Trump's speech in Miami is bad news for your Friday commute

First U.S. Flight Since 1959 Lands in Cuba

According to the Miami Herald, President Trump will tighten travel restrictions and ban USA spending with any state-run businesses tied to the military.

The Treasury Department will have 90 days to implement these changes, according to the Miami Herald, which was briefed on Trump's planned announcement scheduled for Friday.

"This new policy reverses the Obama administration's support for the communist Castro regime and its military apparatus, and instead aligns the United States with the Cuban people", the summary stated, according to Bloomberg. Just between January and May 2017, USA travelers to Cuba who were not of Cuban origin was 284,565, while the number of Cuban Americans was 166,455. When Obama finally went forward with a limited opening, he was doing more to end the isolation of the US than of Cuba.

Obama's actions allowed for more Americans to travel to Cuba, leading U.S. air carriers to market commercial flights direct to Cuba and cruise ships to port in the nation.

Cuban-Americans will still be able to travel to Cuba and send remittances, limiting the impact on residents of Florida, where many Cuban emigres settled.

"And so I think this is an effort to remove what the president has called a very, very bad deal". The embassies opened during the Obama administration will not be closed, and diplomatic relations won't be changed significantly under the new policy.

Roads around Miami are already showing signs of increased security for Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Florida International University on Thursday for a conference on Central American policy.

Obama's new policy of engagement unleashed a flood of American visitors, pumping cash into Cuba's nascent private sector, even as the centrally planned economy hit its first recession in almost a quarter century.

Even with carve outs, the new policy could pose problems for some U.S. businesses, including hoteliers and airlines who have put on regular flights between the United States and the Cuban capital.

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That is bad news for the pro-engagement US politicians and hundreds of businesses that flocked to Cuba in the last few years in search of new opportunities.

While no one expects Trump to sever recently restored diplomatic ties between the former Cold War foes, or re-close the US embassy in Havana, his administration has been discussing policy changes that include barring business transactions with companies associated with the Cuban military. This will essentially shield US airlines and cruise lines now serving the island.

Proponents of lifting the embargo say that taking a punitive approach toward Cuba has done nothing to bring about improvements in human rights in more than 50 years, and that it is time to try something new.

From a USA business perspective, tightening sanctions on travel and trade with Cuba makes little sense.

The White House says it's willing to negotiate more favorable terms with Cuba, but only if the Castro regime allows free and fair elections and releases political prisoners.

Surely, after more than five decades we have learned that Cubans, proud of their revolution and their independence, will resist economic or military coercion. "But the idea of returning to something that we know does not work doesn't make any sense".

Trump accused Cuba of "cruel despotism" in May, vowing to support its people's hopes for democracy, which raised ironic cheers from rights supporters more used to his cozying up to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other autocratic states.

Reduced passenger traffic between the USA and Cuba would harm major American corporations such as American Airlines, Carnival Cruise Line, Starwood, Airbnb, Expedia, Western Union, and AT&T, all of whom have an established foothold on the island.

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