Trump Threatens to End US-Cuba ‘Deal’ Days After Castro’s Death

After his campaign pledge to reverse US-Cuba ties, he said he would end the ‘deal’ if a better one was not made.

2 min read
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US President-elect Donald Trump said on Monday he would end the United States’ deal with Cuba unless a better one was made, reflecting his campaign pledge to reverse President Barack Obama's moves to open relations with the Cold War adversary.

"If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the US as a whole, I will terminate the deal," Trump said in a Twitter post.

Some Cubans are worried that Trump will shut down the US-Cuban trade and travel ties that have begun to emerge in the past two years since Obama's historic decision to end decades of Cold War hostility and open an embassy in Havana.


Trump’s statement came on the same day the US airlines launched the first regular flights to Havana in more than five decades.

He said this as Cubans commemorated Fidel Castro, the guerrilla leader who led a revolution in 1959 and ruled the Caribbean island for half a century. Castro died on Friday.

During Trump’s campaign for the White House he had said he thought restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba was fine but that Obama should have cut a better deal.

Newsweek reported that one of his companies had attempted to do business in the Communist-ruled island.

Later in the campaign, he toughened his rhetoric, seeking to reassure Cuban-American voters in Florida that he opposed Castro and his brother, Raul, to whom he turned over power in 2008.

On Saturday, Trump said in a statement that his administration would "do all it can" once he takes office on 20 January to boost freedom and prosperity for Cubans after Castro's death.

Cuba always has fiercely resisted what it sees as US involvement in its politics. The government has stayed mostly quiet on Trump, waiting to see whether he converts his rhetoric into policy change.

The makeup of Trump's transition team has suggested he could, with the inclusion of Mauricio Claver-Carone, a leading advocate for maintaining a tough economic embargo, and Robert Blau, a hard-line anti-communist who was openly hostile toward the Castro government, while posted as a diplomat in Havana during the administration of Republican President George W Bush.

Many Cubans are defiant, however, saying their main problem was the US economic embargo.

Teresa Almentero, 52, a cigar roller, said after paying tribute to Castro in Revolution Square:

We have lived for 50 years with the blockade so we are going to continue living the same way with or without Trump. He doesn’t scare me, nor does he scare any Cuban.

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