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Daily Archives: June 17, 2017

Trump golpea la economía cubana al apuntar al control militar Por Carlos BATISTA AFP 17 de junio de 2017 Al prohibir transacciones estadounidenses con entidades cubanas bajo control de las Fuerzas Armadas (FAR), Donald Trump apuntó contra el corazón del Gobierno de Raúl Castro, que colocó a militares al frente de los sectores mas dinámicos […] Continue reading
¿Qué es Gaesa, el consorcio empresarial de los militares de Cuba señalado por Donald Trump y cuál es su peso en la economía de la isla? Ángel Bermúdez BBC Mundo 17 junio 2017 En torno a ese grupo se tejen numerosos mitos. Hay quien lo compara con una matrioska, con la típica muñeca rusa cuyo […] Continue reading
Jet Blue mantendrá sus operaciones en Cuba La empresa informa que mantendrá sus vuelos bajo las nuevas reglas de juego de Donald Trump sábado, 17 de junio de 2017 – 3:28 PM Por Benjamín Morales Meléndez / Especial ELNUEVODIA.COM LA HABANA, Cuba – La aerolínea Jet Blue anunció que mantendrá sus operaciones en Cuba, a […] Continue reading
… Panama if they return to Cuba. José A. Iglesias / The … Continue reading
… of the American embassy in Havana, which was shut down in … Friday statement, the government of Cuban President Raul Castro decried the … ;new cycle of aggression” against Cuba. Cuba "is not alone,” Maduro … . Mexico also urged Washington and Havana to resolve their differences … Continue reading
Trump exige al gobierno de Cuba que entregue a militares que asesinaron a miembros de Hermanos al Rescate Redacción de CiberCuba Durante el discurso pronunciado hoy viernes en la ciudad de Miami, Donald Trump esclareció la posición y política de su gobierno hacia Cuba, y pidió que fueran entregados los militares de las Fuerzas Armadas […] Continue reading
Cuban people to decide whatever changes are necessary in the island. Cuba … . In an official response, the Cuban Government stresses at the same … .S. public opinion, including the Cuban emigration in that country, to … that the two countries, as Cuban President Raul Castro has repeated … Continue reading
… the positive relations between Cuba and Austria Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez … culture. During the visit, the Cuban Foreign Minister will carry out … Fischer. The Cuban delegation is also composed of the Cuban ambassador to … Europe and Canada of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Elio Rodríguez Perdomo … Continue reading
Cambios de Trump hacia Cuba: Sólo es un cambio de narrativa, no va a afectar el curso de la apertura El profesor Eduardo Gamarra, miembro del Centro de Investigación de Estudios cubanos de la Universidad Internacional de Florida, dijo a Clarín que la postura de Trump hacia Cuba es simbólica, y que es un intento […] Continue reading
Havana, June 16 (RHC)--The Cuban government has rejected what it … in a civilized way,” the Cuban communique stresses. In what some … administration's policies towards Cuba, Donald Trump has clamped down … between the United States and Cuba but left untouched other measures … Continue reading
… agreements toward improved relations with Cuba signed by his predecessor Barack … the Caribbean nation towards hampering Cuba's widely recognized achievements … that has negatively affected both Cuba and the U.S., without … -- that of bringing the Cuban people down to their knees … Continue reading
… state of bilateral relations with Cuba, and expressed his government… determination to continue working with Havana in areas of mutual benefit … of relations between Ottawa and Havana. Speaking at a joint press … Canadian companies' investment in Cuba, bilateral trade and the joint … Continue reading
… .S. counterpart Donald Trump against Cuba and Venezuela, calling in an … U.S. economic siege against Cuba. He called on Latin American … peoples to close ranks with Cuba, and strengthen unity to confront … Continue reading
Havana, June 17 (RHC)-- Governments … the Barack Obama Administration and Cuban authorities. Writing on his twitter … ;s full, unconditional support for Cuba. The Russian Foreign Ministry said … 2014 by both Washington and Havana toward improved, mutually beneficial relations … Continue reading
… increased restrictions with regards to Cuba continued to emerge. The congressional … of a number of influential Cuban-Americans. CNBC, meanwhile, quotes business figures … to encourage business with the Cuban people, eliminating individual people-to-people travel … Continue reading
… ;full of hostile rhetoric," Havana's statement said, adding … the US and Cuba and prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by … around the globe." The Cuban government rebuked those statements in … what happened." Applauding the Cuban dissidents in the audience, some … Continue reading
¿Qué esperan los cubanos de Trump? Recorrimos las calles de La Habana para recoger opiniones Jueves, junio 15, 2017 | Ana León y Augusto César San Martín LA HABANA, Cuba.- Tanto ha demorado el nuevo presidente de los Estados Unidos en hablar sobre su política hacia Cuba, que los residentes en la Isla apenas han […] Continue reading
Cuba policy] The Trump plan, announced Friday in Miami’s Little Havana … efforts to choke the Cuban economy. Instead, Cuba’s tourism industry grew … Cuba travel won’t have to cancel. Limited economic reforms by Cuban … dust-covered construction foreman in Old Havana, whose crew was busy converting … Continue reading

