Trump announced his new approach at the Manuel Artime Theater in the heart of the United States’ largest Cuban-American and Cuban exile community, whose support aides believe helped him win Florida in the election.
As President Donald Trump is expected to announce a reversal on the U.S. Cuba policy on Friday, June 16, 2017, Cubans are bracing for the worst.
Trump said with fanfare Friday that the USA will curtail tourist activity to Cuba to restrict the flow of money to the Cuban government and military.
But ordinary Cubans said they were crestfallen to be returning to an era of frostier relations with the United States with potential economic fallout for them.
If the changes were not adopted by a set deadline, the US would revert to its Cold War-era Cuba policy, wiping out Obama’s historic rapprochement with the Communist nation.
The policy also would restrict the flow of American dollars to the military, security and intelligence services that are central to the government led by President Raul Castro.
The two nations will still have re-opened embassies in their capital cities. Commercial flights and cruise ships will still be allowed to travel from the #United States to Cuba.
Although the speech didn’t include many details on the specific policy, it was critical of the Obama administration’s policy. Remittances to Cuba won’t be cut off.
Boosting travel was a key aim of Obama’s painstaking effort to restore ties with the communist-run island, which included a landmark visit by the then-president in 2016.
The U.S. government will also monitor other trips to ensure student travellers, for example, are pursuing a “full-time schedule of educational exchange activities”.
De la Pena’s parents and Costa’s sister were on hand in Miami during Trump’s announcement. The new president’s action is broadly opposed by American business groups.
His predecessor’s efforts to end the decades-old USA isolation of Cuba “does not help the Cuban people; they only enrich the Cuban regime”, he said.
Trump said he will not lift sanctions on Cuba unless it releases all political prisoners and respects freedoms.
“No, I don’t think that Trump will undo everything that Obama did, everything that Obama accomplished, let’s say”, said Wayne Smith, a former US diplomat who was once stationed in Havana.
Still, it will be the latest attempt by Trump to overturn parts of Obama’s presidential legacy.
Individual people-to-people travel is educational travel that: (i) does not involve academic study pursuant to a degree program; and (ii) does not take place under the auspices of an organization that is subject to US jurisdiction that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact.
Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro were restoring diplomatic ties between their countries, arguing that the policy the US had pursued for decades had failed to bring about change and that it was time to try a new approach.
Online lodging booker Airbnb was allowed into Cuba, and commercial flights between the USA and Cuba resumed after more than half a century.
The trade embargo remains in place under Trump.
In a statement Friday, Moran says “putting America first means exporting what we produce to countries across the globe”. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have shown no interest in doing so.
Miami’s Cuban-American population has a reputation for diehard anti-communism and an opposition to thawing ties, but in the Little Havana district on Thursday, some – even those who had fled oppression – were philosophical about detente.
Michael Weissenstein and Andrea Rodriguez reported this story in Cuba and AP writer Adriana Gomez Licon reported from Miami.