Local Reaction To Trump's Cuba Policy

It will be business as usual for Canada and Cuba despite a renewed hardening of relations between the communist island nation and the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

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

During the final two years of his presidency, Obama reopened the U.S. Embassy in Havana, eased restrictions to allow direct flights and cruise voyages between the U.S. and Cuba and vocally advocated for easing and eventually ending the economic embargo on the island.

The president announced changes to Obama-era Cuba policy, and challenged the Castro government to negotiate a better deal.

Trump also thanked the Cuban-American community for strongly supporting him in the 2016 election, and thanked former rival for the Republican presidential nomination Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) for advice on Cuba and Venezuela.

"The message that comes out of the administration has to be smart and strategic rather than discouraging travel", Giancarlo Sopo, director of Cuban-American tour group CubaOne, told Travel + Leisure.

Trump also demanded that Cuba return Joanne Chesimard to the United States during Friday's announcement. "And at the same time they welcome laws, activities that the USA would use to pressure the Cuban government to better allow them to do their work".

Trump's announcement will anger Latin America and erode USA ability in the region, including Washington's efforts to pressure Venezuela's abusive, leftist government.

Obama reopened the USA embassy in Havana and renewed diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba for the first time in 50 years starting in 2014.

Carlos Cristóbal Márquez, the restaurant's owner, watched Trump's announcement near to where President Barack Obama dined during his historic trip in March.

"Our new policy begins with strictly enforcing US law".

Yet he noted that in the last several years the Cuban government has knocked down churches and imprisoned freedom of religion advocates.

President Trump plans to impose a strict implementation of travel rules, in which trips to Cuba should fall under 12 legal categories, including family visits and educational, humanitarian and professional activities, Bloomberg reported.

Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, reporting from Havana, said Cubans had been eagerly waiting Trump's speech.

But outside, Cuban-American protesters slammed the change. Bob Menendez, a Cuban-American Democrat, said that he was pleased that Trump called for Chesimard's return and by the other changes announced Friday in Miami.

Rubio has also been leading the calls for the United States to support the opposition activists in Venezuela who have been clashing with police for weeks, seeking to overthrow the socialist government allied with Havana.



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