Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Donald Trump Expected to Restrict Travel and Trade with Cuba

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker center visits the container terminal at the port in the Bay of Mariel Cuba. As President Donald Trump is expected to announce a reversal on the U.S. Cuba policy on Friday Ju Marco Rubio previews coming Donald Trump change in Cuba policy
Melinda Barton | 20 June, 2017, 02:27

In his remarks, Trump plans to cite human-rights violations in Cuba as justification for the new USA approach.

The White House insists that its new approach toward Cuba won't target the country's citizens, but instead, aims to prevent funding to oppressive elements of the country's government.

The president is expected to cast the policy moves as the fulfillment of a promise he made during last year's presidential campaign to reverse Obama's diplomatic re-engagement with the island after decades of estrangement.

Progress in U.S. -Cuba ties is likely to suffer a setback under U.S. President Donald Trump, according to Mario Torrico, a research professor at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Flacso) in Mexico City.

"You can't put the genie back in the bottle 100 percent", a top White House official said, pushing back against the questions about whether the changes amount to a "half measure" and not a full reversal of Obama's Cuba policies.

The president has been critical of actions that meant to warm decades of icy relations with the communist island nation - efforts punctuated by a trip to Havana a year ago, on which Obama became the first sitting USA president to visit Cuba in almost a century.

Tourism is technically banned under the embargo, but under the Obama administration, relaxed regulations allowed Americans to visit Cuba under people-to-people travel.

However, the administration wants to ensure that it is not involuntarily or directly providing financial help to the Raul Castro regime and that it is not violating the law, Tillerson said on Tuesday.

"I am appalled and saddened by the reports that President Trump will reinstate failed isolationist Cuba policies". And the USA government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities".

"U.S. private sector engagement can be a positive force for the kind of change we all wish to see in Cuba", said Myron Brilliant, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and head of global affairs.

The new policy has come together after contentious meetings within the administration. Some of the details of the changes were released Thursday. Marco Rubio, another Florida Republican, have shown no interest in doing so. Rather, the administration "wants any benefits of commerce to go towards the Cuban people".

Flights and cruise ships from the United States will not be restricted. It argues that the government carries out human rights abuses, though many policy experts believe the new regulations will not improve human rights in Cuba.

President Trump will issue the memorandum when he delivers his speech at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana district, the heart of America's Cuban-American and Cuban exile community. Trump, who has in the past criticized Obama's decision to re-establish relations with the nation, will announce new restrictions on trade and travel to the country, undoing the work of his predecessor. Only the U.S. Congress can lift the embargo, and lawmakers, especially those of Cuban heritage, like Sen.