Trump thrusts US, Cuba back toward hostile relations

As another member of the group, Bolivian President Evo Morales also expressed his full support for the Cuban people and their government in the face of the policy reversal.

Cuba's government on Friday criticized Donald Trump's "hostile rhetoric" in announcing new restrictions on United States ties to the island nation, but reiterated Havana's willingness to hold "respectful dialogue" with Washington.

In a speech given Friday in Miami, Trump announced a harsher U.S. policy towards the island, even though he won't void all of his predecessor Barack Obama's decisions.

"We don't want USA dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba", Trump said on Friday, pledging that USA sanctions would not be lifted until Cuba releases political prisoners and holds free elections. The official said the new restrictions would not go into place until new regulations are published, and played down the threat to U.S. business interests.

"It seemed to me the speech was more for the Cuban exile politicians in Florida than for Cuban officials here", says Kariel González, a Havana accountant who consults private Cuban entrepreneurs and spoke with WLRN after watching excerpts of Trump's speech on Cuban state television. The policy memorandum directs the Treasury and Commerce departments to create new regulations within 30 days, although they wouldn't be in place for several months.

"Any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba.will be doomed to failure", it continued.

"I think it's critically important we open up these market, that's the best way to change Cuba overall", said Sen.

However, Cuba said it would still cooperate with its larger neighbour.

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Aug 2016: USA commercial flight arrives in Cuba for the first time in more than half a century. "My father was imprisoned and tortured", Cruz said, "My aunt was imprisoned and tortured, one by Bautista, one by Castro and they both came to Texas seeking freedom".

But individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited.

"The problem, say Cubans we talk to, is that the crackdown would also hurt small business owners", Mitchell claimed, "including many women, the very people President Trump says he wants to help".

"You can't put the genie back in the bottle 100 percent", a senior administration official conceded Thursday.

In December 2014, Obama took a new approach to engagement with Cuba, which successive American governments had been working to isolate since after the island nation's communist revolution in 1958. Cuban-Americans will be able to continue to visit their family in Cuba and send them remittances.

"Having this opportunity supports our belief that the development of the Cuban economy is as beneficial to IL farmers as it is to Cuba".

Pointing to human rights abuses, Trump said, "My administration will not hide from it, excuse it, or glamorize it and we will never ever be blind to it". Travel website Kayak declared the country its hottest destination after it saw a 173% increase in Cuba searches in April 2017 compared with April 2016.

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