Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Local | By Ada Griffith

Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

The Treasury Department will have 90 days to implement these changes, according to the Miami Herald, which was briefed on Trump's planned announcement scheduled for Friday. So Williams is working to contain the expected reversal of Obama's policies.

Also in Miami, Roberto Pique, who left Cuba at age 15 in 1961, said that even though he wanted the Castro family to leave power, Obama's actions had allowed Cubans to have more access to information. I'll be in Miami with the president of the United States who's going to be announcing strategic, targeted changes in U.S. Policy toward Cuba.

What about Cuban-Americans? A 2016 poll by Florida International University among Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade County found that 63 percent opposed the continuation of the embargo and 57 percent supported expanding economic relations between USA companies and the island.

Another official told the Associated Press the USA embassy in Havana will remain open but trade with any Cuban entity linked to the military will be banned.

There are divisions within the Trump administration however concerning the extant of the diplomatic rollbacks, especially given that Obama's opening to Washington's former Cold War foe has created opportunities for American companies ranging from telecommunications to airlines. The Trump administration has made it clear that in its "America First" foreign policy, America's economic and security concerns will not be sacrificed in the name of human rights.

"It is my hope that in five to 10 years - or less - Cuba will look very different, and people will point to this as the moment that kind of triggered those changes", Rubio said.

The Obama administration's easing of sanctions allowed approved American hospitality companies such as Starwood to, in effect, rent out rooms, upgrade facilities, hire local workers and conduct business in US dollars through American banks.

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The stated goal of the new policy is to cut down on human rights abuses.

"The policy the Trump administration is announcing regarding Cuba based on President Trump's core conviction that what the Cuban exile community is asking for is right and just", the White House said in a written statement to the website.

By 2016, Obama had ended certain restrictions on imports from Cuba, namely the US$100 limit on cigars and rum, two of the country's main exports, as well as eased the travel ban which prohibited Americans from visiting the island. "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". Trump's new policy would not reflect the views of almost three-quarters of USA citizens.

Various business and advocacy groups, however, including Human Rights Watch, remain opposed to any reining back.

In 1980, some 125,000 Cubans fled the port of Mariel on boats to the the largest single exodus of refugees in modern Cuban history. On the other hand, several business and political organizations, including the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba and Engage Cuba, have advocated maintaining the existing situation and lifting the U.S. embargo of the island. They also view Cuba as a natural and nearby market for farm exports.

Reduced passenger traffic between the US and Cuba would harm major American corporations such as American Airlines, Carnival Cruise Line, Starwood, Airbnb, Expedia, Western Union, and AT&T, all of whom have an established foothold on the island.

"He says to me, unprompted: 'We gotta figure out what to do about Cuba, '" Rubio recalled.

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