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Trump rolls back parts of ‘terrible’ Obama Cuba policy

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the policy before Trump announces it, despite the president’s regular criticism of the use of anonymous sources.Trump was clear in speaking of “cancellation” of the Obama policy on the island and made any negotiation of “a better agreement” to the process of democratic openness that Cuba lives.Cheered by Cuba hardliners in both parties, Trump’s new policy is broadly opposed by US businesses eager to invest in Cuba.GAESA is the joint venture in between the several foreign firms, and it is the boon to the tourism, including the Marriott hotel chain.But individual “people-to-people” trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited. The rules also require a daylong schedule of activities created to expose the travelers to ordinary Cubans. He had advanced this Friday and Trump himself has ratified it in a speech in Miami, the capital of Cuban exiles in the United States.Embassies in Washington and Havana will stay open and cruises and direct flights between the Washington and Havana will be protected under an exception from the prohibition on transactions with military-controlled entities. “In less than an hour he showed Cubans how USA policy works …””I am totally sure that this is much better that what Obama did”, said Lopez, who arrived in the U.S.in 1960.The Treasury Department said in a fact sheet it expected to unveil the new regulations “in the coming months”.There’s also no change to the policy allowing US travelers to bring home an unlimited amount of Cuban rum and cigars for personal consumption.A group of 55 Cuban businesspeople sent a letter this week to Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka, warning against the policy changes.Trump’s critics have also questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for its human rights record while downplaying the issue in other parts of the world.When Obama announced the detente in 2014, he said that decades of United States efforts to achieve change in Cuba by isolating the island had failed and it was time to try a new approach.America severed 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.Cuban state TV said: “The government of Cuba denounces the new measures toughening the embargo that are destined to fail”.Trump’s vow to keep the broader decades-old U.S. economic embargo on Cuba firmly in place drew criticism from some USA farmers, especially growers of corn, soybeans and rice. US farmers can continue selling their crops to the Cuban government. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have shown no interest in doing so.”There will be little impact on the U.S. economy”, said Michael Shifter, a specialist at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based research group.Engage Cuba, a group lobbying for an end to the embargo, estimates that 10,000 USA jobs in aviation and the cruise business already depend on Cuba.Jill Welch, NAFSA (Assn. for International Education) deputy executive director for Public Policy, criticized the move, “Regressing to past travel and trade restrictions with Cuba will only pull America back into a 50-year-old failed policy of isolation with the island nation and restrict our ability to learn from one another”.While campaigning past year in Miami, which is home to a large Cuban-American population, Trump pledged to reverse Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba unless it met certain “demands”, including granting Cubans religious and political freedom, and releasing all political prisoners.Some 285,000 people visited the Caribbean country in 2016, up 74 per cent over 2015, with Americans the third-biggest group after Canadians and Cuban expats.Trump had previously said he supported restoring diplomatic relations but wished the US had negotiated a better deal.