Soy growers oppose rollback of Cuba normalization policy
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 0:40
The changes are meant to cut off cash to Cuban leader Raúl Castro's regime, which controls about 60 percent of the island's economy through military-run enterprises, and pressure the Cuban government to let the nascent private sector grow. Arrests and beatings of political dissidents increased, and the regime's rhetoric became more defiant.
Tourism to Cuba remains banned while current travel restrictions are likely to be tightened and more heavily enforced. Additionally, individuals may have a harder time proving their visit falls under one of 12 authorized categories such as a religious, journalistic or artistic activity. Trump's order simply instructs his administration to begin drafting new rules within 30 days, with no set timeline for completion.
Small group culinary tour operator Access Trips also expressed disappointment.
The reversal in ties comes despite overwhelming support of Americans for their right to visit Cuba, and the recent reintroduction of a bill sponsored by 55 USA senators promoting the freedom to travel to the Caribbean island.
Sixty-four percent of Republicans and 65 percent of registered voters overall support an open trade policy with the Cuban government.
Russian Federation and China are already working to improve their political and economic ties to the island some 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. The top export destination for Cuban products is China, which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates at around $308 million a year.
While we won't know exactly how the Treasury Department will enforce the President's broad directive until the regulations are drafted, it appears likely that the "People-to-People" exchanges under which many thousands of Americans visited Cuba previous year will be limited by the new requirement to contract with a tourism service provider like the Vermont based CAFS Travel. Even so, demand for flights and cruises could be depressed as the new limits complicate travel to Cuba.
The statement said a "strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it seeks to achieve it through pressures and impositions, or by employing more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure".
Though he said that "effective immediately, I'm canceling completely the one-sided deal with Cuba", he announced that the U.S. Embassy would remain open on the island and didn't mention anything about the island nation's embassy in the U.S., which is in Washington.
Cuba has been limiting American agricultural imports while Latin American countries and the European Union have been making recent inroads into the Cuban market.
"By forbidding investment with the regime's military monopoly and empowering the Cuban people directly, the USA sends the message that America stands firmly on the side of the oppressed, not the oppressor".
Trump's new policy is created to hit the Cuban military, which controls a large part of the island's economy, including hotels, supermarkets and tour bus companies.
Tourism travel will further be restricted to include only group travel for all non-academic visits. Marco Rubio and Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, understands all this and has acted accordingly.
However, none of the proposed changes brought forward Friday can go into effect until the U.S. Treasury Department issues updated regulations, a process that could take several months.
The embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open and operational, but the USA will revert to its customary stance on opposing U.N. General Assembly resolutions condemning the 57-year-old US embargo. "That progress now appears to be at great risk".