Trump recasts Cuba policy, takes harder line than Obama on military, travel

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Trump recasts Cuba policy, takes harder line than Obama on military, travel

Trump's new directives do not reinstitute the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that was ended by former President Barack Obama before leaving office earlier this year.

White House officials described the policy changes as in keeping with Trump's promise to restore US restrictions on Cuba unless it provides political and religious freedom for its people, though the expected changes are limited in scope and do not reflect a full reversal of Obama-era policies toward increased engagement and restored diplomatic relations.

"The oppressors of the Cuban people are the Cuban government who have increased repression on the island against dissidents ... since reestablishing diplomatic relations", Politico reports the President Trump's draft as saying.

Nor are there plans to reinstate limits that Obama lifted on the amount of the island's coveted rum and cigars that Americans can bring home for personal use.

The new approach aims to tighten several of the travel and commercial policies that President Obama loosened over the last two years with the goal of curbing the flow of US cash to the Cuban government, especially its military.

Florida was a key state in Trump's stunning Electoral College victory in 2016, and the Cuban-American community is politically influential in the state.

The White House says it's willing to negotiate more favorable terms with Cuba, but only if the Castro regime allows free and fair elections and releases political prisoners. "But we'll make sure those profits will not benefit the Cuban military", said a senior official.

In Rubio's meeting with the President, he warned Trump that Washington bureaucrats, the Castro government and outside businesses were not going to let him try and a crackdown on trade and travel between both countries.

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.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is appalled by the Trump Administration's reported decision to reverse Obama-era policies normalizing usa relations with Cuba.

Commercial flights, which resumed for the first time in 50 years last summer, will still continue between the US and Cuba.

Trump is set to travel on Friday to Miami, where a source close to the deliberations says he will announce a prohibition on "financial transactions" with military-backed tourism conglomerate GAESA. Normalizing relations with Cuba is believed to be one of the more notable accomplishments of Obama's legacy. The rules will take effect when the Treasury Department has the regulations ready.

The White House arrived at its new policy after consulting with Congress and numerous Cabinet secretaries, and concerns for human rights were a major factor. USA citizens may only visit Cuba if their activities pertain to government affairs, journalism, research, education, religious or humanity projects, family, or business.

"President Obama attempted to change that", Sanchez said.

"We are at an important moment in the relationship between the United States and Cuba", Sorenson said.

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