WASHINGTON, United States, Thursday June 15, 2016 – United States President Donald Trump has revamped Washington’s friendly overtures towards Cuba, tightening several restrictions that were eased by his predecessor Barack Obama.
While it’s not expected to be a full reversal of the measures introduced in 2014, information secured by the Miami Herald has revealed Trump’s plans to curtail cash flow between the United States and Cuba.
It also indicates that the new administration will not reinstate the wet foot, dry foot policy, which allowed Cuban immigrants who reached American soil to remain in the country.
No changes will be made to US trade embargo.
According to the Miami Herald, the new rules also mandate that travelers to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country be subjected to a Treasury Department audit of their trip to ensure they fall under one of the permitted categories.
Educational trips and so-called “people-to-people” group exchanges will be under greater scrutiny, with educational groups once again having to travel with a guide from a US organization sponsoring the trip, a requirement the Obama policy had effectively eliminated.
However, diplomatic relations reestablished by Obama, including reopened embassies in Washington and Havana, will remain and travel and money sent by Cuban Americans will not be affected.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served notice that the Trump administration plans to restore “pressure on the regime”.
“We think we have achieved very little in terms of changing the behaviour of the regime in Cuba and its treatment of people, and it has little incentive today to change that,” he said.
Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio was instrumental in drafting Trump’s changes.
Rubio called the new policy a strategic, long-term attempt to force aging Cuban military and intelligence officers to ease their grip on the island’s economy as a younger generation of leaders prepares to take over.
President Trump will outline the new rules tomorrow.