The Evolving International Arena: Fitting into a New Context
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This chapter looks at Cuba’s international setting, historically and at present. This must be understood in the context of new, alternative world blocks appearing, with the US and the Western world losing the absolute international dominance. In this context, Raúl Castro was carving out a new and more pragmatic international role. We will logically pay special attention to the complicated US-Cuba relationship. The rapprochement initiated between Presidents Castro and Obama promised to bury the historical animosity based on the 1901 Platt Amendment (Plattism), although the US Congress did not allow the lifting of the embargo. Donald Trump’s presidency is once again reviving this conflict. The first dozen years of the new century took Latin America to the left, providing Cuba with a diplomatic breakthrough in the region. With the return to right-wing dominance in alliance with the Trump regime, Cuba once again steered towards more regional isolation. Links to Russia and China are only partly compensating for this. The regional crisis growing out of the Venezuela confrontation may amount to a survival crisis for Cuba.
KeywordsEmbargo/blockade Diplomatic pragmatism Cuba-US rapprochement Latin American politics Venezuela Russia China Zeitgeist
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