Cuban man sitting Les Haines/Flickr

El gran paso de Obama con Cuba

MADRID – Demasiadas veces, los líderes se vuelven rehenes de su entorno sociopolítico, en vez de ser los que lo definan. Raramente el mundo ve dar pasos que cambiarán la historia, como el viaje de Richard Nixon a China en 1972 o la visita del presidente egipcio Anwar el‑Sadat a Jerusalén en 1977.

Por eso conflictos como el de Cuba y Estados Unidos duran tanto. En más de medio siglo, ningún presidente estadounidense quiso pagar el precio político de admitir un fracaso y reanudar las relaciones diplomáticas con la isla. Pero ahora que su gobierno entra en la recta final, Barack Obama parece haberse librado de esas restricciones.

Ningún presidente estadounidense puede desafiar los condicionamientos políticos sin enfrentarse a lobbies poderosos. El éxito del presidente Jimmy Carter como mediador del acuerdo de paz entre Israel y Egipto, y su audaz llamado a la creación de una “patria palestina” (el primero de cualquier presidente estadounidense), fueron en gran medida posibles porque desoyó a voces y organizaciones judías. Asimismo, el presidente George H. W. Bush no hubiera sido capaz de arrastrar al recalcitrante primer ministro israelí Yitzhak Shamir a la Conferencia de Paz de Madrid, en octubre de 1991, si no hubiera estado dispuesto a enfrentarse a lo que describió como “fuerzas políticas poderosas” conformadas por “un millar de lobbistas en el Capitolio”.

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