When Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959, therein marked the genesis of a frosty relationship between the US and Cuba. In 1960, Castro nationalized the private businesses and did not compensate the investors who were mostly Americans. From then on, the relationship between Havana and Washington was an antagonistic one except a time of détente under Obama (more so his last two years in office).
World leaders and the global community reacted to the death of Fidel Castro through a combination of celebration and grief. In particular, the exiled Cubans in Florida had a good time of celebration. Being a neighbor to the USA, it goes without saying that the issue of Cuba would feature prominently during the campaign.
Trump During the Campaign
From the onset of his campaign, Trump expressed his frustration with Obama’s policy of reaching out to Cuba. He felt that the leadership in Cuba did not deserve the “rewards and incentives” that Obama was giving out. According to the Trump campaign, there was a need to revisit the changes and assess their impact more so in the long run.
The concessions that were made by the Obama administration were done through executive orders. Obama was keen to make sure that the changes made were irreversible. During the 2016 presidential campaigns, political analysts moved in to study how irreversible the Obama’s policies were.
And the general consensus was: if Obama would mend the relationship between Cuba and USA through executive orders, there is no reason why the incoming president would not define the relationship with Cuba through executive orders. In other words, Trump would still reverse the gains made.
Donald Trump and his Comments on the Death of Fidel Castro
Donald Trump was blatant that the years of diplomatic relationship between Cuba and the US will not be recovered. However, he seemed to soften his stand on Cuba especially with the death of Fidel Castro. He offered his condolences to the Cuban people and more so the Castro’s family.
But he also signified that this was a new era for Cuba and pledged that the American government would do the best of its ability in order to help the people of Cuba.
Raul Castro was handpicked by Fidel Castro in order to push the agenda of the Cuban regime. Fidel would trust Raul in the leadership. Much as Raul was loyal to Fidel Castro, he was different altogether.
For example, Raul Castro is more tolerant to criticism. In addition to that, he is more open to the prospects of a different Cuba as well as reforms. He has a softer sand with the US, unlike Fidel Castro who would spend a lot of time with what he called the “the empire”
Donald Trump, in his campaign, made a lot of promises, just like any other leader running for office. However, running a campaign is one stage, implementing the promises is another thing altogether. It will be interesting to see how he relates to Havana. For example, it will be important to see his policy with Havana and how the two countries can reach atonement.