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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 10:20

What does Trump’s victory mean for Cuba?

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It depends if we look at Trump the businessman or Trump the polititian. Trump is a successful businessman first so he will probably see Cuba in that light and realize that it is not in the interest of the U.S. firms that are currently involved there to reverse Obama’s policies. In fact, in 1998 Mr. Trump researched business opportunities in Cuba despite the restrictions of the embargo. So, the question is whether Trump the businessman or Trump the politician will prevail when it comes to Cuba policy.

As one recent article pointed out, “Since the normalization process began, a Miami-based cruise line has begun to sail to Cuban ports, U.S. telecom companies have established roaming agreements with Cuba, commercial airlines are flying from U.S. cities to Cuba, Marriott has entered into a joint venture to manage some Cuban hotels, and Cuba has become Airbnb’s fastest growing market.”

“A pharmaceutical joint venture is about to begin clinical trials in the United States, other U.S. companies are in various stages of trying to close deals with Cuba and travel to the island by Americans has greatly expanded.”

These ventures and expanded travel were all made possible by executive orders and regulatory changes since President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro began a process of rapprochement on Dec. 17, 2014 and would be affected by any abrupt change in U.S. Cuba policy.

“Changing Cuba policy also would mean we are turning our backs on them,” said Carlos Gutierrez, who served as secretary of commerce under George W. Bush and has traveled to Cuba numerous times since the rapprochement began.

Trump would kill many deals if he reversed Obama’s policy. He won big in the Midwest farm states that want to sell agricultural products to Cuba and are pushing to have a financing prohibition lifted so their products will be more competitive.

Canceling out everything that Obama has done would not be a good thing; it wouldn’t be wise for American business as one businessman pointed out.

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