More than $130 billion is what Cuba has lost because of 50 years of economic, financial and commercial blockade, unilaterally applied by the United States since the early 1960s. Once again this year, Havana is preparing to submit a motion to the United Nations condemning this embargo. But this time, the dangerous climate is more reminiscent of the Cold War years.
Donald Trump’s statements on Friday — to keep the embargo and block the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba — are like a strong wind against the flicker of hope, initiated by President Obama, that the two countries might ease tensions.
The U.S. State Department has confirmed that it will not grant visas to Havana and that Cubans wanting to travel to the United States for family reunification, as well as for tourism or commercial purposes, will have to apply for a visa in a third country. It also announced that all interviews scheduled for unsolicited visa requests are canceled; the $160 fees will not be reimbursed. In fact, for average Cubans it will be virtually impossible to come up with the money for a visa to the U.S., which isn’t even a guaranteed bet.