Spanish – Havana is commemorating the 500th anniversary of its founding. Spanish monarchs will visit the island on this occasion. However, they will not participate in the events of the foundation day itself because socialist dictators Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela will attend that day. This decision was made by Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, and a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party.
Sanchez was the first prime minister to visit the island after 30 years, and he approved an extension of the 300 million euro debt on investments by Spanish business owners in Cuban infrastructure.
The Spanish luxury hotel chains benefit the most from the infrastructure on the Caribbean beaches. The impoverished Cubans have no access to these, and their monthly earnings are lower than the average hourly wage in Europe.
Instead of showing solidarity with the cause of the two million Cubans who have even fled the island by raft, the European Union threatened to report Donald Trump’s administration at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the confrontation with the regime that endangers the hotel monopoly that survives thanks to the coalition between the European multinational chains and the Cuban Communist Party.
According to the communist regime, all property that remains uninhabited for over six months passes into state ownership. In this way, the Castros have expropriated property from foreigners in the first years of the revolution, then from prisoners – most of them for imprisoned political reasons – and from exiles who escaped the regime.
In response, the Trump administration empowered U.S. citizens, including naturalized Cubans, to apply to sue the regime for the expropriation of their property.
However, the European Union, instead of supporting the initiative that seeks justice, protected the interests of the hotel and construction chains over the fundamental rights of those exiled and expropriated.
Contrary to the European Union and the current Spanish government, when Pablo Casado of the Popular Party was a candidate for the presidency of Spain, he joined the campaign #YoVotoNo against the referendum which strengthened the communist revolution in the Constitution. He also met the Ladies in White, Cubans who are repressed by the regime because they demand the release of political prisoners, and he announced that he would lead the fight against tyranny.
Reunión con las @DamasdBlanco en la que les he trasladado que cuando gobernemos vamos a liderar en la UE y en Iberoamérica la exigencia de democracia y DD. HH. en Cuba, donde deben cesar la represión, las irregularidades y la tiranía del régimen. Mi apoyo a su campaña #YoVotoNo pic.twitter.com/etqz3xvmPl
— Pablo Casado Blanco (@pablocasado_) February 19, 2019
However, the PSOE won the elections and thereby confirmed the complicity of the Spanish government, which is an ally of the Cuban regime, along with the European Union.
On behalf of the Cuban dissidents, the PanAm Post spoke with Claudio Fuentes, photographer, and producer of the Cuban channel, SATS State, which exposes the abuses of the dictatorship. Fuentes was labeled as a “counter-revolutionary” by the communist regime and is therefore prohibited from leaving the island.
Commenting on the fact that the Spanish monarchs’ Cuba visit will not coincide with that of Ortega and Maduro, Fuentes said that it is Sanchez’s way of masking the cynicism. “The cynicism should not be concealed because we can all see them devoid of morality.” You cannot reject and condemn Maduro and formally meet and do business with the puppet owner in Havana.
He believes that their visits are scheduled separately to circumvent the criticism and media scandal that they cannot altogether avoid.
Fuentes said that on behalf of the Cuban dissidents, he wants to send out a message to the King of Spain that he believes the monarch has betrayed democratic values, which should ideally be prioritized over any financial or commercial interests.
He added that Spanish business owners had done the same by accepting the investment perks the Cuban regime offers them and thereby being complicit in the exploitation of the Cuban workers.
“I would say to him that when democracy arrives in Cuba, the people and justice will not forget their abuses and servile attitudes to an inefficient, criminal, and outdated tyranny, which has also grown tired of mocking them. I believe that the king will lose threefold: his morals, his money, and his future in a democratic Cuba.”
Cuban theologian Yoaxis Marcheco who lives in exile with her husband Christian pastor Mario Felix Barroso noted that this episode is similar to the time former U.S. President Barack Obama visited Cuba to normalize the island’s relationship with the U.S. The communist regime unleashed a wave of persecution against its opponents. There was a purge to “clean up the streets” of government critics. The pastor was imprisoned and tortured. He decided to go into exile with his family.
He also warned about the risks of normalizing relations with such a repressive regime. He aimed his criticism not at the king, but Pedro Sanchez.
It is clear that Sanchez, being a socialist, wants to back the regime in Havana. Opposition parties such as the PP and Vox have called out his decision as a political blunder, primarily because of the tense political situation in Spain and the proximity of this trip to the election date.
It is paradoxical for a democratic state to support a totalitarian dictatorship such as that of Cuba.