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  • Joe Biden speaking during the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. August 20, 2020.

    Joe Biden speaking during the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. August 20, 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/DNCC

Published 7 September 2020
Opinion

While U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden bashed Donald Trump's policies towards Cuba and Venezuela on Sunday, he provided no substantive policy alternatives concerning U.S. hostility and aggression towards the two nations. 

In an interview Sunday with the Miami NBC news affiliate, Biden deemed Trump's policy towards Venezuela an "abject failure," stating that Venezuelan Presiden Nicolas Maduro "has become even stronger."

Miami, in the extreme southeast of Florida, has a considerable number of Cuban- and Venezuelan-Americans. As a critical swing state, it could determine the final election results, a significant reason why Biden traveled there to offer the interview.

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According to NBC, for Trump to win the U.S. presidential elections on November 3, he must secure Florida, explaining his administration's hard-line policies towards the governments in Havana and Caracas. 

Regarding Cuba, Biden criticized Trump's failed policies, claiming he would lift restrictions on travel to the island as well as on remittances Cubans send home to their families. However, he would also demand the release of all Cuban "political prisoners," including convicted criminal and State Department poster-child Jose Daniel Ferrer. 

While Biden promised to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in the U.S. as a means to win votes from that community, he mentioned no substantial policy change on Venezuela, only regurgitating trite narratives on the so-called humanitarian crisis, "unfree" elections, and Cuba's role in Venezuela's political "impasse."
 
Mentioning Cuba, Biden said, "I'd pursue a policy of advancing interests and empowering the Cuban people to freely determine their own outcome, their own future," making no reference to the U.S. blockade on the island and instead harking back to the Obama administration's regime change policies through "empowerment" rather than impoverishment. 
 
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