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Trading with Venezuela is ‘Anti-American’: A Conversation with John Suárez

Trading with Venezuela is 'Anti-American': A Conversation with John Suárez

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The Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba, John Suarez, sat down with El American to talk with our contributor Julio M. Shiling about the possible purchase of oil by the United States from Iran and Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, and the potential consequences it would have on national security and American interests.

Suarez distinguishes between two ways of measuring the effects of establishing trade relations with enemies of the United States. On the one hand, he notes that academia and leftist organizations suggest that there would be no consequences, and that the United States should trade freely with those countries.

On the contrary, according to Suarez, history tells a different story. “The reality is that Cuba has had a strategic relationship with the Soviet Union and Putin’s Russia since 1959,” he said. “The only time there was a degradation of that relationship was when Russia had a brief flirtation with democracy, beginning with Mikhail Gorbachev and reaching a peak under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.”

As soon as Putin came to power, our guest says, one of his first official visits was to Cuba. Subsequently, when Obama had his rapprochement with Fidel Castro’s regime, Putin forgave more than 32 billion dollars in debt to the Caribbean Island and has maintained that “close relationship”.

What Suarez points out as the key to determining the potential consequences of a hypothetical rapprochement between the Biden administration and Maduro is the “anti-Americanism” present “in the DNA” of his regime and those of its allies.

Suarez and the danger of negotiating with “thugs.”

Suarez expressed his “great concern” given that, although it may not seem so, the Cuban intelligence service “is indeed sophisticated” enough to “penetrate intelligence agencies and governments” in order to strengthen the interests of the Castro dictatorship.

In that sense, Suarez finds it unusual “to hear this rhetoric that Cuba does not represent a threat while, at the time, they were expanding their influence with their agents in Venezuela, retaking Nicaragua with their client Daniel Ortega (…) and inviting the Russians” to those territories, allowing them to forge strong military relations.

According to Suarez, the regimes of Venezuela, Russia, Cuba and Iran are “bullies” and, as such, “act aggressively” when they perceive a potential threat.

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