Trump rolls back US, Cuba relations

Pierre Vaugeois
Juin 19, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), left, walks off the stage with President Trump after his Miami speech on Cuba.

But it also reiterated "its willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation".

Announcing the changes on Friday, he cited human rights concerns, saying doing a deal with the "brutal" Castro government was "terrible" and "misguided". Hard-line exiles agreed with Trump's move to roll back some of the changes by restricting commerce with entities linked to Cuba's military, restoring tougher travel rules and other moves in hopes of forcing Cuba toward democracy.

Despite Trump's campaign pledge to improve relations with Moscow, there has been no significant improvement in foreign policy co-operation between the two countries.

USA officials will move to enforce an existing ban on tourism by eliminating individual people-to-people exchanges that had been allowed under Obama and had opened a back door to tourism.

Trump's address in Miami announced changes in the United States' policy toward Cuba after the Obama administration made a decision to normalize relations with the island nation following a decades-long freeze of diplomatic ties.

The new policy aims to starve military-linked businesses of cash by banning any USA payments to them.

"This is a hollow retreat from normalization that takes a swipe at Americans' freedom to travel, at our national interest, and at the people of Cuba who yearn to reconnect with us - all just to score a political favor with a small and dwindling faction here at home", Leahy said. Under the expected changes, the US will ban American financial transactions with the dozens of enterprises run by the military-linked corporation GAESA, which operates dozens of hotels, tour buses, restaurants and other facilities.

Trump also plans stricter enforcement of rules mandating that trips to the island fall within one of 12 categories for legal travel to Cuba, including family visits and educational activities, an administration official said.

"Last year I promised to be a voice against repression in our region", Trump said, "and a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people".

American and Cuban flags flown together in Havana. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida - have lobbied Trump hard to revive the travel ban and embargo. However, individual travel to Cuba will be stopped by the new rules.

"Trump is adding teeth to Obama's previous policy, and he's talking about putting the human rights issue first", he added.

"This is a limitation on what we did, not a reversal of what we did", Rhodes said. Now it turns out that the anti-Cuban discourse is still in high demand.

The venue is named after a leader of the failed US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 against Fidel Castro's revolutionary government.

"We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalised and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled elections", Trump said.

Cuba functioned as a virtual U.S. colony for much of the 20th century, and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived United States infringements on national sovereignty.

The revised policy stops short of completely cutting off ties to the island nation but seeks to stop the flow of American money to Cuba's military, security and intelligence services. Trump, on the other hand, described his move as an effort to bring about a "free Cuba" after more than half a century of communism. The Cuban government has traditionally steered those tour groups to state-run business, meaning the majority of American travelers to Cuba will probably no longer be able to patronize private restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and taxi drivers.

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