Trump to Roll Back Obama’s Cuba Policy
by Stephen Lendman
Obama’s policy was dubious when announced. His so-called “new course on Cuba” concealed dirty business as usual, strategy and tactics changing, not Washington’s objective to return the country to US vassal state status.
Embargo, limited US travel and other restrictions remain in place. So does longstanding hostility toward Cuban sovereign independence.
Normalized relations aren’t possible without ending over half a century of lawless embargo. It can be done by executive order, congressional authorization not needed. Obama abstained instead of acting responsibly.
Candidate Trump said he’d reverse Obama’s dubious diplomatic outreach by executive order unless Cuba meets US demands.
Straightaway in office, he said he’d “terminate” Obama’s approach unless Havana makes significant concessions to Washington.
On Tuesday, Fox News said his “administration is nearing completion of a policy review to determine how far it goes in rolling back former President Barack Obama’s engagement with Cuba and could make an announcement” in June.
Last week, 54 senators introduced legislation to repeal all remaining restrictions on US travel to the island state.
Rollbacks the Trump administration are considering would adversely affect limited trade, tighten, not loosen travel restrictions, and harden bilateral relations overall short of terminating them altogether.
The Daily Caller said Trump is “set to roll back Obama’s Cuba policies.” It quoted Cuba Trade and Economic policy president John Kavulich saying “(t)he Trump Administration has been ‘ready’ since February 2017 to announce changes, but issues unrelated to Cuba have intervened.”
Anti-Cuba congressional hardliners want Obama’s limited outreach rolled back entirely, hardline policies reinstituted.
Neocon Rep. Diaz-Balart (R. FL) said he’s “1,000% sure (Trump will) deliver on his commitment” to be tough on Cuba. “I have no doubt that you’re going to see in short order a different policy,” he blustered.
Neocon Senator Marco Rubio (R. FL) earlier tweeted he’s “quite confident (Trump will) treat (Cuba) like a dictatorship.”
Separately, he said “(w)e’ve been walking through all these issues with the president and his team, figuring out the right steps to take and when.”
Reportedly Trump will announce his Cuba policy during a June address in Miami. According to Kavulich, he’ll order “increased enforcement relating to travel (and) focus upon discouraging transactions with entities controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of the Republic of Cuba.”
Instead of responsible change in US policy toward Cuba, Trump apparently intends reinstituting a hardline agenda short of abandoning bilateral relations altogether.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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