Last December my family and I spent a week in Cuba, in the Havana area. Seven days are clearly not enough to understand a country, especially one like Cuba that has a very complicated modern history that is still unfolding. However, because of the peculiarity of the political system, one of the few communist states remained somewhat intact after the fall of Berlin’s wall, I thought I would write down a few of my first impressions and some interesting tidbits I noticed during my stay on the island. It is also important to remember that I stayed in the richest and most connected part of Cuba (near the capital) and I personally can’t comment on more remote areas, even though I was told that there are big differences.
My simple, short answer: I don’t know.
However, I constantly see online many people—from friends on Facebook to strangers on Twitter, all with the best intentions—asking the West (more precisely, the EU and the US) to do more to ensure that a democratic process is followed in Turkey.
But what should the West do? That they fail to say.
All the major European leaders as well as Obama’s administration have already, in multiple occasions, and immediately in the few days following the coup, called for the Turkish government to not stray from constitutional law. The EU has even threatened Erdoğan to cancel all the Union entry negotiations developed so far if the Turkish government won’t respect the democratic principles.
Back to the original question, what should the West do? I’m sure more can be done, even starting from simple economic sanctions, but many people fail to realise the difficulty of the situation and why each decision towards Turkey needs to be pondered carefully. Continue reading “The Turkish military coup has failed: what should the West do now?”