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Cuba Blasts Trump's Policy Speech as 'Hostile Rhetoric' That 'Reverts' Progress

18 June 2017

Yesterday, the US President unveiled plans to switch up predecessor Barack Obama's Cuba policy.

"It's hard to think of a policy that makes less sense than the prior administration's awful and misguided deal with the Castro regime", Trump said in Miami.

"Any limitations on travel hurt Cuban small business owners - restaurants, shops, taxis - that depend on travellers for revenue".

Earlier Friday, Trump vowed to overhaul Obama's policies. "Through this approach, we not only trade goods, but ideas".

Trump also demanded the return of US fugitives including Joanne Chesimard, a black militant convicted in 1977 of the murder of a New Jersey state trooper.

U.S. presidents have long balanced outspoken recriminations over human rights abuses with the need to do business with autocratic leaders who run countries that are important United States security and trade partners.

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He isn't though, reversing key diplomatic and commercial ties.

But the changes would ultimately meet four objectives, according to the White House: Ensure compliance with USA law, hold the Cuban government accountable for alleged human rights abuses, further the interests of the US and the Cuban people, and "empower the Cuban people to develop greater economic and political liberty".

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.

Among the few Cubans on the island who praised Trump was Berta Soler, a leader of the dissident group Ladies in White who said she was prevented by the government from flying to Miami to attend the speech in person. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, when governor of Georgia in 2010, led a delegation to Cuba and said at the time to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I think business cures a lot of ills".

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

"It is doubtful that they will trigger any move in Cuba towards a new governing structure or new leadership", said Shifter.

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"His speech was aggressive and threatening, . revealing his contempt and ignorance" the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro said. "We reject Donald Trump's declarations against our brother Cuba. It is an offense against Latin America". "It is an offence against Latin America".

Dese Washington, White House sources have confirmed that the change of policy towards Cuba also includes its support for the trade and financial embargo on the island and, therefore, the frontal opposition to global requests for Congress to lift it.

Under the revised travel policy, US officials say there will be tighter enforcement to make sure Americans legally fit the 12 authorized categories they claim to be traveling under, which could spook many visitors, wary of receiving a hefty fine. But the Republican leadership in Congress has long blocked such a move, and it appears unlikely to budge.

It went on to list a litany of concerns: racial discrimination, salary inequality between genders, the marginalization of immigrants and refugees from Islamic and other countries, Trump's proposed wall on the southern border, his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, the imprisonment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, the killing of United States and foreign citizens in drone attacks, the preface for and conduct of the wars in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, and estimates that the Republican health care bill would cause 23 million people to lose medical insurance.

Under Trump's order, the Treasury and Commerce Departments will be given 30 days to begin writing new regulations and they will not take effect until they are complete.

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