President Trump to Announce Changes to Cuba Policy in Miami
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 19, 2017,
Jun 19, 2017, 4:48
Though most details of the policy are still unknown, officials say Trump will direct the Department of Treasury and Commerce to ban direct financial transactions with Cuba's military and intelligence services.
The Castro government is certain to reject Trump's list of demands, which includes releasing political prisoners, halting what the US says is abuse of dissidents and greater freedom of expression.
The directive still leaves much of Obama's policy in place, including diplomatic relations and reopened embassies, the ability of Cuban Americans to travel and send money to family, and the congressionally mandated trade embargo.
According to reports by one US official who had seen the president's memorandum on the issue, the rollback will include a tightening of travel restricitons on USA citizens travelling to the island and a restriction on USA business dealings with companies tied to Cuba's military.
President Trump is expected to announce new restrictions on travel and business with Cuba on Friday.
Like Rubio, they argued only a flourishing Cuban private sector would eventually lead to political change; where the two sides disagree is on how best to encourage private growth.
Trump will declare the new policy in Miami, at the heart of the Cuban exile community in Little Havana, fulfilling an election campaign promise. An expert on Cuban travel told Politico that roughly 60 percent of all businesses in Cuba and 80 percent of all hotels on the island are run by the business arm of the country's military, meaning that even if you can find an exemption for traveling to Cuba, you might not be able to find anywhere to stay.
Trump will maintain relations with Cuba, first announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014. "There are 12 categories of travel that are permitted still, but the individual people-to-people travel is one that has the highest risk of potential abuse", according to one official.
"All the pressure comes from American business interests that go to Cuba, see the opportunities and then come back here and lobby us to lift the embargo", Rubio said. The goal is to halt the flow of USA cash to the country's military and security services in a bid to increase pressure on Cuba's government. The Associated Press reported that the expected changes will ban transactions with a military-linked corporation that operates dozens of hotels and other tourist facilities.
But on Friday, Trump, citing human rights violations, will sign an executive order in Miami on the new policy.
That's a contrast with other aspects of the administration's foreign policy that have played down human rights concerns.
Cuban-American GOP lawmakers, Sen.
Yuri Barroso, a business promotions expert in Cuba, told Reuters that if the country were to lose its support from us tourists, it would cause serious financial "pain for many Cubans". "And we've already seen significant changes", said Williams.
"Economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end", Rubio wrote on Twitter.