Here Is How Trump Will Shift Cuban Policy

Carla Harmon
June 17, 2017

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control released a series of frequently asked questions regarding President Donald Trump's changes to the USA policy toward Cuba Friday, as the president announced the changes in Miami. As he was doing so, the White House released a fact sheet on the new policies: The plan outlines aims to "enhance" Cuba's compliance with USA law; hold Cuba responsible for human rights abuses; and open up avenues for economic opportunities for both countries. "The previous administration's easing of restrictions on travel and trade do not help the Cuban people", Trump said during a speech in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood on Friday.

"We will very strongly restrict American dollars flowing to the military, security, and intelligence services that are the core of the Castro regime", Trump said.

Those favouring greater opening with Cuba say the president's decision is a setback for improved relations and business. The new restrictions are expected to make the fledgling USA tourism and business with Cuba more difficult and expensive, a move that would hit Cuban citizens the hardest. Now, you can't justify a trip to Cuba as a "people to people" trip unless it's through a U.S. Treasury Department-licensed group.

Airlines now sending flights to Cuba and cruise companies sailing ships there will not be affected.

At home, Trump's critics have questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for its human rights record while insisting that in other parts of the world it will not lecture other countries on the issue. Trump condemned the Cuban government as a bloody tyranny and the Obama deal as one sided, constituting as it does an act of appeasement. Like many diplomats, he spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the Trump administration. -Cuban diplomatic, social and commercial ties, with the US opening an embassy in Cuba, increasing flights to Cuba, and some USA businesses expanding into the island nation for the first time in five decades.

The White House said the aim is to channel business away from the Cuban military monopoly GAESA, including travel-related transactions, and instead boost direct business with small, private enterprises. "It will be particularly damaging for USA business and damaging for the US private sector which is also continuing to grow".

Today's actions by President Trump reverses that action and Trump's mentioning of Chesimard is a first from the highest office in the land. He has already pulled the United States out of a major worldwide climate treaty and is trying to scrap his predecessor's landmark healthcare programme.

Trump's new plan limits travel to Cuba to just groups, stating: "Among other changes, travel for nonacademic educational purposes will be limited to group travel".

"My fellow Americans, welcome to history", said Vice President Mike Pence.

"This is the simple truth of the Castro regime".

"Now that I am president, America will expose the crimes of the Castro regime, and stand with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom", Trump said.

Global human rights groups say, however, that renewed US efforts to isolate the island could worsen the situation by empowering Cuban hard-liners. The Cuban government will have to respect #Human Rights, including freedom of expression and assembly, and hold free and fair elections.

It will be business as usual for Canada and Cuba despite a renewed hardening of relations between the communist island nation and the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

"It's going to really hurt me because the majority of my clients are from the United States", said Enrique Montoto, 61, who rents rooms on US online home-rental marketplace Airbnb, which expanded into Cuba in 2015. Mr. Trump said he will be signing a contract on a new policy that seeks a better deal for the Cuban people and for America.

Mr Trump delivered his speech at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami, named after the leader of the CIA-backed group which tried to overthrow Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. I agree 150% with everything Trump says and does.

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