Uhuru-Spirit News


June 16, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

U.S. President Donald Trump

Fulfilling his campaign promise to reverse the previous Obama administration's re-engagement with Havana, U.S. President Donald Trump has outlined his revised Cuba policy.

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said in Miami's Little Havana on Friday. “Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and the USA.”

As Trump laid out his new Cuba policy, the White House announced plans to roll back parts of former President Barack Obama’s historic opening to the country after a 2014 diplomatic breakthrough between the two former Cold War foes.

Trump’s revised approach, which will be enshrined in a new presidential directive, calls for stricter enforcement of a longtime ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists and seeks to prevent U.S. dollars from being used to fund what the new U.S. administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government.

But facing pressure from U.S. businesses and even some fellow Republicans to avoid turning back the clock completely in relations with Cuba, the Republican president chose to leave intact many of his Democratic predecessor's steps toward normalization.

The new policy bans most U.S. business transactions with Cuba's Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group, according to U.S. officials.

This will essentially shield U.S. airlines and cruise lines serving the island. However, Trump will stop short of breaking diplomatic relations restored in 2015 after more than five decades of hostilities.

He will not cut off recently resumed direct U.S.-Cuba commercial flights or cruise-ship travel, though his more restrictive policy seems certain to dampen new economic ties overall.

The administration, according to one White House official, has no intention of “disrupting” existing business ventures such as one struck under Obama by Starwood Hotels Inc, which is owned by Marriott International Inc, to manage a historic Havana hotel. Nor does Trump plan to reinstate limits that Obama lifted on the amount of the island’s coveted rum and cigars that Americans can bring home for personal use.

While the changes are far-reaching, they appear to be less sweeping than many U.S. pro-engagement advocates had feared. Still, it will be the latest attempt by Trump to overturn parts of Obama's presidential legacy. He has already pulled the United States out of a major international climate treaty and is trying to scrap his predecessor's landmark health care program.

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