Trump keeps rolling back Obama legacy by tightening travel and trade with Cuba

Despite the Donald Trump’s claim, the Obama policy will be revised rather than overturned entirely. Photograph: Cristobal Herrera/EPA
Despite the Donald Trump’s claim, the Obama policy will be revised rather than overturned entirely. Photograph: Cristobal Herrera/EPA

Donald Trump has announced a partial rollback of his predecessor’s rapprochement with Cuba, tightening travel and trade rules on the grounds of what he said was a worsening human rights situation on the island.

The new rules will stop individual travel to Cuba and seek to restrict the flow of payments to the many Cuban companies owned by the regime’s security forces. It will not fully reverse the steps taken by Barack Obama in 2015 to ease the half-century policy of isolating Cuba.

“The outcome of the last administration’s executive order has been only more oppression,” Trump told an audience of Cuban Americans in Miami.

“I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba. I am announcing a new policy, just as I promised in the campaign.”

Despite the president’s claim, the Obama policy will be revised rather than overturned entirely. Diplomatic relations will remain in place and commercial air and sea links will be exempted from the new restrictions.

But the new measures are likely to have dampening effect on US nationals traveling to Cuba. Although a ban on tourism remained in place under the Obama administration, White House officials said many Americans skirted the rules by declared their trip to Cuba fell under one of the allowed categories, such as education or professional research.

When the Trump regulations are enacted, only travel with an organised group will be allowed and the purpose of the trip will be more strictly policed. Cuban Americans will still be able visit and send remittances to their families.

The Guardian 

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