Trump Seen Facing Resistance in Reversing Outreach to Cuba

afacff01-4e2c-41d1-ae37-2d46540b69f3_cx0_cy7_cw0_w987_r1_s_r1HAVANA, Nov. 30th When President-elect Donald Trump takes office, he can immediately begin to unravel nearly all of the steps the Obama administration has taken to normalize ties with Cuba, just as he threatened to do in atweet.

But experts say Trump most likely will face tough resistance and challenges.

“He could break diplomatic relations on his first day in office,” said William LeoGrande, professor of government at American University and co-author of “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana.”

It most likely would take longer, perhaps months, to roll back changes in trade with and travel to Cuba, because the Treasury and Commerce departments would have to rewrite complex regulations.

President Barack Obama used his presidential authority to make nearly all the changes regarding Cuba,”so from a technical point of view, President Trump could undo all of those things reasonably quickly,” said LeoGrande.

The president-elect could reverse regulations that allow U.S. businesses and corporations to operate in Cuba and Obama’s decision to allow so-called people-to-people travel there.

With a single tweet on Monday, Trump cast doubt on the future of Obama’s historic policy shift toward Cuba, one that pushed aside a decades-old policy of isolation in favor of one that promotes engagement.

“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 deal,” Trump tweeted.

“Our priorities are the release of political prisoners, return of fugitives from American law, and also political and religious freedoms for all Cubans living in oppression,” said Jason Miller, communications director for Trump’s transition team.

The president-elect and many Republicans in Congress have argued that Washington gave Havana too many concessions without insisting that the communist government end its oppressive policies and human rights abuses.

“The people of Cuba need to know that an experiment that was ill-conceived, and naïve in the extreme, has failed, and the United States will stand in solidarity with those who espouse human rights,” Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey told VOA. “I think Donald Trump could be a turning point for the U.S. and Cuba.”