WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump believes that Cuba has made no concessions to the United States, while Washington has given much to Havana in the process of normalizing relations, presidential adviser Helen Aguirre Ferre said in an exclusive interview with EFE on Wednesday.
“The president has been very clear that they are going to evaluate all the agreements that the prior administration (of Barack Obama) made with Cuba,” said Aguirre Ferre, who is of Nicaraguan heritage.
The special adviser to the president and director of media affairs commented during an interview with EFE at the White House that, in Trump’s judgment, “Cuba did not offer any concessions, with all that it was given in what has been the normalization and reestablishment of agreements and diplomatic behavior.”
Cuba is hosting “fugitives from US justice, it has to turn over those people and also talk about the importance of free elections and free political prisoners,” Aguirre Ferre said.
Trump’s adviser avoided commenting on whether there has been any contact as yet between the Trump administration and Cuba, saying that that it a question for the State Department.
As president-elect, on Nov. 28, Trump said that he would reverse the measures taken vis-a-vis Cuba by his predecessor, Barack Obama, if the island’s communist government did not negotiate “a better deal” with him.
A few days before that, in reaction to the death of Fidel Castro, Trump called the late Cuban leader a “brutal dictator” and promised that his government would do everything possible to ensure that the Cuban people can finally start moving down the road toward prosperity and freedom.
On Jan. 11, the then-nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said in his Senate confirmation hearing that Trump would carry out a “comprehensive review” of the relationship with Havana, including Obama’s removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
More recently, in early February, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the Trump administration will prioritize human rights in the “full review” it is making of US policy toward Cuba.
Spicer said at the time that Trump “is committed to an agenda of ensuring human rights for all citizens throughout the world,” adding that that will remain in the “forefront in those policy discussions.”