Tuesday, 26 March, 2019

Cuba denounces Trump policy changes but is open to dialogue

President Donald Trump Friday charted his own course for more confrontational relations with the Castro-led government in Cuba with Assata Shakur
Ellis Copeland | 28 June, 2017, 03:27

It's a policy change President Trump insists will correct what he called a "terrible and misguided deal" by his predecessor.

A pro President Donald Trump supporter chants slogans, Friday, June 1, 2017, in Miami.

In turn, airlines and US hotel chains began investing resources in Cuba, while chicken, grain and other agricultural producers from the usa exported tons of products to Cuba.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized President Donald Trump's decision to freeze a detente with Cuba and his verbal attack on the Caribbean island's leaders.

Rolling back many of his predecessor's historic policies on Cuba, President Donald Trump on Friday ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to the Caribbean nation and a clampdown on USA business dealings with the island's military, saying "with God's help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve".

The government has though repeated its desire to engage in "respectful dialogue" with Washington.

"We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalised and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled", Trump said. But Trump vowed that trade and other penalties would stay in place until a long list of prerequisites is met.

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. "Officially, today, they are rejected".

"Effective immediately I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said Friday.

Numerous high-profile fugitives in Cuba are black or Puerto Rican militants who were offered political asylum by Fidel Castro during the 1970s and 1980s.

But Trump was leaving many of Obama's changes, including the reopened USA embassy in Havana, in place even as he sought to show he was making good on a campaign promise to take a tougher line against Cuba.

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the USA on a variety of subjects.

Cuba says "the last two years have shown that the two countries can cooperate and coexist in a civilized way".

The US Embassy in Havana, which reopened in August 2015, will remain as a full-fledged diplomatic outpost. American (AAL), Delta (DAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV), United (UAL) and Alaska Airlines (ALK) are the US carriers now offering flights to Cuba. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to USA soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated.

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For Cubans, the shift risks stifling a nascent middle class that has started to rise as Americans have flocked to the island on airlines, patronising thousands of private bed-and-breakfasts. And the US government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities".

Moreover, Obama's efforts allowed Americans to use credit and debit cards in the country and to send money to relatives in Cuba from the United States.

"I would urge the Administration and Congress to focus on constructive policy with Cuba that would benefit Americans, especially Arkansas-based agriculture, by lifting the credit restrictions on agriculture", Hutchinson said.

Yet it also exposed the shortcomings in Obama's approach.

Arkansas has had limited trade with Cuba under the embargo.

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".

"The growth of the private sector was linked to tourist demand which was growing in part due to the flow of United States tourists", said Vidal. Mr Rubio, a Cuban American, riled up the crowd with anti-communist rhetoric in both English and Spanish.

In writing new rules, the Treasury Department is expected to spell out exactly what will happen to people who book trips before the new rules, but travel after their release.

In opposition to his stance on refugees fleeing persecution from the Middle East, Trump said, "America will always stand for liberty and America will always pray and cheer for the Cuban people". We received nothing from the Cuban government. "The Cuban people will continue deciding themselves on the changes necessary for Cuba". For more than a decade, a diverse coalition that includes worldwide educators has advocated for opening relations with Cuba.

President Trump, on the other hand, has a different idea of what needs to happen with Shakur. "This is a policy that has no achievable goal, it imagines no process, and it offers no end game", she said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has urged the Trump administration to listen to the results of voting on the anti-blockade resolution at the UN General Assembly, which confirms the global community's position on Cuba.

"Trump is adding teeth to Obama's previous policy, and he's talking about putting the human rights issue first".

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Castro were restoring ties.

As a result, the changes - though far-reaching - appear to be less sweeping than many U.S.pro-engagement advocates had feared.


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