Cuba Denounces Trump's New Measures

A pro President Donald Trump supporter chants slogans, Friday, June 1, 2017, in Miami. The president announced a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of USA cash to the country's military and security services while mai.

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta said President Trump is ushering in "a return to the Cold War", following Trump's speech in Miami that focused on rolling back some of former President Obama's policies on Cuba.

President Donald Trump says his administration's new policy on Cuba aims to "empower" the citizens of that country.

Reversing former leader Barack Obama's detente with Cuba's communist government, Trump ordered stricter regulations on American travelers and a clampdown on U.S. business dealings with the Caribbean island's military.

He clamped down on some commerce and travel, but left intact many new avenues his predecessor Barack Obama had opened. Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue "respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest.

Cuban President Raul Castro, responding to Trump's announcement, said: "Any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it seeks to achieve it through pressures and impositions, or by employing subtle methods, will be doomed to failure".

It's not hard in the scruffy streets of Little Havana, where old men play dominos in parks between Cuban diners and up-and-coming jazz bars, to find hardliners who spit on the "communist Obama" and his supposed sell-out to Castro.

On a positive note, the Cuban government said the two countries had proven over the past two years that they could cooperate and coexist in a civil manner, respecting their respective differences.

"The US embassy (in Cuba) will remain open in hope that our countries can forge a much stronger and better path", he said.

Embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open and United States airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

The Obama policy is likely to be revised rather than reversed entirely. Remittances from people in America to Cubans won't be cut off. His three day state visit last March marked the first time a US chief executive had visited Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge attended the Pan American Conference in Havana in January, 1928.

And the USA government will police other such trips to ensure there is a tour group representative along making sure travellers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". But none of the changes will become effective until the Treasury Department issues new regulations, which could take months.

But they will burden the US government with the complicated task of policing Americans' travel to Cuba to make sure there are no transactions with the military-linked conglomerate that runs much of the Cuban economy.

"You went out and you voted, and here I am, like I promised". The Cuban News Agency said Trump took "a step backward" in ties with Cuba, by adopting a "unilateral" and "interventionist" stance.

In a contentious internal debate, some aides argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash USA business and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.

Trump will justify his partial reversal of Obama's measures to a large extent on human rights grounds. We are delighted our guests will continue to have the opportunity to experience the wonderful culture and incredible history of Cuba along with the warmth and friendliness of the Cuban people through OFAC-compliant shore excursions that support private businesses and the Cuban people, an opportunity that was restricted for over fifty years.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio detailed what Trump's plan means for Americans visiting Cuba in a series of tweets Friday.

Ben Rhodes, the former deputy national security adviser who negotiated Obama's opening with the Cubans, said it was disappointing Trump was halting the momentum that had built but added that it could have been worse. "We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago".

  • Leroy Wright