U.S.

Marriott CEO urges Trump to improve ties with Cuba

Marriott CEO urges Trump to improve ties with Cuba

President Donald Trump is ready to announce "strategic, targeted changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba", U.S. Sen.

"We urge the Trump administration to recognize and utilize travel as a strategic tool in its efforts to improve relations with Cuba, allowing us to be part of a promising future, as opposed to reverting to the policies of the past", Sorenson said. One would think that Trump, who trumpets his business background, would understand that open relations with Cuba - trade, travel, human and cultural exchange - will have far more impact in generating pressure for change than a reversion to the failed embargo.

American tourist travel was never technically speaking legal, and the White House says that they are generally making changes to travel categories so that it will be harder to abuse loopholes to go do things like hang out on Cuban beaches.

The policy will maintain diplomatic relations and allow US airlines and cruise ships to continue servicing the island.

The announcement also wouldn't affect Americans who want to travel to Cuba and pay for an Airbnb stay, for example.

Taking a tougher approach against Havana after promising to do so during the presidential campaign, Trump will outline stricter enforcement of an existing ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists and will seek to prevent USA dollars from being used to fund what the new US administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government.

Trump will not go so far as to sever diplomatic ties with Havana or shutter the US embassy that reopened there in 2015.

It is notable, however, that Trump's administration is taking a stand against Cuba's human rights abuses when it has made a habit of glossing over the same concerns with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.

The overall goal of the policy changes, officials said, is to "steer money away from the Cuban military and toward the Cuban people". Diaz-Balart used the attention to again bring up Cuba, seeking assurances that Trump would follow through on revising Obama's policy.

The stated objective of the new policy is to cut down on human rights abuses.

"We will cancel Obama's one-sided Cuban deal", Trump said days before the election in Miami, "if we do not get the deal we want, and the deal that people living in Cuba and here deserve".

While some hotels will be encompassed by those restrictions, there will be exemptions - among them lodging options such as Airbnb, according to senior White House officials.

"The policy the Trump administration is announcing regarding Cuba based on President Trump's core conviction that what the Cuban exile community is asking for is right and just", the White House said in a written statement to the website.

Surely, after more than five decades we have learned that Cubans, proud of their revolution and their independence, will resist economic or military coercion.

If you needed any reminding: US marshals arrested Panama's former President Ricardo Martinelli in Coral Gables this week. On the table: cutbacks on U.S.travel to Cuba and a ban on doing business with the military-linked conglomerate that controls much of the Cuban economy. A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group said USA visitors to Cuba could rise by as much as sevenfold by 2025. Saudi Arabia, like Cuba, is well known for human rights abuses. They are planning to ask greater internet access and will request them to release the American fugitives who are in Cuba.


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