Republicans divided as Trump reverses some Obama Cuba policy

After almost three years of warming relations between the United States and Cuba, President Donald Trump has announced that his administration will unravel many of his predecessor's policies on the communist state. Emmer, Crawford and five other House Republicans have warned that rolling back U.S. Cuba policy could threaten new bilateral agreements with Havana to combat human trafficking, illicit drugs and cyber crimes. "Watch out!" José Ramón Cabañas wrote in a now-deleted tweet that included a picture of what appears to be a family of tourists walking by a street vendor, according to the Hill.

"Last year I promised to be a voice against repression in our region", Trump said, "and a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people".

The president says he must reverse policies making travel to the country more accessible, decrying what he calls mistreatment of the Cuban people. "Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last government's one-sided deal with Cuba".

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to United States soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated. But beginning in late 2014, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro began a process that gradually thawed diplomatic tensions and eased commercial and travel restrictions between the two countries.

Embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open.

Trump based his partial reversal of Obama's Cuba measures largely on human rights grounds. Delta, JetBlue and American will adhere to new changes and will continue to fly their regular flights to Cuba, they said in statements.

"On behalf of all the men and women of the New Jersey State Police, I am grateful for his recognition and deep concern that Cuba continues to harbor (one of) this country's most wanted cop killers and domestic terrorists", Fuentes said.

Trump will announce his new approach early Friday afternoon at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana, the heart of America's largest Cuban-American community, whose support aides believe helped him win Florida in the election.

"It's the people who'll suffer the consequences, not the Cuban state".

The policy will maintain diplomatic relations and allow USA airlines and cruise ships to continue servicing the island.

It further said that "once again the United States government is resorting to the coercive measures of the past".

Global human rights groups say, however, that reinstating a US policy of isolating the island could make the situation worse by empowering Cuban hardliners.

Havana also slammed the US for criticizing conditions of life in Cuba while failing to address problems within its own borders.

Later in the day, the Cuban government criticised Donald Trump's new restrictions, but said it was willing to hold "respectful dialogue" with Washington, reported Al-Jazeera.

He added, "The profits from investment and tourism flow directly from the military".

"They made a deal with a government that spread violence and instability in the region and nothing they got, think about it, nothing they got, they fought for everything and we just didn't fight hard enough, but now, those days are over". Obama and his aides argued that commerce and travel between the countries, which has blossomed since he relaxed the rules, would make his policy irreversible.

  • Zachary Reyes