Donald Trump's Cuba Policy, Explained

Donald Trump's Cuba Policy, Explained

Donald Trump's Cuba Policy, Explained

Reinstating limits on U.S. citizens' and United States permanent residents' ability to travel to Cuba - President Trump's policy would revoke the individual people-to-people travel authorization issued by the Obama administration in March 2016.

Trump has broken an age-old tradition for Republican and Democratic U.S. presidents of speaking out for human rights wherever they go.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday that Trump is "returning us to the forgotten rhetoric of the Cold War".

Trump announced his new approach at the Manuel Artime Theater in the heart of the United States' largest Cuban-American and Cuban exile community, whose support aides believe helped him win Florida in the election. "Although today's new policy announcement restricts the travel of individuals to Cuba, Access Trips will continue to offer people-to-people small group tours to Cuba as we have been doing since 2015", CEO Tamar Lowell said in a statement.

Carnival Corporation, meanwhile, said it is "pleased" that the policy changes "will allow our ships to continue to sail to Cuba" and plans to expand its offewrings. Furthermore, one of the few policy changes that the Trump administration is making-banning people-to-people travel to Cuba-will likely hinder democratization efforts in Cuba.

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump declared as he made a full-throated assault on the government of Cuban President Raul Castro. "We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago".

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation - an independent group that lacks authorization and is considered illegal by the government - received more than 7,900 reports of arbitrary detentions from January through August past year, according to Human Rights Watch.

The Cuban diplomat pointed out that war crimes and assassinations of civilians are commonplace in the US military aggressions and interventions, and described as brutal the prison sentences without a court's ruling and the mass and systematic cases of torture committed in the Guantanamo Naval Base.

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"Easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people".

Among those with Trump as he announced the policy in Little Havana were Sen. "So, the silver lining is that it's still very much possible to travel to Cuba-the options have simply become more limited".

The President's decision last week was not without controversy in the United States.

How strictly the U.S. will enforce the restrictions will depend on the regulations federal agencies write - and whether the Cuban government tries to work around them. It will not achieve what US sanctions against Cuba failed to achieve in the past five decades.

Once again, the US Government resorts to coercive methods of the past when it adopts measures aimed at stepping up the blockade, effective since February 1962, which not only causes harm and deprivations to the Cuban people and is the main obstacle to our economic development, but also affects the sovereignty and interests of other countries, which arouses global rejection.

The foreign ministry said any US strategy aimed at applying pressure to bring about change to Cuba's political, economic and social system would fail.

A White House factsheet listed four main objectives of the Trump changes, including, "hold the Cuban regime accountable for oppression and human rights abuses ignored under the Obama policy".

Trump's speech at the Manuel Artime Theater, named for a Cuban exile who worked closely with the Central Intelligence Agency in anti-Castro plots including the Bay of Pigs invasion, was an event deliberately calculated to appeal to the extremely right-wing layer of Cuban-American exiles.

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