Q: What's new about Trump's recently announcedCuba policy? It will not achieve what US sanctions against Cuba failed to achieve in the past five decades.
President Donald Trump visited Miami Friday, where he announced a tightening of the rules on trade and travel enacted under former President Barack Obama. As the farm economy continues to lag, we should be increasing our opportunities, not limiting them.
"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.
On Cuba, Trump's company actively pursued doing business on the island in 1998, according to a September 2016 Newsweek article.
It said President Obama's openings towards the island nation had been seen as a recognition of the failure of the previous approach - rather than a "manifestation of goodwill of individual politicians". Marco Rubio (R), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee that is investigating the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation, and Miami Republican congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, a key member of the House appropriations committee. After his remarks, Trump signed an order directing the Treasury Department to make the changes.
There are significant worries within the Cuban regime that an end of Venezuelan support will mean a return of the "special period" of the 1990s, when the end of Soviet support led to widespread hunger and economic collapse. 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.
"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer", Trumptold a cheering crowd in Miami's Cuban-American enclave of Little Havana, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who helped forge the new restrictions on Cuba. In the first four months of 2017, the USA has exported over $83 million worth of goods and services to the island.
Even a partial reversal of engagement with Cuba is a mistake.
Trump described his move as an effort to ramp up pressure to create a "free Cuba" after more than half a century of communism. Since Dec. 17, 2014, the Obama administration issued six rounds of regulatory changes that eased travel and trade restrictions on Cuba.
NCL and Royal Caribbean are also sailing into Cuba.
The changes that need to be made in Cuba, as those that have been made since 1959 and the ones that we are introducing now as part of the process to update our economic and social system, will continue to be sovereignly determined by the Cuban people.
In what constitutes a setback in the relations between both countries, President Trump, gave a speech and signed a policy directive titled "National Security Presidential Memorandum", which provides the elimination of private educational "people-to-people" exchanges and greater control over all travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of business, trade and financial transactions between United States companies and certain Cuban companies linked to the Armed Revolutionary Forces and the intelligence and security services, under the alleged objective of depriving us from income.
Implementing regulations are expected from the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") and the Bureau of Industry and Security in the coming months. As president-elect, Trump had said that only fools or stupid people would not want closer ties with Moscow. And the USA government will police other such trips to ensure there's a tour group representative along making sure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". Other existing categories of authorized travel remain in place (family visits; official business of the United States government, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions).
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