Tougher Trump line toward Cuba delights hardliners on island

Geneva Matthews
June 18, 2017

Trump said his actions bypassed the military and the government to help the Cuban people form businesses and pursue much better lives. Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue "respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest.

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

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump declared as he made a full-throated assault on the government of Cuban President Raul Castro.

Diplomatic relations will remain in tact and commercial air and sea links will be exempted from the new restrictions.

The statement continues, "The Cuban government denounces the new measures to tighten the blockade, which are destined to fail as has been shown repeatedly in the past, and which will not achieve its objective to weaken the revolution or to defeat the Cuban people, whose resistance to the aggressions of any type and origin has been proven over nearly six decades".

"We do not want USA dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba", Trump said.

The President said it was hard to think of a policy "that makes less sense than the prior administration's bad and misguided deal" with the "brutal" Castro government.

A group of 55 Cuban businesspeople sent a letter this week to Trump's daughter and adviser, Ivanka, warning against the policy changes.

As a result, the changes - though far-reaching - appear to be less sweeping than many U.S.pro-engagement advocates had feared.

Trump's critics have also questioned why his administration is now singling out Cuba for its human rights record while downplaying the issue in other parts of the world.

Hundreds of millions of US dollars flowed into privately owned businesses in Cuba, The Associated Press reported, spurring the growth of a nascent middle-class that could thrive independent from the government. "Our new policy begins with strictly enforcing USA law", he told a cheering crowd in Miami's Little Havana, the spiritual home of the Cuban- American community.

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

Trump said his measures aimed to punish the Castro regime, which Washington accuses of mistreating political dissidents. He said Trump's policy may put US national security at risk as strategic competitors move to fill the vacuum the uncoupling could create. Trump cast that as a sign the US still wanted to engage with Cuba in hopes of forging "a much stronger and better path".

"President Trump promised that he would repeal everything Obama had done with Cuba", said Valladares, who was appointed ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. "We're the ones who are hurt". "On the other hand, we think we've achieved very little in terms of changing the behavior of the regime in Cuba and its treatment of people", he said, "and it has little incentive to change that".

The Obama administration argued that decades of isolation had failed to produce changes in the Cuban regime and sought a diplomatic and economic opening between the nations. Harmful changes like these are a prime example of why Congress must act to codify the law and allow open trade and travel with Cuba and the Cuban people.

"We are not here to lecture - we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship", Trump said in a speech to Arab leaders.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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