White House Moves To Formally Reverse Obama-Era Detente With Cuba

After months of blustery rhetoric and half measures, the White House is finally taking steps to undo another one of former President Barack Obama’s legacy-defining foreign-policy accomplishments.

The Washington Post reports that, in a landmark ruling, the Trump administration is reversing some of Obama detente with Cuba by cracking down on travel and business with the island.

Under the new rules, most individual visits to Cuba will no longer be allowed, and U.S. citizens will again have to travel as part of a licensed group, accompanied by a group representative. Americans will also be barred from staying at a long list of hotels and from patronizing restaurants, stores and other enterprises that the State Department has determined are owned by or benefit members of the Cuban government, specifically its security services.

Administration officials said that the new regulations, which go into effect Thursday, would not affect travel arrangements already made or contracts already signed, which are to be grandfathered in under existing law.

Trump was extremely critical of Obama’s Cuba policy during the campaign, but after taking office did relatively little to restrict the newly opened lines of trade and tourism opened up by Obama, who made it much easier for US tourists to visit the island, so long as they could justify the trip under a list of criteria issued by the Obama State Department.

Trump railed against Cuba during a speech he gave back in May, sparking speculation that he would threaten to punish Cuba unless it returns US fugitives like Assata Shakur, who received political asylum on the island after being convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper and escaping from a US prison.

Trump was spurred to act over the summer after US media reported on a series of mysterious cyberattacks that targeted more than 20 US diplomats stationed in Havana, including an unusually large number of spies.

Trump expelled most of Cuba’s Washington-based diplomats, and recalled two-thirds of US personnel from Havana after blaming Cuba for not doing more to prevent the attacks, though the US has said there’s no evidence to suggest the attacks were orchestrated by the Cuban government.

But now that it seems like Trump is getting serious, expect more restrictions to follow as Trump follows through with other promises like barring US companies American from making deals with the Cuban military, which controls much of the state-run tourism industry.


BennyBoy Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:27 Permalink

 Ah geeez.Yet another small, helpless country the US wants to dominate and crush.CIA still upset about the Bay of Pigs?CIA - Criminally Insane Assholes.

not dead yet chubbar Wed, 11/08/2017 - 16:26 Permalink

It's because they didn't roll over for the US. Same reason the US has treated North Korea so badly. Made the mighty US look bad. Plus their are plenty of expat Cubans, who were big land owners in Cuba before they fled, in Florida with the politicians on the take to do their bidding on the Cuban question. They have been hoping for over 50 years to go back home and be the rich big shots they once were.Castro had the backing of peasants, more like slaves to the rich, hoping for a better life. Oops. People who think we need a revolution in the US had better give it more thought. As Cuba has shown not every revolution turns out the way you want it too.

In reply to by chubbar

Solosides Ajax-1 Wed, 11/08/2017 - 16:42 Permalink

These werent young libtards. Most of them were old-folks who had literally run out of option and had to sleep under a bridge. And yes, I do blame the filthy Seattle pigs (the most corrupt police force on the PLANET) for mass arresting people. Those vans were marked "King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention"

In reply to by Ajax-1

pods Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:30 Permalink

Cuba's a yuuge threat.  Go gettum Orange Jesus.Must be another game of 5D chess our Grandmaster in Chief is playing eh?pods

Ajax-1 pods Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:37 Permalink

You are missing the point Pods. If one wishes to normalize relations with with the retrobate Cuba, get something for it. I.E. Recognition of basic human rights, property rights for the working poor etc. When President Zero decided to normalize relations, he asked for no conditions. Sad and pathetic really. 

In reply to by pods

pods Ajax-1 Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:40 Permalink

Like we do with China, Saudi Arabia, Israel et all?Sorry, I don't go for the fake "communists are going to take over the world" line.Maybe Cuba can petition our "friend" the Saudis on the UN Human Rights council?How about we quit fucking with other nations and just worry about our own problems?  pods

In reply to by Ajax-1

wisehiney Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:32 Permalink

“We’re going to win. We’re going to win so much. We’re going to win at trade, we’re going to win at the border. We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’  You’ll say ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.’” Trump said. “And I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep winning, winning, winning, We’re going to make America great again.”