Cuban television aired this Saturday night the movie Victor Frankenstein, one of the many film and television versions of the novel by British writer Mary Shelley. The story of the man who, by putting together parts of corpses, creates a new being that ends up being a monstrosity rebelling against its creator does not cease to motivate film and television producers, and its “moral”, perhaps without being something intended by its literary author, does not cease to become a reality in contemporary politics.
The most recent of the possible political associations of the Frankensteinian story may come from what happened this week in the mid-term elections in the American state of Florida, where the Republican Party obtained a resounding victory.
Whether intended or not, what is certain is that what happened this November 8 in South Florida once again brings to the fore the old maxim that those who artificially feed a monster end up damaging its creation.
As much as President Biden took great pains to please the ultra-right wing that controls the Cuban-American vote in Miami, continuing the policies of suffocation against Cuba of his predecessor Donald Trump, and thus denying his own campaign promises for the Presidency, the vote of that sector was overwhelmingly for the Republican candidates in that area. The phrase of the winner of the governorship of the state, the Republican Ron De Santis, summarizes the “success” of the Trumpist courtship carried out by Biden to a city where more than 50% of the voters are Cuban-American: “Thank you, Miami”.
Since the 2002 elections, when then President George Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, won the governorship, the Democratic Party had controlled that office. Also winning his seat in that state was Senator Marco Rubio, who in his campaign boasted of being the author of Trump’s anti-Cuba policies which, according to him, Biden maintains “out of fear of the Cuban exile”. Also re-elected in Miami were the three Republican representatives to the House who are characterized by anti-Cuban hardliners: Maria Elvira Salazar, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Gimenez.
But what we might call the unwritten “Frankenstein Law” in Florida does not only affect Democrats: winning for supporters of Trumpist anti-Cuba policies does not mean that Donald Trump is guaranteed endorsement there for a Republican presidential candidacy in 2024. The now Republican governor Ron De Santis is one of the candidates who triumphed without the support of the former president and is already emerging as a contender for the Republican nomination for the White House against the tycoon, for which he will have to rely on that apparatus of pressure, extortion and political propaganda that is in the hands of the Cuban-American ultra-right in Miami.
The paradox is that it is the Biden administration that has contributed to sustaining the vitality of this apparatus in two ways:
By the White House maintaining the Trumpist policy of maximum pressure against Cuba, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic when the island was denied even medical oxygen by the Biden administration, the subsequent global economic crisis and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, events such as the riots of July 2021 and the protests in some localities in the second half of 2022 due to power outages exacerbated by the passage of Hurricane Ian, have fed the perception in that sector that the harder it is squeezed the faster the Cuban Revolution will fall and who better to do so than the politicians in the United States who accuse the Democrats of being as socialist and communist as the government in Havana.
The Biden administration has maintained the traditional millionaire funding of Internet media for psychological warfare against Cuba that has been poured over the last two decades to sustain opinion leaders who build extreme anti-communist perceptions in part of the Miami electorate. More recently, as a University of Florida survey reveals, Cuban Americans’ perceptions of Cuba have been influenced by a group of people who in digital social networks launch an even more extreme anti-communist discourse of hate, organize and finance terrorist actions on the island, which would be combated by U.S. law enforcement agencies if they were directed at U.S. society, but enjoy total impunity by federal authorities. More than one of those “influencers” has organic links with Republican politicians elected this November 8 in Florida.
It was a Republican, Ronald Reagan, who together with the terrorist Jorge Más Canosa and his Cuban American National Foundation, inserted the Miami Cubans who came from the violent organizations created by the CIA in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century for the dirty war against Cuba into the U.S. institutionality. Federal money has continued to flow to that same war, now more concentrated in propaganda via the Internet. However, when Barack Obama’s administration, without abandoning those funds or objectives, took on a people-to-people Cuba policy that challenged the old Miami Frankenstein, he won the Cuban-American vote, as did his successor as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The people to people, far from scaring the Havana government, terrified the extremist successors of Mas Canosa who found in Trump someone willing to dismantle it and do whatever they wanted to do in order to win the White House. Thus appeared “communist sonic attacks”, now denied even by the CIA, to justify the closing of the US consulate in Havana, which stimulated an irregular migratory route by land and sea that has put the White House in serious trouble. That multiplied migratory flow is not solved by belatedly resuming the migratory agreements with Cuba, as the current administration has just done reluctantly; its material basis is the blockade measures tightened by Trump that Biden keeps intact. At the same time as the “sonic attacks” the Cuban doctors in Venezuela were converted by the work and grace of the Trumpist State Department into military men ready to invade Colombia, but today the presidents of both countries talk amicably, while from Washington special envoys travel to Caracas in search of an increasingly expensive and distant oil thanks to the Ukrainian adventure of Biden and his son Hunter.
The world is changing, reconfiguring itself, and the United States, faced with a Russian-Chinese alliance that is gaining influence, needs to gain a foothold in a Latin America that does not share its policy towards Cuba. Three of the countries with more political and economic weight in the region (Mexico, Argentina and Colombia) openly criticize Biden’s Trumpist policies towards the Island, while as of January a Latin Americanist Lula, a friend of Cuba, will occupy the presidency of Brazil, with even more weight than the three previous ones combined, to close a cadre of influencers in the government and not in the social networks that pose important challenges to Washington. Will Biden nevertheless maintain the Trumpist policy against Cuba to please a Frankenstein who despises him at the ballot box and in discourse?
Victim so far of a kind of Miami Stockholm Syndrome, the current occupant of the White House has just declared that he wants to be president again in 2024, but a possible question is whether he can be so without challenging the Republican and Mafia Frankenstein of South Florida who does not hide to shout that the President is afraid of him.
Source: La Pupilia Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US