The Miami Herald reports:
President Donald Trump says his administration’s new policy on Cuba aims to “empower” the citizens of that country. The president tweeted while en route to Miami, where he’ll announce his plans for halting the flow of U.S. cash to Cuba’s military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations.
The tweet reads, “Headed to Miami to announce new U.S. policy on Cuba. We are going to empower the Cuban people and hold the regime accountable!” The new policy is only a partial reversal from that of the Obama administration.
But they will burden the U.S. government with the complicated task of policing Americans’ travel to Cuba to make sure there are no transactions with the military-linked conglomerate that runs much of the Cuban economy.
More from Mother Jones:
Trump’s announcement is the culmination of a contentious, months-long process that pitted a small crew of Cuba hardliners within Congress and the administration against virtually the entire US military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies. (Not to mention many Cuban Americans, too. In South Florida, majorities say they oppose the 56-year-old embargo and want better relations with Cuba.)
The hardliners say Obama’s efforts only empowered and enriched the Castro regime while turning a blind eye to human rights and political abuses. Pro-engagement activists say the current policies are working, bringing money and jobs and opportunity to Cuba.
Trump’s directive is not a wholesale repeal of Obama’s actions. It will not address Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the state-sponsored terrorism list and to end the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed Cuban migrants who reached the US to stay here and become permanent residents.
More from CNN:
The proposed changes in US-Cuba relations that President Donald Trump will unveil Friday in Miami could adversely impact hotel brands that directly compete with Trump’s business empire, making it more difficult for them expand their foothold in Cuba.
Trump’s changes in Cuba policy include prohibiting “financial transactions, including transactions incidental to travel with GAESA and its affiliates, subsidiaries, and successors,” according to documents reviewed by CNN. Gaviota, the tourism arm of the government-run GAESA, currently operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana, a hotel that, when it opened, was the first US hotel to open in Cuba in nearly 60 years.
GAESA, the company directly targeted by Trump’s plan, controls large swathes of the Cuban economy and is run by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, Raul Castro’s son-in-law. Even Americans traveling legally to Cuba, according to the new Trump policy, would not be able to stay in any hotel connected to the Cuban military, including the Four Points by Sheraton in Havana.
The Trump Cuba policy:
Now that we’ve tried something new for 5 minutes, let’s go back to the thing that didn’t work for 50 years.
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) June 16, 2017