Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel, trade, curbing Obama's detente

Marco Rubio previews coming Donald Trump change in Cuba policy

President Trump is planning to announce changes in its relationship with Havana on Friday, including restrictions on Americans' travel to the island and doing business with the Cuban military, according to accounts of new policies published Thursday.

They watched. almost two years ago, then-U.S. President Barack Obama pursued, and secured, a thaw in relations with its longtime nemesis Cuba and the Castro government.

Pressing "pause" on a historic detente, President Donald Trump thrust the USA and Cuba back on a path toward open hostility Friday with a blistering denunciation of the island's communist government. Additionally, travel and money sent by Cuban Americans could continue unaffected.

Trump's new directives do not reinstitute the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that was ended by former President Barack Obama before leaving office earlier this year.

Educational trips and so-called "people-to-people" group exchanges will be under greater scrutiny, with educational groups once again having to travel with a guide from a USA organization sponsoring the trip, a requirement the Obama policy had effectively eliminated.

In addition to the limits on investment, Trump plans to more strictly enforce the ban on American tourism to Cuba, eliminating "people to people" exchanges that have allowed far more visits to the island for recreation, with little enforcement of rules that require trips to have an educational or cultural component.

President Trump is expected to announce new restrictions on travel and business with Cuba on Friday.


Rubio is in the forefront of those pushing for change in the Obama rapprochement.

Marriot International, an American multinational diversified hospitality company, who has a hotel set up in Cuba and is on its way to building another, showed major concerns over Trump's decision to restrict travel to the island country.

"This is one way to ensure that individuals who travel to Cuba are participating in their itinerary and not just sitting on the beach", an official said.

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Commercial flights, which resumed for the first time in 50 years last summer, will still continue between the USA and Cuba.

"This is limited to perhaps as small as three voices in the U.S. Congress, certainly less than ten, suggesting a course of action that is not only not the best interests of the United States of America, but it's not the popular view", said Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., one of seven House members who wrote the president to oppose the changes. "This is bad policy, bad politics and bad for USA business".

The President's advisers contended that it is important to make good on a promise to Cuban-Americans whose support was significant in winning Florida in the Y 2016 Election.

That brings us to the second facet of Trump's rollback of former President Obama's engagement with communist Cuba.

In his remarks, Trump plans to cite human-rights violations in Cuba as justification for the new US approach. 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 almost 50 years Cuban exiles have gathered on 8th street, including Cuban-American Orlando Atienta, who said he's been visiting since he was 5 years old.

However, traveling to Cuba in the future is expected to again become more hard under changes imposed by the Trump administration.

The statement reiterates Cuba's commitment to "the necessary changes that we're making now as part of the updating of our socio-economic model", but says "they will continue being decided in a sovereign way by the Cuban people".

Since the rapprochement with the U.S., the Cuban government has repeatedly said it will hold talks on any topic the USA wants to discuss.

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