Havana will be trading its geopolitical position
On August 14 US Secretary of State John Kerry is going to Cuba. Six months ago Havana and Washington announced their intention to restore diplomatic relations, broken off in 1961. Since then, the US administration has loosened some restrictions on bilateral trade and resolved the issue of financial support for the Cuban interests section in Washington and taken Cuba off the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. These issues were prerequisites for the Cuban side to normalize relations between the two countries.
Moscow believes that the restoration of relations between Cuba and the United States will not hurt Russian-Cuban cooperation. "We are in bilateral relations and in various integration associations for cooperation, and we are working with someone, not against someone. The same applies to our interaction with Cuba," State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin says.
However, the Director General of the Center for Political Information, Alexey Mukhin, believes that the US-Cuban rapprochement is not accidental: "And it is very similar to the reboot once declared by Barack Obama regarding Russia, which, as you know, resulted in overdrive, and now we are seeing the results of it. Of course, the fact that in recent years Cuba and Russia are rapidly coming closer cannot be hidden from a careful observer. They are coming closer not only in the economic sense. Forgiving debts, active contacts on energy cooperation, trade cooperation. And it was great, and even more exciting to see how the US is trying catch up with Russia in Latin America and is trying to rebuild relationships with countries to which Russia pays attention. Cuba was one of those countries with whom relations were kind of restored – we'll talk about it later – just after Russian attempts to organize its outposts there. Such a forced policy, of course, does no credit to Barack Obama."
According to Mukhin, we should pay attention to the 'Obama factor': "Because Barack Obama promised a lot of things, as you know, he did not fulfil most of those things. Unfortunately for Cubans, the declaration of restoration of relations, exchange of embassies and so on will not end on this."
The problem is that, according to the expert, there is a 'Congress factor', which strongly hinders the restoration of relations with Cuba. "Apparently Barack Obama lacks the political weight to overcome this resistance. However, nobody forbade talking about the restoration of relations."
As for Cuba itself, according to experts, it is ready to restore relations: "The idea of the revolution has died, and now Cuba is at the beginning, in my opinion, of the construction of a consumer society. People are tired of the revolution. And actually, the withdrawal of Fidel Castro from power and the transfer of power to Raul Castro allows to change the concept of the existence of Cuban society. I think that in the near future Cuba will be trading its geopolitical position with Russia, with the United States, and with other countries that offer some benefits in this regard, and will try to build a normal consumer society."