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Russia says Trump is using 'Cold War rhetoric' on Cuba

19 June 2017

Before former President Barack Obama launched detente with Cuba in December 2014, most Americans without family ties to Cuba traveled to the island on expensive guided tours dedicated to full-time "meaningful interaction" with the Cuban people and — in principle at least — avoiding activities that could be considered tourism, which is illegal under US law.

President Donald Trump reverses an Obama-era deal to normalize U.S. -Cuba relations on Friday in Miami.

"If you want Cuba to change and reform, we are doing the opposite of what would be most likely to bring about reforms inside of Cuba", Rhodes said.

The Cuban government maintained that the new policies would not work, comparing it to the economic embargo that never ushered the Castro regime out of power as the USA had hoped.

Trump said: "I am cancelling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba".

Former President Barack Obama seemed more intent on what he could legally do on Cuba policy despite the Helms -Burton Act, which among other things sets strict conditions that must be met by Cuba before the US embargo against the island can be lifted. The government remained willing to engage in "respectful dialogue", it said in a statement. The White House advertised no public events over the weekend, and aides said senior staff members were not joining the president. That includes 330,000 Cuban Americans visiting relatives on the island, but numerous rest were Americans taking advantage of Obama's landmark moves to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. But it makes some exceptions, including for air and sea travel, according to United States officials.

A street sweeper cleans the sidewalk under a mural painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump, in Havana, Cuba, Friday, June 16, 2017.

One of the most oppressive regimes throughout the world, Saudi Arabia denies women rights, decapitates alleged criminals, amputates limbs, and quite literally crucifies children.

In his last month in office, Obama also suspended a section of the Helms-Burton Act that allows former owners of commercial properties expropriated by Cuba to sue foreign companies trafficking in those confiscated holdings.

"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer", Trump said.

By restricting individual U.S.travel to Cuba, the new policy also risks cutting off a major source of income for Cuba's private business sector, which the policy is meant to support. Before, the United States always voted against the U.N. resolution.

In December 2014, Obama reestablished diplomatic ties with Cuba for the first time in more than half-a-century.

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Critics of the rapprochement said Obama was giving too much away without extracting concessions from the Cuban government.

The official statement noted that "any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, via pressure and coercion, is destined to fail".

Before his election campaign past year, Trump had no history of supporting the cause of Cuban freedom - and since coming to power he has embraced other authoritarian regimes without much pause to consider their human rights records.

However, on closer inspection, even this doesn't make any sense. Trump is the first USA president of the post-Castro era, but sadly, instead of fostering new partnerships, he has squandered this historic moment. He spoke in Miami briefly before Trump took the stage. "It's like we are returning to the Cold War", said Cuban designer Idania del Rio, who joined a group of friends in a hotel in Old Havana to watch the speech in English on CNN.

The venue is named after a leader of the failed US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 against Fidel Castro's revolutionary government.

"I agree with Trump on the military". Engage Cuba, a group lobbying for an end to the embargo, estimates that 10,000 U.S. jobs in aviation and the cruise business already depend on Cuba.

Moreover, it appears there's a willingness to keep in place Obama's efforts to communicate with Cuba. The United States has decent relations with China, and Trump has called for better relations with Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump's announcement that he's "cancelling" his predecessor's policy toward Cuba is a good deal less than meets the ear.

"His speech was aggressive and threatening, . revealing his contempt and ignorance" the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro said.

Under Castro, Cuban education and health care became the envy of Latin America.

Some 285,000 people visited the Caribbean country in 2016, up 74 percent over 2015, with Americans the third-biggest group after Canadians and Cuban expatriates.