Junio 24, 2017

MI farmers oppose changing Cuba policy

18 Junio 2017, 03:07 | Crisanna Felipe

Though they're far from a return to the Cold War, Washington's new policies towards Cuba could put a chill on the island nation's budding private sector and on some Americans looking to do business with Havana.

Declaring Obama's pact with Castro a "completely one-sided deal", Trump said he was cancelling it.

"They're going to benefit from us going and we're going to benefit from learning their culture", Persaud said.

Here's a look at Trump's policy toward Cuba.

MI bean growers have been hoping the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba would open a new market.

U.S. companies active in Cuba have complained about the threat to business - such as the Starwood hotel chain which previous year opened a Sheraton in Havana.

"This is what's amusing".

Cheered by Cuba hardliners in both parties, Trump's new policy is broadly opposed by USA businesses eager to invest in Cuba.

Of course, the mere news of the change is likely to have a chilling effect on travel to Cuba.

But the reforms have been slow and Cuba is in recession, dragged down by the decline in cut-price oil imports from its crisis-hit ally Venezuela.

Under the Obama administration, the 12 categories were not closely monitored and enforced.

Cuba has repeatedly said it will not renege on the promise of the former president, who died in November.

"It's an abuse of power by the U.S. empire not to listen to the whole world's support against the blockade of Cuba", he said.

The president announced changes to Obama-era Cuba policy, and challenged the Castro government to negotiate a better deal.

"I think [it] will undo some of the incremental progress already made".

"I am proud to be an American", said 75-year-old Modesto Castaner, who trained with the Central Intelligence Agency in Guatemala before taking part in the failed bid to overthrow Fidel Castro's rule.

Trump tore into former President Barack Obama in front of an audience made up largely of Cuban exiles and their descendants in a theater named for a leader of the failed 1961 USA -backed Bay of Pigs invasion.

There are two imminent, important changes.

The near-universal sentiment from the travel and hospitality industries was that Trump's decision would be bad for both United States tourists and residents of Cuba.

Under the revised travel policy, USA officials say there will be tighter enforcement to make sure Americans legally fit the 12 authorized categories they claim to be traveling under, which could spook many visitors, wary of receiving a hefty fine.

The second change is a ban on business dealings that could involve the Cuban military, with some exceptions.

The new policy bans most U.S. business transactions with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group, a Cuban conglomerate involved in all sectors of the economy.

As another member of the group, Bolivian President Evo Morales also expressed his full support for the Cuban people and their government in the face of the policy reversal. The countries have collaborated on shared national interests including combating narcotics smuggling, human trafficking, the Zika virus and environmental protection.

That could be hard for developers, Zelkowitz said, since the military's control over the economy is so pervasive.

Earlier Friday, Trump vowed to overhaul Obama's policies. "Would it be something in the middle or something symbolic?"

Trump and the Cuban-American Congress members who helped design the new policy pledged on Friday that it would block the flow of USA cash toward military-linked enterprises and direct it toward independent businesses, with the long-term aim of overturning President Raul Castro's government.

In the first five months of 2017, the number of visitors to Cuba from the USA was roughly the same number as for most of 2016.

Trump's speech, which came as the president signed a directive outlining his posture toward Cuba, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to chip away at Obama's legacy, of which the Cuba policy of starting a historic detente was a major part. I agree 150% with everything Trump says and does.

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