US to impose embargo, Cuba tourism policy at peril

Published on : Saturday, June 17, 2017

CubaUS President Donald Trump’s latest speech in Miami seems to take its own course in injecting greater controversies in the US relations with the Castro-led government in Cuba.


The speech comes as the President signed a directive charting his attitude towards Cuba. And, this speech represents an attempt of the Trump administration to adversely impact the rich legacy of former President Barack Obama. Obama had spent the last two years of his term attempting to create warm relations with Cuba and this included a trip to this island in the year 2016.


However, this directive of Trump is actually a partial shift from Obama’s Cuba policy.


Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States would continue to be open and steady. In addition, the freshly opened embassies in Havana and Washington would continue to operate normally. Furthermore, there would be no further restrictions on the types of goods that Americans can take out of Cuba and this is inclusive of the popular rum and cigars of the nation.


The Trump administration would start enforcing the authorized exemptions to the rule that would permit travelling between the US and Cuba and also prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services.


But then, none of the fresh regulations are scheduled to take effect immediately, as per an account of a White House official.


The official has also added that government agencies are expected to officially issue the regulatory amendments in the following months.


The new policy of Trump would directly restrict the commercial ties with AGESA, the commerce and business wing of Cuba. This company is operated by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, who is the son-in-law of Raul Castro.


This action is likely to impact hotel brands that direct have been competing with the business empire of Trump, and therefore it makes more challenging for these brands to expand their dominance in Cuba. The tourism arm of GAESA, Gaviota currently operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana. When this hotel had opened, it was the first US hotel to be opened in Cuba in 60 years.


The officials said that the plans of Trump were not aimed to adversely affect the existing transactions that had already occurred.


But even then, the new policy would make it tough for any American company to expand their foothold in Cuba. According to the White House officials, the effort was aimed to direct American business to private organizations and Airbnb, the vacation rental company that had started allowing Cubans to rent out their rooms in 2016.



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