Not much new in Trump's Cuba policy


President Donald Trump on Friday announced plans to tighten restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and clamp down on US business dealings with the island's military, rolling back parts of former President Barack Obama's open door to Havana after five decades of silence with the island nation.

"The Government of Cuba denounces the new measures for strengthening the blockade, which are destined to fail as proven repeatedly in the past", the statement said.

US President Donald Trump vowed Friday to overhaul Obama's deal, promising to instead support the Cuban people against Raul Castro's government.

The Trump administration's new and tougher restrictions on travel between the USA and Cuba were met with a muted response from major US airlines, which have recently cut back on flights to the island nation after an early surge.

The Cuban government slammed Trump's rollback of policies made by the Obama Administration to restore ties between the two countries.

More than two years ago, then President Barack Obama announced plans to "normalize relations" between the USA and Cuban governments, effectively lifting a half-century trade embargo that the US imposed on the island nation in 1963.

The statement said a "strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it seeks to achieve it through pressures and impositions, or by employing more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure".

Trump said the United States will not negotiate a new deal with Cuba until it releases the political prisoners it claims it does not have, turns over fugitives from American justice, hands over military criminals, respects freedom of assembly and expression and holds free and fair elections.

The change will make it harder to travel to and do business with Cuba.

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Remittances from people in the United States to Cubans will not be cut off.

Trump said his administration will expose the crimes of the Castro regime and stand with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom.

Trump was not especially interested in USA policy on Cuba early on in his campaign.

Mr Trump had promised fringe anti-communist Cuban exiles that he would take a hard line - a position that Cuba said is opposed by the wider Cuban community in the U.S. and the population as a whole.

Russian Federation said it was reaffirming its "unshakeable solidarity with Cuba".

During the initial talks between Cuba and the Obama administration, Fox 5 traveled to Havana where Chesimard, who is on the FBI's list of the most wanted terrorists, has been living for almost 30 years.

"The president's decision to revert back toward an old policy of isolation with Cuba - a policy that failed to work for decades - is a mistake", Bennet said in a statement.

President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Cuba policy, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Miami.

The ability of Cuban-Americans and Cubans residing in the United States to travel unrestrictedly to the island and send remittances to family members remains intact. American (AAL), Delta (DAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV), United (UAL) and Alaska Airlines (ALK) are the US carriers now offering flights to Cuba.