The result of the US election will have a major impact – also for Latin America. Will Biden tear down the "wall" on Mexico again? How will the relationship with Cuba and Venezuela develop if Trump wins??
In Cuba, the US elections are being watched with particular tension. After the former Democratic US President Barack Obama heralded the end of the Ice Age between Cuba and the US, established diplomatic relations and eased the blockade, US sanctions were tightened again under Donald Trump.
Cuban economist Omar Everleny explains that relaxation would be possible again under Democrat Joe Biden as president. "The Cubans do not now expect that everything will change for them and that the blockade will end, not even the closure of Guantanamo," said Everleny. In his election campaign, however, Biden stated that he wanted to tie in with Obama’s policy on Cuba. "But of course the election campaign is one thing, the other is reality," said Everleny.
Cuba hopes for Biden, Venezuela for Trump
The US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have hit Cuba heavily. Tourism has collapsed, foreign investments and remittances from family members are only possible to a very limited extent. With Biden, the socialist Caribbean island is hoping for a renewed rapprochement, says Everleny.
Quite different in Venezuela: There the incumbent President Nicolas Maduro is hoping for an election victory for Trump. This could offer some advantages for the socialist government of Maduro, believes Christian Ambrosius, visiting professor at the National Autonomous University UNAM in Mexico. "Of course, a regime like Maduro also welcomed this Donald Trump, who gives so much surface to attack, so much projection surface for anti-US feelings and speeches," says Ambrosius. "It might even be a favor for the Venezuela regime."
Trump put Mexico under massive pressure
Maduro has stoically stayed in office in recent years – despite tough US sanctions, which Maduro’s opponent Juan Guaido has also recognized as interim president. But the rapid change in power that Trump had hoped for did not materialize. This is a triumph for Maduro, explains the Venezuelan political scientist Benigno Alcarcon.
"Perhaps Maduro is hoping that he can renegotiate with another government so that the pressure eases. But I think that a new government has a less harsh policy, that is a mistake," said Alcarcon. Rather, a tough course can be expected from the Democrat Biden.
Trump showed little interest in the living conditions of the people in the countries of the region during his tenure. The US President was concerned with the US’s economic success. He put the neighbor Mexico under massive pressure. Trump threatened the Mexican government with punitive tariffs of up to 25 percent on imports of goods if the Mexicans fail to stop refugees and migrants on their way to the United States.
The tone could change under Biden
The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador bowed. The country is already intercepting migrants much further south around 3000 kilometers from the border with the USA. Thousands of security forces from the Mexican National Guard are helping – a wall not made of steel, but of people.
Ambrosius does not believe that anything in this policy would change under a democratic President Biden. A relatively restrictive migration policy can also be expected under Biden. Many forget that most of the deportations took place under Obama and not at all under Trump, "says Ambrosius." The peak of the deportations was under Obama and I don’t think politics will change that much. "
But Ambrosius believes that something will change in the tone, and that under Biden there will be more conciliatory tones, less politics or discourse of division. In international diplomacy, a different tone of voice can have a decisive influence on the way people are dealt with – regardless of whether they deal with partners or opponents.