The main adviser for Latin America of the White House ruled out negotiations with Cuba: “Biden is not Obama.”
Juan González, special assistant to the North American president for the hemisphere, also supported the sanctions against the Nicolás Maduro regime and reaffirmed his commitment to Juan Guaidó, the interim president of Venezuela.
Juan González, the main adviser for Latin America to the United States president, Joe Biden, assured that the current president “is not Barack Obama in the policy towards Cuba”, ruling out for the moment a dialogue between Washington and the island.
“The political moment has changed in an important way. The political space has been closed a lot because the Cuban Government has not responded in any way. In fact, the oppression against Cubans is even worse today than perhaps it was during the administration. (George W.) Bush (2001-2009)”, stated González in an interview broadcast this Sunday by CNN in Spanish.
“Those who think that the US at this time is going to enter into a dialogue of multiple years with Cuba, I think they do not understand the political moment and the situation in which we are living or, frankly, I would say that the disorder we inherited from the previous administration” He added and observed that “that is where perhaps the political capital or the time of this administration will not be invested initially.”
González also justified that the US is not complying with the agreement to process 20,000 visas for Cuban immigrants a year, arguing that they seek to ensure that US personnel in Havana are “safe.”
Washington has denounced attacks against its officials in Havana that allegedly took place between November 2016 and August 2017, which is initially described as acoustic. However, it later acknowledged that its nature was not confirmed. As a result of these events, the White House ordered in 2018 the departure of non-essential personnel from its embassy in Cuba, that is, 60% of the total.
Asked about the possibility of a rapprochement with the Government of Nicolás Maduro, González considered that the Venezuelan president should have a conversation about the future of his country with the opposition Juan Guaidó, whom the US recognizes as the interim president of that country. and with a broad front that this leader seeks to form with the participation of different sectors.
“We are not going to impose conditions on that process. It is a totally Venezuelan process,” said the official, who indicated that the Biden administration would seek within the United States to “depoliticize the situation towards Venezuela” to work with both Democrats and Republicans, looking for a solution for that country.
In the same way, he defended the sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuela and denied that they are the cause of the crisis in that country, which he attributed to Maduro and the late President Hugo Chávez. “What is happening to the Venezuelan people is an injustice, and it is not something that is the fault of the United States. It is something that is the fault of those who are at this moment in de facto power,” said the advisor, who subordinated any action that it means lifting the pressure on the Maduro government to form a new National Electoral Council (CNE).
Gonzalez begins today a regional tour of Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay that will run until April 15 with Julie Chung, the main diplomat for the State Department region. This is the first official trip for officials to South America.
Through a statement from the spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Emily Horne, details of the officers’ agenda were known: “In Bogotá, they will discuss economic recovery, security and rural development, the Venezuelan migration crisis and regional climate leadership. From Colombia.
In Argentina and Uruguay, they will discuss regional priorities, including addressing the climate crisis and COVID-19 epidemics and human rights, threats to democracy, and security in our hemisphere and around the world.