Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel, trade, curbing Obama's detente

Posted June 19, 2017

Meanwhile, there will be no changes to " wet foot, dry foot " policy, which allows Cubans who arrive in the US without visas to stay, an official said.

President Trump will announce increased restrictions toward Cuba on Friday after a almost five month review of US policy toward the island nation, delivering on a campaign promise he made to crack down on the communist regime.

The move marks yet another departure from a signature policy of the Obama administration, which ended a decades-long freeze of diplomatic ties with Cuba in 2014.

"The new policy will empower the Cuban people", a senior White House official said.

Under Obama, the two countries restored diplomatic ties and direct communications, including air connections and postal service.

The policy changes won't take effect immediately, so Americans with plans to travel to Cuba in the near future won't be affected.

A tour bus of Transgaviota drives past the USA embassy in Havana, Cuba June 13, 2017.

For one, there continues to be overwhelming support among American voters for the U.S. opening with Cuba, which has yielded a significant amount of economic activity both on the island and in the United States.

Trump's new policy will ban transactions with the Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A., a business controlled by the Cuban military.

On the other hand, airlines such as JetBlue have refrained from commenting in detail on the policy until they have a chance to fully review it after Trump releases a revised policy, Friday. Marco Rubio, both Cuban-American Republicans from South Florida. A main concern is that Mr Obama's White House made it too easy for money spent by American companies and individuals to flow to Cuban government sources instead of benefiting regular Cubans.

Cheered by Cuba hardliners in both parties, Trump's new policy is broadly opposed by US businesses eager to invest in Cuba.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro were restoring diplomatic ties between their countries, arguing that the policy the USA had pursued for decades had failed to bring about change and that it was time to try a new approach.

Some aides have argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash USA business and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market. Airbnb recently reported that in just over two years, Cubans have earned almost $40 million by hosting tourists in their homes.

Yet Trump is unlikely to undo all U.S.

White House aides, speaking on condition of anonymity Thursday, revealed some of the policy changes Trump plans to announce during a speech in Miami on Friday.

"This is a limitation on what we did, not a reversal of what we did", Rhodes said in an interview.

Obama eliminated the tour requirement, allowing tens of thousands of Americans to book solo trips and spend their money with individual bed-and-breakfast owners, restaurants and taxi drivers. Less than a year later, the U.S. Embassy in Havana re-opened, and Obama paid a historic visit to Havana in 2016.