Trump Expected To Announce New Cuba Restrictions Next Friday

In 2015, President Obama lifted many restrictions in place between the US and Cuba, which eventually lead to US airlines being able to add commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in decades.

However, the decision to ease restrictions with Cuba was controversial, and isn’t universally supported. As Travis wrote about a couple of weeks ago, there were rumors that President Trump would once again tighten up restrictions, and possibly reinstate the travel ban. At the time his administration was supposedly launching a “full review” of Cuban policies, but had no official updates.

Well, it looks like something may soon come of this issue. Reuters is reporting that President Trump may visit Miami as early as next Friday (June 16, 2017) to announce new Cuban policies that could tighten rules on trade and travel. Per the story:

Trump’s aides are nearing completion of a review of relations with Cuba and are expected to send recommendations to his national security team and then to the president in coming days, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Plans are in the works for Trump to roll out his new approach on June 16 in a speech in Miami, where he is expected to claim fulfillment of a campaign promise and justify it, at least in part, on human rights grounds, the sources said.

But they cautioned that a delay in the announcement is still possible if it takes longer for Trump to make a final decision.

I’ll be curious to see if the administration actually takes any action here. We’ve seen a lot of things nearly happen (like an expanded electronics ban), though in the last second it’s reconsidered, or at least not acted on. So I wonder what we’ll see happen with Cuba.

The tricky thing here is that I could see them implementing something effective immediately, which could of course have big implications for those with travel booked to Cuba.

I’m curious what you guys think — do you think Trump will bring back more restrictions related to Cuba, and if so, do you think it’ll actually happen in the coming weeks?

Comments

  1. Total clown show in Washington. They are putting out feelers the same way they did with the alleged forthcoming “laptop ban”. (The original ban designed to cripple the three Gulf airlines remains in place, and the Saudis are doing their utmost to further cripple Qatar’s revenue stream.)

    How can the flying public believe anything this clown show says about airline travel?? He could give a speech from one of his zillion country clubs / golf courses and then do nothing. Problem solved.

  2. The Cuban government is far from perfect but if we’re going to take action in the interest of human rights there are plenty of other places where we should start.

    Of course those countries have oil.

  3. I have never understood the purpose of continuing an archaic policy. This isn’t 1962 anymore. Maybe instead of smoosing with the saudis he should speak to them about human rights. Same with many other countries we are free to travel to.

  4. Seeing as how Trump’s number one priority seems to be undoing every accomplishment done by the Obama administration, I could see the restriction being implemented, regardless of what his advisors tell him.

  5. Cuba is a communist dictatorial regime that routinely murders their own citizens.
    President Trump is the only politician with ability to see the trough and courage to act upon what’s right.
    President Obama made a lot of stupid decisions simply to be popular.
    Doing what’s right is rarely popular and certainly will not get you any praise by the media.

  6. Bummer! We booked our trip to Cuba for March 2018. I hope it’s not a hassle to get our points/cash back

  7. @DW: “So the President is BFF with Saudi Arabia but is worried about human rights in Cuba?!”

    Human rights matter only in nations with no oil.

  8. I have to imagine that some of the airlines are privately welcoming this as a way to bail out money losing routes to Cuba.

  9. Do we honestly believe he thinks about any of the decisions he makes?? Other than on a rudimentary level of if someone somehow slighted him and didn’t stroke his ego to a level he felt necessary?

    “But they cautioned that a delay in the announcement is still possible if it takes longer for Trump to make a final decision.”

  10. @DCAguy citation needed. According to ‘Death Penalty News’ and other sources, “The last executions were held on 11 April 2003,” and according to https://www.hrw.org/americas/cuba
    “The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and deter public criticism. It now relies less on long-term prison sentences to punish its critics, but short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others have increased dramatically in recent years. Other repressive tactics employed by the government include public acts of shaming and the arbitrary termination of employment. ”

    The evidence is that Cuba is a dictatorship, but not as evil a one as Trump’s BFF Putin’s, nor others that we tolerate. Your statement ‘routinely murders its own citizens’ seems not to be true for the past 14 years. For us to treat Cuba as uniquely bad is just stupid. So yes, Trump may indeed reinstate the travel ban.

  11. Yes, the Saudis have oil. However that is far less important now that the US, thanks to hydraulic fracking, is becoming one of the top oil producers in the world. We are also a top producer of natural gas, exporting lots of it to Mexico, and as of this week Poland. If Trump was a “friend” of Putin, he certainly wouldn’t be helping Poland break free of it’s dependence on Gazprom.

    On the plus side, the Saudis are helping us fight ISIS and contain Iran. Personal freedom is abysmal there, but the overall standard of living in the oil countries is high. SA is a mixed bag.

    Cuba however is a Communist dictatorship with one of the lowest standards of living in the world. Instead of a minimum wage per hour, they have a maximum wage per month. Rather than being allies with the US in any way, Cuba is an opponent of the US, doing everything they can to impose Communist rule on other countries.

    When Obama opened up relations Cuba got many benefits, but the US got nothing at all in return. Instead of lossening up on personal freedoms, as James documented above, Cuba tightened down even more on “dissidents”.

    I suggest closing things relations back down, as we are getting nothing of any value from the current situation, and telling the Dictatorship to get back to us when they are willing to allow actual democratic elections to take place.

