Cuba rejects new US policy, saying pressure will not work
Jun 20 2017
Finally, Trump will leave unchanged Obama's end to the "wet-foot-dry-foot" established in 1995 that permitted Cubans who reached USA shores to qualify for permanent residency in America.
The US administration's new policy toward Cuba indicates a return to the Cold War, and Washington needs to listen to the global community's voice on this issue, Russia's Foreign Ministry said. No easing of US sanctions on Cuba, he said, "until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled".
On June 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech full of hostile anti-Cuban rhetoric reminiscent of the times of open confrontation with our country in a Miami theater. "In fact, many Cubans say human rights conditions on the island have worsened since President Obama's visit to the island in March 2016".
He said the United States would consider lifting those and other restrictions only after Cuba returned fugitives and made a series of other internal changes including freeing political prisoners, allowing freedom of assembly and holding free elections.
Fellow Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart also lauded Trump for keeping a campaign promise.
-Cuban detente negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump on Friday ordered tighter restrictions on Americans travelling to the Caribbean island and a clampdown on dealings with its military, which owns numerous capital city's top establishments.
Trump's proposed policy could stifle hotel development on the island and ban Americans from staying at hotels with ties to the Cuban military. Grupo de Administracion Empresarial SA, known as GAESA, a state-run, military-affiliated conglomerate, owns nearly all of the retail chains in Cuba and 57 of the mainly foreign-run hotels on the island.
"It is doubtful that they will trigger any move in Cuba towards a new governing structure or new leadership", said Shifter.
In turn, airlines and USA hotel chains began investing resources in Cuba, while chicken, grain and other agricultural producers from the US exported tons of products to Cuba. Even so, demand for flights and cruises could be depressed as the new limits complicate travel to Cuba.
"I am proud to be an American", said 75-year-old Modesto Castaner, who trained with the Central Intelligence Agency in Guatemala before taking part in the failed bid to overthrow Fidel Castro's rule. The changes will largely affect the country's travel and tourism industry.
The three said nothing will change in Cuba until GAESA loosens its grip on the economy.
Trump will also exempt banking transactions and fees, allowing Americans to continue to rent private properties such as those offered through AirBnB. And it may backfire, by shifting world attention away from the Cuban regime's oppression of its people to what Cuba will now claim is a new "U.S. aggression" against the island. Instead of effecting change in Cuba, the Cuban embargo serves as little more than a scapegoat for the real political and economic challenges the Cuban government faces.
Now, in another flip-flop toward the neocons, President Trump is pursuing regime change in Cuba on the pretext of human rights violations.
"For our members, much will depend on the details of new Treasury and Commerce Department regulations coming in the next few months, and ASTA plans to fully participate in that process". Travelers who have purchased tickets or made hotel reservations ahead of the president's announcement on Friday will be allowed to proceed with their trips.
Tourism to Cuba remains banned while current travel restrictions are likely to be tightened and more heavily enforced. And the US government will police other such trips to ensure there's a tour group representative along making sure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". Interfering with that just to spite Havana creates barriers to Americans' travel that shouldn't exist. Castro's government has clearly stated it does not intend to change its one-party political system.
"It tacitly accepts that the framework of the relationship with Cuba will be with diplomatic relations, with engagement, with conversations", he said.