This is our look at President-elect Donald Trump's transition and the outgoing Obama administration. Here's what's happening:

Trump says Cuba has to act or he'll end the diplomatic thaw, but it's not that simple

In his latest comment on Cuba since the death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, President-elect Donald Trump said Monday he would end Washington's diplomatic thaw with the island unless Cuba makes "a better deal."

"If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal," Trump tweeted.

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro renewed diplomatic ties in 2014 after a half-century of Cold War hostility. Since then, through a series of executive orders, Obama has eased restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and U.S. firms doing business there.

Castro, at the same time, has made it easier for Cubans to travel and to engage in limited private enterprise.

However, Castro has not enacted significant political reforms, and the death Friday of his brother, former president and leader of the revolution Fidel, at age 90, is not likely to usher in quick change.

It was not clear what Trump meant by a "better deal." An email seeking clarification from his transition team was not answered.

Previously, however, Trump has spoken of the release of political prisoners and more open space for free expression of opinions and dissent. These are the same elements the Obama administration has been demanding, while choosing not to delay economic progress while awaiting political change.

From a legal standpoint, Trump could easily reverse Obama's executive orders with little more than a signature. Politically, however, renewed estrangement would be more complicated and would isolate the U.S. as the only country in the world that does not recognize the Communist-led government in Havana.

Trump and his top aides have sent conflicting signals over his likely Cuba policy.

On Saturday, his staff put out a statement saying a Trump administration would "do all it can" to help Cubans achieve prosperity and liberty. But it did not mention reversing Obama's actions expanding ties.

"While Cuba remains a totalitarian island," Trump said, "it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve."

Kellyanne Conway, a top advisor, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that "nothing is definite" when it comes to Cuba. But Trump's soon-to-be White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said that Trump would be looking for "some movement in the right direction" to keep the Cuba opening on course.

Conservative Republicans, like Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, oppose detente with Cuba as long as any Castro continues to rule. But a growing number of Cuban Americans, as well as most Democrats and a substantial segment of the business community, want better ties and opportunities for economic exchange.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World