President Donald Trump on Friday will tighten rules on Americans traveling to Cuba and significantly restrict USA companies from doing business with Cuban enterprises controlled by the military, according to US officials who have seen a draft presidential memorandum.
Hoping to bring democracy back to the Communist island, then-President Barack Obama in 2014 restored diplomatic ties with Cuba, reversing decades-old policy.
Getting to stroll through the colorful streets of Havana may soon be much harder for Americans.
Commercial flights and cruise sailings to Cuba will be allowed to continue, the newspaper reported, and travel and money sent by Cuban-Americans won't affected by the president's new policy.
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Engage Cuba, a group lobbying for an end to the embargo, estimates that 10,000 USA jobs in aviation and the cruise business already depend on Cuba.
While such restrictions may not fully cut certain institutions within the Cuban government off from benefits associated with increased USA business in Cuba, they will limit how much profit these entities see.
Critics say the threat of a Treasury audit could have a chilling effect on travel and hurt business for the private-run bed and breakfasts and restaurants Americans often frequent. Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces manage as much as 60 per cent of the state-run economy, including the island's largest tourism company.
In a Thursday briefing call, reporters pressed officials on why the Trump administration is emphasizing Cuba's human rights issues when the White House has previously demonstrated interest in working with other problematic regimes. Obama ended it on January 12. "We would like the president to cut off any relationship between the American intelligence services and the Cuban intelligence services", he said.
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In his remarks, Trump plans to cite human-rights violations in Cuba as justification for the new USA approach. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) played a "central" role in helping the administration recast the policy, one official said, while other members of Congress were instrumental as well.
Maceda said the diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S.in the last 60 years didn't work. Before the Obama administration relaxed travel restrictions, the number of US visitors who were not of Cuban origin to the island was 91,254 in 2014, but that figure had tripled to 284,837 in December 2016, according to statistics from the Cuban government.
Embassies in Washington and in Havana will remain open, sources tell CNN, and Cuban American travel and remittances remain unaffected.
More broadly, the Trump administration appears to have learned one of the core lessons of recent sanctions-unwinding episodes: relieving certain sanctions pressure on rogues does not mean we need to give up all of our economic leverage.
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"We will cancel Obama's one-sided Cuban deal", Trump said days before the election in Miami, "if we do not get the deal we want, and the deal that people living in Cuba and here deserve". Relaxed travel laws allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to visit Cuba for the first time.