Trump at the UN

President Donald Trump gave a bellicose, threatening speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) September 19, 2017. In addition to harsh attacks on North Korea and Iran, Trump singled out Venezuela and Cuba, reading a host of cliched lies and traditional US government boilerplate from his teleprompter, delivered to a notably muted response from the assembled delegations.

Trump’s address was a shameless display of demagogy that had the political aim of winning allies, especially in Latin America, for a campaign to isolate Venezuela and Cuba, and create the political conditions to implement “regime change” against both sovereign countries.

It is more likely that Trump, his Administration, and the US government as a whole, will be found politically isolated. The evening prior to his UNGA speech, Trump gave remarks before a dinner with some Latin American heads of state and diplomats. There he tested out his rhetoric, shameless hyperbole and half-truths, and threats against Venezuela. It remains to be seen how many of the conservative and neoliberal governments that Trump is courting in Latin America will be comfortable aligning themselves with the Trump Administration against Venezuela and Cuba.

Also, crucially for US policymakers, there is the overwhelming popular consciousness across the Americas and internationally against these US policies. It should also be clear to Trump and Washington that inside the United States there will also be great opposition and resistance to these policies.

On November 1, the UN General Assembly will again register the stunning isolation of US anti-Cuba policies when it votes overwhelmingly in favor of the “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Embargo by the United States of America Against Cuba.” Trump will certainly instruct US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to vote “No” this year, reversing the 2016 decision of the Barack Obama Administration to “abstain.” For years the annual UN vote has been a major political embarrassment for various bipartisan US Administrations and Congresses, with lopsided, near-unanimous support for the Cuban government-sponsored Resolution at the General Assembly vote.

Trump’s lies and threats from the podium of the United Nations must be answered in the United States, across the Americas, and around the world by protests that are being organized on or around the time of the November 1 vote.

Join worldwide demonstrations in cities around the world to finally bring down the US blockade against Cuba!

Ike Nahem is a longtime anti-imperialist and socialist activist. He is the coordinator of Cuba Solidarity New York and a founder of the New York-New Jersey July 26 Coalition. He was a central organizer of the March 25-26, 2017 National Conference for the Full Normalization of US-Cuba Relations, held in New York City. Nahem is a retired Amtrak Locomotive Engineer and member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a division of the Teamsters Union. His writings have been published online in Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, MRZine, Pambazuka News, ZNet, and various Cuban online journals. Comment and criticism can be sent to ikenahem@mindspring.com. Read other articles by Ike.