Varios ministros, gobernadores, diputados y dirigentes del Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) más cercanos al presidente Nicolás Maduro han comenzado a abandonar sus cargos para presentarse como candidatos a la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (ACN), según apunta el diario leer más

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Cuba cruises could become less flexible under new Trump policy
Gene Sloan , USA TODAY Published 12:20 p.m. ET June 16, 2017

Cruises from the USA to Cuba will be allowed to continue under President
Trump's new Cuba policy, but the trips could become more restrictive,
industry and Cuba watchers say.

Passengers on voyages to Cuba operated by U.S.-based companies such as
Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean may no longer be able to get
off ships in Cuban ports such as Havana to explore on their own, says
John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a
group that supported the Obama administration's rapprochement with the
island nation.

While final rules won't be written for several months, it is likely that
"only group tours will be permitted for passengers on the vessels,"
Kavulich says.

The new policy, which Trump announce today at an event in Miami, will
end individual "people-to-people" travel from the USA to Cuba, which has
been allowed for the past year under relaxed rules implemented by the
Obama administration. Travelers on "people-to-people" trips to Cuba once
again will be required to be part of a licensed group.

The new policy also could have an impact on the tours that are available
to cruisers. The policy will restrict U.S. businesses from dealing with
entities tied to the Cuban military and intelligence services, which
control a significant amount of the tourism infrastructure in the country.

Kavulich notes that many U.S.-based travel agencies and tour operators
contract for tours with Havanatur, which is a subsidiary of Cimex, which
is controlled by the FAR, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic
of Cuba.

Still, the extent of the impact on cruise companies, if any, from the
restriction on dealing with such entities is unclear. A U.S. Treasury
FAQ on the topic released Friday said U.S. businesses that already have
a relationship with such entities before the new rules take effect will
be permitted to continue with the relationship. A spokesman for industry
giant Carnival Corp., a pioneer in the new wave of cruises from the USA
to Cuba, told USA TODAY the company saw no issues with its tour partner
in the country.

Many in the cruise industry don't expect the new policy to have a major
effect on cruises to Cuba, says longtime industry watcher Mike Driscoll,
editor of Cruise Week.

"The belief is ultimately Trump is pro-business, and he (is doing)
nothing here to undermine the cruise line business," Driscoll says.
"Expectations are (for) cruise business as usual, once the media
spotlight fades away."

Both Kavulich and Driscoll note the new policy's group-tour requirement
should, if anything, help the cruise industry draw more business.

Demand for Cuba cruises has been "impacted by individuals using airlines
for independent travel" to Cuba, which now will be forbidden, Kavulich says.

In a statement, Carnival Corp. said it was "pleased that the policy
changes announced by the Trump administration will allow our ships to
continue to sail to Cuba."

Carnival Corp. became the first cruise company to offer voyages from the
USA to Cuba in decades when its Fathom brand began trips from Miami in
May 2016. While Fathom has stopped sailing to the island nation,
Carnival Corp.'s much bigger Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America
Line brands are scheduled to start Cuba cruises in the coming months.

"Our experience in Cuba this past year has been extremely positive,"
Carnival said in its statement. "We look forward to the new cruises
being planned for Cuba with Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America
Line. We also have requested approval for our other brands to travel to
Cuba."

Carnival Corp. also owns Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and
several other brands.

