Sen. Marco Rubio motivates Trump to break US-Cuba relations

Angie Massey
June 18, 2017

According to reports by one US official who had seen the president's memorandum on the issue, the rollback will include a tightening of travel restricitons on USA citizens travelling to the island and a restriction on USA business dealings with companies tied to Cuba's military.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed to reverse the Obama administration's policies that have "enriched the Cuban military regime and increased repressions on the island", an administration official said. They include: free elections, the release of political prisoners and direct pay for Cuban workers.

"It appears the new USA president will arrive with a different Cuba policy that is opposed to that of his predecessor Barack Obama, as we have seen in (the areas of) environment and immigration", Torrico told Xinhua in an interview.

Sources have said the president is not planning to close the newly re-opened USA embassy in Havana, reimplement limits on US based money transfers or change family travel policies.

Trump's new policy will ban most USA business transactions with Cuba's Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group but will make some exceptions for air and sea travel, Reuters reported.

Part of the Obama re-engagement included giving ordinary Americans the ability to travel to Cuba under one of 12 reasons, including educational trips.

Tourism to the island is still strictly prohibited, but White House officials said that enforcement of the ban has been lagging.

As reported by El Nuevo Herald's Nora Gámez Torres this week, "Cuban dissidents of various political stripes agree that the United States must make changes to apply pressure to the Raúl Castro regime".

But now, if US citizens want to travel for any of those exempt reasons, according to the Herald they will have to provide detailed records and plans showing what they will be doing while in Cuba and keep extensive records of all financial transactions within Cuba for five years to make available for the Treasury Department if requested. Fin formerly worked as the Miami Bureau Producer for Fox News Channel where he covered Florida Politics & Latin America. The new policy will restrict this kind of travel for individuals.

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Yuri Barroso, a business promotions expert in Cuba, told Reuters that if the country were to lose its support from us tourists, it would cause serious financial "pain for many Cubans". "Economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end #BetterDealforCuba", Rubio wrote on Twitter.

General diplomatic relations with Cuba would continue and embassies re-opened in Washington and Havana would remain. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had been one of these lawmakers who met with President Trump in the Oval Office in early May to drive his crackdown on #Cuba.

Americans who go to Cuba, who beyond hotels can stay at privately owned inns, could face problems when they return if they are found to have patronized the GAES.

"The president has made clear that he will look toward repressive regimes in this hemisphere", the same senior administration official said.

After decades of sanctions failed to push Fidel and Raul Castro out of power, Obama contended a Cuba more closely tied to the US would no longer be able blame its economic woes on USA "imperialism".

President Donald Trump will announce new restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba.

No changes will be made to U.S. trade embargo.

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