New Trump Policy on Havana Regretful - Moscow

Havana decried the "hostile rhetoric that recalls the time of open confrontation", and "return to the coercive methods of the past".

"The government of Cuba reiterates its willingness to continue a respectful dialogue and cooperation on themes of mutual interest, as well as negotiations on pending bilateral matters, with the government of the United States", the Cuba government said in a statement issued Friday night.

"All the Trump administration is saying is, 'there's one thing we're going to change, and that is we're no longer going to permit individual travelers to purport to be traveling to Cuba under the education exemption, '" said Harry Clark, a partner at Orrick and chair of the law firm's global trade and compliance group.

Cuban officials said Wednesday that almost 285,000 U.S. visitors flocked to Cuba in the first five months of 2017, roughly the same number as for all of past year. "Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said at the Manuel Artime Theatre. When Obama finally went forward with a limited opening, he was doing more to end the isolation of the USA than of Cuba. We do not want U.S. dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba.

President Donald #trump announced a rollback in Obama-era #Cuba policies at a rally in Little Havana, Miami Friday afternoon.

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the USA on a variety of subjects.

Trump's policy keeps a U.S. Embassy open in Havana and allows U.S. airlines and cruise ships to continue service to the island.

The goal is not to harm U.S. businesses that have already begun business in Cuba under Obama's rapprochement and there will be exceptions in the regulations for airlines, cruise ships and other businesses.

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to U.S. soil but was terminated under Obama, is to remain terminated. "The previous administration's easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people". From Obamacare to climate policy to Cuba, he seems intent on overturning whatever Obama did - no matter how great the cost to the American people.

On the surface, the announcement appears to benefit the territory; Cuba, if opened to full commerce with America, including travel, serves as an vast threat to not only the U.S. Virgin Islands' tourism product, but much of the Caribbean, with industry leaders meeting on multiple occasions a year ago to discuss the potential impact.

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But Trump left in place many of Obama's changes, including the reopened United States embassy in Havana, even as he sought to show he was making good on a campaign promise to take a tougher line against Cuba, especially over its human rights record.

"New restrictions on engagement with Cuban economy only pushes Cuba to China and Russian Federation who will gladly make up the difference", Rhodes said.

In December 2014, former U.S. president Barack Obama announced that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of non-engagement and hostilities.

Boosting travel was a key aim of Obama's effort to restore ties with Cuba after a half-century chill, which culminated with a visit by the then-president in 2016.

Yet it also exposed the shortcomings in Obama's approach.

"The small, nascent Cuban private sector and cuentapropistas [the self-employed]... were meant to be the primary beneficiaries of the expanded travel and limited trade allowed under Obama's policies". "To this day, Cuba is ruled by the same people who killed tens of thousands of their own citizens, who sought to spread their repressive and failed ideology throughout our hemisphere, and who once tried to host enemy nuclear weapons 90 miles from our shores".

"There was a lot of speculation about whether Trump would introduce a 180-degree reversal or cancellation of Obama's policy". "His speech was aggressive and threatening, ... revealing his contempt and ignorance", President Nicolas Maduro said in a speech.

But he won roars of approval and cries of 'Viva Cuba libre!' from the invited crowd of Cuban-Americans and Cuban exiles. Cuban cigars and rum will still be allowed to enter the USA, according to CNN. "We're the ones who are hurt".

The government may not formally respond to Trump's moves until a speech on Monday by its foreign minister. "We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled". For more than a decade, a diverse coalition that includes global educators has advocated for opening relations with Cuba.

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