Although the policy changes announced were limited, Trump has tightened rules for Americans travelling to Cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing United States trade embargo. On the plus side, the new policy bars U.S. trade and investment in enterprises owned by the Cuban military and secret police.
People in the US have expressed support for the recent thaw in US-Cuba relations, according to a Pew Center survey last December.
In its statement, the Cuban government said tightening the blockade would not help the U.S. aim of “debilitating the revolution or forcing the submission of the Cuban people”, who have resisted the USA onslaught for six decades.
“Any policy change that diminishes the ability of Americans to travel freely to Cuba is not in the best interests of the United States or the Cuban people”, stated Flake.
They specifically prohibit all business dealings with businesses owned by the Cuban Armed Forces. America may not be what it once was, but we haven’t fallen so far that we need to trade with pathetic Cuba.
A street sweeper cleans the sidewalk under a mural painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump, in Havana, Cuba, Friday, June 16, 2017.
In a written statement, published on Friday night, the Cuban government called President Trump’s announcement a step back in relations.
Jobs, safe borders and fight against terrorism are the planks that got Trump the top job, and Cuba too wants that now. We do not want USA dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba. “We remain committed to working with all relevant parties to remove the antiquated policies that hinder the empowerment of the American and Cuban people”.
The Cuban government maintained that the new policies would not work, comparing it to the economic embargo that never ushered the Castro regime out of power as the USA had hoped.
Under the President’s executive order, the Trump administration will begin strictly enforcing the exemptions that allow travel between the United States and Cuba and prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services. In fact, President Trump negotiated an arms deal with prominent human rights abuser Saudi Arabia valued at $100 billion.
“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. Now, across the street from his statue is Tabanero Cigars, a Cuban shop, where people are buzzing over President Trump’s new restrictions on the island nation. “Additionally, by requiring Americans to travel in tour groups, the administration is not only making it more expensive for everyday Americans to travel to the island, but it pushes them away from staying in private homes, which are unable to accommodate large tour groups, and into state run hotels”.
By reinstating restrictions on independent travellers, the Trump administration’s new policy will hurt Cuba’s emerging private sector that caters to American visitors, critics insist. The White House noted that the additional restrictions won’t be put in place until the federal departments have finalized the new regulations, which could take several months. A total of 75 percent approve the 2015 decision to re-establish U.S. relations with Cuba, while 73 percent favor ending the long-standing USA trade embargo against Cuba, the survey revealed. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, when governor of Georgia in 2010, led a delegation to Cuba and said at the time to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I think business cures a lot of ills”.
Announcing the changes on Friday, he cited human rights concerns, saying doing a deal with the “brutal” Castro government was “terrible” and “misguided”.
In December 2014, Obama reestablished diplomatic ties with Cuba for the first time in more than half-a-century.