Tougher Trump line toward Cuba delights hardliners on island

President Donald Trump speaks about Cuba policy Friday

"Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and the United States of America", he said.

But it also reiterated "its willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation".

Responding to President Donald Trump's announcement Friday that he is reversing the Obama administration's steps to normalize relations with Cuba, the Castro government said the United States is in no "condition to lecture us".

In his address, Trump said he was "cancelling" the Obama administration's "completely one-sided deal with Cuba".

Instead, Henken says the Obama-era changes "have been so popular as to have created a new normal and baseline", noting it's significant Trump opted not to make major changes to Cuban-American travel or remittances, diplomatic relations, the embassies, or commercial flights or cruises.

According to the analyst, Cuba, in the eyes of many Latin American states, especially those with left-wing governments, has symbolic significance as a country that could withstand the U.S. even after the collapse of its ally the USSR.

HAVANA (AP) — President Donald Trump's announcement of a tougher line toward Cuba has delighted hardliners on the island, who say it reveals the long-held US aim of imposing American will on Cuba and justifies their wariness toward Washington.

"Having this opportunity supports our belief that the development of the Cuban economy is as beneficial to IL farmers as it is to Cuba".

Lauren Sivan, 39, of Los Angeles said she was glad she slipped into Cuba before the policy shift and was still able to stay at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, owned by the tourism wing of the military, Gaviota.

His critics, however, have questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for human rights abuses but downplaying the issue in other parts of the world, including Saudi Arabia, a close US ally Trump visited last month where political parties and protests are banned.

As it stands, the US officially recognizes the Cuban government.




The Trump administration will begin strictly enforcing the authorized exemptions that allow travel between the USA and Cuba and prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services.

"President Trump will treat the Castro regime as the malevolent dictatorship that it is", D az-Balart said.

Cuba has repeatedly said it will not renege on the promise of the former president, who died in November.

Also not expected are any changes to USA regulations governing what items Americans can bring back from Cuba, including the rum and cigars produced by state-run enterprises.

"They're going to benefit from us going and we're going to benefit from learning their culture", Persaud said. "There is a curiosity for Cuba, having been off limits for half a century, and it should be anticipated that there will be some initial impact on visitor arrivals", she said, her comments ringing true even after Mr. Trump's announcement.

"The policy isn't going to do anything new", a source from the office of one Cuban American lawmaker complained.

Ben Rhodes, the former deputy national security adviser who negotiated Obama's opening with the Cubans, said it was disappointing Trump was halting the momentum that had built but added that it could have been worse. Fermin Vazquez was born in Cuba and has been a US citizen for 40 years.

Under Trump's order, the Treasury and Commerce Departments will be given 30 days to begin writing new regulations and they will not take effect until they are complete. However, individual travel to Cuba will be stopped by the new rules.

"It's like we are returning to the Cold War", said Cuban designer Idania del Rio, who joined a group of friends in a hotel in Old Havana to watch the speech in English on CNN.

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said Trump's new Cuba policy "will hurt the United States economically, making it harder for our nation's farmers to access new markets and cutting the knees out from under our travel and manufacturing industries".

"There was a lot of speculation about whether Trump would introduce a 180-degree reversal or cancellation of Obama's policy".

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