Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations

Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations

Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations

"We will very strongly restrict American dollars flowing to the military, security and intelligence services that are the core of the Castro regime".

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", he said, to cheers at the Manuel Artime Theater.

Many government officials and their supporters saw the Obama policy as an attempt to lull Cuba into complacency and undermine the foundations of a communist system based in part of near-total control of virtually every aspect of society, from animal-rights groups to the film industry.

It said Trump was resorting to "coercive methods of the past" that hurt the Cuban people, but would not weaken the revolution.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in the day announced he was "canceling" the rapprochement with Cuba spearheaded by his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump limitations on travel will affect the Cuban small business owners.

Trump will justify his partial reversal of Obama's measures to a large extent on human rights grounds. Senator Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American Republican who represents Florida, traveled on Air Force One to the event with Trump, alongside Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican who is the son of Cuban refugees.

The stern reaction came as a former White House official warned that Trump's measures would push Cuba further toward China and Russian Federation. Ramon supported Trump and welcomed the tightening of the rules on dealing with military-run enterprises. Grupo de Administracion Empresarial SA, known as GAESA, a state-run, military-affiliated conglomerate, owns nearly all of the retail chains in Cuba and 57 of the mainly foreign-run hotels on the island.

"A Cuban small businessman should not be obliged to buy from the only wholesaler that exists now, which is the state", he said.

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Weakening the impact further, Trump's policy carves out exceptions in the military ban for airlines, cruise ships, agricultural sales and remittances.

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the US on a variety of subjects.

However, Trump will stop short of closing embassies or breaking diplomatic relations restored in 2015 after more than five decades of hostility and will not cut off recently resumed direct U.S. -Cuba commercial flights - though his more restrictive policy seems certain to dampen new economic ties. Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue "respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest.

"We will assume any risk and remain firm and secure in building a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation", Castro said in a statement. Trump will also exempt banking transactions and fees, allowing Americans to continue to rent private properties such as those offered through AirBnB. And the US government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities".

Jonny Lopez De la Cruz, a 77-year-old Bay of Pigs veteran, said he was overcome with "great emotion", adding that the Cuban people deserve freedom after 58 years of suffering.

However, according to a White House statement released during Trump's speech, the policy changes "will not take effect until those (U.S.) Departments have finalized their new regulations". To do business with Cuban companies owned or controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens to the island.

While tourism to Cuba is banned by US law, the Obama administration had been allowing people to travel to Cuba as part of "people to people" educational trips for visitors, a popular classification that a White House official said was "ripe for abuse" by those looking for beach vacations.

In practical terms, Trump's review of the deal was limited.

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