Trump Says Will End U.S.-Cuba ‘Deal’ Unless It Makes a Better One

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Cuban and U.S. flags are seen on the balcony of a restaurant in Havana, Cuba March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa
Cuban and U.S. flags are seen on the balcony of a restaurant in Havana, Cuba. (Reuters/Enrique De La Osa)

President-elect Donald Trump said in a social media post on Monday he would end the United States’ “deal” with Cuba if the island nation did not make a better one.

“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,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s posts came as Cubans prepare to commemorate Fidel Castro, the communist guerrilla leader who led a revolution in 1959 and ruled the Caribbean island for half a century. Castro died on Friday.

On Saturday, Trump said in a statement that his administration would “do all it can” once he takes office on Jan. 20 to boost freedom and prosperity for Cubans after Castro’s death.

The statement sidestepped whether Trump would follow through on a threat made late in his White House campaign to reverse Obama’s diplomatic thaw with the island nation, leading some to view it as a softening from his campaign rhetoric toward the country.

Castro’s death has led some Cubans to worry that Trump will shut down the U.S.-Cuban trade and travel ties that have begun to emerge in the past two years since Obama’s historic declaration.

Cuba has always fiercely resisted what it sees as U.S. attempts to change its internal political system but the government has stayed mostly quiet on Trump, waiting to see whether the president-elect converts his harsh rhetoric into a real policy change.