Cuba rejects new US policy, saying pressure will not work

Katrina Soto
June 20, 2017

Surrounded by Cuban-American exiles and Cuban dissidents, Trump announced from a theater in Miami that the USA would impose new limits on US travelers to the island and ban any payments to the military-linked conglomerate that controls much of the island's tourism industry.

"We do not want USA dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba", Trump said Friday in Miami.

Trump has ordered for a new a draft regarding business dealings with Cuban military regime-affiliated companies and will restrict some travel agreements.

Now, President Donald Trump has announced a roll back on yet another one of Obama's policies. Commercial flights will continue and the US embassy in Havana will remain open.

While Obama's much-delayed rapprochement with Cuba was applauded by the global community and indeed many people in the United States, the rollback by Trump reflects his bid to restore a failed United States policy, a Cold War legacy.

Trump also will reimpose the requirement that "people-to-people" travelers can only come to Cuba with heavily regulated tour groups.

"A backward move for (US-Cuban) relations would bring with it the collapse of many businesses" and "the suffering of all the families that depend on them", they wrote.

Trump was joined on the trip by vocal critics of Obama's attempt to resume more normal relations with the communist nation. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. Obama had argued that a decades-old policy of isolation and estrangement had allowed the Cuban government to blame its citizens' problems on the United States without producing any meaningful improvements in their lives.

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In a speech on Friday in Miami, Donald Trump presented his policy as one of his campaign commitments, which aimed to end the rapprochement with Cuba, initiated by Barack Obama. After his remarks, Trump signed an order directing the Treasury Department to make the changes.

Despite Obama's contempt for Liberty and palling around with Raul "the Reformer", the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation has reported the Castro military increased its political detentions from 718 in 2015 to 1,095 recorded in just the first six months of 2016. The Cuban military controls significant portions of the economy through its Grupo de Administración Empresarial, S.A. (GAESA), including tourism, through its Gaviota and Habaguanex subsidiaries.

In a setback to the U.S. USA air carriers and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve on the island. One of the changes in the rules would prohibit Americans from traveling to Cuba through the so-called "people-to-people" cultural exchanges.

Several companies engaged in business in Cuba expressed relief that Trump didn't take more drastic action.

"America is prepared to outstretch its hand and work with the people of Cuba, but we will not, we will not empower their oppressors", Sen. The changes will largely affect the country's travel and tourism industry.

Carnival also said it has requested approval its other brands to travel to Cuba in the future. USA travelers will be prohibited from spending money at hotels and restaurants tied to the Cuban military. There have also been reports that Russian Federation has spoken to Cuba about the possibility of reopening a military base on the island, opening up the possibility of a replay of events such as the Cuban missile crisis. The policy also won't limit remittances to Cuba by Cuban Americans, and expanded telecommunications and internet access programs will also be allowed to continue.

Q: What's new about Trump's recently announced Cuba policy?

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