Washington, June 17: US President Dold Trump announced that he was reversing crucial pieces of what he called a “terrible and misguided deal” with Cuba and will reinstate travel and commercial restrictions eased by the previous administration, the media reported.
During a speech on Friday night in Miami’s Little Hava, the epicentre of a Cuban exile community that supported him in the election, Trump said he was keeping a campaign promise to roll back the policy of engagement started by former President Barack Obama in 2014, which he said had empowered the communist government in Cuba and enriched the country’s repressive military, reports The New York Times. “We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer...Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” Trump said at the Manuel Artime Theatre.
After the speech, he signed a six-page directive that ordered new travel and commercial restrictions while leaving in place some key Obama-era measures that eased sanctions. As part of the new policy, Americans will no longer be able to plan their own private trips to Cuba, and those who go as part of authorised educatiol tours will be subjected to strict new rules and audits to ensure that they are not going just as tourists.
American companies and citizens will also be barred from doing business with any firm controlled by the Cuban military or its intelligence or security services, walling off crucial parts of the economy, including much of the tourist sector, from American access. Embassies in Washington and Hava will stay open and cruises and direct flights between the Washington and Hava will be protected under an exception from the prohibition on transactions with military-controlled entities.
The President also directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to convene a task force on expanding internet access on the island and reiterate the USs’ opposition to efforts in the UNs to lift the Cuban embargo until more is done to honour human rights, reports CNN. “To the Cuban government, I say, put an end to the abuse of dissidents, release the political prisoners, stop jailing innocent people, open yourselves to political and economic freedoms, return the fugitives from American justice,” Trump said. (IANS)