Trump policy to take harder line on Cuba
In an overhaul of one of his predecessor's signature legacies, President Donald Trump will redraw U.S. policy toward Cuba on Friday, tightening travel restrictions for Americans that had been loosened under President Barack Obama and banning U.S. business transactions with Cuba's vast military conglomerate.
Trump's changes, shared Thursday with the Miami Herald, are intended to sharply curtail cash flow to the Cuban government and pressure its communist leaders to let the island's fledgling private sector grow. Diplomatic relations reestablished by Obama, including reopened embassies in Washington and Havana, will remain. Travel and money sent by Cuban Americans will be unaffected.
Trump is expected to announce the presidential policy directive Friday, surrounded by Cuban-American supporters at Miami's Manuel Artime Theater, a venue named after one of the late leaders of the Brigade 2506 Bay of Pigs veterans whose group offered Trump their endorsement last October after he promised exiles a "better deal."
In his remarks, Trump plans to cite human-rights violations in Cuba as justification for the new U.S. approach. Dissidents say government repression has increased.
"The Cuban people have long suffered under a Communist regime that suppresses their legitimate aspirations for freedom and prosperity and fails to respect the essential human dignity of all Cubans," says Trump's directive, which calls the policy a set of "initial actions" by his administration.
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