Trump announces sweeping changes to US-Cuba policy in speech

Trump new Cuba policy ends money to military

Trump new Cuba policy ends money to military

While noting that Canada has long turned a softer eye toward Cuba than American governments, Trudeau said he doesn't expect the renewed US economic and travel restrictions will hurt Canadian business and tourism ties with Cuba.

"ASTA is disappointed with what we believe will be the thrust of the Trump administration's announcement - that it plans to turn back the clock in terms of expanded travel and trade between the USA and Cuba", ASTA CEO Zane Kerby said in a statement.

There are also no plans to reinstate the limits that Obama lifted on the amount of the island's coveted rum and cigars that American can bring home for personal use, one White House official said.

Still, as Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insist that the Cuban government is committing human rights violations, small business owners on the island fear that they stand to lose customers with increased tourism restrictions on USA travelers.

President Donald Trump is clamping down on some commerce and travel between the United States and Cuba but leaving intact many new avenues President Barack Obama had opened. But none of the changes will become effective until the Treasury Department issues new regulations, which could take months.

Other aspects of Obama's policies will stand.

But individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited. It retains some individual travel under other categories such as religious, artistic and journalistic activities, officials said.

"I am concerned it will affect the private sector quite a bit and much more than the Cuban government", he said.

"The optics are not the best", said a senior global Latin American finance official in Miami for the conference.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was instrumental in drafting Trump's changes, with help from Miami Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

Noting that it was readjustment of the USA policy towards Cuba, the official said the new policy under the Trump administration will empower the Cuban people.

Hot Air wrote that the Trump administration is being short-sighted in its decision to reverse what the Obama administration did to improve its relations with Cuba.

The president is scheduled to land in Miami at 12:30 Friday afternoon.

"New restrictions on engagement with Cuban economy only pushes Cuba to China and Russian Federation who will gladly make up the difference", argued former White House official Ben Rhodes, the architect of Obama's Cuba policy.

Senior White House officials say that Trump will not close the newly re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Trump's move comes at a moment of great Cuban vulnerability, when an eroding Venezuela is losing its ability to prop up Cuba's failed economy.

But national polls continue to show a large majority of Americans favored the Obama administration's executive decision to normalize diplomatic relations, and almost as many supported Obama's unsuccessful effort to persuade Congress to lift the trade embargo, according to the Pew Research Center. This will essentially shield USA airlines and cruise lines serving the island.

Trump is challenging Cuba to negotiate better agreements for Americans, Cubans and those whose identities lie somewhere in between.

Since the rapprochement with the U.S., the Cuban government has repeatedly said it will hold talks on any topic the U.S. wants to discuss. Many Cuban entrepreneurs fear this will stifle the American travel that has allowed so many of them to flourish since the start of detente.

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

"America has rejected the Cuban people's oppressors", Trump said in a crowded, sweltering auditorium.

"To expect different results from a policy that's not had any impact in terms of serious, significant improvements in...human rights or democracy in Cuba is highly unrealistic", Vivanco said.

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