Also releasing a statement saying it was pleased that cruises to Cuba
could continue was Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of
Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
All three of the brands have started Cuba cruises in the last three months.

Norwegian said it would work with the Trump administration to comply
with any changes to regulations that are implemented.

"We were very concerned about any potential changes, given how popular
Cuba itineraries have proven to be with our guests, and we view this as
a win for the cruise industry, our valued guests and travel partners,"
Norwegian said in its statement, which was released after Trump spoke.
"Across our three brands, there are 70,000 guests booked to sail to Cuba
who would have been very disappointed if they were unable to experience
this spectacular destination."

Passengers on cruises to Cuba departing in the next few weeks will not
be affected by the new policy, which won't take effect until formal
rules are written over the next 90 days.

More than half a dozen cruise lines have launched Cuba voyages from the
USA over the past year. They include cruising giants such as Norwegian
and Royal Caribbean as well as smaller operators such as Oceania and
Azamara Club Cruises.

The companies have said the Cuba trips provide an opportunity for
"people-to-people" exchanges between Americans and Cubans as allowed by
U.S. rules governing visits to Cuba.

While the Obama administration loosened restrictions on travel to Cuba
in 2016, U.S. visitors still are limited in the activities they are
allowed to do in the country by the terms of the USA's five-decade-old
embargo. The embargo specifies that activities fall within one of 12
approved categories. The categories include educational pursuits such as
people-to-people exchanges.

Source: Cuba cruises could become less flexible under new Trump policy -
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2017/06/16/cuba-cruises-could-become-less-flexible/102915746/ Continue reading
… fly their regular flights to Cuba, they said in statements. However … firm, thinks hotel development in Cuba will decrease because of Trump … with companies controlled by the Cuban military. That could be difficult … . Solé was considering opening a Cuban property, but changed its mind … Continue reading
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What does Trump's new Cuba policy mean for travel to island?
MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN and DAVID KOENIG,Associated Press • June 17,

HAVANA (AP) — Here's what's changing with President Donald Trump's new
policy on travel to Cuba, announced Friday:

BEFORE DETENTE

Before former President Barack Obama launched detente with Cuba in
December 2014, most Americans without family ties to Cuba traveled to
the island on expensive guided tours dedicated to full-time "meaningful
interaction" with the Cuban people and — in principle at least —
avoiding activities that could be considered tourism, which is illegal
under U.S. law.

"People-to-people" tour companies needed special licenses from the U.S.
Treasury Department and were regularly audited and faced steep fines or
loss of licenses for allowing travelers to engage in tourism.

In Cuba, U.S. tour companies were required to contract guides, tour
buses and hotel rooms from the Cuban government, meaning U.S. travelers
were effectively under the constant supervision of the government. As a
result, they were often presented with activities and talks favoring
Cuba government positions on domestic and international issues.

OBAMA'S REFORMS

Obama eliminated the tour requirement, allowing Americans to travel to
Cuba on individual "people-to-people" trips that were in reality
indistinguishable from travel to any other country in the world.
Travelers were legally required to maintain logs of their full-time
"people-to-people" schedules but the Obama administration made clear it
would not enforce the requirement.

Online lodging booker Airbnb was allowed into Cuba, and commercial
flights between the U.S. and Cuba resumed after more than half a
century. As a result, U.S. travel to Cuba roughly tripled by the time
Obama left office. U.S. travelers are engaging in what amounts to
illegal tourism, but they are also pumping hundreds of millions of
dollars into the restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts that are driving the
growth of Cuba's nascent private sector.

TRUMP'S ROLLBACK, AND WHAT IT MEANS

Trump will re-impose the requirement that "people-to-people" travelers
can only come to Cuba with heavily regulated tour groups. Many Cuban
entrepreneurs fear this will stifle the American travel that has allowed
so many of them to flourish since the start of detente.

The policy will also ban most American financial transactions with the
military-linked conglomerate that dominates much of the Cuban economy,
including dozens of hotels, along with state-run restaurants and tour buses.

This will almost certainly make all American travel to the island a
complicated maze of avoiding payments to military-linked monopolies
ranging from hotels to gas stations to convenience stores.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who claims credit for writing the Trump policy along
with a fellow Cuban-American and Florida Republican, Rep. Mario
Diaz-Balart, tweeted Friday that individual American travelers will
still be able to go to Cuba for the purpose of supporting the Cuban
people, a category that includes helping human rights organizations and
non-governmental groups meant to strengthen democracy and civil society.

