Monday, November 28, 2016

Fidel, Trump, and Cuba

I'm quoted in this article in The Guardian about Fidel Castro's death and the possible policy orientation of the Trump administration. The transition team is sending mixed signals, from rolling back the Obama administration's executive orders to vaguely needing "more" from Cuba in return. Doubtless, the mixed signals come from a president-elect who doesn't know what he wants to do.

The point I was trying to make to the reporter is that Trump faces contradictory impulses. Rolling back would mean appealing to his small but vocal pro-embargo constituency. Indeed, he still mentions the Bay of Pigs veterans, as in his statement about Fidel's death. But it also means going against his instincts for business. He is, after all, a builder of resorts, hotels, golf courses, etc. and he's been interested in Cuba before. He's all about U.S. investment in other countries, and probably dreams of a Torre Trump in Havana.

As I've said several times before, we just won't know much until we know the appointees. Trump gives the broad outlines and they fill those in with the details. Who "they" are is still unknown. The Wall Street Journal suggests Fidel's death will put extra pressure on Trump to keep a hard line, but he's already there. Most likely he'll roll some things back and keep others, while announcing victory for his "deal."


Alfredo 8:27 PM  

He seems to be backing off from some other promises....why should this thing with the Cuban exile community be any different.....his business instincts will get the best of him...

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