The Cuban President has totally overlooked the Algeria-backed Polisario and its self-proclaimed Sahrawi Republic SADR, in his address before the XVIII Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, heralding a change of position regarding the artificial Sahara conflict.
In his speech, whose full text was posted on the official website of the Cuban presidency, President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez surveyed the main hotbeds of tension in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, from Asia to Africa.
During the NAM summit, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, last week, he actually spoke, inter alia, of the United states’ unilateral decisions against Iran; the war against the Syrian people; the need to reach a just political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; inter-Korean dialogue; the American campaign against Latin American leaders; and of course the US blockade on Cuba.
But not a word about the pseudo “SADR” in the Cuban President’s speech, contrary to his predecessors, Fidel and Raul Castro, who have been supporting the Polisario’s separatist claims since the 80s.
Has Cuba finally turned its back on the Polisario and its pseudo SADR? There is no official answer coming out of Havana.
However, analysts argue that what is certain is that the winds in Latin America are favorable to Morocco with regard to its territorial integrity. On the contrary, Latin American countries’ support to the Polisario is being unraveled, as evidenced by the series of disavowal expressed in recent months by several states, including Peru, El Salvador, Brazil, Chile, Panama…
According to analysts, the turn of the tide is to be explained by these countries’ increasing understanding of the ins and outs of conflict created around Western Sahara, and by the new geopolitical realities in general.
As regards Moroccan-Cuban relations, they were frozen for almost 37 years because of Havana’s siding with the Polisario separatist front.
On April 21, 2017, the two countries decided to re-establish their diplomatic relations, following a visit of King Mohammed VI to the Caribbean country, and they indeed exchanged ambassador in the summer of 2018.
Now, will the new Cuban President take the step and officially drop the pseudo-SADR from Cuba’s Agenda? Anyways, his speech before the NAM summit hints to a change in Havana’s position.