nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

Cuban entrepreneurs start first private business group

03 June 2017, 02:19 | Colleen Roy

Portrait of african cuban woman smoking cigar in Havana Cuba

Portrait of african cuban woman smoking cigar in Havana Cuba

Obama unexpectedly announced in December 2014 that the USA would establish diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961.

Engage Cuba, a Washington, D.C. -based nonprofit that works to end travel restrictions and the US trade embargo on Cuba, analyzed the potential impact of a Trump Cuba reset following a liberalization of policies under former President Barack Obama.

Cutting off commercial and diplomatic ties with Cuba would hurt the US economy and threaten thousands of jobs, according to a report released Thursday.

President Donald Trump is considering rolling back Barack Obama's executive orders that liberalized trade and travel with Cuba - but the president is unlikely to break diplomatic relations or close the USA embassy in Havana, multiple sources told NBC News. But manufacturing, tourism, farming and shipping industries would also be hurt. He has already threatened to abolish the deal citing Cuba's human rights abuses by the Castro government and has appointed Mauricio Claver-Carone, Obama's harshest critic over the Cuba deal, to the transition team for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

"A lot of the bureaucracy has been resisting a complete rollback of Obama's policy", said Christopher Sabatini, a Latin America specialist and executive director of Global Americans, a research organisation.

USA airlines could lose almost $512,000 each year or $2 billion and almost 4,000 jobs through 2021, the study found, and cruise lines could lose more than $1.5 billion and more than 6,000 jobs over that span.

Government sources expect that Trump will demand US fugitives of justice be extradited, including Assata Shakur, who received political asylum in Cuba after she was convicted of killing of a New Jersey state trooper, then escaping from prison, CNN reported.

"Our new relationship with Cuba has led to tangible results for American companies, created U.S.jobs, and strengthened Cuba's growing private sector", said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba.

"If President Trump rolled back our Cuba policy, he would actually be adding job-killing government regulations on USA businesses".

Though there is strong support from the Republicans in Congress and agency heads to preserve the Obama administration's policies, Sen.

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro initiated the process in 2014, overturning decades of diplomatic hostility, economic and business restrictions, and constraints on travel between the two countries that had its roots in the Cold War. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said in a statement released to TheDCNF.

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