This is the final shock of the Trump administration against Cuba: the return of the island to the list of countries supporting terrorism is a “political decision” that will affect the population without obtaining a concession from the Communist government, warn analysts .
• Read also: Trump administration puts Cuba back on list of “states supporting terrorism”
“We will remember Trump as the hurricane that hit Cuba in 1932”, the deadliest (3,000 dead) in the country’s history, sighs Angel Luis Lopez, 58, in a cobbled street in the old town. Havana.
“Trump, his nightmare is Cuba, even dead he will still want to attack Cuba”, adds another passerby, Ambarina Columbie, 56 years old.
The announcement on Monday of this final sanction, just nine days before Donald Trump’s departure from the White House, sparked outrage in Cuba, already hard hit by the strengthening of the American embargo in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the height of cynicism, terrorists and immoral people in the Trump administration accuse us of supporting terrorism,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel reacted on Twitter on Tuesday.
For the Cuban government, this is “political opportunism”, an opinion shared by the American think-tank Washington Office on Latin America (Wola).
“Clearly this is a politically motivated decision, a reward for the internal political allies of the Trump administration in recent weeks, more than an act of foreign policy,” said Geoff Thale, president of Wola, in a statement.
According to Wola, the measure will complicate the relationship with Cuba of the new government of Joe Biden and aggravate the economic difficulties of the Cubans.
“It is an act of revenge that will affect the Cuban people and do nothing to truly advance human rights or the interests of the United States,” according to Geoff Thale.
Former Democratic President Barack Obama, of whom Joe Biden was vice-president, removed Havana from this list in 2015, during the spectacular rapprochement between the two enemy countries, which then re-established their diplomatic relations in an attempt to turn the page of the Cold War.
This enchanted parenthesis had boosted American tourism on the island, stimulated the creation of restaurants and the private sector in general, bringing to many inhabitants a flow of new money and better paying jobs.
But since Donald Trump came to power, Cubans have watched with anguish raining down on sanctions, more than 190 in four years: the ban on American cruises and the obstacles to sending money from loved ones to the United States. island, in particular.
Cuba’s return to this blacklist, alongside Iran, North Korea and Syria, restricts its foreign trade and exposes foreign investors on the island to lawsuits in the United States.
For the professor and ex-Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray, with Obama the measures contained in the embargo, in force since 1962, were no longer applied that “at 90%, he had not been able to go down any more, and Trump was brought them up to 99% ”.
This latest sanction is “very cynical and hypocritical, because they know very well that there is no evidence” against the island.
For this former ambassador, Joe Biden should go back and call for the unconditional lifting of the embargo by the American Congress.
“The United States has been so implacable towards Cuba that there is nothing more to do (…), at one time they reproached us for our troops in Angola, at another the support of Cuba for the guerrilla movements in Latin America, ”he said of any conditions the US government might want to impose before easing its pressure.
The only thing Cuba has agreed to negotiate on is to offer compensation after the confiscation of properties from Cubans and Americans on the island during the revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959.
“What will Cuba do? Change its internal functioning? No, that is not going to happen, no country changes its way of doing things under pressure, ”assures Carlos Alzugaray, the Cuban government having accepted no concessions in nearly 60 years of embargo.