By Tom Fowdy
As the United States ratchets up its support for Taiwan as a regional chess piece against China, Beijing may also be positioning Havana as a counterweight. The move is sure to enrage Washington.
Cuba this week signed up to China’s Belt and Road (BRI) Energy Partnership, which is expected to see Beijing invest in the island’s energy industries with a focus on renewables.
Cuba’s ambassador to China stated that the agreement ratified his country’s commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative and called for the building of an international mega-platform for economic exchanges, under the principle of shared profit.
While China-Cuba related investments are not new, this specific move comes amid growing geopolitical tensions with the United States, which has long had it in for Cuba, and is also seeking to market its own alternative to the BRI across Latin America, consolidating its relationships with the pro-US states in the region – Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. There is another aspect to consider: as the United States ratchets up its support for Taiwan as a regional chess piece against China, Beijing may also be positioning Havana as a counterweight. While old Cold War tensions are not likely to repeat themselves, once again Cuba may become a flashpoint of attempts to check American power.