Jorge Gómez Barata

Jorge Gómez Barata

The newly appointed Prime Minister of Cuba, Manuel Marrero, is congratulated by the island’s former president and leader of the Communist Party, Raúl Castro, on Saturday, December 21, 2019. Photo: ACN.

State structures and forms of government. What is happening in Cuba?

The election of the political system, the forms of government, the structure of the state and the territorial organization are matters freely solved by each country. In some cases, such matters are sources of internal friction, as is the case, among other places, in Spain with respect to the autonomous regimen, in the United Kingdom with the situations of Ireland and Scotland and in Canada with Quebec. The former Soviet Union was divided into 20 states. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were also dissolved. In Latin America, these issues were settled with independence and due to U.S.-inspired paradigm, democratic and presidential republics were constituted, a scheme whose flexibility made it functional for oligarchies and dictatorships, for capitalism and socialism. In Africa, due to its colonial past, most countries have been constituted as parliamentary republics. In that continent 32 countries have presidents as well as prime ministers, while two, Morocco and Swaziland, are ruled by kings and governed by prime ministers. Only two countries in Latin America have prime ministers, Haiti and Cuba, and the latter also has a vice president. In the Caribbean region, eight countries have the Queen of England as head of state, they have a “governor general” and the...

Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images.

First the works, then the legacies

Some one billion people have lived in the United States since it proclaimed its independence and only 44 of them have reached the presidency. The first was George Washington and the last the current one, Donald Trump. Like any other U.S. president, Donald Trump will reap what he sows and will go down in history for his legacy. For him, as for others, there will be no second chances. When he leaves the White House after the terms he is entitled to, his political life will be over forever. Nothing he will do later will be more significant than what he has done when receiving the most relevant political opportunity a human being can aspire to. The history of the presidency of the United States began with the anti-colonialist revolution, the first in the New World. For 13 years, from the proclamation of independence in 1776 to the election of George Washington in 1789, the country was governed by the so-called "presidents without command," a total of ten appointed by the Continental Congresses. The first was Peyton Randolph (1775-1777) and the tenth and last Cyrus Griffin (1788). The presidency of the United States is a position that has been held...

Photo: USNavy.

Full blockade

President Donald Trump has just threatened Cuba with a "full embargo." What will be a full blockade? In recent times, the closest thing to a full blockade was the closing of land, rail, and river traffic decreed by the Soviet Union in 1948 to isolate West Berlin. The operation, one of the great and unfortunate events of the Cold War, was counteracted by an airlift by the U.S. military air force and other countries. The campaign, which lasted 11 months, included 200,000 flights, through which 2,700,00 tons of cargoes were transferred. The Soviet Union did not intervene to prevent the intense air traffic and, on May 12, 1949, the siege was lifted. Another action of this type was carried out during the 1962 Missile Crisis, when the U.S. Navy deployed its ships in international waters off Cuba to prevent the passage of Soviet ships with nuclear material. Then the idea was less cruel, because ships were inspected on high sea, and if they didn’t transport banned elements, they were allowed to pass. Now Trump, apparently badly advised by John Bolton, proposes an action not described yet, but of criminal appearance. In the case of an island, it could consist of...