  12. Cuba is no angel but come on. The people from their country don’t come here and fly planes into our buildings like saudi arabia. Their human rights abuses are not near the levels of some of our “friends” in the middle east. This is a joke. Trump is pandering to the anti-castro crowd and not acting in the best interests of the US. What about the hotel companies and airlines that have invested money already? There is no real point to doing this.

  13. @Robert Hanson You do realize that the embargo was never lifted on Cuba right? It would require an act of congress, so that never happened. Basically they established diplomatic ties and americans can now go visit there. There have been cross-cultural programs, but no lets shut all that down and to hell with the people in Cuba right? If you are soo concerned about the people in Cuba I would point out that Trump’s budget calls for taking the money that was to go to cuban dissidents away. You know the people who oppose the current regime. The embargo started in 1958, but hey I guess it works right? Because it has done sooo much good for almost sixty years.

  14. @RobertHanson
    “Cuba however is a Communist dictatorship with one of the lowest standards of living in the world.”

    So, I’m intrigued. How come the infant mortality rate is lower in Cuba than in the USA?

    Infant mortality rate – agreed by most NGOs as one of the fundamental measures of how well a country looks after its people. Surely the Paradise that is the USA should have the world’s lowest infant mortality rate? Yet, strangely, it seems to be shittier than dirt-poor, Commie Cuba.

    Mystifying.

  15. Bill said “Trump is pandering to the anti-castro crowd”. Until Bill said this, I was thinking that Trump should leave Obama’s reset with Castro in place, even though the reset gave Castro a life line to continue to maintain control after their sugar daddy in Valenzuela went bankrupt. The policy that Obama reversed was a little bit anachronistic

    However, Cuban Americans (“anti-Castro crowd”) helped delivered Florida to Trump and are his strong supporters. Without their support, it is less likely that Trump would be President and he needs their support in the next election. Therefore, Trump should loyal to his supporters and reverse some of the Obama’s support of Cuba. We vote in this country and the people that vote for a candidate that wins gets a bigger say.

  16. @Robert Hanson
    What has 60 years of doing the same thing gotten us from Cuba – nothing! Why are we so concerned with they got something and we didn’t? Even the dope man gives out freebies until someone gets hooked! At some point Cuba could become reliant on us!

  17. @Paul as no central statistics Office is to be found in the World, you have to look on how the data is collected and importantly is the data comparable, and no it is not.

    And to be honest do you believe in statistics derived from the Cuban health department, in fact I can’t believe they even have that as its Cuba and it’s a dictatorship.

    So believing in data from the health dept. in Cuba is like believing that Kim Ding Dong Un invented the Big Mac, was the first to do Hole in one on all courses in the world, and climb Mount Everest in ball room shoes – because the North Korean state dept. has send a press release about it.

  18. Bill – Using reason and logic with the likes of Robert Hanson is a complete waste of time.

    The reason Cuba is different from brutal regimes like Saudi Arabia that Trump actively supports and covets isn’t oil, it’s politics. Cuba is communist. Trump, Hanson etc have an ideological hatred towards anything that helps the poor at the expense of the rich which is why the brutal oppression of women in Saudi isn’t even worth bringing up yet the objectively and irrefutably less severe oppression in Cuba is beyond the pale.

  19. As a reminder, since most don’t bother to learn history, many Cuban Americans lost valuable property, businesses and money after the revolution. Family members have been killed and imprisoned. The Cuban Americans living in the US are not forgetting.
    Further, because President Obama eased restrictions he did leave in tact the travel restrictions that most present travels ignore. Few people are journalists or are engaging in activities to help the Cuban people. Instead most people are going to Cuba for pleasure- which President Obama restricted.

  20. @Callum. “Cuba is communist. Trump, Hanson etc have an ideological hatred towards anything that helps the poor at the expense of the rich…”

    Communism is a failed system. See Venezuela, North Korea, Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s Communist China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia…..and even economic basket case Cuba. LOL, just read Animal Farm which is about communism. Communism leads to dirt poor poverty for almost everyone. Those in the “party” live comfortably, but in fear of the next purge. A few at the very top become wealthy beyond belief and are the worst sort of dictators.

    This is not even ancient history. Those that know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about history are destined to repeat it.

    Ok, sorry about the “absolutely nothing” crack. I am sure it might hurt your feelings. You have my invitation to go into your safe space.

  21. @Suzie Alcatrez. Yes, that is why I said Mao’s China. China was a dirt poor country. Mao died in 9/9/1976. China begin to open its country to foreigners since then. The economic miracle has been the result of capitalism in China, not pure communism. Jack Ma, for example, has a net worth about USA$30 billion. That could not happen in a pure communist company.

  22. @Other just saying – Ermmmm, when exactly did I say communism works? It demonstrably doesn’t, I’m just not scared of it, unlike your precious self.

    It’s hardly surprising someone as pathetic as you is incapable of basic reasoning skills though.

  23. In other news, Trump will be reversing Obama administration directives on up, right, and inside, replacing them with down, left, and outside.

  24. Anything and everything that Obama enacted or achieved, Trump will try to do just because he can. Vile, disgusting, dangerous embarrassment.

  25. @DCAguy what year are you living in? Trump is the only politician who continually choses to divide this country and create fractions who are willing to fight against one another. Travel, whether it be Cuba, China, Mexico, or Spain creates understanding amongst people if done in the correct way. What’s right is mutual understanding, not creating an insular atmosphere. Travel educates.

  26. @other and China has (or soon will have) more billionaires than any other country.

    Of course, w/ 3 – 3.5x the population of the US, it’d stand to reason they’d have “more”…eventually.

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