Ben Cheltnitsky | MIAMI
President Trump stopped by Little Havana in Miami, Florida, to thank his Cuban-American supporters and deliver a speech on Cuba – US Relations.
Trump said he is “canceling” the deal Obama made with Cuba, but the change is not as dramatic as it may appear.
“Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba will remain open, as will the newly opened embassies in Washington and Havana,” but the Trump administration will enforce travel exemptions and prohibit trade with Cuban businesses that are “owned by the military and intelligence services.”
According to CNN, Trump has also directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to convene a task force on expanding Internet access on the island. Additionally, he has also given Tillerson the task of reiterating the United States’ opposition to efforts in the United Nations to lift the Cuban embargo until more is done to honor human rights.”
“The policy isn’t going to do anything new,” said a source from a Cuban-American lawmaker’s office of one Cuban American. “It’s pretty weak.”Trump: “We challenge Cubans to come to the table with a new agreement that is in the best interest of both their people and our people and also of Cuban-Americans.”
Trump also called Obama’s deal “one-sided” and called for strict enforcement of US law.
Senator Marco Rubio was on Air Force One today with Trump.
Rubio: “His objective is to support the Cuban people by driving US visitors to small business they own so they can become independent of regime. That is why no direct transactions will be allowed with the businesses owned & operated by the military monopoly or its affiliates.”
Not all Republicans on board with Trump’s policy on Cuba, however.
Senator Jeff Flake: “Any policy change that diminishes the ability of Americans to travel freely to Cuba is not in the best interests of the United States or the Cuban people. It is time Senate leadership finally allowed a vote on my bipartisan bill to fully lift these archaic restrictions which do not exist for travel by Americans to any other country in the world.”