09-01-2020 Latin American Weekly Report
Maduro takes the plunge in Venezuela
US President Donald Trump presented an eagerly anticipated foreign policy speech on Cuba on 16 June in Miami. Trump sought to ratchet up the pressure on the Cuban government led by President Raúl Castro, and rhetorically he did just that. His scathing attack on the Cuban Revolution was reminiscent of the previous Republican administration under President George W Bush in style, which played well to Cuban-American hardliners, but in substance it was different. Despite his assertion that he was ending the “terrible and misguided” policy of his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump is only unpicking certain aspects of it. Much of it will remain unchanged. But style matters, and the Cuban government’s combative response suggests the diplomatic rapprochement is on hold, although there was probably considerable relief in Havana that Trump did not go further.
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