January 24, 2015 14:35
Last month, Washington surprised the world when it lifted sanctions against Cuba. Political analyst Daniel Shaw believes the US strategy is unchanged and this is just an attempt to turn Cuba into a neo-colony.
Barack Obama declared the 50-year-long isolationist effort as ultimately futile and ineffectual.
Some observers say the policy shift against America’s communist neighbor represents a new page in US-Cuba relations, broken since 1959 after Fidel Castro established communist rule over the island.
Daniel Shaw, Adjunct Professor of international affairs at City University of New York, says the thaw is just a ploy on the part of Washington, anxious to re-colonize Cuba under the guise of a Trojan horse. Shaw gives his views to RT in this exclusive interview.
RT: If there is such a significant shift in Washington’s policy why did its representatives meet with the opposition on the second day of these landmark talks?
Daniel Shaw: The tactics may have changed, but the strategy is the same and it may come in the form of a Trojan Horse – a softer foreign policy towards Cuba meant to deceive – but the intention, as always, for the last half century, is the overthrow of the current Cuban system and its counter-revolution.
There’s so much hypocrisy in the US attitude towards Cuba. USAID has tried to bribe hip-hop artists…They’ve done everything they can to subvert the Cuban system. They’ve had undying hostility for everything Cuba stands – for sovereignty and self-determination.
RT: Obama also says he wants to lift the embargo on Cuba, but actually recently extended it. So what does he want?
DS: They want to recolonize Cuba and convert Cuba into what it was prior to 1959. What the Dominican Republic and Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean have been converted into and that’s neo-colonies. US Congress has yet to even comment on what they’ll do about the US blockade, which has cost the Cuban economy trillions of dollars over the past decades.
RT: What about the other side of US-Cuba relations – the CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro, and set up a Twitter-like social media campaign in Cuba to grow support for the opposition. Are there any positive grounds to grow the relationship on?
DS: We should see this as just another hypocritical gesture on the part of the United States. To put Cuba on some sort of terrorist list when the United States is the principle purveyor of human rights violations and terrorism in the entire world is extremely hypocritical.
So Cuba flipped the script back on the US and asked the US: ‘Why do you still have the base in Guantanamo opened? Why do you still have the largest prison population in the entire world?’
So we should be questioning the US human rights record, not that of Cuba.
RT: The US says the restart will take time – and judging by the results of yesterday’s meeting it really will – as no date was set for the reopening of embassies or the next round of discussions.
DS: Cuba wants to breathe. Cuba wants to breathe economically. The US blockade has been unilateral. It’s voted down overwhelmingly every year at the United Nations, yet the United States continues to impose these stiff sanctions against Cuba.
And what the Cuban people and the Cuban leadership want is…not to be suffocated. They want to be able to interact in trade with countries across the world and not continue to be suffocated, and isolated like the US has tried to do for over 50 years.
RT: What about the Cuban government? Should it be more cautious about the shift, taking into account all the alleged attempts at regime change?
DS: Certainly, the Cuban authorities are fully aware of the Trojan Horse in their policy shift. I would say no leadership in the world is more prepared than the revolutionary, socialist leadership of Cuba to deal with these challenges. They’ve weathered challenges from the last half-century with nothing but US hostility and the largest military in the history of the world, a power that is 90 miles from its shores, and Cuba has not backed down.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.