This is not the first time that the United States has provided aid to Cuba after a hurricane, but this is highly exceptional. The two countries have been at odds since the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s, particularly over Cuba’s rapprochement with the then Soviet Union in the following years. Then-US President Robert Kennedy introduced a trade embargo against Cuba in the early 1960s, which remains in place today, but has since been eased.
In the past, Cuba has repeatedly refused that U.S. offer, but the island can now count on less support from Russia and other countries and is therefore forced to ask its larger neighbor for help. An exceptional moment of agreement.
The question is how much that exceptional moment will thaw the generally tense relationship between the two countries. During Barack Obama’s presidency (2009-2017), the US government introduced gradual easing. For example, Cuba was removed from the state sponsor of terrorism list. But his successor Donald Trump (2017-2021) hardened the US position and introduced stricter sanctions. He added Cuba back to that list.
Current President Joe Biden wants to gradually ease the sanctions imposed by Trump. But Trump doesn’t seem to have any intention of changing anything he’s decided. For example, the Cuban government is currently on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
“Passionate analyst. Thinker. Devoted twitter evangelist. Wannabe music specialist.”