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President Trump to Announce Changes to Cuba Policy in Miami
19 Junio 2017, 03:45 | Dolorita Barahona
President Trump to Announce Changes to Cuba Policy in Miami
WASHINGTON (AP) Stopping short of a complete turnabout, President Donald Trump is expected Friday to announce a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of US cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations and allowing USA airlines and cruise ships to continue service to the island.
And it will not limit travel by or remittances from Cuban Americans, as former President George W. Bush did - though fewer Cuban government officials will be allowed to come to the US and receive money than under Obama. Marco Rubio as "central" to the new Cuban stance. The reason: those were the visits most ripe for abuse by yanquis hoping to circumvent the law that prohibits USA tourist travel to Cuba.
The new restrictions were championed by Sen.
"The ill-advised move, pushed by representatives in Congress, including Senator Marco Rubio, who have no firsthand knowledge of the situation in Cuba and merely want to perpetuate policies that were ineffective for more than half a century, could have the negative effect of encouraging Raul Castro to align Cuba with less democratic governments like those in Russian Federation and China".
The commander in chief is expected to make the announcement at the Manuel Artime Theater, located at 900 SW 1st Ave., Friday afternoon.
Trump aides said Thursday that Rubio was "very helpful" to the administration as it spent months reviewing the policy. Rather, the administration "wants any benefits of commerce to go towards the Cuban people". Some were persuaded. Ramon Sanchez, head of the Cuban-American democracy movement, explains his change in attitude.
Educational trips and so-called "people-to-people" group exchanges will be under greater scrutiny, with educational groups once again having to travel with a guide from a U.S. organization sponsoring the trip, a requirement the Obama policy had effectively eliminated.
The measures will officially be announced tomorrow and take 30 days to initiate the regulatory process.
And they will saddle the USA government with the complicated task of policing U.S.travel to Cuba to make sure there are no transactions with the military-linked conglomerate that runs much of the Cuban economy.
In this August 31, 2016 photo, two passengers deplane from JetBlue flight 387 waving a United States, and Cuban national flag, in Santa Clara. The category of individual people-to-people travel that is slated to be eliminated was only added as an authorized option in March 2016. The new policy has come together after meetings within the administration. And travelers seeking "people-to-people" contact will have to sign up with an organized tour group.
The Trump directive will try to police travel to Cuba to stop illegal tourism, but, officials said, Americans traveling to Cuba can still bring back cigars.
One of the options being considered by the Trump administration is banning USA companies from doing business with Cuban enterprises tied to the military, which controls a large part of the Communist-ruled island's economy, the people have said. For example, payments to hotels owned by the military will be prohibited. Airlines will still be allowed to pay landing fees at Cuban airports, for example.
The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolution.
"There are about 50 or 60 Wi-Fi hot spots in Havana". "That has also happened as a result of normalization and I just can't imagine backtracking on something like that".
People-to-people trips are one of 12 types that were approved for USA travelers as part of the Obama administration's detente with Cuba.
Engage Cuba, a group lobbying for an end to the embargo, estimates that 10,000 USA jobs in aviation and the cruise business already depend on Cuba. It's a shame that President Trump listened to two hardline members of Congress instead of the majority of his Republican base, the majority of the American people and nearly every single Cuban on the island.
Among the conditions that would have to be met in order to further Trump administration negotiations are the holding of free and fair elections, as well as the freeing of political prisoners in Cuba, the administration officials said.
The White House says that the revised regulations will send a strong human rights message to Cuban President Raul Castro, and that the Cuban government will be able to negotiate with Washington to ease regulations should it choose to.
"We've had this new policy for basically two years".
Since the rapprochement with the USA, the Cuban government has repeatedly said it will hold talks on any topic the USA wants to discuss. "Is it as much as we'd like to see?"
Many Cuban exiles needed convincing. "But the idea of returning to something that we know does not work doesn't make any sense". "As I say, there may be some small steps, some small negative steps, but I think reality will win out".
In addition to retaining the embassy in Havana, the Trump policy would keep Obama's immigration changes in place.
Global human rights groups say, however, that reinstating a US policy of isolating the island could make the situation worse by empowering Cuban hardliners.
It remains unclear how Americans still allowed to visit Cuba would be prevented from spending money that profited the security forces.
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