Newsweek uncovers Trump’s secret attempts to strike business deals with Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro


Documents uncovered by Newsweek reveal that back in 1998, Donald Trump violated U.S. law by spending $68,000 to fly consultants down to Cuba to meet with officials of the Castro dictatorship in an apparent effort to lay the groundwork for future business deals with the apartheid regime. Perhaps as startling as this revelation is that a mere 10 months later, Trump launched his 2000 presidential election campaign at the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami where in his speech, he swore he would never do business on the island or spend any money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was toppled from power. Naturally, Trump made no mention or disclosure at that time that just a few months earlier, he had a team of his people in Havana trying to make business deals with the Castro regime.

This revelation can be bad news for the Trump campaign since it will not sit well with conservative Republican Cuban-American voters who staunchly support sanctions against Cuba’s dictatorship. It also comes on the heels of a Bloomberg report this past July that revealed Trump was sending employees to Cuba to scout golf course locations and business opportunities just last year. Furthermore, this latest news will likely enforce the perception amongst his detractors in the Republican party that the GOP nominee for president continually and consistently flips his position on major issues to serve his needs at that particular moment.

The only positive aspect for the cause of a free Cuba this bombshell revelation offers is that for the next news cycle (or perhaps even longer if Trump and his surrogates respond by digging themselves deeper into the hole as they usually do), the Clinton campaign and Democrats will be anti-Castro and staunch supporters of the embargo against Cuba’s repressive apartheid dictatorship.

By Kurt Eichenwald in Newsweek:

Donald Trump’s company violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba

A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.

Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after-the-fact to a charitable effort.

The payment by Trump Hotels came just before the New York business mogul launched his first bid for the White House, seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. On his first day of the campaign, he traveled to Miami where he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state. Trump vowed to maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power.

He did not disclose that, seven months earlier, Trump Hotels already had reimbursed its consultants for the money they spent on their secret business trip to Havana.


Prior to the Cuban trip, several European companies reached out to Trump about potentially investing together on the island through Trump Hotels, according to the former Trump executive. At the time, a bipartisan group of senators, three former Secretaries of State and other former officials were urging then-President Bill Clinton to review America’s Cuba policy, in hopes of eventually ending the decades-long embargo.

The goal of the Cuba trip, the former Trump executive said, was to give Trump’s company a foothold should Washington loosen or lift the trade restrictions. While in Cuba, the Trump representatives met with government officials, bankers and other business leaders to explore possible opportunities for the casino company. The former executive said Trump had participated in discussions about the Cuba trip and knew it had taken place.

The fact that Seven Arrows spent the money and then received reimbursement from Trump Hotels does not mitigate any potential corporate liability for violating the Cuban embargo. “The money that the Trump company paid to the consultant is money that a Cuban national has an interest in and was spent on an understanding it would be reimbursed,’’ Richard Matheny, chair of Goodwin’s national security and foreign trade regulation group said, based on a description of the events by Newsweek. “That would be illegal. If OFAC discovered this and found there was evidence of willful misconduct, they could have made a referral to the Department of Justice.”

Read all about this sordid affair HERE.

12 thoughts on “Newsweek uncovers Trump’s secret attempts to strike business deals with Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro”

  1. What will Marco and Ted say now? Are they going to continue to support this clown? I’m so disappointed in both of them. I realize they have to play politics and are only doing the minimum required but enough is enough. Grow a pair! How about all the viejitos still arguing for Trump? When is their breaking point going to come? I can’t believe after all these years they are going to sell out their principles and vote for a shameless opportunist just because he has an R next to his name. Honestly, the way this crazy election is going I wouldn’t be surprised if the spin they put on this will go something along the lines of “Well, Democrats were going to do business with Castro anyway. Trump is just a visionary businessman who wanted to get ahead of the curve.” Le ronca!

  2. Oh, the indignation! Oh, the outrage! I mean, please. What are we, retarded? As if we couldn’t pick out opportunistic hypocrisy a mile away (at least). So where’s the exposé on Obama screwing Cuba? Oh, right, there’s no need for one, since it’s so blatantly obvious. So Trump is ready to use Cuba for his benefit. Isn’t everybody? Does anyone actually believe the Clinton woman would be even remotely better? This kind of shit seriously insults my intelligence, since I already knew perfectly well about Trump’s, uh, nature. And while we’re at it, where’s the outraged and indignant exposé of “His Holiness” Don Francisco? Like, give me a fucking break and get this BS out of my face.

  3. Like I said in my post, Asombra, about the only good thing that comes out of this news is that Hillary, Democrats, and the media will suddenly become anti-Castro and pro-embargo for the next few days or weeks. Nothing will come of it other than to watch them squirm as they force themselves to detail the evils of the apartheid Castro regime.

    As for Trump, getting mad at him for this is like getting mad at a dog for barking. We all know what he is and what he’s made of. It would be folly to expect a principled stand on any issue from a person whose moral compass has no true north.

  4. In case it wasn’t clear, Alberto, I’m not angry at you, but at that very usual suspect, Newsweek. Hadn’t that rag gone out of business? And btw, anybody, especially any Cuban, who even begins to believe any supposed anti-Castro or anti-embargo posturing from the Dems and their water carriers is seriously stupid.

  5. As for being offended by Trump on this, it’s nothing like my offense over any so-called Republican figure who not only won’t support Trump (which is OK) but does or says anything whatsoever to help Clinton.

  6. And let’s be clear: the reason Trump is the Republican candidate is because of Republicans like Jeb! Bush and all too many others as bad or worse. Those Republican establishment figures who have said nothing in the way of true remorse or shame over their performance and still dare to play holier-than-thou over Trump are FAR more obnoxious to me than Trump ever could be–and trust me, I find him beyond appalling.

    As for Newsweek, if it had any integrity it would just open the story with Yes, we desperately want Trump to lose Florida, so here’s a bone for “those people” to chew on.

  7. So, this made it to the front cover of Newsweek? Since when has Newsweek EVER thought that engaging the castro tryanny or violating whatever is left of that embargo [that they in their opinion pieces and news stories trashed over the years] was worthy of a front cover exposé? No doubt this story was planted in Newsweek by the Hillary Clinton For President Campaign. As Asombra notes, they should just open the story with Yes, we desperately want Trump to lose Florida, so here’s a bone for “those people” to chew on. I mean, how transparent can you get? Lord have mercy!

  8. I hate to be so cynical, but the liberal media outlets running stories recently about The Donald violating the U.S. embargo on Communist Cuba has me laughing uncontrollably. Here is my take on it. These media outlets are trying to help out Hillary carry Florida – a key swing state to win the White House in 2016. They want to turn some Cuban-Americans against The Donald. Well, most Cuban-Americans have been around the corner and realize that this latest move is nothing more than a cheap scam.

    If The Donald is guilty of breaking the law, then fine him. But, when you do so, you must also fine President Obama and Bill Clinton. At least, The Donald has embraced a hard-line posture lately to uphold human rights in Cuba, whereas Crooked Hillary indicated that she supports the continuation of the Obama’s Cuban doctrine.

  9. Of course the media is trying to do everything they can to help Hillary get elected. Are you surprised by this? We knew this was going to be the case from the very beginning! What has me perplexed is how anyone would think the media was not going to go straight after Trump’s dubious past and questionable actions.

  10. Anybody, especially a usual suspect like Newsweek, who tries to use Cuba to take down Trump must, repeat, MUST condemn JFK, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and most definitely Obama and his dear, dear friend Hillary Clinton for having done or being prepared to do FAR worse on that score. Otherwise, as I said earlier, get the fuck out of my face and take that shit somewhere else.

Comments are closed.