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Biden Must Not Squander the Cuban Moment

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The demonstrations that shook Cuba on July 11 will soon be a month old. Since then, a Carthaginian peace has descended on the unhappy island, with mass arrests, show trials and disappearances having the desired effect of suppressing further demonstrations. The Biden administration meanwhile remains paralyzed, with self-doubt appearing to sap its confidence.

Which means that, hard as it may be to accept, the opportunity for real change is being squandered. This is a harsh assessment, given the degree of hope the July 11 events unleashed throughout the world that Cubans might help their freedom back. But it is an assessment one must make before time completely runs out.

No, Cuba will not return to the status quo ante. Something real changed on July 11, when thousands saw each other in the streets in some 40 cities from one end of the island to another. Once a population has an experience of collective fear loss, terror can be used only sporadically, tactically, as in the present cat-and-mouse.

Fear, therefore, is now is no longer a long-term strategy for the regime. On the contrary, it is the hapless Miguel Diaz Canel, Cuba’s puppet president, and the Castro family, whose interests he defends, that now get to taste fear; in fear they must live that the Cubans will rise again, and this time impose themselves. Diaz Canel himself has become a figure of derision throughout the island, with a toxic epithet attached to his name in videos and streets protests.

Cuba on July 11 experienced something akin to what the Poles underwent when Pope John Paul II visited his homeland in 1979 and millions turned out to see him in the streets, and........

© The Daily Signal

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