Trump thrusts US, Cuba back toward hostile relations

Trump thrusts US, Cuba back toward hostile relations”

Despite his effort to roll back parts of his predecessor Barack Obama's cuba policy, Trump stopped short of closing USA embassy in Cuba.

President Donald Trump will announce a significant rollback of former President Barack Obama's accord with Cuba by imposing travel and trade restrictions on the island nation, according to a new report.

US President Donald Trump announced new restrictions on US leisure travel to Cuba and US business with Cuban military, the media reported.

"It would be exceedingly disappointing to see the progress that has been made in the last two years halted and reversed by the administration", Sorenson said in an emailed statement.

Trump says in a speech in Miami that the USA will not lift sanctions on Cuba until it releases all political prisoners and respects the Cuban people's right to freedom of assembly and expression.

The company plans to start operating its second hotel, the state-owned Gran Caribe Inglaterra Hotel, under its Luxury Collection brand by the end of 2019.

Trump's revised approach, which will be contained in a new presidential directive, calls for stricter enforcement of a longtime ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists, and seeks to prevent United States dollars from being used to fund what the Trump administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government. However, Cuban-Americans will be able to continue to visit their family in Cuba and send them remittances.

Trump's declaration in a crowded, sweltering auditorium was a direct rebuke to Obama, for whom the diplomatic opening with Cuba was a central accomplishment of his presidency.

"Because we know it is best for America to have freedom in our hemisphere, whether in Cuba or Venezuela, and to have a future where the people of each country can live out their own dreams", he said. And the USA government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". No policy changes will take effect until these departments have finalized their new regulations.

Patrick Leahy Cuba
Sen. Patrick Leahy in Cuba. Courtesy

"You went out and you voted, and here I am, like I promised".

By restricting individual to Cuba, the new policy also risks cutting off a major source of income for Cuba's private business sector, which the policy is meant to support.

Trump announced that previous bans on tourism which were lifted under Obama will once again be enforced, as will the trade embargo. Obama and his aides argued that commerce and travel between the countries, which has blossomed since he relaxed the rules, would make his policy irreversible.

In a statement released Friday evening on government-run websites and television, Cuban President Raul Castro's administration said Trump's speech was "loaded with hostile rhetoric that recalls the times of open confrontation".

Trump is also calling for the legalization of all political parties, and free and internationally supervised elections.

Cuba functioned as a virtual United States colony for much of the 20th century, and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived USA infringements on national sovereignty.

Cuba functioned as a virtual US colony for much of the 20th century, and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived USA infringements on national sovereignty.

Cuba's 1470-word statement Friday night labeled Trump a hypocrite for calling on Cuba to improve human rights, saying the USA government "is threatening more limits on healthcare that would leave 23 million people without insurance. and marginalizes immigrants and refugees, particular those from Islamic countries". "What we have to achieve in approaching Cuba is if we're going to sustain the sunny side of this relationship, Cuba must, absolutely must, begin to address its human rights challenges", said Tillerson. It spent subsequent decades trying to either overthrow the Cuban government or isolate the island, including toughening an economic embargo first imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Senior White House officials who briefed reporters Thursday on the coming announcement said Obama's overtures had enriched Cuba's military while repression increased on the island.

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