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Cuba calls Trump speech on island 'grotesque spectacle'

20 June 2017

Rodriguez reportedly told journalists on Monday in Vienna that "there will not be a presidential directive from the US that will alter the direction of Cuba".

Ward said that while the Treasury Department has made clear that it will take some months for any new regulations to be implemented, "it is safe to say that there will be tightening of the people-to-people travel 'general license'". Trump's approach is aimed at halting the flow of US cash to the country's military while maintaining diplomatic relations.

According to reports, Trump enforced restrictions on former President Barack Obama's lenient travel policy to the country.

When Barack Obama announced a restoration of USA relations with Cuba in December 2014, it put an end to some 56 years of bad blood between the two neighbors. What continues to surprise us is the Cuban exile community in Miami's capacity to run into the same stone again and again, and when they don't find it, they seek it out and put it in the way.

Rodriguez also said that fugitives such as Assata Shakur - formerly known as Joanne Chesimard - would not be returned because the United States had no "legal or moral basis" to demand their return. US airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

"It looks like revisiting the same policy that didn't work for 50 years - it is a failed policy", Rodriguez said.

But the uncertainty surrounding President Trump's executive order last Friday has Cubans in and outside the tourism sector concerned about what's next.

The other major change announced by Trump is a ban on financial transactions involving the Cuban military.

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A trio of lawmakers - two Republicans and one Democrat - welcomed President Donald Trump's new policy on Cuba. His excuse was completely disingenuous: "Trump decides to draw a line at Cuba's human rights policies?"

The Government of Cuba rejects political manipulation and double standards in human rights. When it comes to Cuba, the massive and systematic harm to human rights comes from the blockade.

The State Department - which saw over 99 percent of campaign contributions go to Trump's electoral opponent in Hillary Clinton - is not only embedded wholly with leftists (who are nearly impossible to fire, due to an unreformed civil service), but with individuals that appear to be loyal to the past president. This sentiment is not only evident in public opinion polls, but also in the fact that the number of Americans visiting Cuba is growing exponentially, with over 600,000 Americans visiting it in 2016.

The Obama administration did not deny that the Cuban regime was a dictatorship or was failing its people materially or in terms of freedom.

Some 2.3 million people are behind bars in the USA, the largest reported incarcerated population in the world. The President signalled that Cuban human rights violations were a main motivation to try and keep cash from flowing to the Cuban government. This is the highest monthly average of detentions in the past six years, it added.

The lawmakers maintained Cuba's military monopoly, Grupo de Administración Empresarial SA ("GAESA"), is the biggest business enterprise on the island.

"We sincerely hope the White House will reconsider its course on Cuba, and we're more than willing to sit down and explain what a more productive course might include".

While we won't know exactly how the Treasury Department will enforce the President's broad directive until the regulations are drafted, it appears likely that the "People-to-People" exchanges under which many thousands of Americans visited Cuba past year will be limited by the new requirement to contract with a tourism service provider like the Vermont based CAFS Travel.

Cuba calls Trump speech on island 'grotesque spectacle'