[OP-ED]: The World Rejects Trump’s Shameful Return to a Cold War Era Cuba Policy
How arrogant, obsolete and embarrassing is the so-called U.S-Cuba policy became even more evident this week, when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly condemned de U.S. blockade of the island for the 26th consecutive year.
The message was unmistakable: Nobody wants the blockade. The world has rejected it at the U.N. for more than a quarter century, every year with a greater majority. Without a doubt, this stale left-over from the Cold War era is a front runner for the title of the longest-lasting failed foreign policy ever. This year the world— almost unanimously — repudiated again Washington’s stubbornness with a vote of 191 to 2. The U.S. and its closest ally, Israel, were the only opponents, a step back from last year’s abstention by both countries.
Incredibly, after 55 years the “embargo,” central piece of what passes for a U.S. policy toward the island, continues to punish the people of Cuba, immovable, intact, immune to reason, a dark and absurd monument to politicking, hypocrisy and needless cruelty. Like a monstrous leech, this perverse policy is bound to become even more abusive under president Trump.
Faithful to this administration’s mendacious style, yet with no choice but to admit U.S. isolation, Ambassador Nikki Haley managed to tell the General Assembly with a straight face that “The U.S. does not fear isolation in this chamber or anywhere else. Our principles are not up for a vote. We will stand for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms that the member states of this body have pledged to protect, even if we have to stand alone.”
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez did not waste time in responding to what he called Haley’s “disrespectful sense of interfering statements.” And added: “She is reflecting the tenor of U.S. politics today.” The U.S., Rodríguez continued, has no moral authority to condemn Cuba since it is in “flagrant violation of human rights.”
“Today, I say that Cuba will never agree to conditions or anything being imposed on this order,” Rodríguez said. “We remind the president and his ambassador that this focus … has never worked and neither will it ever work in the future. He will be one more president implementing a policy that means a return to the past.” Ten previous White House dwellers can attest to the veracity of Rodríguez’s statement.
Rodríguez took advantage of the occasion to forcefully repudiate the U.S. sonic attacks accusations which led to a drastic personnel reduction at the American Embassy in Havana and the expelling of 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington. Trump had blamed Cuba last month for the mysterious illness of several U.S. CIA operatives and diplomats in Havana.
“They lie when they talk of attacks or incidents,” Rodríguez said, making clear Cuba’s belief that the alleged attacks are nothing more than a pretext to turn back the clock on the normalization of relations initiated by President Obama. The U.S. came up with this outrageous invention, according to Rodríguez, to justify “new political measures against Cuba which further tighten the blockade and affect bilateral relations as a whole.”
What else could be expected from Donald Trump, a president who keeps embarrassing his country by replacing diplomacy with bullying and common sense with dangerous stupidity?