Savvy Biden knows that putting money in the hands of everyday Cubans means business | Opinion

·1 min read

Of all the knocks on President Biden’s decision this week to re-loosen some of his predecessor’s re-restrictions on U.S. engagement with Cuba, this line from Wednesday’s Miami Herald editorial put a new wrinkle on my old forehead:

“It knocked the wind out of the Patria y Vida movement.”

As a reader who greatly respects the Miami Herald editorial page, I respectfully but strongly disagree.

The Patria y Vida movement erupted last July 11 — the loud and unprecedented island-wide demonstrations against Cuba’s iron-fisted and ham-handed communist regime. It was fueled in part by the Latin Grammy-winning protest anthem “Patria y Vida,” or “Homeland and Life,” a passionate poke at the Cuban Revolution’s morbid motto, “Homeland or Death.”

It was an electrifying cry of long-boiling Cuban rage. But it was the Cuban regime, not the Biden administration, that knocked the wind out of it — arresting more than a thousand protesters, convicting them of “treason” in kangaroo trials and handing them, even teenagers, monstrously long sentences.

In the aftermath, sadly, Cuba looks no closer to democratic regime change than it did on July 10 — no matter how many Miami voices insist, as they’ve done for 63 Groundhog Day years now, that the regime’s gonna fall any second if we just stick to the isolation plan.

Click here to read Tim Padgett’s entire column.

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.

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