Sanctions on Cuba will only slow regime change
FOR THE past few months Cubans have faced shortages of some foodstuffs, as well as sporadic power cuts and fuel shortages that have affected never-abundant public transport. “We have to prepare for the worst,” Raúl Castro, Cuba’s communist leader, told his people last month. On May 10th the government announced that it would ration several staples, including rice, beans, chicken and eggs, as well as soap and toothpaste.
These are the first results of Donald Trump’s tightening of the American economic embargo against Cuba, as part of his effort to overthrow the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Mr Trump’s administration is trying to halt the shipment of oil from Venezuela to Cuba. Last month it imposed fresh restrictions on tourism and remittances to the island from the United States and opened the way for thousands of lawsuits by Americans against foreign companies operating in Cuba. After ousting of Mr Maduro, Cuba’s government “will be next”, promised John Bolton, Mr Trump’s national security adviser.
The Cuban regime has survived six decades of American sanctions, and there is little reason to believe it will buckle now. But Mr Trump’s offensive does come at a complicated moment for Cuba. It coincides with a gradual handover of power from Mr Castro, who is 87, to a collective leadership including Miguel...