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Published On: Fri, Jun 16th, 2017

President Trump rolls back Obama’s Cuba ‘one-sided’ deal, restricting travel, businesses

President Trump spoke at a Miami theater today too announce that he is “nixing” his predecessor’s “one-sided deal” with the Communist nation of Cuba, restricting individual travel and cracking down on the flow of U.S. cash to the Cuban military while demanding key reforms in Havana.

“Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” Trump told a cheering crowd. “I keep my promises,” Trump said. “And now that I am your president, America will expose the crimes of the Castro regime.”

Trump said he would challenge Cuba to come back to the table with a new agreement.

This new policy is designed to ensure Americans traveling to Cuba only support private businesses and services, banning financial transactions with the dozens of enterprises run by the military-linked corporation GAESA.

Raul Castro the reason for increased persecution in Cuba? photo/Agência Brasil

The Trump administration also says it will strictly enforce the 12 authorized categories allowing American citizens to travel to Cuba, banning one particular type of travel, known as individual “people-to-people” trips, seen as ripe for abuse by would-be tourists.

Most U.S. travelers to Cuba will again be required to visit the island as part of organized tour groups run by American companies.

Obama eliminated the tour requirement, allowing tens of thousands of Americans to book solo trips and spend their money with individual bed-and-breakfast owners, restaurants and taxi drivers.

Trump focused his speech Friday on the crimes and misdeeds of the Castro government, saying his administration would not “hide from it.” He accused the regime of harboring “cop killers, hijackers and terrorists” while casting the policy changes as meant to encourage a free Cuba.

“With God’s help, a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” Trump said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Cuban-American lawmaker who helped craft the new policy, spoke before the president in Miami on Friday and took a shot at Trump’s predecessor for his visit to Cuba last March.

“A year and a half ago … an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to a regime. Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba,” Rubio said.

photo/ donkeyhotey

U.S. airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to continue service to the island.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana, which reopened in August 2015, will remain as a full-fledged diplomatic outpost.

Trump also isn’t overturning Obama’s decision to end the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed most Cuban migrants who made it onto U.S. soil to stay and eventually become legal permanent residents.

Trump affirmed in his speech that the U.S. embassy would remain open, in hopes the two countries can forge a “better path.”

The President explained that his administration would enforce the ban on tourism and the embargo, and would not lift sanctions until the regime releases all political prisoners and schedules free and internationally supervised elections.

Trump also demanded the return of Joanne Chesimard, a New York City native wanted in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey state trooper.

The embargo remains in place and unchanged by Trump’s policy.

Only the U.S. Congress can lift the embargo, and lawmakers, especially those of Cuban heritage like Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, have shown no interest in doing so.

Cruz said freeedom in Cuba is a personal issue for him.

“My father was imprisoned and tortured,” Cruz said, “My aunt was imprisoned and tortured, one by Bautista, one by Castro and they both came to Texas seeking freedom. And the sorry history in Cuba of oppression, of brutality, of hatred for America, it’s time for that to come to an end.”

Cruz said he supports President Trump’s plan.

Reaction to the changes split largely along partisan lines.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said in a statement the Trump administration is right to sideline the Cuban military and make human rights and internet access top priorities moving forward.”

Former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted that Cubans “will be hurt by a mean spirited policy” meant to keep a “political promise to a few people at their expense.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said the actions “threaten to slam that door shut and revert to a failed policy of isolation that has done nothing to improve the lives of the Cuban people and has harmed the American economy.”

photo/ donkeyhotey

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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