Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Trump recasts Cuba policy, takes harder line than Obama on military, travel

Trump recasts Cuba policy, takes harder line than Obama on military, travel

Carnival Corporation said in a statement it was pleased the new policy would allow it to continue sailing to the island nation, but that it would still need to review the "extent of the tightening of the travel rules that could potentially affect our guests".

The administration is attempting to shake up the Cuban government, which has a track record of human rights violations.

Also not expected are any changes to USA regulations governing what items Americans can bring back from Cuba, including the rum and cigars produced by state-run enterprises.

Ferral Rimer wonders why the US would distance itself from Cuba, when it does business with other nations that have questionable human rights records. While it is formally banned under federal law, the Obama administration allowed people to travel to the island as part of "people to people" education programs. USA citizens may only visit Cuba if their activities pertain to government affairs, journalism, research, education, religious or humanity projects, family, or business.

If you've already planned a trip, the officials said the new regulations will account for those situations, so those travelers may not be out of luck.

The main focus of the policy will attempt to shift money away from the military and intelligence services "that contribute to oppression on the island", one official said.

Amongst things not expected to be affected by Trump's new policy: the embassy in Havana will remain an embassy, remittances will still be allowed to be sent to Cuba and agricultural and medical business will still be allowed.

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She added: "I saw women and men flashing phones, flashing everything their hands, T-shirts, anything to say we're here". Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police Service said in an update Thursday.

The Cuban government has made clear it will not be pressured into reforms in exchange for further engagement with the US.

"The idea that, after 55 years of failure, going back to isolationist policies will produce any results is insane", said James Williams, president of the Engage Cuba group.

Those travels and visitors' ability to use Cuba's military-run bank are not believed to be affected by the Trump changes, though the Herald reports that the administration's new policy will include a broad restriction on interactions with the military branch that runs the majority of Cuba's economy.

Under the order, the Treasury and Commerce Departments will be given 30 days to begin writing new regulations and they will not take effect until they are complete.

After watching #President Trump in action over the early months of his presidency, many lawmakers and lobbyists have seen his lack of an agenda and policy as an opportunity to try and influence the President to better guide his hand towards their own agendas. His aides contend that Obama's easing of US restrictions has done nothing to advance political freedoms in Cuba, while benefiting the Cuban government financially.

Detailing a new National Security Presidential Memorandum, Trump is also expected to announce stricter enforcement of rules under which Americans can travel to Cuba. Senator Marco Rubio played an important role in this process.

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