Cuban health expert Dr. Aleida Guevara observed how US President Barack Obama was more dangerous than presidents Bush and Trump because he was more intelligent, during a visit to Derry.
Dr. Guevara, the daughter of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary, who was one of the principal architects of the Cuban revolution of 1953 to 1959, made the remarks during a visit to Creggan Enterprises on Sunday.
Accompanied by the Cuban Ambassador, Hugo Ramos, and the Cuban Consul, Soraya Torres Jaime, she toured the Creggan and Bogside areas on Sunday before being hosted by the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Derek Hussey, in the Guildhall on Monday.
During a questions and answers session with Garbhán Downey, of Guildhall Press in the Ráth Mór Centre, Dr. Guevara acknowledged relations between Cuba and the US have been frosty under the US President Donald Trump.
However, contrary to popular opinion, they were equally poor under Obama.
“Relations are pretty bad since the new president came to power, although before that they weren’t exactly good.
“I say that because under the last president a lot of people in Europe think that things were getting a lot better for Cuba. In fact, some people actually thought that the US blockade had been lifted.
"When I got to Europe I thought, ‘Well, I wish I’d got that message that the blockade had been lifted. That would be good news!’ But the opposite is actually true. With Obama we had more problems with the blockade,” she said.
She said Obama’s intelligence made him a formidable foe and argued his overtures to Cuba had been down to his recognition that the US was isolated internationally over its economic embargo.
“In fact, the financial aspects of the blockade got a lot worse and in some senses Obama was actually more dangerous because he was far more intelligent and he did things that were intelligent.So it was very intelligent,for example, to speak about having a new type of relationship with Cuba.”
Dr. Guevara said Cuba now had a US president more akin to what she’s been used to.
“He is very dangerous because it’s not possible to diagnose what on earth Donald Trump is going to do next.”
She warned that though she’s been a lifelong campaigner for peace, she is willing to defend Cuba with arms.
“I’m educated to defend people’s lives but I’m also a very good shot. So I’m ready to defend, palm tree by palm tree, every bit of our national territory and also other friendly places.”
Dr. Aleida Guevara in conversation with Garbhan Downey (Guildhall Press) at the Ráth Mór Centre on Sunday.