President Trump announced on Friday that he will be cancelling former President Obama’s deal with Cuba.
"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," said Trump. "We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer."
He signed a new U.S. policy towards Cuba at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami, Fla., a policy which enforces the U.S. economic embargo and tourism ban on Cuba until the Cuban government makes certain changes such as releasing its political prisoners and allowing for regular democratic elections.
“To this day, Cuba is ruled by the same people who killed tens of thousands of their own citizens, who sought to spread their oppressive and failed ideology throughout our hemisphere, and who once tried to host enemy nuclear weapons 90 miles from our shores,” said Trump. “The Castro regime has shipped arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela. While imprisoning innocents, it has harbored cop killers, hijackers and terrorists. It has supported human trafficking, forced labor, and exploitation all around the globe.
“This is the simple truth of the Castro regime. My administration will not hide from it, excuse it, or glamorize it… We know what’s going on, and we remember what happened.”
Trump said that when Cuba is ready “to take concrete steps to these ends,” then the U.S. will be ready to negotiate “a much better deal for Cubans and Americans.”
"To the Cuban government, I say: Put an end to the abuse of dissidents. Release the political prisoners. Stop jailing innocent people,” said Trump.
“To the Castro regime, I repeat: The harboring of fugitives and criminals will end,” he said. “You have no choice!”
The U.S. embassy in Cuba will remain open “in the hope that our countries can forge a much stronger and better path,” he noted.
“We will respect Cuban sovereignty but we will never turn our backs on the Cuban people,” he said.
Obama's deal with Cuba eased commercial and travel restrictions to Cuba. Trump argued that the deal did not do enough to support human rights in Cuba and that it was one-sided, beneficial only to the Cuban military government which reaps the profits of tourism.
The deal did not lift the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, which can only be lifted by Congress.
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