One of Cuba’s close allies is keeping an eye on developing ties between the U.S. and Cuba. Venezuela remains a strong critic of the U.S.
Experts said warming U.S.-Cuba relations may force Caracas to cool off.
CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.
Just two days before President Obama arrived in Havana, the Cuban government was greeting another regional leader. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro made a hastily scheduled visit.
Cuba, it seems, was trying to signal that, despite warming to the United States, it would not forget Venezuela, though some commentators described the medal Raul Castro awarded President Maduro, as a consolation prize.
There’s no doubt things have changed since those heady days of the mid-2000s, when oil prices were sky-high, and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez forged what he said would be an unbreakable union with Fidel Castro. Venezuela provided Cuba with millions of barrels of oil. Cuba provided Venezuela with doctors.
Their common enemy was the United States, or as both leaders put it, the “empire” to the north.
Now a slump in oil prices, and mismanagement, has left Venezuela’s economy in crisis, and its government unpopular.
President Maduro, Chavez’s successor, lays partial blame on the U.S., which he says is working to destabilize Venezuela. But that’s an argument which is slightly harder to make when his ally Raul Castro, is busy complementing President Obama.
“In politics love isn’t for ever, and neither is hate. And this applies to international relations, too. Many people say there aren’t allies without common interests. In this way, I think the government of Cuba is doing its best for its people by getting closer to the U.S.” Nicmer Evans, leftist Political Commentator in Caracas said.
For years, U.S. attempts to isolate Cuba politically and economically have been a rallying cry for leftist governments in this region. As that policy changes, many countries in this part of the world may have to adapt, at least their discourse, too.