Donald Trump Expected to Restrict Travel and Trade with Cuba

The White House insists that its new approach toward Cuba won't target the country's citizens, but instead, aims to prevent funding to oppressive elements of the country's government.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed to reverse the Obama administration's policies that have "enriched the Cuban military regime and increased repressions on the island", an administration official said. "It's a better deal for the Cuban people, which is who we're trying to help here, by empowering them, and doing so in a way that does not empower their oppressors", he said. For example, if someone in the USA has a family member die in Cuba, they can travel to the island nation. "It does not target the Cuban people but the measures are created to restrict the flow of money to oppressive elements of the Cuban regime". Because if they had, they'd know that the only thing that restricting travel will do is devastate Cubans working in the private sector who have relied on American visitors to provide for their families.

Trump will curtail cash flow to the Cuba's communist government in a reversal of some Obama Administration policies to be unveiled Friday in Miami.

While the policy goes into effect when the president announces it on Friday, officials said that nothing will be implemented until new regulations are in place. There will also be no changes to the current Wet Feet-Dry Feet policy.

According to the Miami Herald, the new rules also mandate that travelers to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country be subjected to a Treasury Department audit of their trip to ensure they fall under one of the permitted categories.

But even as he curbs Obama's détente with Cuba, Trump will stop short of closing embassies or breaking off diplomatic relations restored in 2015 after more than five decades of hostility, United States officials said.

The new policy has come together after contentious meetings within the administration. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a key player in forging the new policy, was expected to attend along with other Cuban-American lawmakers. "But we'll make sure those profits will not benefit the Cuban military", said a senior official.

In addition to keeping open embassies in Washington and Havana, the two governments are expected to continue negotiating on a variety of problems of mutual concern and some commercial US flights and cruises crossing the 90 miles separating the two countries could continue. FILE - In this January 12, 2017 file photo, tourists ride in classic American convertible cars past the United States embassy, right, in Havana, Cuba.

It remains unclear how Americans still allowed to visit Cuba would be prevented from spending money that profited the security forces.

Even with carve outs, the new policy could pose problems for some USA businesses, including hoteliers and airlines who have put on regular flights between the U.S. and the Cuban capital. They include: free elections, the release of political prisoners and direct pay for Cuban workers.

He is set to make his Cuba speech at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami, named after a Cuban-American exile who led the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

  • Leroy Wright