Bob Menendez’s fall from grace, golden opportunity for a thaw 2.0?

Newspaper The New York Times He began a diagnosis of how A fall from grace Cuban-American Senator Bob Menendez Could Clear the Way for the Joe Biden Administration’s Foreign PolicyEspecially to introduce changes in its relations with Havana.

According to an opinion piece in an influential American newspaper, the resignation of the lawmaker as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee due to the allegations against him on several corruption charges would be an opportunity for the White House.

“Menendez has long been among the Democrats on Capitol Hill on issues ranging from Latin America to the Middle East.” And was never afraid to oppose or criticize members of his own party on matters of his interest,” the article recalls.

He times qualifies He was replaced by Maryland Democrat Ben Gardin, “someone who has a close personal relationship with Biden.” And will be more accommodating to their agenda.

Menendez’s positions in the Senate on U.S. policy toward Cuba are part of what the newspaper calls history. In May 2022, Biden eased some travel restrictions for Americans visiting the island, and the senator voiced his disagreement.

“I am appalled,” the Cuban-American said in a statement, calling reports the next day that the White House had begun easing sanctions on Venezuelan oil “a strategy destined for failure.”

“For Biden officials, the friendly fire from a fellow Democrat was annoying, if not surprising,” the article notes.

He times It underscores that this is not the first time that Menendez’s absence from office has led to unexpected foreign policy moves. Referring again to Cuba, when the senator was previously accused and taken to court, in a process that lasted between 2015 and 2017, the Barack Obama administration took its historic approach to the regime of Raul Castro, and then Donald Trump almost completely reversed.

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Menendez has been a constant problem for Biden: when the U.S. wants to restart the nuclear deal with Tehran in 2021 and 2022, he accuses the president of making a very dangerous mistake; Recently complicated plans for Sweden to join NATO, among other decisions.

The Cuban-American, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him, said he would continue to speak out on a series of issues despite temporarily resigning as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If Congress is not a mere formality to the domestic and foreign policy of any government, it has a constitutional right to act as a counterweight to it,” he said.

Benjamin Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, commented times That Menendez was a “pain in the neck when it comes to various issues,” but nothing more than Obama’s attempt to restore relations with Cuba.

Unsatisfied with Biden’s adherence to tough economic sanctions on Venezuela and the Venezuelan regime, Rhodes said, “Menendez has used the leadership of that group as a place of intimidation and revenge to increase the cost of doing anything he doesn’t like. Who created the conflict frustrated by opening up to Cuba during the Trump administration, and now Obama’s Havana.”

As for Cuba, the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked reporters this week for “a little more time.”But he indicated that he maintains an idea of ​​”collaboration” with Havana, which is not Menendez’s philosophy.

It is then understood that the official press of the island regime flies with the bad timing of the senator.

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For example, Omar Rafael Garcia LasoThe Havana-based diplomat, who Bogotá expelled from the Cuban embassy in that country in 2021 for inciting actions against “Colombian citizens and institutions,” now writes for the Arab network Al Mayadeen. was celebrated Charges against Menendez he questioned for his “anti-communism, racism and extreme right-wing and reactionary views”.

For its part, the official Radio Rebel program “Soft Noise”This leads to Arlene Rodriguez DerivetA journalist accompanying Miguel Díaz-Canel on all his travels and part of his press team, He assured, “Karma affects Bob Menendez. (…) Let’s see if justice will really come to those who have lived so long from anti-Cuban politics.”

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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