Russia says Trump is using 'Cold War rhetoric' on Cuba

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 20, 2017

"The Government of Cuba denounces the new measures for strengthening the blockade, which are destined to fail as proven repeatedly in the past", the statement said.

Marriott International, which already has one hotel open in Cuba and plans for a second, urged the Trump administration to rethink its decision.

The United States severed its ties with Cuba in 1961, shortly after Fidel Castro launched a revolution that toppled a US -friendly government, and the two countries had been at loggerheads ever since.

In a statement read out on the evening news on Friday, the Cuban government reiterated its willingness to "continue the respectful dialog and cooperation on matters of mutual interest", with the United States. The Cuban government has traditionally steered those tour groups to state-run business, meaning the majority of American travelers to Cuba will probably no longer be able to patronize private restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and taxi drivers.

For Cuba, there have been tangible benefits in tourism and telecommunications.

"Further U.S. disengagement opens up opportunities for countries like Iran, Russia, North Korea and China to gain influence on an island 90 miles off our coast", Crawford said. The effort took place "with Trump's knowledge" through a USA consulting firm, the magazine said. Now, Cubans have to follow the same process as other refugees and immigrants. It pledges to help the entrepreneurial class that has grown since President Raul Castro enacted changes after taking office a decade ago.

The new policy will ban most USA business transactions with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group (GAESA), a sprawling conglomerate involved in all sectors of the Cuban economy.

President Trump received a bit of bi-partisan support for the new approach, including from New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who is Cuban-American and specifically asked the White House to highlight Chesimard in the speech. The amount of American visitors to Cuba tripled after Obama's lightening of restrictions.

However, none of the proposed changes brought forward Friday can go into effect until the U.S. Treasury Department issues updated regulations, a process that could take several months.

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In contentious deliberations leading up to the new policy, some aides argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency vowing to unleash USA business, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.

Remittances from people in America to Cubans are not to be cut off.

But then Tillerson qualified his statement. "They only enrich the Cuban regime". He will also not reinstate the "wet foot, dry foot" policy. On Thursday, seven Republican lawmakers from outside Florida whose districts see agricultural, industrial or commercial opportunities in Cuba wrote Trump to argue that keeping a foothold Cuba is important for USA national security.

The new policy is only a partial reversal from that of the Obama administration. He spoke in Miami briefly before Trump took the stage. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee that is investigating the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation, and Miami Republican congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, a key member of the House appropriations committee.

But the announcement made by President Trump, prohibit solo trips to Cuba, but would allow group trips to continue. As a result, they were often presented with activities and talks favoring Cuba government positions on domestic and worldwide issues.

Critics of the current policy also tend to downplay the risks of changing it. But there are reasons to expect a less-than-vigorous tough-on-Cuba policy.

In December 2014, Obama reestablished diplomatic ties with Cuba for the first time in more than half-a-century. Both legislators have been involved in helping draft Trump's new Cuba policy. However, the policy will allow USA businesses already engaged with Cuba to continue doing business. Talk about the need to fight terrorism - the Castro regime is composed of ruthless terrorist leaders!

But in the Cuban community, the pact drew diverse opinions from Republican lawmakers, including Sen. He did, however, fulfill a campaign promise.

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