President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Monday that he will cancel the landmark agreement with Cuba if the country is “unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people.”
The threat comes after the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro last Friday.
Under the Obama administration, relations between Cuba and the U.S. have re-opened. The White House has worked to ease the trade embargo against the Communist country and negotiated with Castro’s successor as president, his brother Raul Castro.
Trump made similar remarks during the presidential campaign in September.
“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,” Trump said in Miami on Sept. 16.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
Trump and Obama struck different tones on Saturday after Castro’s passing.
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said in a statement. “While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”
Obama’s statement stressed progress and looked toward the future.
“During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends — bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity,” the president said. “This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban-Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.”
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.