US President Donald Trump plans on reversing a set of policies enacted by former President Barack Obama that improved US relations with Cuba, according to a new report.
The Trump administration is likely to take a tougher line on Cuba and will announce the changes to the Obama-era policies in June, The Daily Caller reported Monday, citing the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a nonpartisan anti-embargo group.
The Trump administration had put the Cuba policy under review upon taking office earlier this year, the report said.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump threatened to “terminate” deals that the Obama administration made with Cuba.
“The Trump Administration has been ready since February 2017 to announce changes, but issues unrelated to Cuba have intervened,” John Kavulich, from the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, told The Daily Caller.
Kavulich told the news website he believes Trump will seek an “increased enforcement relating to travel,” and “a focus upon discouraging transactions with entities controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of the Republic of Cuba.”
Two sources said the development is due to behind-the-scenes efforts by US Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez, who are both born to Cuban immigrants.
Obama worked to enact several changes to Cuban policy during his tenure in the White House. He re-established diplomatic relations with Havana in 2015 and loosened some restrictions on doing business in the country.
Obama also gave illegal immigrants from Cuba a path to legal status and opened travel to the island nation.
Despite Obama’s effort to improve ties, Congress has refused to lift Washington’s 57-year-old embargo against Havana, which makes it illegal for US corporations to do business with Cuba.
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and placed an official embargo against the country in 1962.
The two countries became ideological foes soon after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power and their ties remained hostile even after the end of the Cold War. (Presstv)