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Principale » Trump policies could roll back US-Cuba ties, says Mexican academic — Interview

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

18 Juin 2017

Cuban-Americans are eager and anxious for President Donald Trump's announcement in Miami Friday of changes to the USA policy toward Cuba, though it appears the changes will be more like a tweak of the Obama-era provisions.

Senior administration officials said in a media briefing Thursday afternoon that President Trump will ban people-to-people travel to Cuba for individual Americans.

The Trump administration are likely to cite Obama's failed appeasement policy toward Cuba as a reason for ending the two-year-old approach of engagement, followed by the former president's government.

The president will ban USA tourist travel to the island, restate the importance of the trade embargo and institute a broad prohibition on financial transactions with companies controlled by the Cuban military, according to Politico, which got a draft version of the new policy. Trump wants to see improved human rights, free elections and the release of political prisoners, officials said.

Donald Trump will on Friday announce new restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba on Friday, but will not entirely reverse Barack Obama's 2015 rapprochement with Havana. Additionally, travel and money sent by Cuban Americans could continue unaffected.

Trump's new policy will ban most US business transactions with Cuba's Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group but will make some exceptions for air and sea travel, Reuters reported. Obama's policy shift was designed in part to improve relations with other Latin American countries that opposed a US -led embargo against Cuba, in place since 1960.

Americans traveling to Cuba will face more scrutiny and potentially audits of their trip when they get back home in order to prove their dollars didn't go to the Cuban military's pockets, which control much of the tourism economy.

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In one of the most important changes, transactions with the Business Administration Group, S.A - GAESA - will be prohibited. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had been one of these lawmakers who met with President Trump in the Oval Office in early May to drive his crackdown on #Cuba. US airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

Slamming the brakes on U.S. -Cuba business deals, and once again, strictly limiting U.S travel to Havana.

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. Both men plan to be on hand when Trump announces the changes in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, Friday afternoon.

But travelers could see stepped up enforcement when they return to the U.S. They are required to maintain full schedules and keep detailed logs while in Cuba - something that is rarely checked.

Critics said the changes would only hurt everyday Cubans who work in the private sector and depend on American visitors to help provide for their families.

While Trump made his position against restoring ties with Cuba clear during the campaign period, saying the island's government must first meet human rights standards set by Washington, his presidency has so far centered mostly on issues of national interest.