Although Donald Trump sent conflicting messages during his campaign and has shown eagerness to do business in Cuba even at the expense of personally violating sanctions that remain in place to this day, he has come out fighting in the weeks since his election. First, he named to his advance team at Treasury – the agency primarily responsible for Cuba sanction – one Mauricio Claver-Caron, a committed anti-Castro lobbyist. Then, in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death, he took to Twitter to crow that “Fidel Castro is dead!” and subsequently tweeted that “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate the deal,” mean the Obama initiatives.
Initial reactions in Cuba suggest that Fidel’s still-grieving brother is unlikely to budge in the face of Trump’s bristling broadsides. As one Cuban diplomat said in response, “This isn’t going to end well.”