Trump Seeks Limited Changes to Obama Cuba Policy
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 13:37
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday will announce plans to tighten restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and clamp down on usa business dealings with the island's military, rolling back parts of former President Barack Obama's historic opening to Havana. In this June 12, 2016 photo, Cuban-American Fontaine Capel, center, travels on a regular bus line in Havana, Cuba.
Senior administration officials said in a media briefing Thursday afternoon that President Trump will ban people-to-people travel to Cuba for individual Americans. The new rules include prohibitions against Americans spending money on businesses controlled by the military, which has a wide reach in the Cuban economy.
Photo Credit: President Trump will eliminate one of the more popular types of travel for individual US citizens to Cuba.
"Travel brings people and cultures together, so we are excited about the upcoming cruises to Cuba for our guests", Carnival said.
Obama's opening to Cuba, negotiated in secret with the help of the Vatican and which culminated in a presidential trip to Havana in March 2016, was regarded by his administration as one of its signature foreign policy achievements, ending an embargo of more than a half century, which had failed to produce a softening of the communist regime.
When asked why the administration is setting up stricter regulations on trade and travel with Cuba over human rights after visiting Saudi Arabia during Mr Trump's first official visit overseas, White House officials said that the administration plans on fighting for human rights. Sources have told ABC News Trump will likely redefine trade and travel policy, so you will have to prove your reason for travel instead of using the honor code.
Some skeptics have argued that the policy is largely aimed at President Barack Obama, whose administration substantially loosened regulations regarding Cuba during his second term. The rules will take effect when the Treasury Department has the regulations ready.
In 2014, President Obama opened up tentative relations with the island of Cuba in hopes of thawing out old and outdated Cold War-era animosities between the two countries.
Options under consideration by the administration include new limits on American travel to the island and restrictions on partnerships between USA companies and entities with ties to the Cuban military, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
But that apparently won't include the fees US airlines and cruise ships have to pay Cuba. The new policy will restrict this kind of travel for individuals. Saudi Arabia, like Cuba, is well known for human rights abuses.
"The president's one-sided deal for Cuba and with Cuba benefits only the Castro regime", Trump said during a campaign rally in Miami on Sep.
The alleged justification for the new policy is that it will pressure the Cuban dictatorship to give concessions on human rights and political liberalization.