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Rep. Barbara Lee Slams President Trump's Backwards Decision on Cuba

20 Juin 2017

Tomorrow, President Donald Trump will announce his administration's new policy towards Cuba, but drafts provided to news organizations suggest it will not be friendly towards Americans wanting to visiting Cuba.

What specific changes the Cuban government would have to make to their human rights approach in order to begin loosening relations again was not made clear.

But that apparently won't include the fees US airlines and cruise ships have to pay Cuba.

Embassies will remain open and travel and money sent by Cubans will be unaffected, the Herald reported. Remittances to Cuba won't be cut off.

Part of the Obama re-engagement included giving ordinary Americans the ability to travel to Cuba under one of 12 reasons, including educational trips. That means that any US traveler now booked on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or even months, could go ahead and make the trip.

Trump's revised Cuba rules aren't all that drastic.

Former president Barack Obama implemented his Cuba normalization measures through executive actions that bypassed Congress, giving Trump the power to undo much of it with the stroke of a pen.

Despite Obama's effort to improve ties, the Republican-dominated Congress has refused to lift Washington's 57-year-old embargo against Havana, which makes it illegal for United States corporations to do business with Cuba. "Unfortunately, today's moves actually limit the possibility for positive change on the island and risk ceding growth opportunities to other countries that, frankly, may not share America's interest in a free and democratic Cuba that respects human rights".

The President will travel to Miami on Friday to "make an announcement on US-Cuba policy", said deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at a press conference.

When asked how much of a setback the new policy could represent, "not much", says Torrico, adding that because little real progress was made in bilateral ties, especially since Cuba's main demand - that the embargo be lifted - was largely ignored.

Supporters of Trump's changes said they are created to hurt Cuba's communist government economically, and encourage people to rise up against the regime that has been in power since 1959.

"You went out and you voted, and here I am, like I promised".

The new policy will ban most US business transactions with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group (GAESA), a sprawling conglomerate involved in all sectors of the economy, but make some exceptions, including for air and sea travel, the officials said. US tourism has been booming since relations between Washington and Havana were resumed.

The group trips would require US visitors to travel with a guide from an educational group-a requirement the Obama policy had lifted.

The trade embargo remains in place under Trump.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who was played a key role in pushing for Trump's changes, was expected to attend along with U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and other Cuban-American lawmakers.

"The goal of these policies is very simple", Rubio said in a message posted on Facebook.

Rep. Barbara Lee Slams President Trump's Backwards Decision on Cuba