The Art of the Deal

Is Donald Trump good or bad for Cuba?

This is the question of the moment, for which it seems no one has an answer. The new president-elect has asserted and contradicted his position on Cuba, not to mention his already public commercial interest in stamping his super logo on the island. Based on this, it is a bit difficult and premature to figure out how he really feels or to foresee how he will act. Predicting Trump is like a game of hide and seek without an opponent.

I don’t know Donald Trump; I confess that many years ago when I was aspiring to be a businessman I read his book The Art of the Deal, which I still have. However, we have one or two friends in common; one of them even forms part of his transition team and probably of his administration. I am told, despite what we all know through the press about the scandals, insults and his Twittermania, that he is a very intelligent man, an excellent father, a good friend and that he has a great sense of humor. When I’ve asked one of those friends about what his Cuba policy will be (a question I’ve asked now and during the campaign), the answer has always been the same: “Trump will be very good for Cuba, he’s going to be better than Hillary, he is pro-business, he just wants to make a better ‘deal’ than Obama’s.”

It’s worthwhile specifying that Obama did not make a deal. Obama did what he could to dismantle a wrong, incoherent and unfair policy toward the Cuban people which not only sullies the image of the United States but rather goes against its interests.

But what does a good deal mean for Trump? It mustn’t be having one or several Trump Towers along the Malecón or a Golf Resort in Varadero. I’m concerned that Trump sees Cuba like a game of Monopoly. I hope it is a bit more serious, of mutual interest and in an environment of respect. For the time being don’t panic or be paranoid, it is possible that my friend is right; it would be extremely counterproductive and premature to react; only a fool can’t wait.

If there’s something I learned from his book, The Art of the Deal, it was that the art of the deal is nothing more than the art of the compromise.

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