- Title: Cubans favour Clinton win ahead of U.S. elections
- Date: 7th November 2016
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (NOVEMBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) YOUNGSTERS WAVING CUBAN FLAGS PEOPLE ATTENDING EVENT AGAINST NEOLIBERALISM, CROWD SHOUTING SLOGANS IN UNISON
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2016 16:22
- Keywords: Cuba U.S. elections expectations embargo relations
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00157G5MBR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:With just one day until the United States votes for a new president, Cubans living on the island weigh up the impact of a new administration on the financial fortunes on the Caribbean island and the future of the US embargo on Havana.
In 2014, Cuba and the United States announced a detente between the former Cold War allies.
But while U.S. President Barack Obama has loosened the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, the Republican-controlled Congress has not heeded his calls to end it. Coupled with Cuba's internal politics and bureaucracy, that means serious opportunities on the large island close to Florida remain a struggle for most U.S. companies.
At an event held against neoliberalism, a Cuban university student of Philosophy and History, Eric Torres, told Reuters that the opening up of ties between the two nations is unstoppable.
"It doesn't matter who wins. American policy is subject to many pre-conditions. I think the situation with Cuba is already unstoppable. I think there is an awareness in those circles of U.S. power of a policy which is in disuse, which does not work for the island, with Cuba and I think that neither of the two contenders will change that," said Torres.
In September, Republican candidate Donald Trump said that, if elected, he would seek to reverse Obama's moves to open relations with Cuba unless the leaders there allowed religious freedoms and freed political prisoners.
In contrast, Democrat Hillary Clinton has urged Congress to end the longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, calling it a "failed policy" that had done little or nothing to foster change on the island.
Teresa Perez, who practices Santeria religion, shuffled her fortune cards and predicted Clinton would be the winner.
"Clinton is the best. Clinton is the best. Clinton will be the winner, because then we Cubans pray peace, pray for tranquility, for good things to come for the world," said Perez.
Undergraduates at University of Havana all agreed, Clinton, would be by far the better option for the island.
Cuban Law student, Vladimir Mora, said that Clinton's commitment to Obama's cause is clearer than Trump's.
"For the Cuban people I believe the lesser evil would be Clinton because she is someone who has been in touch with Cuba (experience). Not only with Obama (President Barack Obama) but with Bill Clinton (former President Bill Clinton). She is someone who has already publicly said she aims to support Cuba but as it suits Americans. We must also be clear on that. They do business with Cuba because it suits them, not because it's in our interest," Mora said.
Another law student, Daniel, also agreed Clinton would be the better option over Trump.
"I do not think Donald Trump (Republican Donald Trump) could mean a positive change, at the moment for both our countries, Cuba and the United States. I also don't believe Hillary Clinton will be a huge step forward but it is logical and we have seen so far, how the electoral campaign has played out in the United States and it will be much more positive," Daniel said.
Clinton has vowed to do more to free up travel with Cuba if elected president, whether or not the embargo has been dismantled.
The embargo allows U.S. sales of agricultural goods and medicine to Cuba, but a market of more than 11 million people is still largely off limits to most U.S. companies because they are banned from doing business in Cuba.
Cuban pensioner, Manuel Fernandez, said Clinton seemed to be more involved in current affairs, than Trump.
"Well, I have heard that Trump, says one thing one day and another the next, so definitely one really does not know what will happen when it comes to foreign policy. Hillary Clinton seems more political. She looks more involved in matters rather than Trump," Fernandez said.
Clinton and Trump crisscrossed the country on Monday (November 7) as they raced to sway undecided voters in a tight U.S. presidential race that has Clinton with a narrow lead according to opinion polls.
With only one day left before Election Day, the Clinton campaign was boosted by Sunday's (November 6) unexpected FBI announcement that it stood by its July decision not to press any criminal charges in an investigation of Clinton's email practices.
A Fox News opinion poll on Monday had former Secretary of State Clinton leading Trump, a wealthy New York real estate developer, by four percentage points among likely voters.
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