Republicans divided as Trump reverses some Obama Cuba policy

United States President Donald Trump is en route to Miami where he'll announce his plans for halting the flow of U.S. cash to Cuba's
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18 June, 2017

However, despite the rhetoric, the order appears to be less far-reaching than the President claimed, for example, the embassies that opened in Havana and Washington will be maintained, Cuban Americans will be allowed to send money to their families and visit them, and USA companies will be allowed to continue commercial transportation, including flights between the two countries.

The President said it was hard to think of a policy "that makes less sense than the prior administration's awful and misguided deal" with the "brutal" Castro government. "I am announcing today a new policy just as I promised during the campaign".

"The policy centres on the belief that the oppressed Cuban people - rather than the oppressive Castro regime's military and its subsidiaries - should benefit from American engagement with the island", he said.

US tourists are still entitled to visit Cuba under the 12 designated categories of travel authorised by the US Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Trump will announce his new approach early Friday afternoon at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana, the heart of America's largest Cuban-American community, whose support aides believe helped him win Florida in the election.

In Havana, Cuba's government criticised the new restrictions on ties with the U.S. that were announced by Trump, but reiterated its willingness to hold a "respectful dialogue" with Washington.

"The new policy, announced by the U.S. president in relation to Cuba, brings us back to the already forgotten rhetoric in the Cold War style".

Boosting travel was a key aim of Obama's effort to restore ties with Cuba after a half-century chill, which culminated with a visit by the then-president in 2016.

Yet it also exposed the shortcomings in Obama's approach.

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Trump concluded his speech in solidarity with the Cuban people, "May God bless everyone searching for freedom, may God bless Cuba, may God bless the United States of America".

"New restrictions on engagement with Cuban economy only pushes Cuba to China and Russian Federation who will gladly make up the difference", Rhodes said. "We will very strongly restrict American dollars flowing to the military, security and intelligence services that are the core of the Castro regime". They will be restricted. Most US business deals with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group are also likely to be banned.

The changes will not go into effect until regulations are drafted by the US Treasury Department and other agencies, officials said.

By restricting individual U.S.travel to Cuba, the new policy also risks cutting off a major source of income for Cuba's private business sector, which the policy is meant to support.

"We will keep in place the safeguards to prevent Cubans from risking their lives to unlawful travel to the United States". But they acknowledge his stance differs from country to country. "And we are going to be safeguarding those people", he said. "We will stand with the Cuban people in the struggle for freedom", Trump said at a rally in Miami.

The U.S. severed ties with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolution, and spent decades trying to either overthrow the government or isolate the island, including by toughening an economic embargo first imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"There is a curiosity for Cuba, having been off limits for half a century, and it should be anticipated that there will be some initial impact on visitor arrivals", she said, her comments ringing true even after Mr. Trump's announcement.

"The Castro regime has shipped arms to North Korea and fuelled chaos in Venezuela". While imprisoning innocents, it has harbored cop killers, hijackers and terrorists. "And that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands". My administration will not hide from it, excuse it or glamourise it.


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