WASHINGTON, US: President Donald Trump vowed to revisit all off his predecessor’s diplomatic successes, and failures, but is he ready to slam the door of Cuba?
On Friday, he is expected to unveil a new policy on relations with Cuba after Barak Obama painstakingly resorted ties with the communist-run island.
The White House’s announcement on his Cuba policy is coming soon, following a review on the issue by the National Security Council. But the person with knowledge of the plans says a document came out of the NSC on Friday outlining the proposals.
Although many Americans, support the decision and US business community has welcomed moves to reopen trade, Trump’s tough campaign rhetoric won him support among influential Cuban exiles in Florida.
The White House has not let much slip, but a radical turnaround such as a renewed break in diplomatic relations does not yet appear to be on the cards.
Instead, Trump may announce a return to restrictions on Us tourists heading to Cuba and business signing partnership with Cuba. They are just announcing the new policy , but then after the agencies will actually get to write the regulations, make the changes.
That would be meant to press Raul Castro’s government towards democratic reform and appease Cuban-American voters, many of whom fled communist rule.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday the proposal is still undergoing a interagency review process. Asked about the forthcoming announcement, he said the general approach is to “allow as much of this continued commercial and engagement activity to go on as possible”.
“But on the other hand, we think we have achieved very little in terms of changing the behavior of the regime in the Cuba and its treatment of people”, Tillerson said. “And it has little incentive today to change that, and in fact, our concern is they may be one of the biggest beneficiaries of all of this”.
Two Cuban-American Republican lawmakers who have pushed for a tougher stance against Cuba, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, have been working behind the scenes with the administration as they’ve prepared to announce the changes.
“I am confident the president will keep his commitment to Cuba policy by making changes that are targeted and strategic and which advance the Cuban people’s aspirations for economic and political liberty. Rubio said in a statement.
Trump accused Cuba of “ cruel despotism“ in May, vowing to support its people’s hopes for democracy, which raised ironic cheers from right supporters more used to his cozying up to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other autocratic states.
The three Republicans acknowledged there “are those who suggest that any changes in U.S-Cuba policy are concessions that must be met by some definitive action by the Cubans”.
“Instead, we view recent reforms to U.S-Cuba policy as providing critical strategic advances that have already benefited everyday Cubans and provide direct benefits to Americans by enhancing U.S. national security and boosting the U.S. economy”, they wrote in the letter.
In December 2014, Obama announced plans to restore relations with Cuba, which included reopening an embassy in Havana and relaxing travel limits for Americans.
“In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advanced our interests, and instead we will bring to normalize relations between our two countries”, Obama said . “Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the Americans and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the America”.
During the Presidential campaign, Trump promised to reverse Obama’s actions on Cuba calling it a “One-Sided deal for Cuba” that “benefits only the Castro regime” during a September 2016 Florida campaign rally.
“But all the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime was done through executive order, which means that can be undone and that is what I intend to do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” Trump said.