In looking for pragmatic solutions to address the COVID-19 crisis, and given the absence of global leadership during the pandemic, Caribbean governments are seeking support from long-time partner, Cuba.
Generally, the term “transition” is associated with democracy, but in practice this isn’t always the case. Case in point: the recent appointment of Miguel Díaz-Canel as the “elected” president of Cuba.
The Cuban government’s ideologically-driven operating principle has always been that only the state can define and promote minority interests. The independent LGBTI+ marches in May demonstrated the government’s fear of its citizens’ growing sense of autonomy.
On May 11, Cuba’s LGBTQI community took to the streets of Havana for the island’s annual gay pride parade, despite the government’s ban. But, in responding to protestors with its usual counteroffensive, the state was met with a sort of tropical Stonewall.
Washington can no longer take the Caribbean for granted. That means more than just impotently warning partners south of the hemisphere about China and Russia. Instead it will require more effective diplomacy and economic statecraft.