WHEN DOES IT TAKE EFFECT?

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. A presidential memorandum gives the government 90 days before it
even starts to rewrite Cuba travel regulations, meaning it could be many
months before it's clear what the change means for American travelers.

The Treasury Department said individuals who bought an airline ticket or
rented a room or car before Trump's announcement could make additional
travel-related purchases for that travel under the Obama policy, even if
their trip to Cuba takes place after the new, stricter Trump regulations
go into effect.

Of course, the mere news of the change is likely to have a chilling
effect on travel to Cuba.

___

Michael Weissenstein on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mweissenstein

David Koenig on Twitter: http://twitter.com/airlinewriter

Source: What does Trump's new Cuba policy mean for travel to island? -
https://www.yahoo.com/news/does-trumps-cuba-policy-mean-travel-island-181604922.html Continue reading
Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations
Darlene Superville, Michael Weissenstein and Josh Lederman, Associated
Press, Associated Press • June 17, 2017

MIAMI (AP) -- Pressing "pause" on a historic detente, President Donald
Trump thrust the U.S. and Cuba back on a path toward open hostility with
a blistering denunciation of the island's communist government. He
clamped down on some commerce and travel but left intact many new
avenues President Barack Obama had opened.

The Cuban government responded by rejecting what it called Trump's
"hostile rhetoric." Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue
"respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest.

Even as Trump predicted a quick end to President Raul Castro's regime,
he challenged Cuba to negotiate better agreements for Americans, Cubans
and those whose identities lie somewhere in between. Diplomatic
relations, restored only two years ago, will remain intact. But, in a
shift from Obama's approach, Trump said trade and other penalties would
stay in place until a long list of prerequisites was met.

"America has rejected the Cuban people's oppressors," Trump said Friday
in Miami's Little Havana, the cradle of Cuban-American resistance to
Castro's government. "Officially, today, they are rejected."

Declaring Obama's pact with Castro a "completely one-sided deal," Trump
said he was canceling it. In practice, however, many recent changes to
boost ties to Cuba will stay as they are. Trump cast that as a sign the
U.S. still wanted to engage with Cuba in hopes of forging "a much
stronger and better path."

In a statement released Friday evening on government-run websites and
television, Cuban President Raul Castro's administration said Trump's
speech was "loaded with hostile rhetoric that recalls the times of open
confrontation."

The lengthy statement went on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba
wants to continue negotiations with the U.S. on a variety of subjects.
"The last two years have shown that the two countries can cooperate and
coexist in a civilized way," it said.

Embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open. U.S. airlines and
cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island 90 miles south of
Florida. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban
migrants stay if they made it to U.S. soil but was terminated under
Obama, will remain terminated. Remittances from people in America to
Cubans won't be cut off.

But individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by
Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited. And the
U.S. government will police other trips to ensure travelers are pursuing
a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities."

The changes won't go into effect until new documents laying out details
are issued. Once implemented Trump's policy is expected to curtail U.S.
travel by creating a maze of rules for Americans to obey. The policy
bans most financial transactions with a yet-unreleased list of entities
associated with Cuba's military and state security, including a
conglomerate that dominates much of Cuba's economy, such as many hotels,
state-run restaurants and tour buses.

Surrounded by Florida Republican officials, the president was unabashed
about the political overtones of his election victory and Friday's
announcement:

"You went out and you voted, and here I am, like I promised."

Cheered by Cuba hardliners in both parties, Trump's new policy is
broadly opposed by U.S. businesses eager to invest in Cuba.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically supportive of GOP presidents,
predicted the changes would limit prospects for "positive change on the
island," while Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said Trump's policy was
"misguided" and will hurt the U.S. economically.

Trump's declaration in a crowded, sweltering auditorium was a direct
rebuke to Obama, for whom the diplomatic opening with Cuba was a central
accomplishment of his presidency.

Yet it also exposed the shortcomings in Obama's approach.

