TODAY NICARAGUA – Joe Biden’s win of US presidential election is hope for “presidents” of several Latin American dictatorships – Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
That hope may be based partly on Trump’s campaign propaganda was that Biden will be soft on left-wing dictatorships. Republicans claimed Biden will take his foot off the gas pedal and ease sanctions against these autocratic leaders and governments.
What the Trump campaign failed to mention, and the Biden camp tried to emphasize, is that Biden is no softy on dictatorships. The other factor is that sanctions against Ortega and Maduro enjoy almost unanimous bipartisan support in Congress. Clearly, Biden – like Trump – would like to see big changes in Cuba. The difference between the two candidates lies in their choice of strategies.
Both Ortega and Maduro only remain in power because of force and fraudulent elections. Both have taken their cues from the Cuban model. They have a loyal military leadership and state security forces ready to squash any dissent. They’ve taken over all state powers and basically abolished human rights and justice in their countries.
Since Trump has imposed heavy sanctions on their families and key supporters, Ortega and Maduro hope Biden will change course. They are both looking for breathing room to continue consolidating their rule by force. However, Biden promises to continue demanding greater human rights and less repression in those countries.
What about Cuba?
Meanwhile, Trump’s policy on Cuba panders to a possible majority sector of Cuban-Americans who can vote. His actions see “squeezing the turnip dry” as the best way to rid the island of the Castro’s. The “turnip”, however, is the Cuban people on the island. They are clearly hurting badly from Trump’s punishment, much more than their rulers.
The Castro-Diaz Canel government continues to use the US embargo, and now the Trump sanctions, as a catch-all excuse. US policies allow them to justify the decades-long poor management of their near-bankrupt economy and political repression.
Biden promises a return to the Obama era rapprochement with Cuba. However, he has no love for the Cuban rulers. Obama’s policy was widely popular among Cubans who want change in their country. Interestingly, it was sharply criticized by Fidel and subsequently by Raul Castro and their Communist Party.
The Castro’s outright rejected Obama’s policy of opening more doors to Cuba. The Cuban government opposed the increased US travel, people-to-people exchanges and free flow of remittances to individuals and private businesses. They treated it as a “trojan horse” plan to subvert their rule. Their reaction was greater repression of dissenters and independent journalists and a slow-down in their own economic reform plan.
What Biden told Univision TV
During the electoral campaign, Trump vowed to continue his hardline xenophobic approach against immigrants and asylum seekers, especially from poor countries. He made no exceptions for those seeking asylum from Nicaragua, Venezuela, or Cuba. Biden, however, told Univision that he would have a very different approach to immigration policy.
To the question: “There is a notion that under your administration, the sanctions that were imposed on these regimes would be removed or softened,” Biden responded the following:
“No, I wouldn’t soften them. Moreover, those who have already fled those countries will not be deported either.” Responding to the recent instant deportations of young Nicaraguans seeking asylum, he said: “[This applies to] Nicaraguans too.”
The now president-elect added at the time: “If we are going to be tough on their governments, we cannot punish those who flee from these systems.” He added that as president he will immediately present a project granting Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to Venezuelans.
The Trump campaign harped on the scare of a communist takeover of the US with Biden, just one more lie of a president that has run roughshod over any form of honesty and decency.
From HAVANA TIMES
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