Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

Jerome Frank
Июня 16, 2017

Though they do not go as far as some feared, the Trump policy changes laid out in the Miami Herald and Politico on Thursday take a harsher stance than the relative rapprochement in recent years and could dramatically affect USA business on the island.

"It has not led to greater freedom in Cuba", one official said. "I think, if he takes things back, whatever was in place before it didn't work, it didn't work".

It also indicates that the new administration will not reinstate the wet foot, dry foot policy, which allowed Cuban immigrants who reached American soil to remain in the country.

Additionally, although the former president lowered the restrictions on travel, US citizens are required to declare the reason for travels under one of 12 sections and tourism is not listed.

"The policy isn't going to do anything new", a source from the office of one Cuban American lawmaker complained.

She did not provide specific details about what the president planned to announce, though other people familiar with administration discussions have said he plans to impose new limitations on commerce. They believe that the more contact Cubans and Americans have and the more opportunities Cubans have to form entrepreneurial ventures - helped by Americans - the more pressure there will be for the political system to change on the island.

The president will ban USA tourist travel to the island, restate the importance of the trade embargo and institute a broad prohibition on financial transactions with companies controlled by the Cuban military, according to Politico, which got a draft version of the new policy. The company is run by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, Cuban President Raul Castro's son-in-law.

The announcement also wouldn't affect Americans who want to travel to Cuba and pay for an Airbnb stay, for example. This could have a cooling effect on travel as it adds a potential layer of inconvenience to travelers.

"No, I don't think that Trump will undo everything that Obama did, everything that Obama accomplished, let's say", said Wayne Smith, a former US diplomat who was once stationed in Havana.

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That was a key aim of Obama's painstaking effort to restore ties with the communist-run island, which included a landmark visit there in 2016.

Some skeptics have argued that the policy is largely aimed at President Barack Obama, whose administration substantially loosened regulations regarding Cuba during his second term. In addition, there would be no additional restrictions on the amount of rum and cigars Americans can bring back from the island.

"Trump doesn't care about human rights anywhere".

"(Cuba) represses dissent and discourages public criticism", Human Rights Watch wrote in a blog post.

Trump's approach instead will likely concentrate on restricting travel and trade with the island.

The son of a Cuban immigrant, Rubio opposed Obama's re-engagement with Cuba, saying Obama was making concessions to an "odious regime". Rubio will accompany the president on Air Force One.

Since the rapprochement with the United States, the Cuban government has repeatedly said it will hold talks on any topic the USA wants to discuss. How big the changes in policy will be, however, remains to be seen.

"Economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end", Florida Sen.

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