The United States is attempting to strangle the Cuban economy, but China will not allow this to happen, says James Petras, an American writer and political commentator.
Petras, a professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University in New York, and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.
Last week, US President Donald Trump said he was cancelling a “one-sided” US deal with Cuba by imposing travel and trade restrictions on the island nation, claiming that former President Barack Obama’s approach on the country had allowed the Cuban government to benefit from increased tourism.
Speaking to Cuban-American exiles in Miami, Florida, on Friday, Trump ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and a clampdown on US businessmen doing business with companies controlled by the Cuban military.
Trump called Raul Castro’s government "brutal" and vowed to restore "freedom" to the island nation. “With God's help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” he said.
Professor Petras said that “the main consideration here is that Trump is trying to cater to the extremist exiles in Miami. I think the US business community is hundred percent behind an opening to Cuba, deepening and extending trade relations."
“I think the US is attempting to strangle the Cuban economy by impoverishing its people. But it’s not going to succeed because China has every reason in the world to engage in trade [with Cuba], and there is no chance at all that the US government will be able to undermine the Cuban government,” he stated.
“The relationship between Cuba and the United States had a positive impact on the Cuban people, more than anything else,” the analyst noted.
“The fact that the Cuban military has a role to play in the economy is not unusual. The US military industrial complex is a very big factor in the US economy,” he explained.
Professor Petras said that “these are double standards by Trump and by the administration. I think the direction that Trump has taken will further isolate him from the majority of the business community, as well as the majority of Americans who are in favor of opening and deepening trade relations with Cuba.”
“So it’s a very negative policy. It further alienates sectors of population and caters only a small minority of Cuban exiles who operate out of one state, not even one state, I’d say from a city, Miami,” he concluded.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump threatened to “terminate” deals that the Obama administration had made with Cuba.
Obama worked to enact several changes to Cuban policy during his tenure in the White House. He re-established diplomatic relations with Havana in 2015 and loosened some restrictions on doing business in the country.