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19 Junio 2017, 10:58 | Crisanna Felipe
Pic Courtesy PTI
The Trump Administration's new proposed rules will eliminate "people-to-people" travel, which allows American travelers to book individual trips; US citizens will now have to look to group tours to visit Cuba.
The U.S. embassy in Havana, which opened in 2015, will remain open.
If President Donald Trump chooses to reverse course with Cuba and move back to the isolationist policies imposed on the island nation under former President Dwight Eisenhower, he could effectively be giving a gift to both Russian Federation and China. While pushing for democratization is a valiant objective, by refusing to lift the embargo or temper the harsh rhetoric, the Trump administration's efforts are unlikely to cause democratization to occur. The Cuban people enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms and can proudly show some achievements that are still a chimera for many countries of the world, including the United States, such as the right to health, education and social security; equal pay for equal work, children's rights as well as the rights to food, peace and development.
Nevertheless, his policies reflect the view that the long-standing project of destabilizing Venezuela may soon bear fruit, which would include undermining its ability to subsidize the Cuban economy through its supply of cheap oil.
The city is home to the largest Cuban diaspora in the USA, many of whom are highly critical of President Barack Obama's re-establishment of ties with the Cuban government.
Former commerce secretary under former President George W. Bush, Carlos Gutierrez, says that "Cubans in Cuba will be terribly disheartened" if Trump decides to reverse course.
The biggest expected change in regard to travel is the elimination of the "people to people" individual educational travel license.
When Barack Obama announced a restoration of U.S. relations with Cuba in December 2014, it put an end to some 56 years of bad blood between the two neighbors.
"As a result, smarTours and other tour operators alike will be able to continue to take Americans to visit Cuba legally until further notice". However, President Trump has been squandering these gains since his election and will not make any friends in the region by harshly criticizing the Castro regime or returning to Cold War-era tactics.
At the other end of the spectrum, the UNWTO said it condemns the U.S. Administration's decision to restore travel restrictions with Cuba, issuing a statement expressing its "firm resentment" over the decision.
We ratify our steadfast solidarity with Cuba: a friendly peace-loving country, respected member of the global community that carries out a constructive role recognized in Latin America and world issues, states the communiqué.
Repeatedly chiding Obama's opening toward Cuba, Trump said in the speech: "You will no longer have to witness the embarrassing spectacle of an American president doing the wave at a baseball game with a ruthless dictator". The decision released the U.S. Coast Guard to deal with drug smuggling via the open seas with its limited resources and vast responsibilities.
But it also made clear that any US strategy aimed at "changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba ... will be doomed to failure".
Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at conservative Washington think tank The Heritage Foundation, applauded Trump's emphasis on human rights and democracy in Cuba, telling NBC News that the ongoing repression there was a "global outrage and a shame".
Q: First, what did Obama's reforms with Cuba do? Also, the majority of Cuban Americans living in Miami - the largest hub of Cuban Americans living in the US - support the Obama-era Cuba policies, the Miami Heraldreports. However, the majority of Cuban-Americans support rapprochement.
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"President Trump understands this, and his new Cuba policy will ensure that the United States truly empowers the Cuban people instead of the dictatorship", they said.
"If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S.as a whole, I will terminate deal", he tweeted.
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