Interview: Trump's win not disaster for U.S.-Cuba relations, says expert

  • Written by Raimundo Urrechaga
  • Published in Cuba
Featured Interview: Trump's win not disaster for U.S.-Cuba relations, says expert

Donald Trump's electoral victory does not represent a "disaster" to the ongoing U.S.-Cuba thaw, despite his promise to reverse America's historic opening with the island, said a renowned Cuban expert on Thursday.

"I do not think Trump's victory means he will revert the Obama policy and everything that has been achieved. He is a businessman and he has a practical way of going about life. Therefore, regarding the Cuba policy, I am sure he will respond in a business approach," Jesus Arboleya, a researcher in Cuban-U.S. affairs, told Xinhua.

Arboleya said the billionaire's victory should neither be a "tragedy, nor chaos" for Cuba, even though he demanded Cuban President Raul Castro to provide greater "political freedoms" on the island, a statement that Havana has rejected.

He added, however, that Cuba will not be an immediate priority for Trump.

"In the coming months, I believe progress should be made between both nations. Agreements or topics under discussion can continue to be discussed. Business people interested in investing here will continue to explore those possibilities and Americans who want to visit the country will continue to do so," he said.

The Cuban academic said it is "too soon" to determine what approach Trump will take on Washington's policy towards the island.

"This is a policy in which countless factors, diverse interests and economic pressures affect. I believe his victory is not necessarily bad for Cuba," he stated.

During the campaign, Trump said Obama's Cuba policy is "weak" and that he would seek a "better deal" that benefits Washington.

However, he did not specify if he would revoke all of Obama's executive orders since both governments decided to normalize relations in December 2014.

Arboleya believed that Trump's words during the campaign were "electoral rhetoric" to secure the vote of the older generations of Cuban exiles in the state of Florida and gain the support of Republican political circles in Miami.

He also said that, despite a Republican-controlled Congress, Trump can take positive steps towards Cuba.

"With a Republican-controlled Congress it would have been impossible for Hillary Clinton to lift the economic blockade on Cuba. But if Trump proposes it and is capable of involving his party, the process could gain greater speed," he said.

Last modified onFriday, 27 January 2017 15:23

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