Trump's Cuba Policy Draws Mixed Reactions From Travel Companies And Other Businesses

While Americans will still be able to go to Cuba through one of the authorized types of travel, one common method of visiting the island will be prohibited.

President Donald Trump will announce travel and business restrictions with Cuba in a Friday speech in Miami, White House officials told reporters Thursday.

Godinez is a professor in the department of theatre at Northwestern and the resident artistic associate at the Goodman Theatre, where he is the director of the Latino Theatre Festival.

As part of the travel restrictions lifted by the Obama administration in 2015, Americans could for the first time travel to Cuba for educational, professional, humanitarian, sporting, artistic, or trade purposes, but explicitly not for general tourism.

South Florida's Cuban-American community sounded off on President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to Little Havana, where he is expected to announce changes to the current US policy with Cuba. 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. In January, Obama ended the long-standing so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which had allowed migrants who reach USA shores automatic visas and an easy path to permanent residency.

However, many, including Senator Marco Rubio, are concerned that money is being used to strengthen the Cuban military instead of empowering the people.

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. For example, payments to hotels owned by the military will be prohibited.

Trump has long hanged his understanding of the deal between the United States and Cuba on his "Cuban friends" in Florida, whom he said throughout the campaign supported him over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The trips were made easier by the resumption of scheduled commercial air service from the US for the first time in decades.

The White House arrived at its new policy after consulting with Congress and numerous Cabinet secretaries, and concerns for human rights were a major factor.

White House officials say there will be some exceptions.

Senior White House officials say Trump's new directives eliminate individual people-to-people visits to Cuba by Americans.

Florida was a key state in Trump's stunning Electoral College victory in 2016, and the Cuban-American community is politically influential in the state.

He called the country's human rights record "deplorable". "Economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end #BetterDealforCuba", Rubio wrote on Twitter.

Some aides have argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash US businesses and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.

  • Leroy Wright