Jeffrey DeLaurentis: Trump’s Policy Approach To Cuba Is Irresponsible

Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the US diplomat who oversaw the Barack Obama government’s normalization of relations with Cuba (2009-2017), pointed out that the current policy towards the island is “irresponsible” and based on “internal politics “

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DeLaurentis regretted this Tuesday in an editorial published in the Miami Herald that the Donald Trump government is deporting Cubans seeking asylum in the United States, limiting the ability of Cuban-Americans to send remittances to the island and restricting trade opportunities. and travel.

“The hypocrisy of the administration is impressive,” said the diplomat, who led the US legation in Cuba between 2014 and 2017.

He criticized that those who direct the “maximum pressure” policy towards Cuba know that it will not lead to regime change, “but rather that it strengthens the hand of Cuba (and Iran) in Venezuela, with Russia and China filling the void that we leave behind.”

He regretted that “they continue on this path, trying to manipulate an important political bloc, understandably frustrated and impatient for the change on the island they love.”

DeLaurentis was a key actor in the bilateral rapprochement process initiated in December 2014 by former President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, which took a complete turn under the administration of the Republican Trump.

The diplomat called the current government’s approach “a hollow imitation of a policy that failed in the United States for almost 60 years.”

“Meanwhile, intransigents in Cuba smile from ear to ear. They know how to handle this playbook extremely well; it is much more comfortable for them than commitment,” he said.

With the reestablishment of bilateral relations and the opening of the US Embassy in Cuba in July 2015, DeLaurentis became Charge d’Affaires.

Obama formally nominated him as ambassador to Cuba in September 2016, but the Republican opposition, which controlled both Houses of Congress, declined to put that appointment to a vote, and DeLaurentis was never confirmed.

DeLaurentis stressed in the editorial that Obama’s policy increased the flow of information to, from, and within Cuba, and that Cuba’s private sector, which now represents 15% of GDP, was dynamic and growing.

“The living conditions of the Cuban people were improving, especially those with enough courage to venture into expanding private companies. The mentalities were changing,” he said.

He further assured that anyone who thinks they will be compensated through a lawsuit under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which now allows these processes in US courts for property confiscated on the island after the 1959 revolution, “is dreaming”.

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