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Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel, trade, curbing Obama's detente

Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel, trade, curbing Obama's detente

President Donald Trump will announce travel and business restrictions with Cuba in a Friday speech in Miami, White House officials told reporters Thursday.

The president has been critical of actions that meant to warm decades of icy relations with the communist island nation - efforts punctuated by a trip to Havana a year ago, on which Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Cuba in almost a century.

Additionally, Trump's new prohibition on financial transactions with entities tied to Cuba's military could effectively curtail some travel to Cuba as well as business there, because the military controls a large portion of the economy.

The White House says it's willing to negotiate more favorable terms with Cuba, but only if the Castro regime allows free and fair elections and releases political prisoners.

Pressing "pause" on a historic detente, President Donald Trump thrust the US and Cuba back on a path toward open hostility Friday with a blistering denunciation of the island's communist government.

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Embassies will remain open and travel and money sent by Cubans will be unaffected, the Herald reported.

Cuba experts have said they expect tough anti-regime rhetoric from the president, but not a complete rollback of Obama policies that ended more than 50 years of US attempts to isolate Cuba, ushering in sweeping changes that that allowed increased travel, business and communication links and restored diplomatic relations. The reason: those were the visits most ripe for abuse by yanquis hoping to circumvent the law that prohibits US tourist travel to Cuba. Only the U.S. Congress can lift the embargo, and lawmakers, especially those of Cuban heritage, like Sen.

Senator Rubio tweeted his frustration toward the Cuban government for not allowing two pro-democracy leaders to fly to Miami for the announcement Friday. USA airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

"I am appalled and saddened by the reports that President Trump will reinstate failed isolationist Cuba policies".

In his remarks, Trump plans to cite human-rights violations in Cuba as justification for the new USA approach.

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Those trips were not subject to strict scrutiny by authorities, meaning that some visits to the island verged on tourism, still illegal under the long-standing embargo against the Castro regime.

Worldwide human rights groups say, however, that reinstating a US policy of isolating the island could make the situation worse by empowering Cuban hardliners. 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. Marco Rubio, another Florida Republican, have shown no interest in doing so.

It is notable, however, that Trump's administration is taking a stand against Cuba's human rights abuses when it has made a habit of glossing over the same concerns with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.

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

Nothing will go into effect immediately: White House officials said Trump will direct the secretaries of commerce and Treasury to revise the regulations, and nothing will go into effect until those regulations are promulgated.

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