’ve achieved with the Revolution and that gives us space so that everybody is free and equal; and making an economic model that unties our productive forces and drives us towards the economic and social development that we need.
It’s only with these essential steps that we able to take advantage of our strengths in the context of really opening up our economy to the world.
Trump made an election campaign with the Cuban issue just like he did with other controversial issues. As an eccentric and successful millionaire, posing as a politician, he has made many blunders. This triumph is the culmination of his personal success and is perhaps the peak of his ambitions and challenges, which will surely only feed his ego further.
However, this will play out on a different plain to the one that will come as of January 20th when he becomes the President of the richest country in the world, which exercises great leadership globally and is the greatest military and nuclear power. Once he’s in the Oval Office, his eccentricities will have to stay behind at the door and he’ll have to begin his responsible job.
Let’s hope that a distinguished group of skilled advisers are able to “polish” him up as a politician and show that he can be just as successful in this new endeavor as he has been in business. I’m sure his nonsensical proposals to build a wall on the Mexican border, the promised mass deportations of immigrants and his sexist coarseness with women will end, which have sparked such indignation.
Let’s also hope that he can do the same thing he promised to do with Cuba: “a better deal”; which will be even better than the one Obama made, not just for the US but for the Cuban people too. If it’s to outdo what’s taken place so far, then welcome Trump!