Unable to persuade Congress to lift the decades-old trade embargo, Obama
had used his power to adjust the rules that implement the embargo to
expand built-in loopholes. Obama and his aides argued that commerce and
travel between the countries, which has blossomed since he relaxed the
rules, would make his policy irreversible.

Ben Rhodes, the former deputy national security adviser who negotiated
Obama's opening with the Cubans, said it was disappointing Trump was
halting the momentum that had built but added that it could have been worse.

"This is a limitation on what we did, not a reversal of what we did,"
Rhodes said in an interview.

For Cubans, the shift risks stifling a nascent middle class that has
started to rise as Americans have flocked to the island on airlines,
patronizing thousands of private bed-and-breakfasts.

"When he's cutting back on travel, he's hurting us, the Cuban
entrepreneurs," said Camilo Diaz, a 44-year-old waiter in a restaurant
in Havana. "We're the ones who are hurt."

Granma, the official organ of Cuba's Communist Party, described Trump's
declarations in real-time blog coverage Friday as "a return to
imperialist rhetoric and unilateral demands." Cuba's government may not
formally respond to Trump's speech until a speech Monday by its foreign
minister.

The Castro government is certain to reject Trump's list of demands,
which includes releasing political prisoners, halting what the U.S. says
is abuse of dissidents and allowing greater freedom of expression.
Refusing to negotiate domestic reforms in exchange for U.S. concessions
is perhaps the most fundamental plank of Cuba's policy toward the U.S.

Cuba functioned as a virtual U.S. colony for much of the 20th century,
and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived U.S.
infringements on national sovereignty. Trump, on the other hand,
described his move as an effort to bring about a "free Cuba" after more
than half a century of communism.

"I do believe that end is in the very near future," he said.

Cuba's 1,470-word statement Friday night labeled Trump a hypocrite for
calling on Cuba to improve human rights, saying the U.S. government "is
threatening more limits on health care that would leave 23 million
people without insurance ... and marginalizes immigrants and refugees,
particular those from Islamic countries."

The statement reiterates Cuba's commitment to "the necessary changes
that we're making now as part of the updating of our socio-economic
model," but says "they will continue being decided in a sovereign way by
the Cuban people."

The U.S. severed ties with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro's revolution,
and spent decades trying to either overthrow the government or isolate
the island, including by toughening an economic embargo first imposed by
President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Castro were restoring ties.
Less than a year later, the U.S. Embassy in Havana re-opened, and Obama
paid a historic visit to Havana in 2016.

___

Weissenstein reported from Havana and Lederman from Washington.

Source: Trump rolls back some, not all, changes in US-Cuba relations -
https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-rolls-back-not-changes-us-cuba-relations-073828473--politics.html Continue reading
… United States' policy toward Cuba after the Obama administration decided … policy of his government towards Cuba which reverts the progress achieved … of the U.S. toward Cuba by limiting the amount of … that might go toward the Cuban military, restricting American tourism there … Continue reading
… on turning Cuba’s clock backward again. The young Cubans I encountered … visa. Our generous and capable Cuban guide had been offered a … is the same for many Cubans. The isolation penalizes them, but … perform in Texas. Eleven million Cubans are affected by the United … Continue reading
HAVANA (AP) -- President Donald Trump… Havana and letting U.S. cruise and airlines continue service to Cuba … literal onstage embrace of Cuban-American exiles and Cuban dissidents has unmasked the United States' true intentions toward CubaContinue reading

La oposición venezolana reunida en la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) realizó este sábado una manifestación religiosa en la que oró por la paz, rindió homenaje a los fallecidos durante la ola de protestas que se desarrolla en el país y pidió la libertad de los detenidos en esos escenarios, reporta EFE.

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… hopeful that income growth among Cubans will lead to higher demand … with Cuba hasn't secured our interests or helped the Cuban … some of this progress. Engage Cuba -- a nonpartisan organization representing … and a win for the Cuban people. Continue reading
… business in Cuba. This comes amid concerns that the Cuban military could … re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana. He will also not reinstate … on Cuba Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republican, Cuban-American … center of the Cuban-American community. By rescinding certain Obama-era Cuba policies, he … Continue reading
… United States' policy toward Cuba after the Obama administration decided … the U.S. Embassy in Havana or placing restrictions on cigars … . and the Cuban people, and "empower the Cuban people to develop greater economic and political liberty." The CubanContinue reading
Travel Industry Scrambles After New Cuba Restrictions
By VICTORIA BURNETT JUNE 16, 2017

As President Trump outlined a stricter policy toward Cuba on Friday,
travel industry representatives scrambled to decode new prohibitions and
reassure clients that the island was not off limits.

