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16 June 2017, 06:13 | Violet Powell
Cubans fret new Trump policy will dampen tourism boom
Trump's justification of the partial reversal will hinge on Washington's human rights claims against the socialist government, and the claim that the easing of restrictions hasn't had the desired "regime change" effects desired by anti-Cuban elements on Capitol Hill.
A decreasing number of US travelers to Cuba would hurt the fledgling private sector of the country's economy, mainly composed of cuentapropistas, or self-employed workers. On Friday, June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump is expected to give Am.
Rubio, a longtime critic of the Castro regime and of former President Barack Obama's policies thawing USA relations with the communist island, gave a broad preview of Trump's "strategic and targeted changes" in a Facebook live post this morning.
Obama's new policy of engagement unleashed a flood of American visitors, pumping cash into Cuba's nascent private sector, even as the centrally planned economy hit its first recession in almost a quarter century.
Rolling back Obama era reforms will hurt the Cuban people the most. "We want to empower and we want to strengthen the Cuban people without strengthening the Cuban military, which controls a significant percentage of their economy", Rubio said.
A rollback of Obama administration efforts to open Cuba to USA tourism and trade may chill a rebound in agricultural sales to the island nation, setting back a farm-lobby push that's weathered two decades. Polls show Cubans are genuinely unhappy with their own political system and excited at renewed relations with America. They observed the change in lives in 2014, and they wanted it to continue the same and even faster.
Trump's coming changes will mean that travelers will have to keep records of all their transactions in Cuba for five years in case the Treasury Department audits them to determine if their trips do actually fit in one of the allowed categories, POLITICOreported Thursday.
"If the Trump administration really wants to improve conditions for everyday Cubans and advance USA interests, ending engagement is precisely the wrong approach", Jiménez said. "The best thing that can happen for the two countries is for all of these problems to end, for everything to be normal".
Cancio, for instance, recently traveled to the island for the first time in 18 years.
It's unclear, and likely will be until the policy is formally enacted within 90 days of tomorrow, just how strict the enforcement will be, but it could make it illegal to purchase Cuban cigars and rum, as both businesses are owned, at least partially, by the government.
The new Trump policy will also prohibit most commercial transactions that allow money to flow to the Cuban military.
"He says to me, unprompted: 'We gotta figure out what to do about Cuba, '" Rubio recalled.
Two Cuban-American Republican lawmakers from Florida - home to a large Cuban-American exile community - are pressing for harsher terms with Havana: Senator Marco Rubio serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election; Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart serves on the House Appropriations Committee.
The U.S. Embassy in Havana, which reopened in August 2015, will remain as a full-fledged diplomatic outpost. "He had something in mind, like playing chess with those people, the communists over there", he said. "Why aren't we focusing on what benefits the Cuban people?" "They have survived worse, unfortunately".
Trump may make it much harder for Americans to score authorization for Cuba visits - like narrowing the definition of people-to-people exchange, which has ushered in quasi-touristic US excursions.
"The president has made clear that he will look toward repressive regimes in this hemisphere", the same senior administration official said.
Many Cubans have relatives in the USA and they soak up Americans sports and culture.
But his immediate worry was much more personal. In the letter, the businesswomen wrote: "A setback in the relationship would bring with it the fall of many of our businesses and with this, the suffering of all those families that depend on them". "I'm afraid, really, about what happens if Trump cuts back relations".
If travel to Cuba is reduced, "You'd have a lot of people whose income would fall dramatically", she said.
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