Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russia slams Trump's 'Cold War' policy on Cuba

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said at an appearance in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, although it turns out he is only rolling back some of the policies his predecessor put in place over the past year to open up relations with the communist country.

"If you want Cuba to change and reform, we are doing the opposite of what would be most likely to bring about reforms inside of Cuba", Rhodes said.

In a signal of Obama's desire to fix the United States' fractured relationship with Cuba, the USA abstained for the first time in October 2016 on the annual U.N. General Assembly vote condemning the embargo.

"Effective immediately I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said Friday.

"I have continued to press both the Obama and Trump Administrations for the return of Joanne Chesimard, and am pleased that the president today made her return - in clear and absolute terms, as I have insisted - contingent upon any further USA engagement in Cuba". The government remained willing to engage in "respectful dialogue", it said in a statement.

President Trump says his new policy will tighten rules on travel and on sending funds to Cuba. "We have to look forward, not back".

"Having this opportunity supports our belief that the development of the Cuban economy is as beneficial to IL farmers as it is to Cuba". But it makes some exceptions, including for air and sea travel, according to United States officials. US airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

"We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalised and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled", Trump said.

Trump foreign policy has only one guiding principle: do the opposite of Obama, no matter the cost. His critics, however, have questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for human rights abuses but downplaying the issue in other parts of the world, including Saudi Arabia, a close USA ally Trump visited last month where political parties and protests are banned.

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Trump has spent more weekends away from Washington than not. He also will not cut off recently resumed direct U.S. -Cuba commercial flights or cruise-ship travel, though his more restrictive policy seems certain to dampen new economic ties overall.

A senior White House official said the administration's intent was not to disrupt existing business. Trump's hatred of Obama is apparent. "With the United States, there is no tranquility".

Obama traveled to Havana last March to solidify a detente between the USA and Cuba that his administration negotiated in 2014.

But the overwhelming majority of the Cuban economy is controlled by the government.

The statement said a "strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it seeks to achieve it through pressures and impositions, or by employing more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure".

While Trump explained in a Miami speech that he was ending Obama's "terrible and misguided deal" because of the Cuban government's "repression" of its people, the Washington Post noted that Trump's policy change could benefit, well, Trump - specifically, his hotel business.

"It doesn't make any sense", Lee said. Trump also agreed not to reinstate the "wet-foot dry-foot" policy that allowed Cuban migrants to have a straight path to legalization upon touching USA land.

The Cuban authorities have stepped up their detentions of activists, often confiscating their phones and laptops, but they have also been coming down heavily on self-employed Cubans who appear to be empowering themselves. Surrounded by democracies, Cuba is less than 100 miles off the coast of the world's biggest economy, which is also home to some 2 million Cuban-Americans, many of whom travel back and forth.

And any new government can not include Raúl Castro or Fidel Castro, now a moot point.

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