Trump to limit Cuba travel, restrict business deals with military - draft memo

Obama's opening to Cuba, negotiated in secret with the help of the Vatican and which culminated in a presidential trip to Havana in March 2016, was regarded by his administration as one of its signature foreign policy achievements.

President Trump will announce efforts to restrict USA companies from doing business with Cuban ventures controlled by that country's military and strictly enforce rules on Americans traveling to the Communist nation, according to a memo seen by Fox News.

According to the Miami Herald, back in September, while at a campaign event in Miami, Trump told a crowd - which the Herald reports was heavily populated with Cuban exiles - that former President Barrack Obama's decision to ease trade and travel restrictions on Cuba hadn't benefitted the Cuban people and was misguided.

Americans will still be able to visit Cuba, though they will need special visas of which enforcement will become much stricter, but they will not be able to spend any money at a business owned by a GAESA, other than a few exceptions, notably airports.

On Friday, according to reports by Politico and the Miami Herald, President Donald Trump will announce during a speech in Miami that he will reinstate harsher travel restrictions on USA citizens looking to travel to Cuba.

A White House official said that Trump will not reinstate the "wet foot, dry foot" policy and that diplomatic relations will remain.

For almost 50 years Cuban exiles have gathered on 8th street, including Cuban-American Orlando Atienta, who said he's been visiting since he was 5 years old.

The senator, who challenged Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, was expected to travel with the president aboard Air Force One and appear with him at Friday's announcement.

Taking a tougher approach against Cuba after promising to do so during the Presidential campaign, President Trump will make clear that a ban on United States tourism to Cuba remains in effect and his administration will beef up enforcement of travel rules under all authorized categories.

"It appears the new USA president will arrive with a different Cuba policy that is opposed to that of his predecessor Barack Obama, as we have seen in (the areas of) environment and immigration", Torrico told Xinhua in an interview.

Trump has conspicuously shied away from emphasizing human rights concerns in other countries with similarly dismal records, including Saudi Arabia.

Administration officials said that the new policy would be reviewed if the Havana government carried out reforms. The U.S. and Cuba have also signed multiple bilateral agreements to work together on everything from human and drug trafficking to maritime security and migration. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, two Cuban-American lawmakers from South Florida. "And we've already seen significant changes", said Williams. "But whatever reduction we do see in travel is direct proof of how much the military is benefiting from the current policy".

Miami's Cuban-American population, members of which will greet Trump on Friday in the Manuel Artime Theater, have a reputation for diehard anti-communism and an opposition to thawing ties.

"The president vowed to reverse the Obama administration policies toward Cuba that have enriched the Cuban military regime and has increased the repression on the island", a White House official said on the condition of anonymity.

  • Julie Sanders