Trump rolls back Obama's moves on Cuba

-Cuban relations in five decades, Obama announced plans to normalize ties with Cuba in a move that quickly sparked much controversy in the United States.

Trump previously had said he supported restoring diplomatic relations but wished the US had negotiated a better deal.

President Trump, speaking at a Miami theater associated with Cuban exiles, announced Friday he is nixing his predecessor's "one-sided deal" with the Communist nation - moving to restrict individual travel to the island, crack down on the flow of US cash to the Cuban military and demand key reforms in Havana.

"It is best for America to have freedom in its hemisphere whether in Cuba or Venezuela", he said, to huge cheers and a standing ovation. "OFAC does not have the resources to go after all the Americans who are going there, unless they get an army of inspectors to follow people", Caulfield said. "Officially, today, they are rejected". US airlines and cruise ships would also still be allowed to carry passengers to and from Cuba. The American embassy will remain open in Havana for the time being.

And while Treasury said the new policy does not prohibit cruise or airline travel to the island, only those in 12 authorized categories may travel there by plane or boat.

Friday morning, Rubio gave a glimpse into what exactly would be changed saying the president's goal in the changes is to "support the Cuban people by driving US visitors to small business they own so they can become independent of regime". Remittances to Cuba won't be cut off.

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 USA jurisdiction that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact.

Trump described his move as an effort to ramp up pressure to create a "free Cuba" after more than half a century of communism. I agree 150% with everything Trump says and does.

Under the new rules, Americans will not be able to do business with any entity controlled by the Cuban military's Grupo de Administración Empresarial (GAESA). As Marla Recio, a Cuban event planner, told the New York Times: "It's not just the people who have rental homes or who have a private business specifically targeted at an American audience like myself".

"We will work for the day when a new generation of leaders brings this long reign of suffering to an end-and I do believe that end is in the very near future for Cuba", he said.

On the stage in Miami, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said the US would no longer have to witness the "embarrassing spectacle" of an American president glad-handing with a dictator.

Trump's declaration in a crowded, sweltering auditorium was a direct rebuke to Obama, for whom the diplomatic opening with Cuba was a central accomplishment of his presidency. "You have not betrayed us - you kept your promise". The new policy bans most USA business transactions with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group, a Cuban conglomerate involved in all sectors of the economy. While the changes are far-reaching, they appear to be less sweeping than many advocates had feared.

Arkansas has had limited trade with Cuba under the embargo. Suffice it to say that the agreement put in place by Barack Obama made absolutely no sense, was on track to achieve absolutely none of its stated goals, and served only to enrich the despots running Cuba.

  • Salvatore Jensen