Russian Federation says Trump is using 'Cold War rhetoric' on Cuba

Tabitha Dunn
June 21, 2017

"President Trump promised that he would repeal everything Obama had done with Cuba", said Valladares, who was appointed ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. He will not break the diplomatic ties Obama worked so carefully to restore, nor does he plan to impose new trade sanctions.

But Trump was leaving many of Obama's changes, including the reopened us embassy in Havana, in place even as he sought to show he was making good on a campaign promise to take a tougher line against Cuba.

While Trump explained in a Miami speech that he was ending Obama's "terrible and misguided deal" because of the Cuban government's "repression" of its people, the Washington Post noted that Trump's policy change could benefit, well, Trump - specifically, his hotel business.

"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer...

You kept your promise; you stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and freedom-loving people everywhere; and you are putting American values and USA national security interests first", he said. "Officially, today, they are rejected".

"Effective immediately, I am cancelling the previous administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said. The amount of American visitors to Cuba tripled after Obama's lightening of restrictions. Trump's speech evoked, instead, the Cold War thinking that dominated the USA government's stance toward Cuba for a half-century.

Trump's speech in Miami to announce the rollback was "full of hostile rhetoric", Havana's statement said, adding that the announced policies will "revert" the progress achieved between the two countries in the past two years. Despite bitter criticism and personal attacks, most have continued to operate, many with a degree of support from US individuals and foundations that would have been impossible before the reestablishment of diplomatic relations. Lauderdale, Fla., and Santa Clara, Cuba, became the first commercial flight in 55 years between the two long-time foes.

And in symbolism that will not be lost in Havana, his crowd included veterans of the ill-fated Brigade 2506, which in 1961 launched the failed US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. USA airlines and cruise ships would still be allowed to service the island.

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But while Trump's policy backtracks on some of President Obama's efforts to engage with the island, key directives will remain in place. Cuban Americans will still be able visit and send remittances to their families. And the US government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities".

Under the revised travel policy, USA officials say there will be tighter enforcement to make sure Americans legally fit the 12 authorized categories they claim to be traveling under, which could spook many visitors, wary of receiving a hefty fine.

Run by Castro's son-in-law Luis Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, GAESA has joint ventures with several foreign firms that have driven a tourism boom, including the Marriott hotel chain.

"I did think the way to go about this was the opening", he said. Last week, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to back new sanctions on Russian Federation.

The response from Cuba to Trump's intemperate expressions has been sober and mature. "We now hold the cards", Trump said.

Cuba's 1,470-word statement Friday night labeled Trump a hypocrite for calling on Cuba to improve human rights, saying the USA government "is threatening more limits on health care that would leave 23 million people without insurance. and marginalizes immigrants and refugees, particular those from Islamic countries". "I'd print a copy for every Cuban", said Iroel Sanchez, a pro-government columnist and blogger who was fiercely critical of Obama.

The White House is announcing limitations on travel by individuals to the island and ordering the US Treasury Department and other agencies to put in place regulations to prohibit direct payments to Cuba's military and intelligence services.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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