Claver-Carone's appointment to the transition team “is a clear signal … that the president-elect will carry out the promise he made to the Cuban American community,” former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich told the Nuevo Herald.
Reich added that the appointment does not automatically mean Claver-Carone will get a top job in the new administration, although Reich predicted that he would accept it if offered. “In my opinion, not many other people know as much about Obama's mistakes on Cuba policy, and how to change them, as Mauricio,” he said.
Claver-Carone just published an op-ed attacking Obama's policy, rather bizarrely comparing it to supporting United Fruit.
The president has repeatedly described U.S. policy toward Cuba as a “relic of the Cold War.” He had to dig deeper into the archives to derive this provision, so reminiscent of an era when U.S. foreign policy famously teamed with Latin American dictators and American corporations, like the United Fruit Company, to negotiate away the economic future of those nations.
There’s no longer any rational strategy behind President Obama’s “Cuba policy.” It has gone from what it initially portrayed as a noble purpose to pure sycophancy in pursuit of “historic firsts.” Unfortunately, those Cuban dissidents who recognized Obama’s intent from the beginning and labeled it “a betrayal” of their fight for freedom have now been proven correct. Their foresight has come at a terrible cost.
That the embargo failed miserably is not mentioned, and likely he does not care. But he will clearly have influence over the president-elect, and whatever he has will be geared toward rolling back current policy and keeping the embargo.
At this point I don't think embargo supporters even bother defending the policy itself. That it strengthens the regime is immaterial. Instead, what's important is not engaging, which provides a sense of higher moral ground even if you're ultimately helping the regime.