Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba is undoubtedly historic, the culmination of a rapprochement process that began atNelson Mandela’s funeral. That was followed by six months of secret negotiations, the release of the “Cuban Five” intelligence officers and the USAID contractor Alan Gross, the reopening of diplomatic missions, a meeting between Raul Castro and Obama at the United Nations, and the removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Now, the American president is in Havana with a large group of members of Congress and entrepreneurs. Recent polls show that 56 percent of Cuban Americans favor a reopening of relations with Cuba and 36 percent oppose. Geographically, opinions are changing in the U.S. toward Cuba, so that now the main supporter of a bill to lift the embargo is a Republican, Tom Emmer of Minnesota. Most of those pushing for the reopening of trade relations are businesses, and that makes you think.
Already, in an article last summer, the think tank Foreign Policy In Focus raised the possibility of policy change toward Cuba. It concluded that in fact regime change remains the ultimate goal in a country that for decades has been the example for left-wing movements in Latin America. The long arm of American interests is in big trouble, if not full-blown crisis, despite a worrying advance of the right on the continent.