Donald Trump threatens to end U.S.-Cuba relations without more Cuban freedoms

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally in Miami on Friday. Trump said he wold reverse U.S.-uba diplomatic relations if the island nation didn't promise more freedoms for its citizens. Photo by Gary I. Rothstein/UPI

MIAMI, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Donald Trump at a rally in Miami on Friday night said he would reverse President Barack Obama‘s reopening of diplomatic ties with Cuba if the island nation did not meet his demands for a more open society.

Trump told about 2,500 supporters he would require the Cuban government to allow freedom of speech and religion, and for them to free political prisoners, or he would reverse Obama executive orders that re-established diplomatic ties after a 50-year embargo.

The announcement by Trump is a change from his position on the Cuba issue during the Florida primary earlier this year, when he said Obama’s new policy was “fine,” though he thought the United States could have made a stronger deal with the Cubans.

Now, Trump said he will undo Obama’s changes, including opening a U.S. embassy in Cuba and normalizing travel between the two nations.

“All of the concessions Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order — which means the next president can reverse them. And that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands. Not my demands — our demands,” Trump said. “Those demands will include religious and political freedom for the Cuban people, and the freeing of political prisoners.”

The Miami Herald conducted a poll of Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade and found 56 percent support the Obama administration’s Cuba shift.


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