Cuban Americans speak out ahead of Trump's Little Havana visit

Cuba experts have said they expect tough anti-regime rhetoric from the president, but not a complete rollback of Obama policies that ended more than 50 years of USA attempts to isolate Cuba, ushering in sweeping changes that that allowed increased travel, business and communication links and restored diplomatic relations.

Trump's declaration in a crowded, sweltering auditorium was a direct rebuke to Obama, for whom the diplomatic opening with Cuba was a central accomplishment of his presidency. Marco Rubio, considered a key participant in the decision-making. "Because if they had, they'd know that the only thing that restricting travel will do is devastate Cubans working in the private sector who have relied on American visitors to provide for their families".

These changes will affect Cuba's burgeoning tourist industry that has lured Americans who had always been attracted by the island just 90 miles from Florida but impossibly out of reach thanks to long-standing sanctions. Both men plan to be on hand when Trump announces the changes in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, Friday afternoon. It was at this point that Rubio made the suggestion that the President would have to "go it alone".

"The goal of these policies is very simple", Rubio said Thursday. We want to empower and we want to strengthen the Cuban people without strengthening the Cuban military, which controls a significant percentage of their economy.

While campaigning a year ago in Miami, which is home to a large Cuban-American population, Trump pledged to reverse Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba unless it met certain "demands", including granting Cubans religious and political freedom, and releasing all political prisoners. Miami is home to the largest Cuban-American community.

The Daily Caller previously reported that the policy change is due to the behind-the-scenes work of Cuba policy hardliners, and a White House official described Florida Sen. But none of the changes will become effective until the Treasury Department issues new regulations, which could take months.

Diplomatic relations will remain, and so will commercial flights, but travel to Cuba will be more tightly monitored and business will face restrictions aimed at ensuring that Cuban military and intelligence organisations do not benefit. That means that any US traveler now booked on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or even months, could go ahead and make the trip. "Travel brings people and cultures together, so we are excited about the upcoming cruises to Cuba for our guests", Carnival Corporation added.

The new policy has come together after contentious meetings within the administration. And travelers seeking "people-to-people" contact will have to sign up with an organized tour group.

Taking a tougher approach against Cuba after promising to do so during the Presidential campaign, President Trump will make clear that a ban on United States tourism to Cuba remains in effect and his administration will beef up enforcement of travel rules under all authorized categories. That could have far-reaching effects since the military touches nearly every corner of the Cuban economy. That change would immediately affect some proposed hotel projects in which Cuban entities controlled by the military would be partners.

Members of Congress were also consulted, and the White House said that Democrats were included in that effort.

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