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Trump to limit Cuba travel, restrict business deals with military: draft memo

16 Juin 2017

In the two and a half years since the Obama administration announced the thaw, which we applauded - and still do - the United States has made most of the concessions, while Cuban president Raúl Castro given very little, especially in the realm of human rights, in return.

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.

According to White House officials, Mr. Trump plans to outline stiffer rules for American travelers visiting Cuba and a sweeping prohibition against transactions with companies controlled by the military, which runs vast swaths of the hotel and tourism sector.

Ferral Rimer wonders why the USA would distance itself from Cuba, when it does business with other nations that have questionable human rights records.

"We want this relationship to be one in which we can encourage the Cuban people through economic interaction", an official said.

Could there be a change In U.S. policy toward Cuba?

Trump will reportedly prohibit Americans and USA companies from doing business with a Cuban conglomerate that owns large sections of the island nation's economy, Bloomberg reported.

Additionally, although the former president lowered the restrictions on travel, USA citizens are required to declare the reason for travels under one of 12 sections and tourism is not listed.

Americans will still be able to visit Cuba, though they will need special visas of which enforcement will become much stricter, but they will not be able to spend any money at a business owned by a GAESA, other than a few exceptions, notably airports.

The administration has been drafting a new policy with input from Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Sen. An official said that the president was anxious that current policies were enriching the Cuban military.

"The oppressors of the Cuban people are the Cuban government who have increased repression on the island against dissidents ... since reestablishing diplomatic relations". Relaxed travel laws allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to visit Cuba for the first time.

"We hope the Cuban regime will see this as an opportunity to institute reforms that they have paid lip service to", one official said.

Trump's new restrictions are aimed toward restricting tourism and stemming funds directed toward the Cuban military but he won't be fully reversing diplomatic and commercial ties with the country.

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. A main concern is that Mr Obama's White House made it too easy for money spent by American companies and individuals to flow to Cuban government sources instead of benefiting regular Cubans. It will not alter the USA trade embargo, which can only be lifted by Congress. Marco Rubio are expected to join Trump on Friday.

Trump to limit Cuba travel, restrict business deals with military: draft memo