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Trump Expected to Tighten US Cuba Policy

Trump Expected to Tighten US Cuba Policy

He will not unilaterally break diplomatic ties with the island or close down the USA embassy in Havana.

"Our policy is to focus effort on assisting the Cuban people, not enriching the Cuban military", one top adviser said, an implicit charge that the Obama administration did just that.

"This bar is quite progressive". A study shows it could cost us $6.6 billion and affect 12,295 American jobs.

President Donald Trump on Friday will announce a revised U.S. Cuba policy that eliminates travel for single individuals and bans future U.S. business transactions with Cuba's military, according to senior administration officials.

Many Cubans have relatives in the U.S. and they soak up Americans sports and culture.

"You'll be very happy", Trump said in September.

"We've had this new policy for basically two years".

More than a quarter of the Cuban labor force no longer works for the communist government, from software programmers to nail salon owners, private taxi drivers and restaurant owners.

This is the wrong policy in the wrong place at the wrong time - a gift to Cuba's hard-liners, who lost their most convenient weapon of mass distraction when the last administration normalized relations. While there's no indications of a clampdown on agricultural sales allowed on a cash-only basis since 2000, cooled relations may drive buyers elsewhere, said Bob Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington.

A rollback of Obama administration efforts to open Cuba to USA tourism and trade may chill a rebound in agricultural sales to the island nation, setting back a farm-lobby push that's weathered two decades. They are the people who voted him and helped him to become a President in America. When Obama finally went forward with a limited opening, he was doing more to end the isolation of the USA than of Cuba.

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Later in the year, on the campaign trail in Miami during the fall election campaign, Trump condemned Obama's normalization of relations between the two countries, which he called a "one-sided deal for Cuba and with Cuba, benefits only the Castro regime". The irony: If Americans have a harder time visiting Cuba, it won't hurt the regime - because the 3.5 million non-American tourists stay disproportionately in the resorts owned by the government.

He referred to a survey published this week, according to which 65 percent of USA citizens want the opening with Cuba to continue.

But that now looks unlikely.

Diaz-Balart told VOA earlier this month that he has had "several conversations" with the president, who "wants to enforce respect for human rights, the security of the country and certainly also the rule of law".

Critics of Obama's approach contend that many USA visitors have taken advantage of eased regulations and looser scrutiny to visit the island for pleasure trips.

While U.S. citizens are not free to vacation in Cuba, Obama did relax travel restrictions.

But Trump is expected to make it tougher for Americans to visit and do business on the island while blasting Cuba's alleged human right abuses and harboring of U.S. fugitives. "He can do something to make the sales more hard".

That directive could undercut efforts by the USA hotel industry, which hopes to use the Starwood deal as a template as it continues to push Congress to lift the ongoing US embargo completely.

Yaquelin Betancourt, 43, who has been renting out rooms on Airbnb since it entered the Cuban market in 2015, said any decrease would be a severe blow.

Ferrer, meanwhile, said she understands the position of the hardliners. "If I had Trump in front of me now, I'd say: leave us in peace". In the case of Iran, for example, providing sanctions relief as part of the nuclear deal does not mean we are hamstrung in using our economic power to combat Iran's support for terrorism, and recent actions by the administration and Congress to target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps illustrate that even in the post-JCPOA context, the United States can employ powerful economic tools against Iran.

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