The more things change, the more they stay the same
La Alborada - Aug 1
Have things changed in respect to Cuba under the Obama administration?
There is a much more fluid interchange among citizens through people-to-people travel, and an exchange of artists that had been suspended during the Bush years. Families can travel more often and send more money to relatives on the island. Other than that, however, the policy remains the same, as do the means by which the US continues to attempt to overthrow the government of Cuba. That remains the ultimate goal.
Yesterday, Cuba made public a video concerning yet another of the many efforts in support of the policy. In this case, a US-funded front in Miami recruited several young Mexican men to visit Cuba during the Pope's visit. It would not have been seen as unusual for Mexicans to want to see the Pope in person and see Cuba as well.
Their mission was to deliver certain items to well-known dissidents, and also to participate in attempting to generate public demonstrations among the people assembled to see the Pope. This, in turn, was expected to provoke a reaction on the part of the government, which would then be filmed and immediately sent around the world as proof of repression in Cuba. If all went well, the Pope himself would censure the Cuban government. An enthusiastic member of the Cuban Republican Party in Miami hoped for an "Arab spring" uprising.
The items to be delivered ranged from money to a ready-made banner that needed only to be unfurled.
The video contains the testimony of several of the Mexican youth involved, and other evidence of what has been the case for years: the dissidents are funded and coordinated from abroad, and the plan is still to promote a popular explosion that somehow will become the beginning of the end of the Revolution.
These are not the products of the Bush years. They are planned and implemented under President Obama and Secretary Clinton. They are the very same kind of projects and procedures as before, although, under the new more-flexible guidelines for travel to Cuba, it can be expected that the flow of money and materials to build subversion, and the coordination of actions such as the one described above, have become easier.
Also yesterday, it was announced that the US again had named Cuba to its list of terrorist nations, something that the State Department is finding more and more difficult to justify. That is not just a moral designation of some kind, although it is roughly the equal of being included in an Axis of Evil: by law, it carries with it specific and automatic negative consequences for the countries named.
It is hard to believe that the State Department and CIA truly believe that an Arab spring is in the offing in the Caribbean, just as the prior President and Secretary of State guaranteed that an uprising (this was before the events in Tunisia and Egypt) would explode as soon as Fidel were unable to remain as President. They expected the agencies/agents of the US to be landing in Cuba two weeks thereafter. Of course, it's been years since Raul took over.
If high officials do not really believe that, then the alternative explanation is to be found in the money and votes available for political campaigns. But, presidential campaigns begin after the first two years of each presidential term, which mean that they go on all the time, as do the campaigns for Congressional representatives.
Things have changed, but, for now, they appear to remain the same.