Mercoledì, 28 Giugno, 2017

Reaction to Trump's Cuba shift

Parmenio Sano | 20 Giugno, 2017, 02:26

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce a rollback of measures implemented by Barack Obama in the countries ties with its neighbor Cuba on Friday.

"There are 12 categories of travel that are permitted still, but that one of the individual people-to-people travel was one that was of the highest risk of potential abuse of the statutory ban on tourism", a senior White House official said Thursday.

According to media reports, Trump is set to announce in Miami on Friday a rollback to the thaw between Washington and Havana, a promise he made during his election campaign previous year.

Trump will tighten travel restrictions and ban USA spending with any state-run businesses tied to the military. They include: free elections, the release of political prisoners and direct pay for Cuban workers.

But the Trump administration acknowledged that some of Obama's initiatives had momentum that made reversal of the former president's opening impractical. Trump is also expected to keep the USA embassy in Havana, which reopened under Obama in 2015.

It also indicates that the new administration will not reinstate the wet foot, dry foot policy, which allowed Cuban immigrants who reached American soil to remain in the country.

Polls suggest most Americans support the liberalized policy towards Cuba pushed by the Obama administration.

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.

Early reports from Washington indicate President Trump is vowing to keep his campaign pledge to anti-Castro hardliners in south Florida.


"My administration's policy will be guided by key U.S. national security interests and solidarity with the Cuban people", the draft of the eight-page Presidential Policy Directive said, according to the website.

These types of trips focused on connecting USA travelers with Cubans in their communities and homes, creating an educational environment where travelers can experience what everyday life is like for Cubans.

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the USA on a variety of subjects. This new policy helps them.

The changes will make it hard for US citizens to travel to Cuba or continue doing business there.

Speaking from Havana on the call, Emily Morris, an associate fellow at Institute of the Americas at University College in London, said there is concern among Cuban people who have benefited from increased economic cooperation between the two nations.

Despite those attitudes, Trump himself will harken back to the 1960s when he announces his new policy on Friday. That means that any US traveler now booked on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or even months, could go ahead and make the trip.

Like Rubio, they argued only a flourishing Cuban private sector would eventually lead to political change; where the two sides disagree is on how best to encourage private growth.

Flights and cruise ships from the United States will not be restricted.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who was played a key role in pushing for Trump's changes, was expected to attend along with U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and other Cuban-American lawmakers.

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