Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

  • Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce a rollback of measures implemented by Barack Obama in the countries ties with its neighbor Cuba on Friday.

Getting to stroll through the colorful streets of Havana may soon be much harder for Americans.

Trump will propose strictly enforcing the authorized exemptions that allow travel between the United States and Cuba and prohibiting commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services, according to documents provided to CNN.

"If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the a whole, I will terminate deal", he wrote.

Most U.S. travelers to Cuba will again be required to visit the island as part of organized tour groups run by American companies.

But the Republican administration has been under heavy pressure from Cuban-American lawmakers such as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart to take a much harder line than Trump's Democratic predecessor.

Taking a tougher approach against Cuba after promising to do so during the presidential campaign, Trump will make clear that a ban on USA tourism to Cuba remains in effect and his administration will beef up enforcement of travel rules under authorized categories, the officials said.

While tourism to Cuba is banned by US law, the Obama administration had been allowing people to travel to Cuba as part of "people to people" educational trips for visitors, a classification that a White House official said was "ripe for abuse" by those looking for beach vacations. He said he would "stand with the Cuban people in their fight against communist oppression", and went on to win about half the Cuban vote in Florida in the presidential election.

Proponents of lifting the embargo say that taking a punitive approach toward Cuba has done nothing to bring about improvements in human rights in more than 50 years, and that it is time to try something new.

Trump, according to officials, decry the Castro regime for human rights abuses against peaceful activists and protesters and is expected to demand the extradition of Assata Shakur, a former member of the Black Panther Party who was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper.

Last year, the Obama administration opened up Cuba to US travelers essentially on the honor system - allowing travelers to self-report their trip's objective. Dissidents say government repression has increased.

The details will be announced in a speech to a mainly Cuban-American audience in Miami.

Airbnb issued a statement asserting that since it began operating in Cuba two years ago, "Airbnb has helped individual Cuban people earn extra income, and we have seen how travel can break down barriers and promote understanding". That seems odd given that the Trump administration is not particularly fond of pursuing that agenda in its foreign policy: there was no mention of human rights and political freedom during his visit to Saudi Arabia, for example. "Likewise, Americans should be allowed to travel to other nations and serve as diplomats who can spread our soft power overseas".