So, the Europeans have a new “common position” on Cuba. It is a political fig leaf. The EU see changes coming on the island, and dollar signs, and they do not want to be left behind. The Cuban people are not fooled by it.
In a Reuters exclusive on the diplomatic development: “Cuba wants capital, and the European Union wants influence,” said one person involved in the talks who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. “This cooperation could serve as a prelude to much more.” Wishful thinking.
Europe has increasingly little say what takes place in a future free Cuba because it has been a facilitator of Castro tyranny for well over 50 years. Of course, there are exceptions, especially from nations in the former Eastern Bloc who had to living under Communism throughout the Cold War. For the others, it is damage control and it is too little, too late.
For U.S. citizens and others holding certified claims against the Cuban regime — valued at about $7 billion — get ready. It’s time to start dusting off Title IV of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. European companies are already trafficking in properties clouded by a claims issue. It will increase.
The U.S. response to the EU diplomatic overture to the regime is muted; however, Obama Administration officials have worked to create new lines of communication with the regime. Obama’s Europhile foreign policy team likely supports the EU move. Yes, in contravention of U.S. law and policy. It did not stop them in Iran, why would it be any different with Cuba?
Talking about all things Cuba, be sure to read this post at Capitol Hill Cubans on a $5 million donation just made to The Atlantic Council for the creation of a Latin America Center. And over at Chris Simmons’s Cuba Confidential, two items of interest. The first one, a post about a Cuban spy’s artwork has been placed on exhibit at a Minneapolis museum. And, another one involving the Council on Foreign Relations and its in-resident Cuba defender, Julia Sweig.