Cubans brace for worst as Trump takes aim at Obama opening

Elias Hubbard
June 23, 2017

These Officials claim the new Cuba Policy makes it clear to the Cuban regime that there are very specific benchmarks they need to meet in order to maintain relations.

Senior White House officials who briefed reporters Thursday on the coming announcement said Obama's overtures had enriched Cuba's military while repression increased on the island. Administration officials said that those who had already booked trips before the new policy takes effect would be able to go ahead with their plans, but future travel would be policed more rigorously to ensure it fitted one of twelve authorised categories as part of the Obama rules laid down in 2015.

"The policy the Trump administration is announcing regarding Cuba based on President Trump's core conviction that what the Cuban exile community is asking for is right and just", the White House said in a written statement to the website.

Of major note, there will be no change to the "wet foot, dry foot" policy and the USA embassy in Cuba will also remain open.

President Donald Trump will announce new restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba.

Obama's new policy of engagement unleashed a flood of American visitors, pumping cash into Cuba's nascent private sector, even as the centrally planned economy hit its first recession in almost a quarter century. There will also be no changes to the current Wet Feet-Dry Feet policy.

Trump is expected to announce the changes Friday at Miami's Manual Artime Theater surrounded by prominent Cuban-Americans who back the move. "This is bad policy, bad politics and bad for USA business".

Some aides have argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash USA businesses and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.

In a contentious internal debate, some aides argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash USA business and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.

The White House arrived at its new policy after consulting with Congress and numerous Cabinet secretaries, and concerns for human rights were a major factor.

A Morning Consult poll released by the group Engage Cuba earlier this week said that 65% of voters surveyed support Obama's Cuba policy, including 64% of Republicans.

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. Similar to past administrations, the Trump Administration believes its initiatives can lead to free elections, direct pay for Cuban workers, freedom for political prisoners, among others results. Guadelupe glass says she worked in the cuban sugar cane fields in the late 1960's to save enough money to flee the country for south Florida.

Trump's new policy will eliminate such visits by individuals while still allowing them to be done as group tours, and also retaining individual travel under other authorized categories such as religious, artistic and journalistic activities, the official said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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