Trump partially rolls back Obama's reconciliation with Cuba

17 Jun 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Gaurav
US-Cuba ties under Trump

President Donald Trump unveiled the new US policy towards Cuba, partially rolling back his predecessor Barack Obama's "completely one-sided deal."

Trump said in a speech in Miami, Florida, that he would tighten travel and trade rules to Cuba, citing the island country's worsening human rights situation.

Trump isn't however, entirely rolling back diplomatic and commercial relations. The US embassy in Havana won't be closed.

In context: US-Cuba ties under Trump

21 Mar 2016Obama: First US president in Cuba since 1959

On March 21, 2016, President Barack Obama arrived in Cuba, the first visit by a US president in 57 years.

Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro were expected to hold talks on improving ties and boosting bilateral trade, investment and political reform.

Obama's visit was the latest high-point in ties after both countries reopened their embassies in each other's territories last year.

17 Jun 2017Trump partially rolls back Obama's reconciliation with Cuba

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Trump says Obama's actions led to "more oppression" in Cuba

"The outcome of the last administration's executive order has been only more oppression," Trump said. "I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba. I am announcing a new policy, just as I promised in the campaign."
What Trump's new rules entail

Explained What Trump's new rules entail

Trump has signed a presidential directive which will ban individual travel to Cuba and restrict US businesses from transacting with several companies owned by the Cuban security forces.

However, air and sea travel has been exempted so US airlines and cruise lines can continue operations to Cuba.

Cuban-Americans will be allowed to send remittances to their families in Cuba and visit the country.

Trump says new rules will help Cubans 'pursue better lives'

Trump said: "We won't allow US dollars to prop up military monopolies that… abuse" the Cuban people. "We enforce the ban on tourism… My action today bypasses the military and the government to help the Cuban people themselves form businesses and pursue much better lives."

ReactionsCubans disappointed but Cuban-Americans cheer at Trump's announcement

Trump's announcement brought cheer to Cuban-Americans, many of who were veteran anti-Castro activists.

However, younger generation Cuban-Americans were left disappointed as they favor Obama's rapprochement policy.

"It hurts to be going backwards," said Havana resident Marta Deus, who added that Cubans need clients and business for the economy to grow. The isolation would "hurt many Cuban families and force companies to close."

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Cuban Communist Party member plays down Trump announcement's significance

"This is no big change from the Obama policy," said Cuban Communist Party member and US expert Esteban Morales. "There may be a little effect on immigration and business, but diplomatic relations with continue. That is the main part of the agreement [with Obama]."