[Marxism] Cubans see hope for change in Obama

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Sun Jun 15 23:06:48 MDT 2008

Carrol writes:
> Marvin Gandall wrote:
>> I appreciate you don't see any real possibility of an opening here, but
>> can
>> you see why the Cubans might?
> I can see why the Cubans might say so; I haven't the slightest idea, nor
> has anyone else, what their real expectations are.
The Cubans have reason to expect Obama will invite high-level unconditional
negotiations with them, as well as with the Iranians and the Venezuelans,
based on his public statements and dominant opinion in the US. They can't be
as confident in McCain, whose condemnation of Obama for wanting to negotiate
with "dictators" has become the centrepiece of his campaign. It's designed
to highlight Obama's inexperience, but it also reflects the views of the
waning faction within the US ruling class ideologically more disposed to
unilateral military action rather than diplomacy, regime change rather than

Of course, we know Fidel has pilloried Obama for his threat to keep the
embargo going unless Cuba gives more political space to pro-US and other
anti-government dissidents and releases those currently in jail. Eli and
others have jumped on this statement as evidence that there's nothing for
the Cubans to choose between McCain and Obama, and they fret about the
lingering illusions the poor Cubans have about the latter and the Democrats.

I plead guilty to having the "slightest idea" that the Cubans, who have
shown they can look after themselves, understand that Obama is staking out a
bargaining position and see it as progress, measured against McCain's
insistence that he would continue the current policy of not talking to them
at all, about anything.

Fidel's sharp rebuttal of Obama can be read as the Cubans' rejoinder that
they will not be pushed too far in any negotiation.

They'd be holding strong cards. Obama would be faced with either bowing to
the pressures of the pro-Republican Cuban exile leadership in Miami, or
advancing the interests of the farm lobby, the oil lobby, the tourism lobby,
the banking lobby etc. all looking to develop economic and commercial
ties with Cuba and chafing at the restrictions imposed on them by the
blockade. They wouldn't let the issue of "democratization" stand in the
way, any more than when the US normalized relations with the USSR and China.

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