Trump says Cuba has to act or he’ll end the diplomatic thaw, but it’s not that simple – Los Angeles Times

In his latest comment on Cuba since the death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, President-elect Donald Trump said Monday he would end Washington’s diplomatic thaw with the island unless Cuba makes “a better deal.”

“If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,” Trump tweeted.

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro renewed diplomatic ties in 2014 after a half-century of Cold War hostility. Since then, through a series of executive orders, Obama has eased restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and U.S. firms doing business there.

Castro, at the same time, has made it easier for Cubans to travel and to engage in limited private enterprise.

However, Castro has not enacted significant political reforms, and the death Friday of his brother, former president and leader of the revolution Fidel, at age 90, is not likely to usher in quick change.

It was not clear what Trump meant by a “better deal.” An email seeking clarification from his transition team was not answered.

Previously, however, Trump has spoken of the release of political prisoners and more open space for free expression of opinions and dissent. These are the same elements the Obama administration has been demanding, while choosing not to delay economic progress while awaiting political change.

From a legal standpoint, Trump could easily reverse Obama’s executive orders with little more than a signature. Politically, however, renewed estrangement would be more complicated and would isolate the U.S. as the only country in the world that does not recognize the Communist-led government in Havana.


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