Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations

Trump cancels Obama's Cuba deal

Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations

But while Mr. Trump's six-page directive signed following his speech on Friday will somewhat temper Cuba's burgeoning tourism product, it keeps in place most of the key policies implemented by Mr. Obama.

US President Donald Trump says tightening restrictions on American business and tourism in Cuba will help the island's people and small private businesses, but analysts warn it will do the opposite.

Cuba later denounced the move as a setback in US-Cuban relations, saying Trump had been badly advised and was resorting to "coercive methods of the past" that were doomed to fail. The US president has been accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, several cabinet members, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, congressmen of Cuban origin like Marco Rubio, Mario Diaz Balart and Carlos Curbelo and representatives of Cuban dissidents, Trump mentioned the Dissidents Jose Daniel Ferrer and Berta Soler, who were not allowed to travel to Miami, but "are here with us".

"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. Payments to numerous Cuban companies owned by the regime's security forces will also be restricted.

Embassies in Washington and Havana will stay open and cruises and direct flights between the Washington and Havana will be protected under an exception from the prohibition on transactions with military-controlled entities. Refusing to negotiate domestic reforms in exchange for USA concessions is perhaps the most fundamental plank of Cuba's policy toward the U.S.

Trump will justify his partial reversal of Obama's measures to a large extent on human rights grounds.

Trump, however, stopped short of breaking diplomatic relations restored in 2015 after more than five decades of hostilities.

The new policy aims to starve military-linked businesses of cash by banning any USA payments to them. Trump's new measures mainly relate to stricter enforcement of existing laws that had begun to loosen as Obama sought a rapprochement. "The United States will always react to what the Cuban government did".

Other members of the luncheon meeting, held in a Miami suburb, expressed disappointment that they were not consulted by US lawmakers from Florida who helped shape the policy, including Sen. Castro's government has clearly stated it does not intend to change its one-party political system.

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Yet new moves will burden the USA government with the complicated task of policing to Cuba to make sure there are no transactions with the military-linked conglomerate that runs much of the Cuban economy.

"It's hard to think of a policy that makes less sense than the prior administration's bad and misguided deal with the Castro regime", Trump said in Miami. USA farmers have pressed the administration to continue opening the trade relationship with the island, though the market is relatively small. The Cuban government has made clear it will not be pressured into reforms in exchange for further engagement with Washington.

Global human rights groups say, however, that reinstating a US policy of isolating the island could make the situation worse by empowering Cuban hardliners.

"There will be little impact on the USA economy", said Michael Shifter, a specialist at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based research group.

Trump said his administration will expose the crimes of the Castro regime and stand with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom.

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.

"It is doubtful that they will trigger any move in Cuba towards a new governing structure or new leadership", said Shifter.

Mexico's foreign ministry urged the United States and Cuba to resolve their differences "via dialogue".

In essence, Mr. Trump's announcement on Friday allowed him to claim fulfillment of a campaign promise, while leaving a vast portion of the Obama policies intact. "It is an offence against Latin America". Despite bitter criticism and personal attacks, most have continued to operate, many with a degree of support from US individuals and foundations that would have been impossible before the reestablishment of diplomatic relations. The effect of this new policy will be strengthening the revolutionary leadership and seeing that it's right.

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