January 26th, 2015

Mic

Cuba needs its old foe

Seems like Cuba is pulling the brakes on the recently heralded warming up of its relations with the US. The historic breakthrough may've prompted many in Havana to sound the alarm: what would happen if Obama's new approach to Cuba puts all achievements of the revolution in question? Cuba is afraid it could remain without its sworn enemy. And for a reason. After all, the US has been one of the main foundations that the Castro regime has long been using to legitimize its grip on power.

Without its crusade against American imperialism, the regime would find it hard to explain to its people how come there's still a one-party state there. If the US embargo is lifted, there'll be no more excuse for the ailing economy and the finacial failures. Which is why the hardliners in Havana don't really seem to want a normalization of the relations with the US. Since the very beginning of the negotiations, a speaker of the Cuban foreign ministry pointed out that establishing normal diplomatic relations shouldn't necessarily mean normalization of the political relations.

After half a century of socialism, Cuba cannot and does not want to abandon its ideological principles - not without putting the very existence of its system in jeopardy. The Castro regime is doing their best to protect their power, while the US is mostly pursuing economic and geopolitical interests. So the normalization of the diplomatic relations has its merits for both sides, but for different reasons.

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