Cuba-US relations: 6 things you need to know

Making good on promises to crack down on Cuba, President Donald Trump is expected to announce changes to existing US policy during a trip to Miami on Friday - rolling back numerous steps taken by former President Barack Obama's administration.

At an off-camera briefing on Thursday afternoon, Senior White House Officials highlighted President Trump's policy towards Cuba. USA firms may no longer do deals with Cuban businesses controlled by the military or security services, considered repressive institutions.

"I am confident the president will keep his commitment on Cuba policy by making changes that are targeted and strategic and which advance the Cuban people's aspirations for economic and political liberty", Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a statement.

Obama's opening to Cuba, negotiated in secret with the help of the Vatican and which culminated in a presidential trip to Havana in March 2016, was regarded by his administration as one of its signature foreign policy achievements. USA airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of Florida.

Obama also gave illegal immigrants from Cuba a path to legal status and opened travel to the island nation.

The Trump directive will try to police travel to Cuba to stop illegal tourism, but, officials said, Americans traveling to Cuba can still bring back cigars.

Frank Calzon, the president of the nonprofit Center for a Free Cuba, insisted the current policy is not working as they continue to strive for freedom and human rights for the people of a communist nation.

In this August 31, 2016 photo, two passengers deplane from JetBlue flight 387 waving a United States, and Cuban national flag, in Santa Clara.

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According to the Guardian, under President Trump's plans, diplomatic relations with Cuba will remain in place, and so will commercial flights to the country. The U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments will provide more specific regulations over the next few months.

The Trump administration had put the Cuba policy under review upon taking office earlier this year, the report said.

"They will not be able to negotiate anything, because while one side - the USA - is interested in seeing progress in greater political opening towards democratization, the other side - Cuba - wants non-intervention and the reduction of economic restrictions.to lift the embargo", said Torrico, adding "I think neither side is willing to accept these conditions".

But, facing pressure from US 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.

Cuban-Americans have been anxiously awaiting President Donald Trump's announcement in Miami Friday of changes to US policy toward Cuba, though it appears the changes will be more like a tweak of the Obama-era provisions.

But individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited.

It was unclear, however, whether the new rules would bar American visitors from spending money in state-run hotels and restaurants. Plus, Julia Sweig, senior research fellow at the University of Texas and the author of several books, including "Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know", explains the complicated history of the U.S. -Cuba relationship. We want to empower and we want to strengthen the Cuban people without strengthening the Cuban military, which controls a significant percentage of their economy.

President Trump will describe his Cuba policy in greater detail on Friday afternoon at the Manuel Artime Theatre in Miami, Florida.

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