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What Fidel Castro’s Death Could Mean For Investors

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marketwatch-articleThe following is an excerpt from Machael Brush | November 27, 2016 | marketwatch.com |

For years, analysts have awaited the passing of Fidel Castro as the watershed moment that would launch a new era in U.S.-Cuban trade relations and open the island to investors.

So it’s ironic that, now that Fidel has died, the man who really counts is the incoming leader of Castro’s geopolitical archrival: Donald Trump.

On the surface, it seems like Trump will be terrible for U.S.-Cuban economic relations — and the U.S. hotel, cruise-line and banking companies that want to continue along the inroads opened up by the thawing of relations under President Barack Obama.

After all, Trump and Vice President–elect Mike Pence campaigned hard in Florida against reform in U.S.-Cuban relations — unless there are further concessions from Cuba on political and religious freedoms in the country.

“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,” Trump said at a Florida campaign event in September.

Plus conservative elected officials from Florida, such as Marco Rubio, have long opposed a thawing of relations. Now emboldened by the Republican sweep in the November elections, they will no doubt ramp up pressure to reverse changes put in place by Obama, according to Cuba experts.

“I would think the pressure from the Republicans to roll back many of the executive orders that Obama put into place will be very strong,” said Riordan Roett, director of the Latin American Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

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