Cuba’s party newspaper Granma printed this headline on the front page on Thursday: “An anti-Cuban provocation fails.”
According to the Foreign Ministry communiqué, in order to thwart this provocation, the Cuban government has denied entry to the island to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, as well as former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and former Chilean Minister Mariana Aylwin. They had been invited to Havana by “an illegal anti-Cuban small group” led by Rosa María Payá, Oswaldo’s daughter. He was a prominent dissident who died in 2012 after a car accident (which, according to the family, was “provoked” by the Cuban secret services).
Such a hard measure against the OAS Secretary has obviously sparked negative comments from a lot of international press, not only in Latin America. But the measure was explained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claiming it was needed to prevent the organization in “Havana of an open and serious provocation against the Cuban government” to “create internal instability” and “compromise the progressive advancement of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.”
The level of confrontation, which now also involves leading figures in Latin America, not just Cuban opponents and the Florida anti-Castro leadership, shows that the issue of relations between Cuba and the Trump administration is important for the government led by Raul Castro.