Tougher Trump line toward Cuba delights hardliners on island

Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, both Florida Republicans who have called for a complete reversal of Obama's Cuba policy, and business leaders, human-rights groups and many of Trump's own advisers who wanted to preserve it. But it makes some exceptions, including for air and sea travel, according to USA officials.

"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. US airlines and cruise ships would still be allowed to service the island.

The administration, according to one White House official, also does not intend to "disrupt" existing business ventures such as one struck under Obama by Starwood Hotels, which is owned by Marriott International Inc, to manage a Havana hotel.

"I am concerned it will affect the private sector quite a bit and much more than the Cuban government", he added. "The actions of the Pakistani military establishment clearly show that they are not a trustworthy ally of the US in the war against terrorism", the recently formed World Muhajir (refugee) Congress said in a memorandum to the Trump administration and US Congress. But the significant policy shift will curtail Americans' ability to travel freely to Cuba, even as numerous US airlines, hotels and travel sites like AirBnb have begun offering services there.

The policy clarifies that any further improvements in the United States-Cuba relationship will depend entirely on the Cuban government's willingness to improve the lives of the Cuban people, including through promoting the rule of law, respecting human rights, and taking concrete steps to foster political and economic freedoms.

Many came in under the self-directed "people to people" category, which Trump is eliminating.

The new Cuba policy announced by President Donald Trump makes it clear the president will be looking to the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 - also known as the Helms-Burton Act - in forging his new take on Cuba. "With the United States, there is no tranquillity".

Looking at the possible prospects of this situation, the analyst noted that the Cubans have already expressed their readiness for negotiations with the United States, but they will not make any big concessions.

"U.S. policy toward Cuba should be guided by USA national security interests and promoting our values, and the Obama Administration's unilateral concessions to an oppressive Castro regime failed to meet that goal", Gardner said in a statement. "The government people should not be profiting", he said. Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue "respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest. When leaving his post, Obama announced the termination of the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which provided for the legal status of illegal migrants from Cuba in the U.S. and Havana welcomed this decision.

But at the same time, Trump often criticizes regulations on the business community as "burdensome" and "job-killing".

Furthermore, he said the Obama deal has done little to improve diplomatic relations or the lives of those still living under Communist control.

During his speech, Trump slammed Cuba for human rights abuses, saying, "The Castro regime has shipped arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela". "We reject Donald Trump's declarations against our brother Cuba. It is an offense against Latin America".

In his memo on the new policy, Trump expressed support for the embargo, including opposing any measures at the United Nations or other worldwide institutions calling for the end of the embargo, which has been in effect for more than half a century. But beginning in late 2014, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro began a process that gradually thawed diplomatic tensions and eased commercial and travel restrictions between the two countries.

Regardless of your stance, the policy will take effect, but there's no timetable on when it will be in full swing.

HAVANA (AP) — President Donald Trump's announcement of a tougher line toward Cuba has delighted hardliners on the island, who say it reveals the long-held USA aim of imposing American will on Cuba and justifies their wariness toward Washington.

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