Russia says Trump is using 'Cold War rhetoric' on Cuba

Alvin Kelly
June 18, 2017

Despite his effort to roll back parts of Obama's Cuba policy, Trump left many of Obama's legacy intact, including remaining us embassy in Cuba.

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

"New restrictions on engagement with Cuban economy only pushes Cuba to China and Russian Federation who will gladly make up the difference", Rhodes said.

Even as Mr Trump predicted a quick end to President Raul Castro's regime, he challenged Cuba to negotiate better agreements for Americans, Cubans and those whose identities lie somewhere in between.

The Cuban government responded Friday evening by rejecting what it called Trump's "hostile rhetoric". "He's going to enforce the embargo".

"When he's cutting back on travel, he's hurting us, the Cuban entrepreneurs".

American companies and citizens will also be barred from doing business with any firm controlled by the Cuban military or its intelligence or security services, walling off crucial parts of the economy, including much of the tourist sector, from American access.

Regulatory changes will not affect air and sea operations supporting permissible travel or trade.

Russian Federation said it was reaffirming its "unshakeable solidarity with Cuba".

As a result, the changes - though far-reaching - appear to be less sweeping than many advocates had feared. It also regretted "a reversal in relations between the two countries".

In his speech, Trump was quick to single out Cuba's human rights record under the "brutal" Castro regime of "oppressive" communism.

The Obama administration had restored diplomatic relations with its Cold War foe in December 2014. He will not cut off recently resumed direct U.S. -Cuba commercial flights or cruise-ship travel, though his more restrictive policy seems certain to dampen new economic ties overall.

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Nor are there plans to reinstate limits that Obama lifted on the amount of the island's coveted rum and cigars that Americans can bring home for personal use. Still, it will be the latest attempt by Trump to overturn parts of Obama's presidential legacy.

"We will keep in place the safeguards to prevent Cubans from risking their lives to unlawful travel to the United States". However, he says the USA will maintain key diplomatic and commercial links with Cuba.

Critics of the rapprochement said Obama was giving too much away without extracting concessions from the Cuban government.

Numerous high-profile fugitives in Cuba are black or Puerto Rican militants who were offered political asylum by Fidel Castro during the 1970s and 1980s. It spent subsequent decades trying to either overthrow the Cuban government or isolate the island, including toughening an economic embargo first imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Reversing the policy of pursuing a historic detente, Trump said, "Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba". United States farmers have pressed the administration to continue opening the trade relationship with the island, though the market is relatively small.

The Cuban government, which has made clear it will not be pressured into reforms, had no immediate comment. Now it turns out that the anti-Cuban discourse is still in high demand.

Some 285,000 people visited the Caribbean country in 2016, up 74 per cent over 2015, with Americans the third-biggest group after Canadians and Cuban expats.

Cuba's 1,470-word statement Friday night labeled Trump a hypocrite for calling on Cuba to improve human rights, saying the US government "is threatening more limits on health care that would leave 23 million people without insurance. and marginalizes immigrants and refugees, particular those from Islamic countries".

Trump's vow to keep the broader decades-old U.S. economic embargo on Cuba firmly in place drew criticism from some USA farmers, especially growers of corn, soybeans and rice. In addition, he said, they could lead to a strategic problem, as Russian Federation and China have moved to expand their military and economic cooperation with Cuba.

President Donald Trump shows a signed executive order on Cuba policy, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Miami. "It is an offence against Latin America".

The Obama administration relaxed requirements that educational groups travel with a guide from a US organization sponsoring the trip. Trump's aides said the aim was to close off a path for Americans seeking beach vacations in a country where USA tourism is still officially banned. The effect of this new policy will be strengthening the revolutionary leadership and seeing that it's right.

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