nsucurrent.com April 25, 2018

Cuba rejects new US policy, saying pressure will not work

20 June 2017, 12:55 | Dan Bryan

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Fernando Perez-Viart, the President of the Louisiana Cuban's Club here in Acadiana, grew up in Avila, Cuba, where he made the equivalent of about $26 a month as a doctor.

He campaigned on a pledge to improve relations with Russian Federation but Donald Trump has cemented the divide between Cuba and the United States.

Rubio and other critics of Obama argue that, in lifting the embargo, we have given too much to Cuban President Raul Castro and are receiving far less in return. 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. As part of Trump's move, the U.S. State Department will create a list of Cuban entities with military ties so U.S. travelers know the establishments they are now expected to avoid. -Cuban relations, saying Trump had been badly advised and was resorting to "coercive methods of the past" that were doomed to fail.

Cuba would "continue the respectful dialogue and the cooperation in matters of common interest", it said.

Responding to Trump's announcement, the Cuban government said in a statement that American attempts to fundamentally change the island were unlikely to succeed.

Leading up to the announcement, there are at least five key factors the Trump administration should consider before deciding to roll back current US regulations on the island nation.

Visitors to the island with "group people-to-people travel", which some church groups use, still will be able to visit. USA air carriers and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve on the island.

Cuba is rejecting the demands by US President Donald Trump, including the extradition of those US fugitives it regards as fighters for civil rights.

While the changes are far-reaching, they appear to be less sweeping than many U.S.pro-engagement advocates had feared.

But Trump's action fell well short of doing so.

The Cuban authorities confirm their intention to conduct a respectful dialogue with the United States administration in the sphere of joint interests, demanding not to put pressure on Havana, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla told reporters in Vienna on Monday. In fact, the Castros remain in power even though the United States tried this approach for over half a century.

Still, numerous changes in U.S. policy made by President Barack Obama will remain in place, including the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana and direct travel to the island via cruise ships and airliners. If anything, a hardening of United States policy on Cuba will prevent reforms and empower those who warned that the USA could not be trusted as an honest partner. Castro's government has clearly stated it does not intend to change its one-party political system.

"We sincerely hope the White House will reconsider its course on Cuba, and we're more than willing to sit down and explain what a more productive course might include".

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to roll back some of Obama's Cuba initiatives that would only strengthen the Castro regime that rules Havana with an iron fist.

The Cuban government, which has made clear it will not be pressured into reforms, had no immediate comment. American imperialism's most rapacious layers see a Cuban economic collapse on the horizon and an opportunity to take back their old property without having to give a cut to the Cuban leadership and their associates.

The revised policy stops short of completely cutting off ties to the island nation but seeks to stop the flow of American money to Cuba's military, security and intelligence services. When it comes to Cuba, the massive and systematic harm to human rights comes from the blockade. However, Trump's tightening of travel restrictions is likely to halt that growth. Obama's d├ętente has already lifted exports and raised hopes for more gains, which they said were now in doubt.

This disengagement from the United States opens the door to countries like Iran, Russia, North Korea and China that will operate within 150 kilometers of the U.S. coast, he said.

The State Department - which saw over 99 percent of campaign contributions go to Trump's electoral opponent in Hillary Clinton - is not only embedded wholly with leftists (who are nearly impossible to fire, due to an unreformed civil service), but with individuals that appear to be loyal to the past president.

"His speech was aggressive and threatening, . revealing his contempt and ignorance", President Nicolas Maduro said in a speech. The US is not at war with Cuba. "It is an offence against Latin America". Trump's aides said the aim was to close off a path for Americans seeking beach vacations in a country where USA tourism is still officially banned.

In 2016, an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Americans visited Cuba, a hefty jump from previous years.

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