Hotel owners, tour operators and online booking agencies — who have been
at the heart of much-expanded contact between the two countries over the
last few years, culminating in early 2016, when President Barack Obama
eased restrictions — took what they saw as confusing signals from the
White House as a sign that the policy would be refined over the coming
weeks.

"It appears to me that they are making this up as they go," said Collin
Laverty, president of Cuba Educational Travel, which has been organizing
trips to that country for several years.

Mr. Laverty said he fielded "endless" calls during the past two days
from travel operators and travelers trying to figure out how they would
be affected by the new policy. On Friday, he wrote in an email to
clients that the organization was "very confident" the policy "will not
impact the fall trips to Cuba."

Under the new regulations, individual Americans travelers will no longer
be able to visit the island on what are known as people-to-people trips,
a popular mode of travel introduced as part of Mr. Obama's historic
thaw. People-to-people trips will now be permitted only for groups and
must be organized by a licensed tour operator.

Americans will also be barred from transactions with companies run by
the Cuban military — a potentially significant restriction, given that
many of Cuba's branded hotels are managed by a military-owned conglomerate.

The Treasury Department went some way to clarify the new rules on
Friday, writing in a statement that the changes would not apply to
people who had already booked trips or to existing business deals with
the military.

But the new restrictions would put new properties like the Gran Hotel
Manzana, managed by Kempinski Hotels but owned by Gaviota, a Cuban
military-run company, off limits to American travelers. Travel
representatives said they would redirect American travelers to hotels
run by civilian tour organizations, including Gran Caribe and Cubanacan
— both of which own several properties in Havana.

Exactly how far those restrictions go, however, is unclear. Could a tour
organizer rent a bus from a military-run company? What about purchases
from a military-run retail store?

Prohibitions of that scope would make organizing group trips to Cuba
"impossible," said Michael Sykes, president of Cuba Cultural Travel.

Tour operators and Cuba experts predicted that the Cuban government
would find loopholes. John Caulfield, who was chief of the United States
diplomatic mission to Havana from 2011 to 2014, said the government
could move tourism assets into the control of civilian ministries.

"In an economy like Cuba's, they can rename things and change things
around," he said.

Still, even if the new rules were workable, travel representatives said,
tighter regulation would put off Americans from traveling to a country
still struggling with its tourism infrastructure.

"We were finally getting to a point where there was a sense of normalcy;
people felt it was legal to come to Cuba," Mr. Laverty said. "Now this
is pushing us back to a point where Americans don't know if it's legal.
That will dissuade a lot of Americans."

Two sectors that were left apparently unscathed by the new policy were
cruises and flights: Fees paid by cruise lines and airlines will be
exempt from restrictions on doing business with the military.

Marriott International, whose subsidiary Starwood runs the Four Points
by Sheraton hotel in the Havana suburb of Miramar, may also have escaped
the crackdown, which the Treasury Department said did not affect
existing business deals.

The Havana Sheraton announced on its website on Friday that it would
require each guest to complete an affidavit at check-in certifying
authorization to travel in Cuba. Marriott said in a statement on
Thursday that it was "still analyzing" the policy directive, and its
"full effect on our current and planned operations in Cuba."

The consensus is that those who will suffer most are smaller-scale
businesses that rely on individual travel — private bed-and-breakfasts,
cafes, restaurants, tour guides and taxis. And fewer individual
travelers would also affect commercial airlines, who last year began
operating dozens of daily flights to Cuba.

Cuba is Airbnb's fastest-growing market, with 22,000 rooms registered to
its booking site and 70,000 arrivals every month on the island,
according to figures published by the company. About 35 percent of
Airbnb's guests in Cuba are American; 12 percent of American travelers
to Cuba stay in an Airbnb-listed property.

The company said in a statement on Friday that it was "reviewing what
this policy could mean for this type of travel" but was pleased that it
would be able to continue to "support Airbnb hosts in Cuba."

