Cuba rejects new US policy, refuses return of US fugitives

by Johanna Valdez June 20, 2017, 0:55
Cuba rejects new US policy, refuses return of US fugitives

Although Trump kept in place many important Obama-era elements, such as reestablishing diplomatic relations, reopening embassies and rescinding the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, he did bar most USA business dealings with companies controlled or owned by the Cuban military, made it clear that US travelers to Cuba would be closely monitored to make sure their trips to the island weren't disguised tourism, and eliminated individual, educational people-to-people trips to the island by Americans. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who helped craft the new regulations, said at Friday's event with Trump. They praise President Donald Trump's return to more a restrictive approach.

Fernando Perez-Viart, the President of the Louisiana Cuban's Club here in Acadiana, grew up in Avila, Cuba, where he made the equivalent of about $26 a month as a doctor.

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", he declared.

Speaking in Vienna during a tour of European countries, Rodriguez also said Cuba would not accede to Trump's demand to return fugitives sought by the United States.

"We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel" since the cruise line's first trip there more than a year ago, the company said in a statement. The US president justified this policy with alleged concerns over the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce the US blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvements in US-Cuba bilateral relations to our country's making changes inherent to its constitutional order. Another category, for support for the Cuban people, is more stringent but will still allow for individual travel. The new policy will keep US companies from doing direct financial transactions with companies controlled by the Cuban military. "The US government doesn't have the moral authority to give lessons on human rights or democracy". Some U.S. companies are attempting to do business on the island - though at least a few have given up that idea, after learning how Cuban leaders treat private enterprise. One of the changes in the rules would prohibit Americans from traveling to Cuba through the so-called "people-to-people" cultural exchanges.

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"When Cuba is ready to take concrete steps to these ends, we will be ready, willing, and able to come to the table to negotiate that much better deal for Cubans, for Americans", Trump said.

Nevertheless, his policies reflect the view that the long-standing project of destabilizing Venezuela may soon bear fruit, which would include undermining its ability to subsidize the Cuban economy through its supply of cheap oil. He has already pulled the United States out of a major global climate treaty and is trying to scrap his predecessor's landmark healthcare program.

The Government of Cuba reiterates its will to continue a respectful and cooperative dialogue on topics of mutual interest, as well as the negotiation of outstanding issues with the US Government.

The Castro regime hit back at the criticism, calling Trump's decisions "ill-advised" and charging that the United States was in no position to preach to others about human rights. "We all know that Raúl Castro and the leadership in Cuba will be fine".

"Cuba will not make concessions that harm its sovereignty", Rodriguez said.

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