EDITORIAL

Shouting quietly in the world of diplomacy

CUBA may be stung a little by the harsh words coming from its former ally condemning its treatment of dissidents, but Slovakia's words alone will not be able to make any great impression on one of the last islands of communism in the world.
Slovakia, after all, has few trade links left with Cuba and there are no actions or threats it could use to back up its displeasure.
However, Slovakia's is not the only voice raised in protest. Because the European Union is also expressing disapproval, the complaint will not go unheard, although it remains to be seen whether Havana will react in any way.

CUBA may be stung a little by the harsh words coming from its former ally condemning its treatment of dissidents, but Slovakia's words alone will not be able to make any great impression on one of the last islands of communism in the world.

Slovakia, after all, has few trade links left with Cuba and there are no actions or threats it could use to back up its displeasure.

However, Slovakia's is not the only voice raised in protest. Because the European Union is also expressing disapproval, the complaint will not go unheard, although it remains to be seen whether Havana will react in any way.

The EU is large enough to exert real pressure on Cuba through trade and aid. However, given the recent lack of a collective stance over the Iraqi crisis it would be premature to suggest that there will be the consensus required to push the point home.

While Cuba suggests Slovakia's recent protests may be all about kow-towing to the United States in return for aid or a piece of the Iraqi reconstruction, it is couching its opinion in very diplomatic terms. After all, Slovakia on the inside of the EU is a friend that Cuba can ill afford to lose.

On the other hand, by keeping its stance on Cuban politics reasonably neutral by issuing protests alongside those of the EU, Slovakia can also distance itself from Fidel Castro and wait for the fall of communism in Cuba, which is unlikely to outlive its charismatic but ageing demagogue.

This case shows two of the benefits that Slovakia would gain as a member of the EU: a larger voice in the world and a layer of obscurity that would allow it to register protests without risking relationships.

Top stories

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo speaks to foreigners at [fjúžn] festival's "Ask the Mayor" event.

Foreigner’s community has a big voice, but it needs to be more organised

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo addressed the questions and concerns of foreigners in Bratislava during a special Q&A.


1 h
In the Tehelné Pole zone, the pilot parking policy will be replaced by the city-wide parking policy.

Parking in Bratislava changes. Required registration opens soon

Three boroughs will join the new city-wide system, inhabitants will be required to register.


22. sep

Anti-vax mobilisation starting to look like a losing strategy

Several countries no longer rely on positive motivation to get vaccinated against Covid.


6 h
Boris Kollár and Igor Matovič during the coalition talks in March 2020.

Conflict in coalition is far from over. Matovič does not support Kollár’s pet project

Sme Rodina chair Boris Kollár leverged his stay in coalition with rental flats, but support is uncertain.


7 h
Skryť Close ad