Russia says Trump is using 'Cold War rhetoric' on Cuba

Aaron Brown
June 19, 2017

Trump's new policy retains key aspects of former President Barack Obama's changes, leaving full embassies in Washington and Havana and letting US cruises and airlines continue service to Cuba, although it will make travel harder by requiring most Americans to visit in groups and banning payments to military-linked businesses.

Rhodes isn't the only Obama administration veteran who seems to be experiencing personal pain as Trump strips away portions of the 44th president's legacy - on immigration, trade, the environment and, perhaps, health care. Obama spent the last two years of his presidency looking to warm relations with Cuba, including a trip to the island in 2016.

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said in a speech from the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

"Travel brings income to the people who work in our industry; President Trump's statements indicate that the Cuban people, rather than the government will be hit by this policy change", he added.

"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer..."

"We now hold the cards", he continued. "The previous administration's easing of restrictions of travel and trade does not help the Cuban people". "They only enrich the Cuban regime". He said Trump's policy may put USA national security at risk as strategic competitors move to fill the vacuum the uncoupling could create. "We remember what happened".

But Florida Senator Marco Rubio, applauding the changes, tweeted: "If Cuban people are hurt it will be because the Castro government doesn't allow them to own their own business, not because of the new policy".

New business ventures are likely to suffer as a result of the new rules, Cimino-Isaacs says.

However, despite the rhetoric, the order appears to be less far-reaching than the President claimed, for example, the embassies that opened in Havana and Washington will be maintained, Cuban Americans will be allowed to send money to their families and visit them, and USA companies will be allowed to continue commercial transportation, including flights between the two countries. The Castro regime has shipped arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela. Many presidents, though, have predicted the end of the Castros and, to date, none have been correct.

Russian Federation said it was reaffirming its "unshakeable solidarity with Cuba".

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a sponsor of legislative efforts to lift the travel ban, which has 55 supporters, took to the Senate floor Friday to lament that "we seem to be going in the other direction".

"Any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it seeks to achieve it through pressures and impositions, or by using more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure", an official statement released by the Cuban government said Saturday.

Noting Trump's speech "laden with hostile rhetoric", Cuba said the events in Miami on Friday constituted a "step backwards in the relations between the two countries".

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The United States is in no condition to give us lessons.We have serious worries about the respect for and guarantees for human rights in that country. You have no choice.

He challenged Cuba to "come to the table" for a new agreement that was in the best interest "of their people and our people and also Cuban-Americans".

"We know they have a different view of the world", a Cuban official told CNN.

Under Trump's order, the Treasury and Commerce departments will be given 30 days to begin writing new regulations, which will not take effect until they are complete.

Trump was knocked Friday, though, from both sides.

But other advisers have contended that it is important to make good on a campaign promise to Cuban-Americans. "I think that in this case Trump would demand that Cuba refrain from supporting those regimes that Americans do not like", the analyst said.

Trump's address in Miami announced changes in the United States' policy toward Cuba after the Obama administration chose to normalize relations with the island nation following a decades-long freeze of diplomatic ties.

This is the third major Obama-era accomplishment that has been reversed by Trump, who first repealed his predecessor's signature healthcare law, Obamacare, and then went on to announce US's withdrawal from the landmark Paris climate deal.

"It has not led to greater freedom in Cuba", the official said. We received nothing from the Cuban government. The company is run by Gen. Luis Alberto RodrÃguez López-Callejas, Raul Castro's son-in-law. Refusing to negotiate domestic reforms in exchange for USA concessions is perhaps the most fundamental plank of Cuba's policy toward the U.S. The policy bans most financial transactions with a yet-unreleased list of entities associated with Cuba's military and state security, including a conglomerate that dominates much of Cuba's economy, such as many hotels, state-run restaurants and tour buses.

"American businesses and farmers deserve an opportunity to compete in the Cuban market".

Members of Congress who favor closer U.S. -Cuba ties have urged Trump to maintain Obama's approach.

"President Trump's reversal on Cuba is unfortunate and shortsighted", Perlmutter said in a statement. "Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba".

Trump issued a blistering denunciation of Cuba's communist government on Friday.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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