In this May 2, 2016 file photo, Yaney Cajigal, left, holds out a Stars and Stripes, and Dalwin Valdes holds a Cuban national flag, as they watch the arrival of Carnival's Adonia cruise ship from Miami, in Havana, Cuba, the first step toward a future in which thousands of ships a year could cross the Florida Straits, long closed to most U.S.-Cuba traffic. A rare 2016 poll of Cuban public opinion has found that most Cubans approve of normal relations with the United States and large majorities want more tourism and private business ownership. (AP Photo/Fernando Medina, File) (AP)

Trump's reversal of Obama's Cuba policy only makes it harder for Americans to visit

While not closing diplomatic ties, Trump has added travel and business restrictions between America and Cuba


Matthew Rozsa
June 16, 2017 7:35PM (UTC)

In what seems to be an ongoing effort to undo as much of President Barack Obama's legacy as possible, President Donald Trump restricted America's relationship with Cuba.

He has not closed off diplomatic ties, shut down the American embassy in that country or limited the Cuban cigars and Cuban rum that Americans can import from the island, according to a report by NBC News. That said, he plans to increase restrictions on travel to and from the United States and Cuba, both of which directly reverse policies implemented by his predecessor. Individual travel known as “people-to-people” has been once again been banned.

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Openly insulting the Obama administration's Cuba policy as a "terrible and misguided deal with the Castro regime," Trump announced his move during a speech in Miami on Friday.

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba," Trump said. He instead vowed to "enforce the ban on tourism, enforce the embargo, we will take concrete steps to ensure that investments flow directly to the people so they can open private business and begin to build their country’s great, great future."

 

Joining Trump on the stage was Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who Politico reported met with the president last month and played a crucial role in getting him to reverse Obama's policies.

Concerned that the State Department and others within America's foreign policy bureaucracy would delay or outright thwart such a move, Rubio says he told Trump that "what you’ve committed to do on Cuba, what you want to do on Cuba, is never going to come from career staff. It’s going to have to come from the top down. You’re going to have to tell them what to do."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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