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Trump announces new restrictions on Cuba travel, business

18 Juin 2017

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.

Mexico " s media outlets are addressing today Cuba " s response to the announcement by US President Donald Trump of going back in relations with the island.

Trump and the Cuban-American Congress members who helped design the new policy pledged on Friday that it would block the flow of US cash toward military-linked enterprises and direct it toward independent businesses, with the long-term aim of overturning President Raul Castro's government.

According to a statement by the White House, U.S. individuals and companies will be prohibited from doing commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the Cuban military.

It said that easing of sanctions under Obama was a "well-thought-out political decision in which there were no losers except marginal Castro opponents".

Members of Cuba's small but vibrant independent civil society say they fear the new policy will do more harm than good.

Cuban President Raul Castro visited Russian Federation in 2015 while President Vladimir Putin visited the island on a tour of Latin America in 2014, meeting both the president and the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died past year. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to US soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated. USA airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

Under the expected changes, the USA will ban American financial transactions with the dozens of enterprises run by the military-linked corporation GAESA, which operates dozens of hotels, tour buses, restaurants and other facilities.

More details about the changes are expected to be released Friday, when the new policy is set to take effect.

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Trump's new policy retains key aspects of Obama's reforms, leaving full embassies in Washington and Havana and letting USA cruise and airlines continue service to Cuba, although it will make travel harder by requiring most Americans to come in groups and banning payments to military-linked businesses.

While tourism to Cuba is banned by US law, the Obama administration had been allowing people to travel to Cuba as part of "people to people" educational trips for visitors, a popular classification that a White House official said was "ripe for abuse" by those looking for beach vacations. That means that any USA traveler now booked on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or even months, could go ahead and make the trip. Supporters expressed appreciation for Trump's emphasis on human rights in Cuba.

The Cuban government responded by rejecting what it called Mr Trump's "hostile rhetoric", but said it was willing to continue "respectful dialogue" on topics of mutual interest. "In less than an hour he showed Cubans how USA policy works".

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). President Donald Trump arrives at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 16, 2017, after speaking about Cuba policy in Miami.

In December 2014, in the most sweeping change in U.S.

The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolution.

"President Trump's policy makes itself, once again, part of the old policy of pressure and strangulation of the Cuban people", founders Lenier Gonzalez and Roberto Veiga wrote Saturday.

Diplomatic relations restored just two years ago will remain intact and the countries will maintain embassies.

Trump announces new restrictions on Cuba travel, business