Trump thrusts US, Cuba back toward hostile relations

Miami. The president announced changes to Obama-era Cuba policy and challenged the Castro government to negotiate a better deal

As the Republican Senator spoke to the crowd prior to the president, he related that he had multiple discussions with Trump regarding a Cuban policy that was a return to the previous policies.

The measures have been part of US government policy since Barack Obama was president.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro were restoring diplomatic ties between their countries, arguing that a new approach was needed because the policy the USA had pursued for decades had failed to democratize the island.

Dr. Layna Mosley, a political science professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told CBS San Francisco that Trump's announcement is somewhat hard to accept at face value, saying, "he's justified his actions on human rights grounds, yet he is more than happy to praise the government of Saudi Arabia, making deals with that regime which ignore its very checkered human rights record". "I know people over there that are suffering, and they are repressed all the time".

Trump will not close the USA embassy in Havana, which Obama re-established in 2015, nor will he restore the wet foot, dry foot immigration policy that allowed Cuban refugees automatic asylum if they touched US soil, the officials said. "It's the people who'll suffer the consequences, not the Cuban state".

During a speech in Miami on Friday, Trump said his new policy replaces Obama's "terrible and misguided" deal with the Castro government with "a deal that's fair and a deal that makes sense". McMaster accompanied Trump on his trip to Miami.

Long said the policy will likely mean a reduction in US tourism and thus, fewer dollars in the pockets of Cubans. He has tightened some aspects of trade with military-backed business but allowed flights to Cuba and cruise ships to continue.

Eliel Valero, who's also traveling to Cuba, said he doesn't think it will deter people.


Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison but escaped in November 1979 and eventually traveled to Cuba. Foerster was killed during a gunfight after a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973.

The FBI and the Office of the New Jersey State Attorney General have offered a combined $2 million for information leading to her arrest.

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.

"America stands with the persecuted, the oppressed, and the exploited in Cuba", Pence exclaimed.

Trump in Miami on June 16, 2017. As a result, they were often presented with activities and talks favoring Cuba government positions on domestic and global issues. Which, from the perspective of a would-be American traveler, raises an obvious question: can you still travel to Cuba despite Trump's rollback, or will that be off-limits once again? Diplomatic relations established by Obama will remain.

Although Trump's policy changes would satisfy his voters in the short term, "it would bring practical hazards to the national interests of the United States in the long run", said Wang Peng, a researcher with the Institute of Latin American Studies at the CASS. Trump said the U.S. Embassy in Havana will stay open. "They're getting rich from all these tourists".

Still other observers noted that - for all the hype about the reversal of the painstaking efforts towards rapprochement by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama - the new measures amounted to little more than a commitment to enforce existing laws.

Sires and Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) introduced legislation in March to have the government push for the return of Chesimard and fugitives harbored overseas.

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