Trump vows revamp of Obama-era Cuba deal

The new realities of U.S.travel to Cuba will be determined by the regulations that federal agencies will produce as a result of the new policy. Groups can organize "people to people" trips, but the program must be full-time and educational, and activities must enhance "meaningful" contact with the Cuban people, "support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities". He said he voted for Trump in November - but he doesn't think the policy changes announced on Friday will lead to meaningful change in Cuba.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro were restoring diplomatic ties between their countries, arguing that a new approach was needed because the policy the USA had pursued for decades had failed to democratize the island.

This will tighten restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and clamp down on USA business dealings with the island's military. Trump's policy will still let American travelers to Cuba bring back souvenirs like Cuban rum and cigars.

Under the changes, Washington will tighten rules on individual US citizens travelling to Cuba. The new embassies in Cuba and Washington, D.C. will remain open and the wet-foot dry-foot policy will not be reinstated.

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy will not end, which allows "most Cuban migrants who made it onto US soil to stay and eventually become legal permanent residents".

The effect on USA missions to Cuba and on the Cuban church itself is still unclear, especially as the Treasury Department has announced that it is still working through the specifics of travel regulations.

"The harboring of criminals and fugitives will end", Trump said.

According to CNN, Trump has also instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to form a task force on increasing internet access within Cuba, although what will ultimately come of that remains to be seen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republicans. Rubio opposed Obama's re-engagement with Cuba.

Declaring Obama's pact with Castro a "completely one-sided deal", Trump said he was canceling it. Trump's measures stop short of reversing Obama's opening, but they signal a tougher stance that could slow the number of Americans who have begun to head to Cuba for Havana city breaks or longer beach holidays.

The crowd included Cuban-Americans whose families left the island after Fidel Castro took over the government in 1959, overthrowing the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

The policy changes partially fulfilled a campaign promise by Trump and aligned him with hawkish Cuban-American Republicans in the US Congress. Rubio, himself a Cuban-American, gave a brief speech in which he told attendees a story about a phone call he made to the President the day after Election Day.

Yet, parts of Obama's diplomatic breakthrough in December 2014 are expected to remain intact, including the reopened United States embassy in Cuba's capital, Havana, and the restoration of relations between Cold War-era foes.

For the announcement, the White House chose to have Trump speak at the Manuel Artime Theate in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. The theater is named in honor of a leader of Brigade 2506, who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961.

Voters will head to the polls on October 22nd, with future dates to be announced to seat the provincial and national parliaments.

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