Cuba Rejects New Trump Policy


US President Trump announced on Friday that the United States would tighten its policy towards Cuba.

Trump issued a blistering denunciation of Cuba's communist government on Friday.

The changes will not go into effect until regulations are drafted by the US Treasury Department and other agencies, officials said.

"They will not manage to weaken the Revolution, nor defeat the Cuban people".

Noting that the past five decades has shown the futility of "the arrogant style of doing business with Cuba", the ministry warned the USA government that the anti-Cuban discourse, still in high demand though, would only cause regret.

"Officially, today, they are rejected".

"We will continue to urge the Trump Administration and Congress to recognize and utilize travel as a strategic tool in efforts to improve relations with Cuba, allowing us to be part of a promising future, as opposed to reverting to the policies of the past".

Cuban diplomats cited police killings and police brutality, racial discrimination, child labor, firearm deaths, salary inequality, the marginalization of refugees and the USA withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change as reasons why Trump was in no position to judge Cuba.

Mr Trump cast that as a sign the U.S. still wanted to engage with Cuba in hopes of forging "a much stronger and better path".

Havana decried the "hostile rhetoric that recalls the time of open confrontation", and "return to the coercive methods of the past".

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"Last year, I promised to be. a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people", he said in Friday's speech. The two countries have reopened embassies in their respective capitals and have signed a dozen of cooperation deals since then.

One day after U.S. President Trump unveiled new restrictions on travel and business in Cuba - reversing some Obama-era Cuba policies.

Yet new moves will burden the US government with the complicated task of policing to Cuba to make sure there are no transactions with the military-linked conglomerate that runs much of the Cuban economy.

Americans will no longer be able to travel to Cuba individually unless they fall into one of 12 previously established categories that will continue to include people-to-people but only if they are part of a group with a set schedule. And the USA government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". Though it is not a complete reversal of Obama's policy, Lee said the change will hurt both countries.

Those restrictions could be far-reaching, Sabatini says, as the Cuban military controls two-thirds of the island's economy, including "a large chunk of hospitality, the big mega-hotels and many state-run restaurants".

Former deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes, who played a key role in the change of policy under Obama, accused Trump of "turning back the clock to a tragically failed Cold War mindset".

While tourism to Cuba is banned by US law, the Obama administration had been allowing people to travel to Cuba as part of "people to people" educational trips for visitors, a popular classification that a White House official said was "ripe for abuse" by those looking for beach vacations. Obama and his aides argued that commerce and travel between the countries, which has blossomed since he relaxed the rules, would make his policy irreversible.

Lee said it will hurt American jobs created through eased restrictions and private Cuban businesses.

Trump said his measures aimed to punish the Castro regime, which Washington accuses of mistreating political dissidents.

Aug 2016: United States commercial flight arrives in Cuba for the first time in more than half a century.