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Trump Says He's 'Canceling' Obama's Cuba Policy

17 June 2017

"We have invested significant resources establishing a presence in Cuba, and with one hotel open and another in the pipeline we have just begun our work creating opportunity and a more vibrant tourism sector on the island", Marriott, the only USA hotel company with a property open in Cuba, said in a statement viewed by the Post.

Of course, the mere news of the change is likely to have a chilling effect on travel to Cuba. Gaviota, GAESA's tourism arm, now operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana, a hotel that, when it opened, was the first USA hotel to open in Cuba in almost 60 years.

Udall introduced the Cuba Digital and Telecommunications Advancement Act - or Cuba DATA Act - in 2015 to allow American companies to help Cuba build the 21st-century telecommunications infrastructure necessary in today's global economy and empower Cubans to realize their full potential.

President Donald Trump has announced a series of changes to the Obama-era Cuba policy and is challenging the Cuban government to negotiate a better deal.

"Additional prohibitions and oversight on travel will only confuse Americans and dissuade them from visiting Cuba, causing significant economic hardship to Cuban entrepreneurs and average Cuban families, as well as Americans working in the hospitality sector", said Collin Laverty, president of Cuban Educational Travel, which arranges group trips to the island.

The categorisation of types of travel to Cuba reflects the United States government's practice of allowing travel to the island nation for only certain designated reasons.

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"They are in such danger, the way they have to come to this country, and we are going to be safeguarding those people", he added to a smattering of applause. The lack of commercial urgency does little to convince the president to adopt a policy favorable to businesses.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who claims credit for writing the Trump policy along with a fellow Cuban-American and Florida Republican, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, tweeted Friday that individual American travelers will still be able to go to Cuba for the goal of supporting the Cuban people, a category that includes helping human rights organizations and non-governmental groups meant to strengthen democracy and civil society.

Carlos Cristóbal Márquez, the restaurant's owner, watched Trump's announcement near to where President Barack Obama dined during his historic trip in March.

He cancelled the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, announced he would withdraw the USA from the Paris climate accord, and is attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare, his predecessor's signature policy accomplishment. "The regime take the money and owns the industry". We will enforce the ban on tourism.

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, addressed a group Friday afternoon at Tampa International Airport, where Southwest Airlines flies daily to Havana, to denounce the change. One major component will be how tightly the USA government enforces requirements for travelers to keep records of financial transactions.

"I am 100% Republican".

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And in possibly his toughest rhetoric directed at Castro, Trump flatly said, "the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end". They should impose more sanctions against Cuba. He called Obama's agreement with Cuba a "deal with a government that spreads violence and instability in the region".

"We can not continue to bring concessions to the Cuban government", he said. Counterintuitively, the Cuban government used the embargo as an excuse to double-down on its actions. "Everything bad that happens in Cuba, they blame the embargo".

While Trump gave his speech, a hundred activists about evenly divided between supporters and opponents of the president chanted and held up signs outside the venue, the Manuel Artime Theater, named after a late political leader of Cuban exiles who launched the failed Bay of Pigs uprising in 1961. It allowed unimpeded travel for Cuban pastors outside of Cuba he said and also for humanitarian aid to be shipped to churches.

1962: Castro agrees to allow the Soviet Union to deploy nuclear missiles on the island bringing the USA and the USSR to the brink of nuclear war.

Although business with and travel to Cuba can continue under Trump's plans, there will be more restrictions. Similarly, the new deal for United States concern Starwood to manage a historic Havana hotel will be allowed to go ahead.

For them, Trump's policy is just another variation of a long attempt to use trade, or the lack thereof, to bring the communist-led government to its knees.

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