Trump’s new policy, outlined broadly in a speech Friday, would stop individual Americans from traveling to Cuba under the so-called people-to-people exemption and ban business that directly benefits the Cuban military. America lost money and standing.
If anything, a hardening of US policy on Cuba will prevent reforms and empower those who warned that the USA could not be trusted as an honest partner. While seeming like small rollbacks, they may actually have a large effect, as the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group has a wide reach in the Cuban economy so that it is hard for United States businesses to avoid dealing with it in some capacity.
“Obama announced in December 2014 that his administration would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, he promised his administration would raise issues related to democracy and human rights directly with the Castros when necessary”, they said.
In Obama’s case, he was approaching the end of his two terms in office without any major foreign policy victory.
Trump’s speech at the Manuel Artime Theater, named for a Cuban exile who worked closely with the Central Intelligence Agency in anti-Castro plots including the Bay of Pigs invasion, was an event deliberately calculated to appeal to the extremely right-wing layer of Cuban-American exiles.
Donald Trump and this exile community have been swapping the roles of seducer-seduced ever since the current leader realized that it wasn’t bad math to have the Cuban-American vote, and that it wasn’t too hard to win over either.
The Castro regime hit back at the criticism, calling Trump’s decisions “ill-advised” and charging that the United States was in no position to preach to others about human rights. Moreover, Trump’s new policy requires the regime to hold free and fair elections supervised by global observers and free all political prisoners.
Trump also declared that, “the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end”. The report noted that seven USA airlines now fly direct to Cuba and three cruise lines have reached deals with the island nation as well.
President Trump is right in that the Obama administration’s opening to Cuba failed to produce any human rights or democratic changes on the island, but I’m afraid that Trump’s announcement that he will partially reverse existing policies will backfire. If they did they would have allowed ordinary Cubans to enjoy economic freedom, as the Chinese Communists began to do under Deng Xiaoping. Cuba previously received about 4 percent of Venezuela’s oil exports, but shipments were paused for an eight-month period which ended in May, according to Reuters reports that examined shipping documents. The group’s latest report points out that many U.S. laws and practices, particularly in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice, immigration and national security, violate internationally recognized human rights.
ASA included in comments to USDA, that biotechnology is an essential tool in farmers’ quest to produce enough food to meet the needs of 9.7 billion people by 2050, creating the need for a clear, science-based regulatory system in the U.S.as an example and standard for regulatory systems of biotechnology internationally.
The MSC Opera cruise ship docked at the port of Havana.
The Cuban foreign minister said Trump’s hope of separating the people from the military, who were simply “the people in uniform”, was “infantile”.
But he did tighten rules for Americans travelling to Cuba, ban ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirm the existing US trade embargo, which will be firmly enforced. The decision released the U.S. Coast Guard to deal with drug smuggling via the open seas with its limited resources and vast responsibilities.
Q: What’s been the response to Trump’s efforts? Who is among Cuba’s top trading partners?