Donald Trump has resorted to the language that he knows best: business. The American President-elect launched a warning to the Cuban regime regarding the conditions in which the Cuban people live up until today.
If the Castro government it does not improve the conditions of the “agreement” between Washington and Havana as soon as he is sworn into power, such inaction may end up damaging the normalization of relations that begun two years ago.
“If Cuba is not willing to offer a better agreement for Cubans, for Cuban Americans and for the American people in general, I will terminate the deal,” the President-elect said in a tweet.
The message on social networks coincides with the beginning of the tribute for the death of Fidel Castro and with the arrival in Havana of the first regular commercial flight to the Cuban capital from the United States in more than half a century, a step further in the so-called normalization of relations and growing investments in the island of American companies.
It is also the first message that Trump launches on the island since Fidel Castro’s death was announced. Trump also called Fidel Castro a “brutal dictator”.
In the same statement, he also promised that as president he will do his best to “ensure that Cubans can begin their path to prosperity and freedom at once”.
However, in this message he does not explain what parts of the agreement he would be prepared to “terminate” or if he would simply terminate it in full.
In nearly two years of cautious approach, Obama has reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba, he has reopened the embassy, and last March he became the first American president to visit the island in nearly a century.
The Democrat has also relaxed conditions to travel to the island, although tourism is something that is still officially vetoed by Americans.
The most aspect of the agreement is changes in trade policy.
Although Obama can not eliminate the embargo – which is a matter of Congress – it has stretched the limits of the regulations to the maximum extent to allow for a growing commercial exchange to encourage private partnerships on the island, what many American companies see as a natural, and especially close, market for their products.
Most experts believe that although Trump may slow down the normalization of relations and even slow down some measures, it is very unlikely that he will reverse all steps, since it would be a blow to major US economic interests, including large Airlines – which will operate up to 110 daily flights to Cuba before the end of the year – to farmers who are also pushing for more business with the island.
One of the people closest to Trump, his adviser and ex-campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said that the President-elect “is open to studying and, in fact, restarting relations with Cuba,” she said on ABC.
“His criticism of what has happened in the last two years is very simple: we have not received anything in return” from the opening, she said.
As Conway indicated, Trump faces negotiations with Cuba as he does with commercial interests: “You can not give up everything and receive nothing in return.”