The Cuban government has responded to Donald Trump’s plans to “cancel” former president Obama’s policy to improve relations between Cuba and the United States, following his speech in Miami. In an official statement, the Cuban government denounced Trump’s announcement as full of “hostile rhetoric,” saying his policy would damage the progress made after Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met in 2014 to reestablish diplomatic relations and normalize bilateral ties between the United States and Cuba.
Under Trump’s proposed changes to the policy on Cuba, trade and travel will be restricted. In his speech in Little Havana, Trump also highlighted that he will be against any business dealings with any companies supported or owned by the Cuban Armed Forces. To justify his decisions, Trump points to a history of human rights abuses in Cuba.
But the Cuban government pointed out that the United States is in no position to give Cuba “lessons.” The statement questions the “guarantees” of human rights in the United States, referring to “numerous cases of murders,” police brutality, racial discrimination, wage gaps, child labor, lack of health care, and deaths by guns. It further reminds that the U.S. federal government abandoned the Paris agreement to protect the environment and considered putting up “walls that denigrate neighbors.”
It also mentions that Trump’s policy is similar to “coercive methods of the past,” and that “any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it seeks to achieve it through pressures and impositions, or by using more subtle methods, will be doomed to fail.”
Cuba assures that it is “willing to continue a respectful dialogue and to cooperate on issues of mutual interest, as well as negotiating pending bilateral agreements,” according to the statement published on the government’s official news source.