Why President Trump’s hard-line approach to Cuba is a mistake

tags: Russia, Cuba, international relations, Trump, international affairs

John Ermer is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at Florida International University in Miami, FL.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the Trump administration will begin enforcing a long-unenforced provision of the Helms-Burton Act that will allow American citizens to file lawsuits “against businesses that operate on property the Cuban government appropriated after the 1959 revolution.” This follows on the heels of the administration rejecting a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have enabled players to join the majors without defecting.

These actions are just the latest hard-line steps taken by the Trump administration toward the island nation. President Trump began moving toward more-punitive policies with a scathing speech on U.S.-Cuban relations in 2017. The speech soured average Cubans and the Cuban government on Trump and his team, quickly eroding progress made by the Obama administration.

These policies are highly risky for the United States. While Cold War-level tensions are unlikely to resurface, the policies open the door for renewed Russian influence in Cuba, at a time when Russia is also reemerging as a geopolitical foe of the United States.

Read entire article at Washington Post

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