Tags: Barack Obama | Castro-Cuba | Cuba | Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Immigration | Trump Administration

Report: Trump to Reverse Obama's Cuba Policy

Report: Trump to Reverse Obama's Cuba Policy
(Getty Images/Rhona Wise)

By    |   Monday, 29 May 2017 09:31 PM

President Donald Trump plans to announce an end to former President Barack Obama's Cuba policy, The Daily Caller reported.

The Caller said it learned of the plans from two unnamed sources at an anti-embargo group and the information was confirmed Sunday by John Kavulich of the nonpartisan U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council.

"The Trump Administration has been 'ready' since February 2017 to announce changes, but issues unrelated to Cuba have intervened," Kavulich told the website.

Kavulich said the president plans to make the announcement in a speech set for June in Miami.

According to the Caller's sources, the change is the result of work by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.

The White House would not comment to the Caller.

The Obama administration in December 2014 re-established diplomatic ties with Cuba and eased some restrictions on travel and business, though Congress has resisted efforts to fully reverse the economic embargo in place since 1960 that restricts most travel and trade.

In his final days in office this past January, Obama announced a reversal of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed Cubans fleeing the communist Castro regime to stay in the United States if they can make it past Coast Guard patrols and reach American soil.

Menendez protested the policy, saying at the time, "We should never deny a Cuban refugee fleeing a brutal regime entry into the United States. The Obama administration seeks to pursue engagement with the Castro regime at the cost of ignoring the present state of torture and oppression, and its systematic curtailment of freedom."

Kavulich told the Caller the current White House will put into place "increased enforcement relating to travel," as well as "a focus upon discouraging transactions with entities controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of the Republic of Cuba."

That would affect Starwood Hotels & Resorts International, according to Kavulich, because it has a hotel being managed by a company controlled by the FAR.

Though Trump said in 2015 he thought "the concept of opening with Cuba is fine," he changed his tune during the 2016 campaign, saying he would "terminate" Obama's deals with the island nation if it did not make changes.

Rubio and Rep. Diaz-Balart have expressed confidence in recent days Trump would reverse Obama's policies, with Diaz-Balart telling National Journal last week he is "1,000 percent sure the president is going to deliver on his commitment. . . . I have no doubt that you're going to see in short order a different policy."

Rubio's office offered no comment for the Caller's story, but he tweeted in March he is "quite confident" Trump will "treat [Cuba] like a dictatorship."

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President Donald Trump plans to announce an end to former President Barack Obama's Cuba policy, The Daily Caller reported.
wet foot, dry foot, trade, embargo
Monday, 29 May 2017 09:31 PM
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