The U.S. feels like it is in a new Cold War, and the Trump administration is getting a little nostalgic with its policy towards Cuba. Fin formerly worked as the Miami Bureau Producer for Fox News Channel where he covered Florida Politics & Latin America.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said earlier this week at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Trump wants to allow business activity and trade with Cuba to continue as much as possible because he appreciates the benefits that this opening provides for the Cuban people. These expectations will include releasing political prisoners, free elections, and direct pay to Cuban workers. It did not attain what it was supposed to, which was openness and democracy for the Cuban people. Cuban officials proudly say they have already withstood over 50 years of punishing USA sanctions. Additionally, travel and money sent by Cuban Americans could continue unaffected.
The influx in Americans going to see the sights has resulted in the rebirth of cruises and air service from the U.S.to the island, with nonstop flights available from NY to Havana.
"My administration's policy will be guided by key USA national security interests and solidarity with the Cuban people", the draft of the five-point, eight-page Presidential Policy Directive reads, Politico reported. Remittances to Cuba won't be cut off. The main targets are Cuba's military - and wannabe American tourists.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who was played a key role in pushing for Trump's changes, was expected to attend along with U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and other Cuban-American lawmakers.
"I am appalled and saddened by the reports that President Trump will reinstate failed isolationist Cuba policies". "And so I think this is an effort to remove what the president has called a very, very bad deal".
But even as he curbs Obama's détente with Cuba, Trump will stop short of closing embassies or breaking off diplomatic relations restored in 2015 after more than five decades of hostility, United States officials said. The new president's action is broadly opposed by American business groups.
"All the pressure comes from American business interests that go to Cuba, see the opportunities and then come back here and lobby us to lift the embargo", Rubio said.
"There's human rights abuses all over the world, and we're allowed to go to other countries where they do that".
In other words, there are no winners, only losers, if Trump moves away from engagement with Cuba.
These changes will affect Cuba's burgeoning tourist industry that has lured Americans who had always been attracted by the island just 90 miles from Florida but impossibly out of reach thanks to long-standing sanctions.
Thank you for signing up..
The new Trump policy will also prohibit most commercial transactions that allow money to flow to the Cuban military.
The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolution.
Cubans who make their way to the USA without authorization will still be returned to the island, just like unauthorized visitors from other countries.
"President Obama attempted to change that", Sanchez said. "We would like the president to cut off any relationship between the American intelligence services and the Cuban intelligence services", he said.