Obama and the Cuban opposition
DDC | Madrid | 19 de Enero de 2017 - 11:47 CET.
Both Barack Obama and the main dissidents in Cuba consulted by this
publication believe that the elimination of the dry foot/wet foot policy
will give rise to a momentous situation on the Island. At the end of his
statement, Obama justified the measure as the best way to assure that
Cubans can enjoy prosperity, bring about reform, and determine their own
destiny. His last words were, "as I said in Havana, the future of Cuba
should be in the hands of the Cuban people."
With it, he asserted that this step was necessary for the
democratization of Cuban society. Through his visit to the Island, his
words there, and his policy of reestablishing relations, the US
president has opted for the most direct dialogue possible with Cuban
businesspeople, in the hope that economic freedom will spawn political
freedom. But this formula, repeatedly resisted by Havana, is not a sure
thing; the case of China demonstrates that a free market can, in fact,
exist alongside a single-party system.
Nevertheless, unlike other instances, in which the Cuban opposition has
been divided in their reactions to presidential measures towards Cuba,
this time all the dissidents consulted agree that the elimination of the
dry foot/wet foot policy could very well prompt a public political
discussion in which people lay claim to their rights. Dissident Manuel
Cuesta Morúa has even pointed out that the new situation could "force
the Cuban government to take more internal measures favoring Cubans'
well-being and freedoms, which are really what are at stake."
According to UNPACU leader, José Daniel Ferrer, "this is going to spur
many people to see that no other option is left, that they must fight
for their freedom, their rights, their well-being, and opportunities
here in Cuba."
Antonio Rodiles, a consistent critic of Obama's
measures, recognized that the elimination of dry feet/wet feet is going
to have a major effect.
All of them speak of the "escape valve" that massive emigration to the
USA has constituted until now. To this must be added the worsening of
the country's economic situation and that regarding liberties within it,
evident in light of the official economic data, the rise in repression,
and one of the main consequences that this new Obama measure will
entail: a decrease in the total amounts received in family remittances,
which constitute one of the cornerstones of the nation's economy.
Source: Obama and the Cuban opposition | Diario de Cuba -