Donald Trump : Russia slams US President's 'Cold War' policy on Cuba

Last week, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to Trump opposing "reversing course" on Cuba.

But Trump leaves in place the newly opened U.S. Embassy in Havana, as well as regular direct flights and cruises to Cuba.

The government says it received more than 4 million tourists a year ago - a record number - of which about 615,000 were USA visitors.

Limited economic reforms by Cuban leader Raúl Castro, 86, have allowed Cuban entrepreneurs to buy and sell property and run small businesses, but it was Obama's normalization measures that kicked the process into overdrive.

But Trump has, in the past, apparently done business in Cuba - in violation of the embargo the US had in place against the country. "In less than an hour he showed Cubans how US policy works".

Donald Trump in Miami announcing his new policy on Cuba. That method has been one of the more popular ways that US travelers have been seeing the island since Obama announced his changes. The move shuts down what amounted to a backdoor way to allow American tourism in Cuba, despite the decades-old embargo that prohibits it.

Trump will re-impose the requirement that "people-to-people" travelers can only come to Cuba with heavily regulated tour groups.

Obama worked to fix relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

But Trump left in place many of Obama's changes, including the reopened United States embassy in Havana, even as he sought to show he was making good on a campaign promise to take a tougher line against Cuba, especially over its human rights record.

Although the policy changes announced were limited, Trump has tightened rules for Americans travelling to Cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing USA trade embargo. American tourism is already creating more Cuban entrepreneurs: Airbnb has paid Cuban hosts $40 million over the past two years - an average of $2,700 per year, almost eight times the average annual wage. "It's the people who'll suffer the consequences, not the Cuban state".

Instead, the new rules will herd Americans back toward the kind of prepackaged, predictable group tourism that the Cuban government actually prefers - and earns more revenue from.

The statement says that "It's clear the anti-Cuba discourse is still widely needed". "We will enforce the embargo".

However, Shakur only served five years of her life sentence before escaping prison and fleeing to Cuba.

Those who are caught violating Cuban sanctions could face civil or criminal penalties, with individual civil fines that could reach up to $65,000 per violation, according to the Treasury Department.

"We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalised and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled elections", Trump said. This will essentially shield United States airlines and cruise lines serving the island.

But facing lower than expected travel demand, a number of carriers have already begun to scale back their Cuba operations. Why give credit to a country where the people don´t see a penny?

"I've never been this busy", said Roberto Claro, a dust-covered construction foreman in Old Havana, whose crew was busy converting a ruined, century-old building into a seafood restaurant.

"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer", Trump said at the Manuel Artime Theater, named for a former supporter of Fidel Castro who became a leader of Brigade 2506, the land forces that spearheaded the USA -led Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

The changes that Trump has announced will have an impact on the Cuban economy within three months, once the new regulations are put in place. 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.

  • Leroy Wright