Trump lays out his Cuba policy, threatens dètente

First U.S. Flight Since 1959 Lands in Cuba

He will also leave in place some other tangible measures implemented by his Democratic predecessor, including the resumption of direct U.S. -Cuba commercial flights, though Trump's more restrictive policy seems certain to dampen new economic ties overall. That changed in 2014 during the first round of normalization when travelers returning from Cuba were allowed to bring up to $100 worth of Cuban alcohol and tobacco products back.

The number of Americans traveling to Cuba, mostly in large groups because of USA regulations, has almost tripled in recent years and was expected to reach around 400,000 in 2017, according to U.S.travel agencies.

Trump's changes, shared Thursday with the Miami Herald, are meant to sharply curtail cash flow to the Cuban government and pressure its communist leaders to let the island's fledgling private sector grow.

Edi Coba says he is not sure his new rooftop bar in the heart of Old Havana that buzzes at night with hip, tattooed young Americans will survive if U.S. President Donald Trump tightens restrictions on travel to Communist-run Cuba. He re-established diplomatic relations with Havana in 2015 and loosened some restrictions on doing business in the country.

The president will also unveil a series of "very specific benchmarks" in a speech in Miami on Friday that Cuban President Raul Castro needs to meet in order to negotiate with the USA, according to White House officials on Thursday.

"It is my hope that in five to 10 years - or less - Cuba will look very different, and people will point to this as the moment that kind of triggered those changes", Rubio said. The new Trump policy will require greater documentation.

Trump's new policy will ban transactions with the Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A., a business controlled by the Cuban military.

On the economic and financial front, he believes that the White House is unlikely to set new limits on trade or investment since they would be very unpopular among US business sectors that advocate for closer ties between the two economies.

Eliminating that category - in which individuals can travel to Cuba alone and not as part of an organized tour group, which has the "highest risk of potential abuse", an official said - still leaves 11 other categories under which Americans can visit Cuba legally. It could make Americans, or at least South Floridians, more aware of how critical Central America's economic and security recovery is to the USA, from trade to drugs to immigration.

Trump is expected to make his announcement at Little Havana's Manuel Artime Theatre, a symbolically important venue named for the political leader of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in which Cuban exiles attempted to overthrow Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

What specific changes the Cuban government would have to make to their human rights approach in order to begin loosening relations again was not made clear. They also view Cuba as a natural and nearby market for farm exports. Despite the compelling case for engagement argued by Republicans and Democrats, businesses and human rights groups, few are optimistic. Companies including agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co. and soybean processor Bunge Ltd., along with the federation, the biggest US farmer group, have supported full farm trade.

Trump has long hanged his understanding of the deal between the United States and Cuba on his "Cuban friends" in Florida, whom he said throughout the campaign supported him over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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