Point of Clarification: Donald Trump on Cuba Policy

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Whether out of laziness or political convenience, it has become a media "talking point" that Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, purportedly supports President Obama's Cuba policy.

However, the record states otherwise.

For the sole purpose of clarification, below is the transcript of what Trump said about Obama's Cuba policy during the March 15, 2016, presidential debate held in Miami, FL:

CNN's DANA BASH: Mr. Trump, you said the concept of opening Cuba is fine. You said the concept of opening Cuba is fine. Why do you agree with President Obama and disagree with what Senator Rubio just said?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I don't really agree with President Obama. I think I'm somewhere in the middle. What I want is I want a much better deal to be made because right now, Cuba is making - as usual with our country, we don't make good deal. We don't have our right people negotiating, we have people that don't have a clue.

As an example, I heard recently where the threat was made that they want reparations for years of abuse by the United States, and nobody's talking about it and they'll end up signing a deal and then we'll get sued for $400 billion or $1 trillion.

All that stuff has to be agreed to now. We don't want to get sued after the deal is made. So I don't agree with President Obama, I do agree something should be - should take place. After 50 years, it's enough time, folks. But we have to make a good deal and we have to get rid of all the litigation that's going to happen.

This was just a little story but it was a big story to me because I said oh, here we go, we make a deal, then get sued for a tremendous amount of money for reparations. So I want to do something, but it's got to be done intelligently. We have to make good deal.

BASH: Senator Rubio, I know you want to get in. But just to be clear, Mr. Trump, are you saying that if you were president, you would continue the diplomatic relations or would you reverse them?

TRUMP: I would want to make a good deal, I would want to make a strong, solid, good deal because right now, everything is in Cuba's favor. Right now, everything, every single aspect of this deal is in Cuba's favor. It the same way as the Iran deal.

We never walked - we never - all we do is keep giving. We give and give and give.

BASH: But Mr. Trump, just to be clear, there is an embassy that you would have to decide whether it would be open or whether you would close it. Which would it be? In Havana.

TRUMP: I would probably have the embassy closed until such time as a really good deal was made and struck by the United States. (APPLAUSE).