The lifting of sanctions is significant because “Caracas has further served as an economic lifeline for Havana, supplying much of the regime’s energy needs on credit, with extremely lenient terms.”
As the U.S. announced the lifting of sanctions, the Miami Herald reported, Venezuela’s Maduro regime surrounded the home of opposition leader Juan Guaidó and arrested his former deputy Freddy Guevara. The U.S. move took the establishment media by surprise.
“The Biden Administration is also maintaining its predecessor Donald Trump’s confrontational stance on Venezuela and China, two of Cuba’s closest allies,” Newsweek reported Tuesday, in a piece headlined, “Joe Biden Wounds Cuba, Venezuela and China’s Hopes of Obama-Style Détente.” Back in February, Reuters reported that Biden was in “no rush” to lift sanctions on Venezuela but would consider easing them if Maduro showed he was ready to negotiate with the opposition.
Maduro did no such thing, and cracked down on the opposition even as the sanctions were lifted. Protesters in Caracas and Havana had grounds to believe the move aligned the United States with Cuban and Venezuelan regimes, and against those now suffering repression. Biden’s belated statement on the Cuban protesters, for example, was hardly “full throated,” as Newsweek claimed.
“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic,” the White House statement said, “and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime.” So the protest is primarily about the pandemic and an openly Communist regime is only “authoritarian.” Contrast Biden with Bernie Sanders during the 2020 primaries. “We’re very very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” the Vermont socialist said, “ but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”
Cuban protesters bore signs denouncing la dictadura, but Biden would not say “dictatorship,” or “totalitarian,” much less “Communist.” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden press secretary Jen Psaki if Cubans wanted to leave because “they don’t like Communism.” Psaki said Cubans were “opposed to the oppression, to the mismanagement of the government in the country.”
In similar style on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters “Cubans were “tired of the mismanagement of the Cuban economy, tired of the lack of adequate food and, of course, an adequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
On Tuesday Biden’s Department of Homeland Security boss Alejandro Mayorkas told Cubans “if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.” If individuals establish “a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement. They will not enter the United States.” As embattled Cubans might note, that marks a stark contrast to Biden’s open-border policy with “migrants” from anywhere else in the world.
“Freedom Floats: Cubans Risking Death to Cross Straits on ‘Chugs,” headlines a July 2 report in Keysweekly. Since October, the U.S. Coast Guard has interdicted 512 Cubans. If the fleeing Cubans are intercepted “they are held at an undisclosed location and returned in groups to the island nation.” Flight from the Communist nation is not a new development.
According to the Library of Congress, “In the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of hopeful emigrants attempted to flee by sea, chancing death by drowning, exposure, or shark attacks to make the 90-mile crossing. Many thousands rode only on flimsy, dangerous, homemade vessels, including inner tubes, converted cars, and cheap plywood rafts, or balsos. Hundreds of the balseros died on the journey.” For other accounts of the exodus see the Washington Post, from 1991, and a 2014 report in the New York Times.
As these and many other reports confirm, Cuba is so repressive that Cubans of all ages will flee the Communist dictadura in virtually anything that floats, risking their lives and leaving loved ones behind. Cuba was a Soviet colony but after demise of the USSR, Venezuela became the Cuba’s primary supporter. Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro transformed a prosperous nation into a socialist basketcase, but the regime still propped up the Cuban dictadura. Biden’s lifting of sanctions will reinforce that support.
Maduro regards Juan Guaidó as a U.S. puppet, the role Joe Biden plays for the composite character David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. His beloved Frank Marshall Davis, who got more than 2,000 words in Dreams from My Father, was an African American Communist who spent most of his life defending an all-white Soviet dictatorship. In similar style, the composite character president put time back on the clock for Cuba’s all-white Communist dictadura, headed for decades by white Sado-Stalinist Fidel Castro.
The composite character is a big fan of Black Lives Matter, and according to BLM Cuba is being “punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination.” A BLM statement blames the USA for Cuba’s problems and praises the regime for protecting “Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur,” a reference to cop-killer JoAnne Chesimard, given asylum by Fidel Castro.
Joe Biden is such a fan of Black Lives Matter that he allows U.S. embassies to display BLM flags and banners. Maybe the Delaware Democrat thinks Cubans “ain’t black,” if they don’t like their “authoritarian” government that mismanages the economy. If Cubans thought the addled Joe Biden was a friend of the Communist dictadura and an enemy of the Cuban people it would be hard to blame them. ✪