Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

President Trump to Announce Changes to Cuba Policy in Miami

President Trump to Announce Changes to Cuba Policy in Miami

Former president Barack Obama implemented his Cuba normalization measures through executive actions that bypassed Congress, giving Trump the power to undo much of it with the stroke of a pen.

Under Trump's new travel restrictions, commerce with businesses run by the military branch of the Cuban army will be strictly forbidden. Relaxed travel laws allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to visit Cuba for the first time.

Cuban-American GOP lawmakers, Sen.

The change in the USA posture toward Cuba under Trump marks the latest policy about-face by the president. Rubio will accompany the president on Air Force One.

Cafe Versailles, in the heart of Miami's "little Havana", may not be the heartbeat for the Cuban-American movement in the U.S. But it is arguably its soul.

The policy changes won't take effect immediately, so Americans with plans to travel to Cuba in the near future won't be affected.

Taking a tougher approach against Cuba after promising to do so during the Presidential campaign, President Trump will make clear that a ban on U.S. tourism to Cuba remains in effect and his administration will beef up enforcement of travel rules under all authorized categories. "This is bad policy, bad politics and bad for US business".

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While the US prohibits tourism to Cuba, the US Treasury Department now allows travelers to "self-license" under 12 different categories of travel, such as educational tours and participating in sporting events. The Obama administration eased those restrictions by allowing visitors to merely declare their reason for going, with few questions asked.

Despite those attitudes, Trump himself will harken back to the 1960s when he announces his new policy on Friday. And travelers seeking "people-to-people" contact will have to sign up with an organized tour group. The pro-business leaders said travel and trade with Cuba boosts American businesses and spread free market ideals to the island.

Trump's policy aims to shift the flow of US money from the Cuban military that controls much of the economy to the emerging private sector. That could have far-reaching effects since the military touches nearly every corner of the Cuban economy. That change would immediately affect some proposed hotel projects in which Cuban entities controlled by the military would be partners.

Those trips were not subject to strict scrutiny by authorities, meaning that some visits to the island verged on tourism, still illegal under the long-standing embargo against the Castro regime.

"There are about 50 or 60 Wi-Fi hot spots in Havana".

The administration said it wanted to end business transactions that benefited the Castro regime while the Cuban people get squat in return.

Since then, travel to Cuba has steadily increased as Cuban-Americans and others who travel to Cuba. Even among Cuban-Americans in South Florida, almost two-thirds want to lift the US embargo.

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"If you want Cuba to change and reform, we are doing the opposite of what would be most likely to bring about reforms", said Ben Rhodes, a former Obama aide who helped negotiate rapprochement. The order would allow continued expenditure linked to operations at the Guantanamo Naval Base against the will of the Cuban people and Government, and would also keep the corresponding funds for the U.S. embassy in Havana.

Among the conditions that would have to be met in order to further Trump administration negotiations are the holding of free and fair elections, as well as the freeing of political prisoners in Cuba, the administration officials said.

"At the very least, we were expecting to see the start of investment in Cuba, as well as greater political opening of the Cuban government and the diversification of the island's economy", said Torrico.

"We are at an important moment in the relationship between the United States and Cuba", Marriott said in a statement, according to the CNBC report. We are designers, photographers and computer programmers, and much more.

Many Cuban exiles needed convincing. "As I say, there may be some small steps, some small negative steps, but I think reality will win out".

The changes Trump is expected to announce would not prohibit travel altogether. But even some global human rights groups critical of the Cuban government say that would mean doubling down on a failed policy. The main targets are Cuba's military - and wannabe American tourists.

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