Miércoles, 26 de Julio de 2017
14:40 CEST.
Opinion

Editorial: Trump, Obama and subjugated Cubans

Cuba's official television aired Donald Trump's recent appearance at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami. That makes two speeches by US presidents that Cubans on the Island have been able to watch recently.

In March of 2016, at his appearance in Havana, Barack Obama proposed a policy based on the creation of opportunities, with an emphasis on the empowerment of entrepreneurs. Brimming with optimism, Obama expressed his belief that economic liberalization would spawn the democratization of Cuban society – despite the examples of China and Vietnam. His words sparked widespread popular support. At the same time, human rights violations increased, and the military elite, now converted into a business group, exploited the new scenario.

Barack Obama underestimated the degree to which independent entrepreneurs are subjugated by the regime, and the military elite stifles any kind of economic competition. With unintended effects, his policy of empowerment ended up actually abetting the oppressors.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has just announced that he will be relentless against this elite. His coercive turn in this regard is the right move, but he has failed to generate broad support for it among Cubans in the Island. And his speech at the Manuel Artime theater, rife with electoral rhetoric, generated a counterproductive image for a people tired of the confrontational gestures.

Those who advise the US president ought to take better advantage of the Castro regime's calculated decision to televise his speeches. Trump should not only send a clear message to Cuban exiles in Miami, but also to the several million Cubans on the Island who can see him.

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