While anti-Castro conservatives hailed Trump's partial roll-back of President Barack Obama's detente, a number of other GOP lawmakers, particularly from farm states, criticized the change as misguided and isolationist.
"Faced with your words, the Cuban people stand up and, their flag held high, sing their war anthem!" said a Facebook post by Jennifer Bello Martinez, the head of Cuba's official Federation of University Students and, at 25, the youngest member of the powerful Council of State. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to USA soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated. Diplomatic relations, restored only two years ago, will remain intact.
The goal is not to harm USA businesses that have already begun business in Cuba under Obama's rapprochement and there will be exceptions in the regulations for airlines, cruise ships and other businesses.
First, what did Obama's reforms with Cuba do?
Obama had pushed for expanding commerce and travel between the two countries.
As a part of the deal forged with Cuban President Raul Castro, Obama eased economic and trade restrictions that dated back to the US embargo on Cuba that began in the 1960s.
July 2015: The US and Cuba reopen embassies in each other's capitals and restore full diplomatic ties.
Under new restrictions by the Trump administration, an authorization allowing person-to-person travel will be eliminated, tightening the already limited justifications for travel to the tourism-restricted island. "Cuba is just 90 miles off the USA coast", the release states.
Later that night, Cuban state news was also talking tough.
In his statement, Flake called for the Senate's GOP leadership to allow a vote on his legislation that he said would eliminate "archaic restrictions" on travel to Cuba that "do not exist for travel by Americans to any other country in the world". I agree 150% with everything Trump says and does.
"Last year, I pledged to be a voice against oppression, and here I am like I promised". In the weeks after his election victory, Trump forcefully hinted at his plans for Cuba.
While Castro acknowledged that changes in Cuba were necessary, pointing to the ongoing process of modernising and developing the island's economic and socialist model, he insisted that Cuba would decide its own fate independent of foreign influence.
Trump's speech, which came as the president signed a directive outlining his posture toward Cuba, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to chip away at Obama's legacy, of which the Cuba policy of starting a historic detente was a major part. Why give credit to a country where the people don´t see a penny? He spoke in Miami briefly before Trump took the stage.
Trump's primary objective is to keep money out of the hands of Cuba's military and intelligence services.
That could be hard for developers, Zelkowitz said, since the military's control over the economy is so pervasive. But if the administration follows through on redefining what it means to be part of the Cuban military, that could affect policies on remittances down the line.
This will nearly certainly make all American travel to the island a complicated maze of avoiding payments to military-linked monopolies ranging from hotels to gas stations to convenience stores. "And we are going to be safeguarding those people", he said.
What remains in place from Obama's policy?
"People-to-people" tour companies needed special licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department and were regularly audited and faced steep fines or loss of licenses for allowing travelers to engage in tourism.
'We recall that Cuba is a State party to 44 worldwide human rights instruments, while the United States comply with only 18, therefore we have much to show, comment and defend, ' the island's government upholds.
What's been the response to Trump's efforts?
The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the US on a variety of subjects. From left are, Rep, Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Florida Gov.
"You have not betrayed us".
The move is created to target the repressive elements of the Cuban regime over human rights concerns and not the Cuban people, said officials, who briefed reporters ahead of the announcement on the condition they not be named. "I'd print a copy for every Cuban", said Iroel Sanchez, a pro-government columnist and blogger who was fiercely critical of Obama.
In an interview, Rhodes said he took solace that Trump, who put new limits on commercial transactions and USA citizens' travel to the island nation, had not ended diplomatic relations.
The official statement noted that "any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, via pressure and coercion, is destined to fail".