However, Feinberg warned that the United States government would have to weigh “what happens on the island (…) [They’ll have to] find out if they decide to accept the reforms or not.”
In Feinberg’s opinion, the policies implemented by Obama yielded “a lot of results” in Cuba. This, he feels, was true, even though they only lasted two years.
Under those policies, “There was more freedom and more private businesses, a better climate towards the United States.” Feinberg deemed that if Biden invests in a “policy of openness towards the regime,” it may “offer better results”.
Actions in the government’s first 100 days
Biden’s approach to Latin America will be visible in the first hundred days of his government, said Feinberg. That’s despite the domestic challenges he faces in health, employment and the US economy.
“It’s a very large government, with a lot of people. It must be able to tackle a lot of things at the same time, internal affairs as well as external. So, I believe that we will have a Latin American policy within the first hundred days,” he affirmed.
Feinberg added that Biden’s team “is fully familiar with the region”. They’ll be able to work on “domestic problems” at the same time they “work with other countries, not in isolation”. “In addition to the pandemic, they must confront infrastructure problems, how to improve public education, problems of universal health care systems. (…) I believe that, yes, we’ll be able to share and work together with other countries, especially in Latin America.”
The economist commented that the work this new United States government has before it is “based on value chains*”. These would be implemented in Latin America, especially in Central America. The goals of these chains are: “more investment, more exports and more employment, especially in the free trade zones.”
Regarding Nicaragua’s access to this type of benefit, or agreements with the new U.S. government, Feinberg feels it’s uncertain. It would have to be seen, “if Nicaragua can enter on the road to democracy, once and for all (…) If so, then I haven’t the least doubt that Nicaragua could participate in those programs of regional aid.”
The Biden administration has already announced that they’ll be earmarking 4 billion dollars for Central America. The money will be aimed at combatting poverty and slowing emigration. However, only Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been mentioned as beneficiary countries.
Up through December 2020, the US government had imposed sanctions on 27 top-level functionaries of the Ortega regime. Sanctions also affected nine public institutions or mixed enterprises. Among entities under sanction is the National Police.
*Value chains is a business concept, involving a set of activities that a company performs in order to deliver a valuable product to the market.