"They made a deal with a government that spread violence and instability in the region and nothing they got, think about it, nothing they got, they fought for everything and we just didn't fight hard enough, but now, those days are over". Harmful changes like these are a prime example of why Congress must act to codify the law and allow open trade and travel with Cuba and the Cuban people.
Both Rubio and Trump praised each other on Friday, despite fierce rhetoric directed at each other during the race for the GOP nomination, where Trump called the Florida senator "little Marco". Washington had severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961, two years after communist rebels led by Fidel Castro toppled the right-wing government of Fulgencio Batista.
At the same time, he said that the U.S. embassy in Havana would remain open.
And while his policy has the stated aim of helping the country's nascent private sector, it contains a measure that could damage thousands of small-business people who host, feed and transport independent American travelers to Cuba.
Other members of the luncheon meeting, held in a Miami suburb, expressed disappointment that they were not consulted by USA lawmakers from Florida who helped shape the policy, including Sen.
In a contentious internal debate, some aides argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash US business and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market. Emmer, Crawford and five other House Republicans have warned that rolling back U.S. Cuba policy could threaten new bilateral agreements with Havana to combat human trafficking, illicit drugs and cyber crimes. I agree 150% with everything Trump says and does. American (AAL), Delta (DAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV), United (UAL) and Alaska Airlines (ALK) are the US carriers now offering flights to Cuba.
American citizens and foreign travellers on USA territory could access dozens of new scheduled flights to the island. The irony is that in the name of "freeing Cuba", whatever that may mean, the Trump administration has taken the wind out of the sails of people who are changing the country for the better.
Well, for starters, none of Trump's reforms take effect immediately.
"Trump is keeping his promise".
Private entrepreneurs say Americans represent a disproportionate share of their revenue because they spend more than other travelers for high-end services that badly run state-operated business typically can not provide. This is likely to affect pending hotel projects with Cuban companies that have ties to the military. The rules also require a daylong schedule of activities created to expose the travelers to ordinary Cubans. The ability of Americans to travel freely on vacation to the country will be scrapped.
The policy risks harming independent business people by restoring a requirement for most American travelers to visit Cuba as part of tightly regulated tour groups.
The trade group Airlines for America said it is "reviewing" the new directive and will comply with new regulations.
What remains in place from Obama's policy? This will essentially shield US airlines and cruise lines serving the island.
Moreover, it appears there's a willingness to keep in place Obama's efforts to communicate with Cuba.
He will not close the USA embassy in Havana, commercial flights from the United States will continue, and Americans will still be able to return home with Cuban goods.
At the venue where Trump announced his policy changes, the president received a warm welcome from audience members.
"You have not betrayed us". This could make it easier for dissidents to organize, and other Cubans to utilize information sources not controlled by the state.
US President Trump announced on Friday that the United States would tighten its policy towards Cuba. We received nothing from the Cuban government.
"Any strategy to change the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether through pressure. or through more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure".