Trump keeps much of Obama's Cuba policy

Trump Deconstructs Obama's Cuba Bridge Building on Tourism Trade

Trump keeps much of Obama's Cuba policy

The White House said the goal of the new policy is to hold the Cuban regime accountable for human rights violations and empower the Cuban people, as well as to enhance USA national security and enforce US law more strictly.

Cuban authorities have stepped up their detentions of activists, often confiscating their telephones and laptops, but they have also been coming down with a heavy hand on self- employed Cubans who appear to be empowering themselves. In practice, however, many recent changes to boost ties to Cuba will stay as they are.

"The US embassy (in Cuba) will remain open in hope that our countries can forge a much stronger and better path", he said.

President Donald Trump has declared that he's "cancelling the previous administration's" Cuba policy, which he calls "one-sided" in favor of Havana. Travel must be in a guided group to be permitted for educational purposes and also created to provide meaningful interaction between USA travelers and the Cuban people.

Obama, after years of clandestine work with the Castro regime, announced in 2014 that the United States would re-establish diplomatic relations and reopen the American embassy in Havana, which was closed in 1961 following the Cuban revolution. Over the last months the uptake in travel from the U.S. to Cuba has not been as high as expected, primarily as hotel capacity has not kept up with the demand, leading to some of the U.S. airlines cutting back capacity to the island. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to US soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated. But individual educational trips to Cuba - otherwise called "people-to-people travel" will end.

The changes won't go into effect immediately. The goal is to halt the flow of US cash to the country's military and security services in a bid to increase pressure on Cuba's government.

Trump's directive will also seek to prevent USA dollars being used to fund the government and any business transactions with the Cuban Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group which is active in most sectors of the Caribbean island's state-controlled economy. "You went out and you voted".

Gov. Chris Christie has urged the Trump administration to make Chesimard's return to the United States part of any change in Cuba policy.

Unable to persuade Congress to lift the decades-old trade embargo, Obama had used his power to adjust the rules that implement the embargo to expand built-in loopholes.

The new policy is only a partial reversal from that of the Obama administration.

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"The people of Cuba will have freedom one day", Haley said.

For Cubans, the shift risks stifling a nascent middle class that has started to rise as Americans have flocked to the island on airlines, patronizing thousands of private bed-and-breakfasts.

"Besides the minutiae of this policy, he's ushering a return to the Cold War between Washington and Havana", Acosta said. Especially in Southern Florida, where Cubans make up a key voting bloc for Republicans, Trump railed on Obama for building relations with the Castros.

"They made a deal with a government that spread violence and instability in the region and nothing they got, think about it, nothing they got, they fought for everything and we just didn't fight hard enough, but now, those days are over", Trump said.

Trump is also calling for the legalization of all political parties, and free and internationally supervised elections.

"People-to-people" tour companies needed special licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department and were regularly audited and faced steep fines or loss of licenses for allowing travelers to engage in tourism.

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

"I have trust in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to Cuba", said Jorge Saurez, 66, a retired physician in Little Havana.

Members of Arkansas' congressional delegation criticized President Donald Trump's decision to restore some travel and economic restrictions that were lifted under his predecessor, saying the move will hurt efforts to open up a new market for the state's farmers.

While campaigning a year ago in Miami, home to a large Cuban-American population, Trump pledged to reverse Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba unless it met certain "demands", including granting Cubans religious and political freedom, and releasing political prisoners. "We've never imposed as tight of an embargo on any country as we have on Cuba, and Cuba's non-democratic regime remains".

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