But those hosts are likely to see a decline in demand, travel
representatives said.

"Much of the growth has been from people booking from Airbnb and private
casas," said Eddie Lubbers, president of Cuba Travel Network, using the
Spanish term for homes. "It's not just casas — it's restaurants, it's
private tour guides."

He added, "It's going to have an effect."

Source: Travel Industry Scrambles After New Cuba Restrictions - The New
York Times -
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/travel/cuba-travel-trump-restrictions-industry-reaction.html?_r=0 Continue reading
Cuba Says President Trump's Speech Was 'Loaded With Hostile Rhetoric'
Associated Press
8:39 AM ET

(WASHINGTON) — The Cuban government is rejecting what it calls the
"hostile rhetoric" of President Donald Trump's speech announcing a new
U.S. policy toward the island, but says it is willing to continue
"respectful dialogue" with the U.S. on topics of mutual interest.
In a statement released on government-run websites and television Friday
evening, President Raul Castro's administration says Trump's speech was
"loaded with hostile rhetoric that recalls the times of open confrontation."
The lengthy statement goes on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba
wants to continue negotiations with the U.S. on a variety of subjects.
Cuba says "the last two years have shown that the two countries can
cooperate and coexist in a civilized way."
Trump announced a series of changes to the Obama-era Cuba policy and is
challenging the Cuban government to negotiate a better deal.
Trump said in a speech in Miami that the U.S. will not lift sanctions on
Cuba until it releases all political prisoners and respects the Cuban
people's right to freedom of assembly and expression.
Trump is also calling for the legalization of all political parties, and
free and internationally supervised elections.
The president says his new policy will also restrict the flow of
American dollars to the military, security and intelligence services
that are the core of the government led by Raul Castro.He has challenged
Cuba to "come to the table" to strike a deal that serves both country's
interests.

Source: Cuba Rejects Donald Trump's 'Hostile Rhetoric' | Time.com -
http://time.com/4822663/donald-trump-cuba-policy-raul-castro/ Continue reading
Trump's Cuba decision gives pause to U.S. companies doing business there
by Julia Horowitz @juliakhorowitz
June 16, 2017: 7:03 PM ET

President Trump said he's "canceling" Obama's deal with Cuba. But that
agreement was good for a lot of American businesses.
Many U.S. firms have welcomed the opening of a new market roughly 100
miles from the U.S. coast.
Now, Trump wants strict enforcement of the tourism ban and will prohibit
commerce with Cuban businesses that are owned by military and
intelligence services.
That could hit travel and construction companies, which have started to
build a presence in Cuba. And many are speaking out.
On Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce decried the changes.
"U.S. private sector engagement can be a positive force for the kind of
change we all wish to see in Cuba," Myron Brilliant, the chamber's head
of international affairs, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, today's
moves actually limit the possibility for positive change on the island
and risk ceding growth opportunities to other countries that, frankly,
may not share America's interest in a free and democratic Cuba."
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Cuba's inaction on human rights is
a big reason for the policy shift.
Caterpillar (CAT), which has long called for the U.S. government to end
the trade embargo, also weighed in.
The maker of heavy equipment has been working to reenter the Cuban
market since the Obama administration announced that it would
reestablish diplomatic relations in 2014.
"Caterpillar believes that engagement with Cuba continues to represent a
strong opportunity -- not just for American businesses, but to serve as
a powerful tool for change," the company said in a statement. "We will
continue to work closely with policymakers on the best way to accomplish
these goals."
Related: Google launches servers in Cuba to speed up YouTube and search
Many companies in the hospitality industry have already doubled down on
development projects, leaving them particularly exposed to the decision.
Airbnb said it plans to speak with the Trump administration and with
Congress in the coming weeks. The startup said it has hosted 560,000
guests in Cuba since April 2015.
"Travel from the U.S. to Cuba is an important way to encourage
people-to-people diplomacy," the company said in a statement. "While we
are reviewing what this policy could mean for this type of travel, we
appreciate that the policy appears to allow us to continue to support
Airbnb hosts in Cuba who have welcomed travelers from around the world."
Marriott (MAR) noted that the company has invested significant resources
to shore up its Cuba operation, with one hotel open and another in the
works. It said the effect of Trump's order may depend on "forthcoming
regulations."
"We continue to believe that increased travel between the United States
and Cuba would serve to strengthen an evolving bilateral relationship,
and Marriott remains ready to build on the progress that has been made
in the last two years," the company said.
American Airlines (AAL) said it's urging customers planning trips to
Cuba to closely watch for updates from the U.S. government.
"As a global airline, American is committed to continuing to operate
service to Cuba," the company said. "We are reviewing the executive
order to understand any potential impacts to our customers or our
current service."
The carrier has 10 flights from the U.S. to Cuba every day, according to
data from the Official Airline Guide.
CNNMoney (New York)
First published June 16, 2017: 7:03 PM ET

