Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump wants to dismantle Obama-era Cuba policies

As a Cuban-American, Sen. US airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

Supporters of Trump's changes said they are created to hurt Cuba's communist government economically, and encourage people to rise up against the regime that has been in power since 1959. "They are rejected officially today - rejected". They believe that the more contact Cubans and Americans have and the more opportunities Cubans have to form entrepreneurial ventures - helped by Americans - the more pressure there will be for the political system to change on the island.

"We've had this new policy for basically two years".

An excerpt from the draft of the Presidential Policy Directive, it reads; "My administration's policy will be guided by key USA national security interests and solidarity with the Cuban people, I will seek to promote a stable, prosperous, and free country for the Cuban people". Remittances to Cuba won't be cut off.

If travel to Cuba is reduced, "You'd have a lot of people whose income would fall dramatically", she said.

As a result, the changes - though far-reaching - appear to be less sweeping than many advocates had feared.

On the other hand, airlines such as JetBlue have refrained from commenting in detail on the policy until they have a chance to fully review it after Trump releases a revised policy, Friday.

Improvements in ties, in fact, "have been very slow and even disappointing, so to speak", said Torrico.

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Trump pledged to reverse Obama's new approach to Cuba as part of last year's presidential campaign, especially during appearances in Florida. The new president's action is broadly opposed by American business groups.

Tomorrow, President Donald Trump will announce his administration's new policy towards Cuba, but drafts provided to news organizations suggest it will not be friendly towards Americans wanting to visiting Cuba.

He's expected to unveil his policy in a speech Friday in Miami. Plus, Julia Sweig, senior research fellow at the University of Texas and the author of several books, including "Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know", explains the complicated history of the U.S. -Cuba relationship. In December 2014, Obama normalized relations with the nation after more than five decades of a hard line toward the nation aimed at weakening the Castro regime.

Taking a tougher approach against Havana after promising to do so during the presidential campaign, Trump will outline stricter enforcement of an existing ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists and will seek to prevent U.S. dollars from being used to fund what the new United States administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government. Less than a year later, the U.S. Embassy in Havana re-opened, and Obama paid a historic visit to Havana in 2016.

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

The trade embargo remains in place under Trump.

Early reports from Washington indicate President Trump is vowing to keep his campaign pledge to anti-Castro hardliners in south Florida. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) played a "central" role in helping the administration recast the policy, one official said, while other members of Congress were instrumental as well.

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