President Trump to Announce Changes to Cuba Policy in Miami

Erika Turner
June 16, 2017

Speaking from Miami, where he was working with anti-Castro Cuban-American groups ahead of Friday's announcement, Cuban dissident Antonio Rodiles said he supports Trump's plans and many ordinary Cubans do as well.

"We urge the Trump administration to recognize and utilize travel as a strategic tool in its efforts to improve relations with Cuba, allowing us to be part of a promising future, as opposed to reverting to the policies of the past", Sorenson said.

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

As well as rolling back Obama's relaxation of travel restrictions, which allowed American cruise ships and airlines to resume scheduled services to Cuba last year for the first time in more than 50 years, Trump is reported to also be considering moves to limit business opportunities for U.S. companies. Imposing new restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba is something that a majority of Cuban-Americans would frown upon.

As President Donald Trump is expected to announce a reversal o.

There are divisions within the Trump administration however concerning the extant of the diplomatic rollbacks, especially given that Obama's opening to Washington's former Cold War foe has created opportunities for American companies ranging from telecommunications to airlines.

Roads around Miami are already showing signs of increased security for Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Florida International University on Thursday for a conference on Central American policy.

Rubio, a Cuban policy hardliner, has said that the change is positive as "economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end".

Senior administration officials said the impetus for the changes was born from a campaign promise and the concern that the Obama-era policies were contributing to the oppression on the island.

So-called "people to people" trips, which enable American travelers to visit Cuba for educational purposes on their own as opposed to with a tour group, will be eliminated under the new US policy. "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". According to surveys by Pew Research Center -the most recent one from December 2016-an increasing majority of Americans (73 percent) favors ending the trade embargo against Cuba. Saudi Arabia, like Cuba, is well known for human rights abuses.

The primary goal, according to the White House, is to push the Cuban government to adopt stronger human rights protections, to release political prisoners, and to ensure that any economic advancement benefits the Cuban people instead of the military.

What specific changes the Cuban government would have to make to their human rights approach in order to begin loosening relations again was not made clear. Other groups say the communist nation has to take steps toward democracy before it merits friendlier treatment from the U.S.

While U.S. citizens are not free to vacation in Cuba, Obama did relax travel restrictions. "But the idea of returning to something that we know does not work doesn't make any sense". In the case of Cuba, greater American interaction with everyday Cubans has meant not just a public diplomacy coup but a meaningful improvement in Cubans' lives.

Other reports by Insurance News

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