Cuba rejects new US policy, saying pressure will not work

Jun 20, 2017, 00:55
Cuba rejects new US policy, saying pressure will not work

However, the Trump plan does not change Cuban immigration policy, restrict Cuban-Americans' travel to the island, forbid US investments in the Cuban tourism industry, or ban USA citizens from traveling to Cuba.

Mr. Trump's allies include Senator Marco Rubio and Mario Diaz-Balart, a representative from Florida who were strongly opposed to Obama's initiative.

On June 16, President Donald Trump gave a speech in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood outlining his planned rollback of the loosening of travel and trade restrictions initiated under the Obama administration.

Speaking in Vienna during a tour of European countries, Rodriguez also said Cuba would not accede to Trump's demand to return fugitives sought by the United States. The Cuban state run news published an article painting Trump's move as vastly unpopular in the U.S. and backwards-thinking.

"We are very pleased to learn the news that cruises to Cuba will continue", Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said in a statement, noting that 70,000 travelers have booked cruises with its lines to Cuba.

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"It looks like revisiting the same policy that didn't work for 50 years - it is a failed policy", Rodriguez said.

The policy change allowed the president to claim credit for taking a tough stand while leaving in place numerous changes his predecessor had made, which polls have shown are broadly supported, including by most Republicans. Also what affect will it have on the port of New Orleans?

In measured tones, the Cuban statement noted the changes and said Trump's announcement went against the wishes of the majority of Americans who prefer lifting the embargo altogether and supported the extremist view of a minority of Cuban Americans. In a speech in Miami last week, the president berated the Cuban regime for its authoritarian policies and human rights violations.

Although said Directive did not hide the interventionist character of the USA policy nor the fact that its main objective was to advance USA interests in order to bring about changes in the economic, political and social systems of our country, it did recognize Cuba's independence, sovereignty and self-determination and the Cuban government as a legitimate and equal interlocutor, as well as the benefits that a civilized coexistence would have for both countries and peoples despite the great differences that exist between both governments. One of the changes in the rules would prohibit Americans from traveling to Cuba through the so-called "people-to-people" cultural exchanges.

While Trump is actually keeping most of Obama's Cuba policy changes, his messaging serves as a direct contrast with the last president's approach.

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"The Cuba people have long suffered under a Communist regime that suppresses their legitimate aspirations for freedom and prosperity and fails to respect their essential human dignity", it said.

Mr. Emmer, one of Mr. Trump's biggest supporters on Capitol Hill, picked up on Crawford's criticism, saying the new directive could violate his promise to provide security in the United States. Some U.S. companies are attempting to do business on the island - though at least a few have given up that idea, after learning how Cuban leaders treat private enterprise.

At length, Rodriguez also criticized alleged USA human rights abuses.

There is no doubt that if the USA wants to influence Cuba, the best policy is to engage more with Cuba, not disengage.

"It tacitly accepts that the framework of the relationship with Cuba will be with diplomatic relations, with engagement, with conversations", he said. Furthermore, Trump carried the Cuban-American vote by less than many of his Republican predecessors, carrying this key demographic by 2 percentage points compared to the 30 point margin held by John McCain in 2008 and the 12 point margin won by Mitt Romney in 2012.

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