‘I expect it to happen pronto’: How soon will Trump’s changes to Obama’s Cuba policy happen?

The death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on Friday has put Cuba in the forefront of the world’s news.

President-elect Donald Trump vowed to reverse President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with the island country but he has given no indication as to whether he would stop flights to the country or roll back other changes that have become popular, particularly with businesses, The Hill reported.

“It’s not going to be easy to all the sudden say, ‘that’s illegal,’” Engage Cuba director Madeleine Russak said.

“Mr. Trump says the government should be run like a business, and there’s no business in the world that would continue a failed strategy for 55 years,” she added. “Cuba is a growing market with tremendous investment opportunities. We’re hopeful that as a businessman, he recognizes those opportunities.”

Trump said he had no issue with opening travel to Cuba, which still has restrictions, but that he wants a better deal than President Obama got.

“All of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done with executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that is what I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” he told CNN months ago.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., believes that isn’t enough and wants flights grounded immediately.

“I expect it to happen pronto,” he told The Hill, adding that travel to Cuba for tourism is easy because “you just literally have to check off a box” that says your intentions are not for tourist purposes.

“The next administration is going to follow the law. And that’s all that this takes,” he said.

The president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, John S. Kavulich, said the Trump administration could see legal trouble if they moved to stop the flights.

“(Airlines) could go to court and say, ‘we implemented services, we invested shareholders funds based upon on good faith efforts. And if you’re now going to disrupt that, we’re either going to seek to prevent you from doing so, or going to seek damages,’” he told The Hill.

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Carmine Sabia


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