Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

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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.

Trump's changes would still allow commercial flights and cruise ships trips to Cuba as long as USA visitors aren't traveling there strictly as tourists.

Several prominent free market advocates sent a letter to President Trump Wednesday discouraging the anticipated announcement to add travel and trade restrictions with Cuba.

In March 2016, ahead of President Obama's historic trip to Havana, his administration changed rules that had long prohibited most Americans from visiting the island without being part of a licensed tour group.

Trump will justify his partial reversal of Obama's measures to a large extent on human rights grounds.

The memo outlining the new policy does not say whether Trump will close any embassies or break off diplomatic relations, which were restored by the Obama administration in 2015.

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.

Critics fear the measures will not do much economic damage to the Cuban dictatorship, and will give it new ammunition to proclaim itself a victim of USA aggression and an excuse to postpone democratic changes.

Polls suggest most Americans support the liberalized policy towards Cuba pushed by the Obama administration.




With the new policy, Trump is expected to claim fulfillment of a campaign promise to the Cuban-American community to tighten the screws on the government of Cuban President Raul Castro.

The theater where Trump will be making his policy speech was named after the political leader of Brigade 2506 in the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted, "economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end #BetterDealforCuba".

In addition, Americans will need to keep strict records of every financial transaction they make in Cuba and hold onto those records for up to five years should the Treasury Department, who enforces the embargo, want to audit an individual's trip.

While such restrictions may not fully cut certain institutions within the Cuban government off from benefits associated with increased US business in Cuba, they will limit how much profit these entities see. While fact sheets and details have been released to different lawmakers and interest groups, an administration official said Thursday that they are still finalizing the policy.

"We've had this new policy for basically two years".

Some aides have argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash US business and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.

Currently, travelers are allowed to bring up to 100 Cuban cigars, valued at no more than $800, duty-free every 31 days regardless of whether they are returning from Cuba or another country.

It also indicates that the new administration will not reinstate the wet foot, dry foot policy, which allowed Cuban immigrants who reached American soil to remain in the country.

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