Just as the American media were announcing President-elect Donald Trump’s victory early Wednesday morning, the communist nation of Cuba was announcing plans to hold military drills next week to prepare for “a range of enemy actions.”
“The government did not link the exercises to Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential victory, but the announcement of maneuvers and tactical exercises across the country came nearly simultaneously with Trump’s surprise win,” reported the New York Post.
There was speculation nevertheless that Cuban President Raul Castro’s decision had everything to do with Trump’s victory, mainly because of the firebrand Republican’s vow to reinstall the recently removed diplomatic barriers between Cuba and America.
During his tenure in the White House, President Barack Obama has embraced Cuba, transforming it from a pariah to a friend by rescinding sanctions and restoring direct ties with the government.
This in turn “set off a tourism boom and visits by hundreds of executives from the U.S. and dozens of other nations newly interested in doing business on the island,” the Post reported.
Were the present-elect to move forward with his plans, which reportedly involved reversing Obama’s agreement with Cuba unless Castro were to grant his citizens more political freedom, it could cause irrevocable harm to the Cuban economy.
“They must be worried because I think this represents a new chapter,” Communist Party member and political scientist Esteban Morales said.
“The little we’ve advanced — if he reverses it, it hurts us,” taxi driver Oriel Iglesias Garcia said. “You know tourism will go down. If Donald Trump wins and turns everything back it’s really bad for us.”
But what was truly more important — more money from tourism, or the potential revival of political freedom, which was what the president-elect hoped to bring back to the longtime totalitarian regime?
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