June 16, 2017 | By:
President Donald Trump on Friday will announce plans to tighten restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and clamp down on U.S. business dealings with the island’s military, rolling back parts of former President Barack Obama’s historic opening to Havana. Laying out his new Cuba policy in a speech in Miami, Trump will issue a presidential directive to reverse some of the loosened regulations that Obama introduced after a 2014 breakthrough between the two former Cold War foes, senior White House officials said.
Trump, taking a tougher approach against Havana after promising to do so during the presidential campaign, will outline stricter enforcement of a long-time ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists and will seek to prevent U.S. dollars from being used to fund what the new U.S. administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government. But, facing pressure from U.S. business and some of his fellow Republicans to avoid turning back the clock completely in relations with communist-ruled Cuba, he also will leave intact many of Obama’s steps toward normalization.
The new policy will ban most U.S. business transactions with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group (GAESA), a sprawling conglomerate involved in all sectors of the economy, but make some exceptions, including for air and sea travel, the officials said. This will essentially shield U.S. airlines and cruise-ship companies now serving the island.
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