Trump to restrict travel and business transactions with Cuban military

Rubio Cuba Guantanamo

Cuban state newspaper Granma, a mouthpiece of the regime, said Trump's measures heralded "a return to the Cold War". One of the changes in the rules would prohibit Americans from traveling to Cuba through the so-called "people-to-people" cultural exchanges. Its experience in Cuba this past year "has been extremely positive". The cruise conglomerate added that it looks forward to upcoming Cuba cruises planned for Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line, and has requested approval for other Carnival Corp. brands to travel to Cuba.

Carnival Corp. also said it was "pleased" the changes will allow its ships to continue to sail to Cuba. The Trump administration's policy and ensuing regulatory changes will chart the course on US-Cuba relations, at least for the near future. "This represents a step backwards and a strong attack on the freedom of travel", said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. Rather than shutting the door to this market 90 miles off our shores, we call on policymakers to enact legislation to do away with the statutory Cuba travel ban once and for all.

"Unfortunately, today's moves actually limit the possibility for positive change on the island and risk ceding growth opportunities to other countries that, frankly, may not share America's interest in a free and democratic Cuba that respects human rights", Myron Brilliant, the chamber's executive vice president and head of global affairs, said in a statement emailed to reporters.

That was a fraction of the four million tourists who visited the island overall.

Rodriguez also denounced the Cuban-Americans gathered in Miami to support Trump's announcement, calling them an "aged, illegitimate minority", and said that if Trump sought to reward the exiles for their votes, he was mistaken.

The move has been seen as an effort by Trump to keep his campaign promise last fall to the Cuban Americans in south Florida, who have long held an anti-Cuban government attitude.




But it also made clear that any US strategy aimed at "changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba ... will be doomed to failure".

That image helped draw more than 600,000 United States tourists previous year, after former President Barack Obama loosened individual travel restrictions. Other existing categories of authorized travel remain in place (family visits; official business of the USA government, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions). "This is a clear and unwelcome reversal".

The ministry said Moscow stands against a policy of embargoes, sanctions and blockades, and that the USA approach over five decades had been shown to be futile.

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. Even so, the policy change still "has the potential to hurt people - the average people who rent a room or own a snack bar", he says. Tourism is a force for good, it bridges gaps between cultures and empowers local people by creating jobs and income streams.

The new rules restricting financial dealings with Cuban companies with links to the country's military and intelligence services could stall future American development on the island. It only serves to perpetuate an "us against them" mentality, which is the exact opposite of the uniting effect that travel has the power to do.

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