Trump wants to dismantle Obama-era Cuba policies

The Trump administration said the new policy, which goes into effect Friday, does not target Cuban people, but rather the military regime.American travellers hoping to take a trip to Cuba are going to have a hard time doing so going forward, roughly a year after airlines opened up commercial flight routes to Havana.Early reports from Washington indicate President Trump is vowing to keep his campaign pledge to anti-Castro hardliners in south Florida.Trump will reportedly prohibit Americans and United States companies from doing business with a Cuban conglomerate that owns large sections of the island nation’s economy, Bloomberg reported.The main focus of the policy will attempt to shift money away from the military and intelligence services “that contribute to oppression on the island”, one official said. The changes won’t end diplomatic relations with Cuba, re-establish the controversial “wet foot, dry foot” policy, or change the policy on how much rum, cigars and other popular products Americans can take from Cuba. Instead, U.S. visitors would once again be required to travel in groups with a set itinerary designed for educational, not strictly tourist, purposes. Senior officials warned that travelers, however, may be “subject to audit”. “Travel brings people and cultures together, so we are excited about the upcoming cruises to Cuba for our guests”, Carnival Corporation added.According to one White House official, the administration does not intend to “disrupt” existing business deals such as one struck under Obama by Starwood Hotels, which is owned by Marriott International Inc, to manage a historic Havana hotel.Critics of the changes warn that scaling back travel could hurt small businesses that have sprung up in Cuba, catering to a wave of US tourists who have come to the island since the travel ban was relaxed.Those on both sides of the issue say the Starwood decision was particularly vexing for the administration.Another official told the Associated Press the U.S. embassy in Havana will remain open but trade with any Cuban entity linked to the military will be banned.However, family travel is now authorized and will continue to be.According to the Guardian, under President Trump’s plans, diplomatic relations with Cuba will remain in place, and so will commercial flights to the country.Following secret talks conducted with the help of the Vatican City, Barack Obama announced a new approach to Cuba in 2015. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart say more sanctions are needed.President Trump will be in Miami Friday to unveil his new Cuba policy, which will reverse some of his predecessor’s normalization measures.Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Jason Pye of FreedomWorks, along with seven other conservative organizations, sent Trump an open letter Thursday pressing him not to unravel Obama’s policies that expanded travel to and trade with Cuba.