'Cuban/American Friends Are Very Happy' With New Cuba Policy

Danny Woods
June 19, 2017

The government remained willing to engage in "respectful dialogue", it said in a statement.

Trump's policy keeps a U.S. Embassy open in Havana and allows U.S. airlines and cruise ships to continue service to Cuba. But, in a shift from Obama's approach, Trump said trade penalties and other sanctions would stay in place until a long list of prerequisites was met.

Trump's hostile language toward the Castro government and his literal onstage embrace of Cuban-American exiles and Cuban dissidents has unmasked the United States' true intentions toward Cuba and made it easier for the government to instill unity across Cuban society, pro-government figures said Saturday.

The Web 20Minutos headlines: Cuba reacts and rejects measures announced by Trump: they will not achieve their goal of weakening the Revolution or bending the Cuban people. "Therefore, effective immediately, I am canceling the administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba". Your clients can expect to enjoy the immersive, unforgettable experience they've been looking forward to as we visit Havana, Cuba on their upcoming sailing onboard Empress of the Seas.

"We do not want USA dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba", Trump said.

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the USA on a variety of subjects. "Caterpillar believes that engagement with Cuba continues to represent a strong opportunity - not just for American businesses, but to serve as a powerful tool for change", the company said in a statement emailed to reporters that avoided direct criticism of the president.

And in symbolism that will not be lost in Havana, his crowd included veterans of the ill-fated Brigade 2506, which in 1961 launched the failed USA -backed Bay of Pigs invasion. USA airlines and cruise ships are to still be allowed to serve the island 145km south of Florida. "Much of Obama's policy remains the same", said Sebastian Arcos, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

U.S. officials will move to enforce an existing ban on tourism by eliminating individual people-to-people exchanges that had been allowed under Obama and had opened a back door to tourism. Travelers relying on the educational activities license will need to travel with a tour group that will ensure that they maintain a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities.

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However, none of the proposed changes brought forward Friday can go into effect until the U.S. Treasury Department issues updated regulations, a process that could take several months. Once implemented Trump's policy is expected to curtail U.S. travel by creating a maze of rules for Americans to obey.

Those restrictions could be far-reaching, Sabatini says, as the Cuban military controls two-thirds of the island's economy, including "a large chunk of hospitality, the big mega-hotels and many state-run restaurants".

Among those with Trump as he announced the policy in Little Havana were Sen. When Obama announced the detente in 2014, he said that decades of U.S. efforts to achieve change in Cuba by isolating the island had failed and it was time to try a new approach.

The talk focused on renewing diplomatic ties with Cuba, and swapping prisoners. "We lost sight - or many lost sight - of the fact that one of those family values was to have a child back with his father". And, of course, nothing prevents the Cuban government from simply moving revenue over to the military or state security, a vulnerability in the policy that the White House has not addressed.

The government may not formally respond to Trump's moves until a speech on Monday by its foreign minister. He said Trump's policy may put USA national security at risk as strategic competitors move to fill the vacuum the uncoupling could create.

Cuba functioned as a virtual U.S. colony for much of the 20th century, and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived United States infringements on national sovereignty. The president announced a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of US cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations.

"The Government of Cuba denounces the new measures for strengthening the blockade, which are destined to fail as proven repeatedly in the past", the statement said.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Castro were restoring ties.

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