Latin American Economy & Business - November 2016 (ISSN 1741-7430)

Cuba: Nerves intensify over pro-embargo Trump advisors

Along with Mexico, Cuba is facing some deep uncertainty about the future shape of US policy under the incoming administration to be led by President-elect Donald Trump. While Trump played to the hard-line Cuban-American Miami constituency in the election campaign, US business interests, including many that sit on the Republican side of the fence, are not at all aligned with the pro-embargo lobby. Moreover, while Trump might hope to simply draw his executive red pen through President Barack Obama’s various measures opening up trade and travel with Cuba, rolling these back, and demanding that US business deals done to date be ‘undone’, could prove more complicated than he expects. By way of example, these deals include dozens of new scheduled flights to Cuba from major US airports. These took a couple of years to negotiate, and involved the input of multiple US and Cuban agencies, as well leading US airlines like Delta and American Airlines, to name but two. Trump may need to put his ‘art of the deal’ skills to full use to find a compromise solution that would satisfy both the congressionally influential pro-embargo lobby and the expanding US corporate interests in Cuba.

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