Rubio: Trump's Cuba Policy Will Help 'Individual Cubans'
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 10:32
Yesterday, the US President unveiled plans to switch up predecessor Barack Obama's Cuba policy. Last year, Obama traveled to Cuba, becoming the first US president in almost a century to visit the island.
"Last year, I promised to be. a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people", he said in Friday's speech.
President Donald Trump arrives at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 16, 2017, after speaking about Cuba policy in Miami.
The new rules will stop individual travel to Cuba and seek to restrict the flow of payments to the many Cuban companies owned by the regime's security forces.
Trump also will reimpose the requirement that "people-to-people" travelers can only come to Cuba with heavily regulated tour groups. The rules also require a daylong schedule of activities created to expose the travelers to ordinary Cubans.
But other advisers have contended that it is important to make good on a campaign promise to Cuban-Americans. "The US embassy (in Cuba) will remain open in hope that our countries can forge a much stronger and better path", he said. Trump isn't overturning Obama's decision to end the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed most Cuban migrants who made it onto us soil to stay and eventually become legal permanent residents. This policy shift also poses an unjustifiable risk to our national security, as further US disengagement opens up opportunities for countries like Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China to gain influence on an island 90 miles off our coast.
More details about the changes are expected to be released Friday, when the new policy is set to take effect.
Cuba functioned as a virtual USA colony for much of the 20th century, and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived US infringements on national sovereignty.
Some 285,000 people visited the Caribbean country in 2016, up 74 per cent over 2015, with Americans the third-biggest group after Canadians and Cuban expats.
In December 2014, Obama reestablished diplomatic ties with Cuba for the first time in more than half-a-century. "The last two years have shown that the two countries can cooperate and coexist in a civilized way", it said.
"The Cuban statement said that Trump "justified that policy with alleged concerns over the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously apply" the trade embargo and blockade against the island, which Obama had relaxed".
Rules regarding travel could change, as Trump called for a review within 90 days of current policies.
1959: Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro leads a guerrilla army into Havana overthrowing the Batista regime.
The change in the USA posture toward Cuba under Trump marks the latest policy about-face by the president.
"Our new policy begins with strictly enforcing United States law", he told a cheering crowd in Miami's Little Havana, the spiritual home of the Cuban-American community. "He was a competitor of mine out of 17 people that ran for President", Rubio said.
In turn, airlines and US hotel chains began investing resources in Cuba, while chicken, grain and other agricultural producers from the USA exported tons of products to Cuba.