Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CUBA - China Breaking the Blockade


November 18: Chinese leaders sign a trade deal with Cuba.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on a two-day official visit to Cuba. In the same aircraft that brought the Chinese president and China's trade minister Chen Deming, humanitarian cargo for the victims of recent hurricanes was delivered. [Radio Habana / People's Daily online]

There are two aspects making the visit of high-ranking Chinese leaders to Cuba a profitable enterprise for China :

1) The sentimental value of Hu Jintao and Fidel Castro deliberating on the good old days of a Cuban-Chinese friendship that is dating back to Mao Tsedong and Deng Xiaoping, and that is coming together with badly needed humanitarian aid. A sentimental value that pays in terms of an increasing prestige for China.

2) The economic value of a trade deal that enables China to exploit Cuban sugarcane and nickel, both commodities belonging to the few material values Cuba has to offer. An economic value that has to be seen before the background of an outdated U.S. embargo and at a time of "interregnum" when a new and more liberal U.S. president elect is forced to wait for his official inauguration and for the very first opportunity to do his job.

Nevertheless, this is a win-win situation for both, Cuba and China. One partner is gaining political and economic influence, while the other is being helped to survive the hardships of recent natural disasters and a (steadily crumbling) political discrimination. Its the U.S. that is losing this match !

Further information on an international community opposing the economic blockade of Cuba can be found in my blog post: Obama and Change that is Needed

UPDATE November 21: Report by U.S. intelligence agencies projecting U.S. decline and global unrest [Al-Jazeera]

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