Trump wants to dismantle Obama-era Cuba policies

President Donald Trump is set to announce Friday, before an audience of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami, that he is rolling back parts of the Obama administration's opening with Cuba.

Tourism to the island is still strictly prohibited, but White House officials said that enforcement of the ban has been lagging. The new rules include prohibitions against Americans spending money on businesses controlled by the military, which has a wide reach in the Cuban economy. Numerous big hotels in Havana, for example, would be off limits to American visitors. The rules will take effect when the Treasury Department has the regulations ready.

Marco Rubio is scheduled to accompany Trump for a 1 p.m. event at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana.

Almost five months into office, Trump has reversed Obama on items ranging from business regulations to participation in the Paris climate change agreement.

Trump's new restrictions are aimed toward restricting tourism and stemming funds directed toward the Cuban military but he won't be fully reversing diplomatic and commercial ties with the country.

As well as rolling back Obama's relaxation of travel restrictions, which allowed American cruise ships and airlines to resume scheduled services to Cuba last year for the first time in more than 50 years, Trump is reported to also be considering moves to limit business opportunities for US companies.

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When asked whether Trump is planning to announce the naming of an ambassador to Cuba anytime soon, Sanders said that she was not certain what the plans are on that subject or whether it would be included in the President's Friday announcement, reports Efe news.

Instead, Trump will aim to make it tougher to travel to Cuba and restrict US financial transactions that benefit the communist-ruled regime. What's most important is that the ratcheting back of Obama's policy not be the end of US efforts to force reform in Cuba. Trump's policy also will not reinstate the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which allowed any Cuban who made it to US soil to stay and become a legal resident.

But the White House's crackdown on Cuba's human rights record is puzzling, considering Trump has previously praised other countries and leaders with similarly checkered histories, such as Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte. In Miami, then-candidate Trump called for a reversal of Obama's normalization of Cuba policy, saying he would demand religious and political freedom for the Cuban people as well as the release of political prisoners. That's a contrast with other aspects of the administration's foreign policy that have played down human rights concerns.

"But it's up to Raúl Castro to make that happen", a senior White House official said.

The Obama administration made historic improvements in ties with Cuba since restarting diplomatic relations in 2014, a move that ended decades of estrangement from one of the U.S.'s closest neighbors. The new Trump policy will require greater documentation. Rather, the administration "wants any benefits of commerce to go towards the Cuban people".

One important thing of note: You can still bring back cigars and other otherwise-banned Cuban products as long as the value is less than $100.

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