Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Interview: Trump policies could roll back US-Cuba ties, says Mexican academic

Interview: Trump policies could roll back US-Cuba ties, says Mexican academic

The revised Cuba policy is aimed at stopping the flow of US cash to the country's military and security services, the White House announced.

Senior White House officials who briefed reporters Thursday on the coming announcement said Obama's overtures had enriched Cuba's military while repression increased on the island.

President Donald Trump will announce new restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba. In Miami, then-candidate Trump called for a reversal of Obama's normalization of Cuba policy, saying he would demand religious and political freedom for the Cuban people as well as the release of political prisoners.

President Trump told TheDC in 2015 that he was open to ending the Cuban embargo, but on the campaign trail said he would reverse Obama's changes.

Trump will not go so far as to sever diplomatic ties with Havana or shutter the US embassy that reopened there in 2015.

Cuba experts have said they expect tough anti-regime rhetoric from the president, but not a complete rollback of Obama policies that ended more than 50 years of US attempts to isolate Cuba, ushering in sweeping changes that that allowed increased travel, business and communication links and restored diplomatic relations.

The measures stop well short of upending Obama-era policies, which sought to end decades of isolation that did little to dislodge Fidel and Raul Castro's regime.

But there's also the hope among some White House officials that changes will jumpstart a new round of negotiations that could lead to a deal that's more to Trump's liking.

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By restricting individual to Cuba, the new policy also risks cutting off a major source of income for Cuba's private business sector, which the policy is meant to support.

"President Obama attempted to change that", Sanchez said.

In January of 2015, Obama requested Congress to lift a number of trade restrictions which had been instated at the start of the USA blockade on the Caribbean island.

By law, travel to the island from the still generally limited to 12 authorized categories such as educational activity, humanitarian projects, and support for the Cuban people.

That will impact Americans who travel to Cuba. "This is a completely unnecessary step backwards for American families and businesses, the Cuban people, and USA global leadership".

When asked why the administration is setting up stricter regulations on trade and travel with Cuba over human rights after visiting Saudi Arabia during Mr Trump's first official visit overseas, White House officials said that the administration plans on fighting for human rights.

The Cuban government has made clear it will not be pressured into reforms in exchange for further engagement with the US. White House officials also noted that Americans can still bring Cuban cigars back from their trip.

"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 want to empower and we want to strengthen the Cuban people without strengthening the Cuban military, which controls a significant percentage of their economy. Only the U.S. Congress can lift it, and lawmakers, especially those of Cuban heritage, like Sen.

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