Donald Trump to restrict Cuba travel and trade in latest Obama rollback

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2017

"Early reports have confirmed that on Friday, June 16, 2017 President Trump will officially announce a significant uptick in enforcement in to Cuba".

President Trump plans to roll back some of President Obama's opening to Cuba on Friday while leaving other changes - including the embassy in Havana opened two years ago - intact.

Progress in U.S. -Cuba ties is likely to suffer a setback under U.S. President Donald Trump, according to Mario Torrico, a research professor at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Flacso) in Mexico City.

Airline companies were less forthcoming ahead of the announcement.

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa: "It appears that the Trump changes would subject Americans to a lot more bureaucratic red tape and complicate travel to Cuba".

The firm - run by President Raul Castro's son-in-law Luis Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas - is now involved in joint ventures with several foreign firms that have driven tourism to the island, including the Marriott hotel chain. The order would allow continued expenditure linked to operations at the Guantanamo Naval Base against the will of the Cuban people and Government, and would also keep the corresponding funds for the United States embassy in Havana.

Trump will justify his partial reversal of Obama's measures to a large extent on human rights grounds.

Now, she thinks trump would be making a big mistake by tightening US restrictions on the island nation. Cubans who make their way to the US without authorization will still be returned to the island, just like unauthorized visitors from other countries. 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.

Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio was instrumental in drafting Trump's changes.

Trump's critics have also questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for its human rights record while downplaying the issue in other parts of the world.

Cuban-American GOP lawmakers, Sen. No deadline has been set, the officials said.

Taking a tougher approach against Cuba after promising to do so during the Presidential campaign, President Trump will make clear that a ban on USA tourism to Cuba remains in effect and his administration will beef up enforcement of travel rules under all authorized categories. "For tour operators, that means stricter audits by the government on legal people-to-people travel in Cuba, which requires travelers to legitimately fall into one of the 12 exemption categories". "It puts these private businesses at an advantage, because Americans can only spend money with them, not the military monopoly", he told POLITICO.

"No, I don't think that Trump will undo everything that Obama did, everything that Obama accomplished, let's say", said Wayne Smith, a former USA diplomat who was once stationed in Havana.

But other advisers have contended that it is important to make good on a campaign promise to Cuban-Americans.

Other reports by iNewsToday