President Díaz-Canel has said that Cuba is ready for the possible reelection of Donald Trump. “For us these situations are not new. Cuba is prepared to face difficult times, with re-election or without reelection”, he told national and foreign journalists accompanying him on a working visit to Sancti Spiritus on 23 January.
Cuba’s President also said that Cuba is open to holding talks with the US and to a civilised relationship as long as it is based on equality and respect. “We continue to insist that we are open to dialogue with the US, that we can have a civilised relationship, as Army General Raúl Castro said. But it has to be on the basis of equals, they have to treat us as equals, they have to respect our sovereignty, they have to respect our self-determination,” Radio Rebelde reported him as having said.
“Rest assured that we are not going to give up, we are not going to let ourselves be defiled, nor are we going to kneel. We have the strength, we have the support of the population”.
“We have a whole strategy, we always have answers in our history, we have a whole legacy, in situations like this (of) resistance, struggle, and we have always been able, with that resistance and that struggle, to find ways out and emancipatory responses”, he told accompanying journalists.
In answer to questions, Díaz-Canel said that Cuba believed that the way Trump has behaved towards Cuba was about more than just his desire for re-election. There were, he said, three fundamental scenarios.
The first of these, Cuba’s President said, was electoral as he would undoubtedly “try to win the support of the reactionary Cuban community in Miami, which we classify as the Cuban-American mafia”. This, he added, reflected “an error of appreciation, because (more in) the community in Miami voted for Obama who had another position towards Cuba, than for Trump himself”. Although Trump believed he was gaining the support of that community, he was in reality “responding to the interests of a small minority of the people who are involved in relations between Cuba and the United States”, Díaz-Canel observed.
A second element, the Cuban President noted, was that “an important part of US policy has failed in Latin America. They have made attempts to overthrow several progressive governments and the opposite has really happened”. Venezuela’s revolution “remained standing” when Washington had assumed it would not exist, and a group of popular protests had begun to manifest themselves elsewhere, Díaz-Canel said
“Given the collapse of the United States policy towards Latin America, they have tried to find pretexts and one of them – which is very unfair, manipulative and lying – is to say that Cuba is the cause, and they then include us in an axis of evil that they believe to be Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. ”
Cuba’s President concluded by suggesting that the third factor was “Trump’s way of thinking”. He described as “ridiculous” the way in which the US “almost every week applies a sanction against Cuba and then uses manipulative language, saying that it is to help the Cuban people”. The impact neither helped the Cuban people, nor Cuban families living in the US, or the American people, Díaz-Canel said.
“We continue serenely, amid complex situations”, he told the media. “They have tried to cut our fuel supplies. Today the country is working with a fuel deficit, but you have seen right here, in a province in the centre of the country, that life goes on, that people keep their commitment, maintain vitality in all their aspirations and also in their daily lives . That’s the way, that’s how Cubans are”. Díaz-Canel said.
Cuba Briefing is available on a subscription-only basis. Please click here to sign up to a free trial.