US Cuba crackdown will choke tourism, private firms

Cuban-Americans on Flagler Street near downtown Miami
Cuban-Americans on Flagler Street near downtown Miami

20 June, 2017

My opinion: Trump's limited reversal of Obama's opening to Cuba is political theater with very little real impact.

Trump also abrogated Presidential Policy Directive "Normalization of Relations between the United States and Cuba", issued by President Obama on October 14, 2016. Trump's new policy directive reverses numerous Obama administration's policies with Cuba.

"In all, though, it seems that Trump's announcement in Miami does not go quite as far as some had thought possible because embassies in the countries will remain open and diplomatic relations will continue", Ward said.

A recent Morning Consult poll found that 65 percent of Americans support keeping the policy changes put in place since the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba began on December 17, 2014.

The Cuban people enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms and can proudly show some achievements that are still a chimera for many countries of the world, including the United States, such as the right to health, education and social security; equal pay for equal work, children's rights as well as the rights to food, peace and development.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez made the comment during a speech in Vienna on a visit aimed at strengthening relations between Cuba and Austria. He described these policies as one- sided and said that the ban on tourism would be enforced as would the embargo. Although the policy changes that Trump is proposing are minor, his changes and sharp rhetoric towards Cuba may anger domestic voters as well leaders throughout the hemisphere.

Jeremy Corbyn enjoys kickabout as politics takes a backseat
May has confirmed five of her most senior ministers will remain in their pre-election roles. DUP leader Arlene Foster said "we have made good progress but the discussions continue".

"What you've committed to do on Cuba, what you want to do on Cuba, is never going to come from career staff".

The Castro regime hit back at the criticism, calling Trump's decisions "ill-advised" and charging that the United States was in no position to preach to others about human rights. The Cuban government has long wanted the embargo to end, so their response is no surprise.

Arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others have grown "dramatically" in recent years, it says. In a speech in Miami last week, the president berated the Cuban regime for its authoritarian policies and human rights violations. This is the highest monthly average of detentions in the past six years, it added. Mr. Trump's new measures mainly relate to stricter enforcement of existing laws that had begun to loosen as Mr. Obama sought a rapprochement.

"The previous administration was right to reject a policy that hurt ordinary Cubans and did nothing to advance human rights", Daniel Wilkinson, managing director for the Americas at the organization, said in a statement. The reasons for Trump's return to embargo may be more domestic than worldwide politics, as the Cuban emigre lobby is a powerful one in the Republican party, including notable figures like Marco Rubio.

Trump's claims, outlined in a presidential memo, that "t$3 he Cuban people have long suffered under a Communist regime that suppresses their legitimate aspirations for freedom and prosperity and fails to respect their essential human dignity", is laughable, coming from a USA government that routinely engages in torture, assassination and jailing of its political enemies, and which has built up the infrastructure of a police state beyond the dreams of the regime in Havana.

Rodriguez echoed this point saying that when Trump was recently in Saudi Arabia "he said 'We are not here to tell other people how to live.' Last Friday he said quite the opposite".

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