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Trump keeps much of Obama's Cuba policy

17 Juin 2017

Congressman Justin Amash, R-Mich., said Trump's Cuba policy changes in the name of promoting human rights are hypocritical in the wake of a foreign trip where the President visited Saudi Arabia, a us ally with a well-documented pattern of human rights abuses.

But it makes some exceptions, including for air and sea travel, according to United States officials, a move which will essentially shield U.S. airlines and cruise lines serving the island.

"As President Trump is abandoning American values around the globe, it is far from credible for the Administration to suggest its policy towards Cuba is driven by human rights concerns".

Cuba's government has criticized Donald Trump's "hostile rhetoric" in announcing new restrictions on U.S. ties to the island nation, but reiterated Havana's willingness to hold "respectful dialogue" with Washington.

"This policy was clearly written by people who have never been to Cuba, at least not in this century", James Williams, head of Engage Cuba, a group that lobbies for closer Cuba ties, said in a statement. Trump tweeted Friday while en route to Miami.

Meanwhile, the White House announced plans to reverse parts of Obama's historic restoration of ties with the Latin American country after a 2014 diplomatic breakthrough between the two former Cold War foes.

Specifically, Trump's policy will prohibit "individual people-to-people travel" to Cuba - defined as travel for educational reasons not affiliated with a degree programme or sponsoring organisation, according to the Department of Transportation.

Trudeau was asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to restore some travel and economic restrictions on Cuba, partially turning back the clock on an easing of tensions embarked upon by Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. It also bans individual travel, meaning Americans could only go to Cuba with a tour group.

However, the new presidential directive is expected to set out stricter enforcement of the ban on Americans traveling to Cuba as tourists. US farmers can continue selling their crops to the Cuban government. "But opening things up has allowed more money to flow to ordinary Cubans".

The Trump executive order will strictly enforce what types of travel are allowed to Cuba. The Department of Treasury will create the new regulations and none of the changes will take effect until the regulations are completed.

Raul Castro extended a message to Donald Trump to congratulate him on being elected the new US president.

"I am concerned it will affect the private sector quite a bit and much more than the Cuban government", he said.

One goal, according to the White House, is to ensure that USA travellers do not visit Cuba for leisure purposes. The delegation will leave June 19 and spend the next five days meeting with Cuban and US agriculture officials, touring agricultural co-ops and visiting local food markets. Marco Rubio, another Florida Republican, have shown no interest in doing so.

Declaring Obama's pact with Castro a "completely one-sided deal", Trump said he was canceling it.

Chesimard, convicted in 1977 of killing State Police officer Werner Foerster four years earlier, escaped to Cuba in 1979, where she remains in Cuba's protective custody today.

On the stage in Miami, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said the US would no longer have to witness the "embarrassing spectacle" of an American president glad-handing with a dictator. He apparently will not restore the wet foot, dry-foot policy, rescinded by Obama previous year.

Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Papp said local farmers need strong trade relationships with foreign countries to stay viable, and he sees Cuba as a particularly strong market for the state.

Some 285,000 people visited the Caribbean country in 2016, up 74 percent over 2015, with Americans the third biggest group after Canadians and Cuban expats.

Consistent with the Administration's interest in not negatively impacting Americans for arranging lawful travel to Cuba, any travel-related arrangements that include direct transactions with entities related to the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services that may be implicated by the new Cuba policy will be permitted provided that those travel arrangements were initiated prior to the issuance of the forthcoming regulations.

"Travel from the U.S.to Cuba is an important way to encourage people-to-people diplomacy", the company said in a statement.

For the announcement, the White House chose to have Trump speak at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Trump keeps much of Obama's Cuba policy