Cubans concerned over Trump win

No Comments

HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) - Just when Cuba was starting to warm up to the United States, Americans elected Donald Trump president, throwing the countries' rapprochement into doubt and causing stunned reactions in Havana.

The brash Republican billionaire's shock victory cast uncertainty over two years of moves by President Barack Obama to end more than a half-century of Cold War enmity with the communist island.

Trump has sent mixed messages about the thaw. He gave it a lukewarm welcome at first, saying "50 years is enough" - although he characteristically insisted the Democratic president should have struck a "better deal".

Then as the Republican primary heated up, he vowed to reverse the new policies unless the Raul Castro regime agrees to democratic reforms and other demands.

"I'm afraid," said Marcos Creach, a 27-year-old cellphone repairman in Havana.

"Obama did a lot" for US-Cuban relations, he added, and now Trump "can come in as president of the United States and put up a wall, an obstacle to make sure it never becomes reality."

Creach counts himself among those Cubans who stand to benefit from resumed ties between Havana and Washington and a softening of trade and tourism restrictions - part of a new generation of entrepreneurs Obama said the thaw aims to help thrive.

Droves of Cubans descended on the capital's few Wi-Fi hotspots from the early hours Wednesday, trying to contact relatives in the United States to help make sense of the shock result.