ORLANDO, Fla. – According to University of Central Florida history professor Jim Clark, President Joe Biden is faced with a tough decision after being part of the Obama-era stance on relations with Cuba.
“Biden has to decide whether he wants to pursue a policy of trying to normalize relations with Cuba or take a harder line,” Clark said. “President Obama had opened up traffic, for example you could get a flight every day from Orlando airport to Havana; you could take a cruise ship out of Port Canaveral to Havana and then President Trump cut that off.”
When asked what type of hard line can be put into place, Clark said it comes down to the island’s economy.
“A harder line would be more economic sanctions. A harder line would be making it clear that we will open our doors (to) Cubans seeking freedom as we have done in the past, so there are a number of things he can do but military option is simply not one of them,” Clark said.
Despite the Cuban government shutting down the internet after the uprising, Cubans have still been able to share violent videos. Sen. Marco Rubio has been tweeting some of those images that show the Cuban military and the police barging into homes to detain protestors.
UCF political science professor Aubrey Jewett agreed that a U.S. military intervention with help from the United Nations would be difficult given the embargo the U.S. has over Cuba.
“It takes a lot because you have to get almost unanimous support, particularly in the security council to take really dramatic action like with military troops, that kind of thing,” Jewett said.
The professor said the majority of countries in the United Nations have voted to support a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba for 29 years in a row but he added that if protestors on the island continue their fight, and their communist government falls, a domino effect could happen.
“If it was to finally change and become a free and democratic country, that would put a lot more pressure on some of these other countries that have looked to Cuba as their guiding light, so to speak,” he said. “When the Soviet Union collapsed, it created a bunch of countries that ended up changing their political systems.”