Trump Seeks Limited Changes to Obama Cuba Policy

Trump Seeks Limited Changes to Obama Cuba Policy

Trump Seeks Limited Changes to Obama Cuba Policy

Last year more than 600,000 Americans traveled to Cuba, about 74 percent more than the year before.

Trump will tighten travel restrictions and ban USA spending with any state-run businesses tied to the military. His aides contend that Obama's easing of USA restrictions amounted to "appeasement" and has done nothing to advance political freedoms in Cuba, while benefiting the Cuban government financially.

But the Trump administration acknowledged that some of Obama's initiatives had momentum that made reversal of the former president's opening impractical. That company, which owns hotels, restaurants, stores and money exchanges in Cuba, is believed to control over half the economy.

At home, Trump's critics have questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for its human rights record while insisting that in other parts of the world it will not lecture other countries on the issue. And the US government will police other such trips to ensure there's a tour group representative along making sure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". Travelers would be subject to Treasury Department scrutiny of their trip and could face fines if it did not comply with rules.

He called the new policy a strategic, long-term attempt to force aging Cuban military and intelligence officers to ease their grip as a younger generation of leaders prepares to take over. However, the policy changes appear to allow Marriott, Starwood's parent company, to continue operating the hotel.

By law, travel to the island from the still generally limited to 12 authorized categories such as educational activity, humanitarian projects, and support for the Cuban people. The policy will maintain diplomatic relations and allow USA airlines and cruise ships to continue servicing the island.

The event comes almost two years after the USA and Cuba formally restored relations, an occasion marked by the reopening of a US embassy in Havana, on July 20, 2015.

President Donald Trump will reshape the United States' Cuba policy with a speech in Miami on Friday, reinstituting some travel restrictions to the island and seeking to block business with the country's military. These visitors will be allowed to pay bank fees at the military-run bank and rent private properties such as those offered by Airbnb.

While Americans have always been required to be able to "authenticate" the objective of any visit to Cuba, and to keep receipts and records for five years, the rules were rarely enforced.

The Trump administration says the goal of the directive is to end business practices that enrich Havana's government but fail to benefit the Cuban people.

The Daily Caller previously reported that the policy change is due to the behind-the-scenes work of Cuba policy hardliners, and a White House official described Florida Sen.

Under Trump's new travel restrictions, commerce with businesses run by the military branch of the Cuban army will be strictly forbidden.

Proponents of lifting the embargo say that taking a punitive approach toward Cuba has done nothing to bring about improvements in human rights in more than 50 years, and that it is time to try something new. Trump's policy would keep some of these changes in place, including direct flights to the country. "Access to foreign markets unleashes domestic productivity and gives workers a greater range of employment opportunities".

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