Under Trump, Cubans Are Losing Favored Immigration Status

16 June, 2017, 06:11 | Author: Garry Little
  • Cubans brace for worst as Trump takes aim at Obama opening

Trump plans to preserve some of the policy changes made by Obama.

U.S tourism industry says more than half of the tourists who are living in the Havana hotels are from the United States.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which merged with Marriott International to form the world's largest hotel chain, last year debuted the first Cuban hotel managed by a USA company in almost 60 years, taking advantage of President Barack Obama's 2014 move to normalize relations with Cuba and lighten regulations enforcing the US embargo on the island.

Even with carve outs, the new policy could pose problems for some U.S. businesses, including hoteliers and airlines who have put on regular flights between the USA and the Cuban capital. Absolutely not. And the Cuban government should do more.

Additionally, Trump's new prohibition on financial transactions with entities tied to Cuba's military could effectively curtail some travel to Cuba as well as business there, because the military controls a large portion of the economy.

A rollback of Obama administration efforts to open Cuba to US tourism and trade may chill a rebound in agricultural sales to the island nation, setting back a farm-lobby push that's weathered two decades.

Despite the years of hostility, Cubans generally love America. "The people in Cuba are starting to see their lives change, they want it to go faster".

Bloomberg reported last July that Trump Organization executives had visited Cuba on several occasions in recent years, including to visit a golf course, despite USA restrictions on commercial ventures.

Taking a tougher approach against Havana after promising to do so during the presidential campaign, Trump will outline stricter enforcement of an existing ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists and will seek to prevent USA dollars from being used to fund what the new US administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government.

"Obama incentivized entrepreneurship", Castillo said.

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A person wearing a Donald Trump mask celebrates the death of Fidel Castro, Nov. 26, 2016, in the Little Havana area in Miami.

Surely, after more than five decades we have learned that Cubans, proud of their revolution and their independence, will resist economic or military coercion.

At the core of the Cuba policy debate is a clash over the most effective way to hasten a transition to democracy on the island.

If Cubans and Americans don't want new barriers erected between their countries, who is President Trump trying to help? The number of Cuban-Americans traveling to Cuba has increased and the government has opened hundreds of public Wi-Fi spots since the warming, greatly expanding internet access. "He had something in mind, like playing chess with those people, the communists over there", he said. People-to-people travel will end, but family travel will continue, White House officials revealed during a conference call Thursday. Providing sanctions relief to empower the Cuban people does not mean we should give up our ability to pressure the Castro regime. "They have survived worse, unfortunately".

Some skeptics have argued that the policy is largely aimed at President Barack Obama, whose administration substantially loosened regulations regarding Cuba during his second term.

Senior administration officials said the impetus for the changes was born from a campaign promise and the concern that the Obama-era policies were contributing to the oppression on the island. "Outside the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 when you really look back to the last 50 years, nothing has been done". He promised them to provide more job opportunities and to reduce trade will not assist in doing that and so Trump is a confusion state.

But his immediate worry was much more personal. Without the United States to blame, they are finally under the microscope. "I'm afraid, really, about what happens if Trump cuts back relations".

The moves come after the US made steps to engage Cuba during the Obama administration.

Gomez Licon reported from Miami.

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