Trump demands ‘better deal’ from Cuba, threatens Obama’s thaw

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US President-elect Donald Trump is demanding a “better deal” from Cuba and threatening to scrap the thaw in US-Cuban relations. Some Republicans are urging him to reconsider, while US airlines prepare to resume commercial flights to Cuba after 54 years.

Trump’s comments came as Cuba mourned the death of its former longtime president, Fidel Castro, leader of the 1958 revolution that deposed the US-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista. Washington’s attempts to overthrow Castro led to the imposition of a total embargo on Cuba and a tense confrontation with the Soviet Union in 1962 that almost went nuclear. Castro died on Friday at the age of 90.

President Barack Obama announced a policy shift in December 2014, arguing that the embargo had not accomplished its desired goal. As a result, a number of trade restrictions were lifted by executive order, while the US and Cuba renewed diplomatic relations. Obama himself visited Cuba in March 2016.

 

On Monday, however, Trump took to Twitter and proclaimed that “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.”

One of the Republican candidate’s promises during the electoral campaign was to renegotiate Obama’s “deal” with Cuba to include demands such as “religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of political prisoners.” Obama’s actions gave Cuba all the benefits of restoring relations with the US, while Washington received nothing in return, Trump has argued.

The Cuban government, led by Castro’s brother Raul since 2008, will now have to “meet our demands,” Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Preibus told Fox News on Sunday.

“President-elect Trump has been pretty clear,” Priebus said during an interview. “We’ve got to have a better deal.”

One prominent Cuban exile, however, thinks the president-elect should not scrap the deal.

“He’s getting a lot of pressure to just write everything off, and there are a lot of businesses, a lot of farm states, a lot of governors, a lot of mayors who are counting on agricultural sales to Cuba,” former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told CNBC on Monday.

Gutierrez, who was born in Cuba, served under President George W. Bush and currently co-chairs the Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic consulting outfit founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Trump should take the opportunity to put the deal on the table and discuss all options, rather than simply roll back Obama’s reforms, Gutierrez argued.

“I think it would be a tremendous legacy for… President-elect Trump to be the businessperson who can spread the word of how noble free enterprise is. This is a perfect opportunity to do it in Cuba, and I do believe that he is just hearing one side of the story,” he said.

Several US airlines have already taken advantage of the thaw to set up commercial flights to the island. American Airlines flew the first flight from Miami to Havana on Monday, while JetBlue will start daily service from Orlando on Tuesday and Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported. Spirit, Frontier, Delta and Southwest are set to follow suit.

Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

  • Sparkplugfuse

    Trump ran on better relations with nations. Trading, not telling other nations how they would run themselves. If he does as stated, he is changing faster than Obama did. It took 3 days before Obama to break his first campaign promise.

  • Tim Hadfield

    See the law man, beating up the wrong guy.
    (Thanks to Bowie, life on Mars)

  • gmatch

    What deal does America have with Cuba? Right! None! Guess the Mafia Mob sitting in Florida/New York demands the return of their loot.

  • hvaiallverden

    WTF is it with the Imperial banana republics staggering hypocrisy and constant pathetic whining about Cuba, I am slack-jawed of this insane bullshit.

    I dont even know how to describe this bonkers mentality, what is it, I still dont get it after decades.
    What deal, when UssA have run the entire show,, the scums take an ZioTrud approach to this nonsense, where the Imperial banana republic sickening whining where the bonkers Gov. in the district of criminals in the Imperial banana republic.

    So the Impisses are the victim, buhu, you gotta be kidding, huh, or…..
    Trump is already shitting down His own nest, slacking on the truth.
    Pity, thats even faster than Obamalama the Child-slayer.

    I hear an distant thundering sound of flushing toilets.
    The sound of throwing their own credibility down the drain, in an massive scale.

    peace

  • Sanchez

    I loved everything about Trump until his comments about Castro the other day. Have you all forgotten about Bautista? Before Castro liberated his people from the Mafia don. Bautista ruled Cuba with an iron fist. He stole all the money from the people and worked with the CIA and the Mafia. When the Cuban people took thier country back he jumped in a plane full of all the Cuban peoples money and fled. Castro was not perfect but he was trying to help free his people from oppression and corruption. The reason that Cuba is so poor is not his fault it was the fault of our government not selling them anything or buying from them. Which caused the hardship. Trump is starting to show his true colors when he comes out and said he was sponsored by the cuban exile’s (terrorists) everything up untill this point has been legit until he made that statement that he is supporting imperialism. We want to have an attitude of cooperation with the rest of the world not confrontation. Know this trump we are watching and we will not tolerate any more of the same games that we have been used to getting from our government. Do not let the neocons dictate your policy or you are no better than Obama and every other lame duck front man president we have had. If you let the CIA and the Mafia control your actions and policy then we have failed in our peaceful revolution.