Trump in announcement on Cuba policy unclear about changes he'll make

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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.

Essentially, the largest U.S. companies are being shielded from legal liability, with the burden being placed most directly on individual travelers, in a move that can only be seen as an attempt to put a chill on the individual travel market and discourage those who would like to visit the island that is less than 100 miles off the United States mainland.

First announced in December 2014, Obama's "deal" ensured what all other misdirected policies had from his administration: The U.S. gave away the store while demanding no changed behavior from the offending regime in return. The Cuban state run news published an article painting Trump's move as vastly unpopular in the U.S. and backwards-thinking.

Others questioned why the White House was taking the high road when it came to Cuba, but not other countries. This sentiment is not only evident in public opinion polls, but also in the fact that the number of Americans visiting Cuba is growing exponentially, with over 600,000 Americans visiting it in 2016.

Small group culinary tour operator Access Trips also expressed disappointment.

The ministry also said that the new approach toward Cuba by the US administration resembles a "Cold war rhetoric".

"Access Trips' tours will operate as planned, with our eight-day immersive culinary tours as well as our five-day weekend trips to Havana both created to help our guests explore Cuban culture through its cuisine".

However, according the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Trump's proposed changes USA residents can still travel to the island via airlines and cruise ships.

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"The changes he announced will assist Cubans struggling for liberty by ensuring that USA policy toward Cuba actually benefits the Cuban people". On one of my most recent visits to Cuba, while negotiating the price of an avocado from a street vendor in Havana for my lunch, the vendor asked me if I was Canadian - likely because millions of Canadians visit Cuba each year.

Carnival Corp. also said it was "pleased" the changes will allow its ships to continue to sail to Cuba.

While most Republicans cheered the change in policy - including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who engaged in a nasty fight with Mr Trump for the Republican nomination previous year - many said that the changes were a brash political play to try and attract conservative Cuban voters in Florida. Unfortunately, today's moves actually limit the possibility for positive change on the island and risk ceding growth opportunities to other countries that, frankly, may not share America's interest in a free and democratic Cuba that respects human rights.

In contentious deliberations leading up to the new policy, some aides argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency vowing to unleash US business, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market. The other change the president talked about involved USA companies that do business with military on the island.

Ward said that while the Treasury Department has made clear that it will take some months for any new regulations to be implemented, "it is safe to say that there will be tightening of the people-to-people travel 'general license'".

Embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open. "That progress now appears to be at great risk".

There is no doubt that if the USA wants to influence Cuba, the best policy is to engage more with Cuba, not disengage. The ability of Americans to travel freely on vacation to the country will be scrapped.

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