Source: Trump's Cuba decision gives pause to U.S. companies doing
business there - Jun. 16, 2017 -
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/16/news/trump-cuba-business-community-reaction/index.html Continue reading
Farmers Blast Trump's Cuba Retreat as Bad for Trade
June 17, 2017 4:55 AM
Reuters

CHICAGO —
U.S. farm groups criticized President Donald Trump's decision to retreat
from his predecessor's opening toward Cuba, saying it could derail huge
increases in farm exports that totaled $221 million last year.

A trade delegation from Minnesota, one of the largest U.S. agriculture
states, vowed to carry on with its planned visit to Cuba next week.

"We're going to continue to beat the drum and let them (the Trump
administration) know that trade is good for agriculture," said Kevin
Paap, a farmer in the delegation.

Trump signed a presidential directive Friday rolling back parts of
former President Barack Obama's opening to the Communist-ruled country
after a 2014 diplomatic breakthrough between the two former Cold War foes.

Farm groups saw the move as a step backward in what had been an
improving trade relationship between the two countries, which are 90
miles (145 kms) apart, even though agriculture is not directly targeted.

U.S. law exempts food from a decades-old embargo on U.S. trade with
Cuba, but cumbersome rules on how transactions were executed have made
deals difficult and costly.

Since Obama's detente, substantial headway has been made with shipments
of U.S. corn and soybeans to Cuba soaring 420 percent in 2016 from a
year earlier to 268,360 tons, U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.

Through the first four months of 2017, total shipments of U.S. grain and
soy were 142,860 ton, up from 49,090 tons during the same period of 2016.

While the quantities are dwarfed by total U.S. exports — nearly 56
million ton of corn alone last year — the added volumes were welcome as
farmers face a fourth year of languishing grain prices and crimped incomes.

"At a time when the farm economy is struggling, we ask our leaders in
Washington not to close doors on market opportunities for American
agriculture," Wesley Spurlock, president of the National Corn Growers
Association, said in a statement.

The group sees an opportunity for $125 million more a year in trade to Cuba.

Trump's move could cut off near-term sales and stymie economic
development that would drive longer-term demand growth, said Tom
Sleight, president of the U.S. Grains Council, a grain trade development
organization, in a statement.

"Neither of those outcomes is favorable for the U.S. ag sector or the
Cuban people," he added.

Paap said the United States should be doing more to encourage exports.

"It's frustrating because we've made some advances and built those
relationships," he said.

Source: Farmers Blast Trump's Cuba Retreat as Bad for Trade -
https://www.voanews.com/a/farmers-angry-at-trump-cuba-retreat/3904406.html Continue reading
National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of
the United States Toward Cuba

MEMORANDUM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT
THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OF STAFF
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT
AND BUDGET
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR
NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR
HOMELAND SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM
THE COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE
AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY
THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE SMALL BUSINESS
ADMINISTRATION
THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY
FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF PERSONNEL
MANAGEMENT

Section 1. Purpose.

The United States recognizes the need for more freedom and democracy,
improved respect for human rights, and increased free enterprise in
Cuba. The Cuban people have long suffered under a Communist regime that
suppresses their legitimate aspirations for freedom and prosperity and
fails to respect their essential human dignity.

My Administration's policy will be guided by the national security and
foreign policy interests of the United States, as well as solidarity
with the Cuban people. I will seek to promote a stable, prosperous, and
free country for the Cuban people. To that end, we must channel funds
toward the Cuban people and away from a regime that has failed to meet
the most basic requirements of a free and just society.

In Cuba, dissidents and peaceful protesters are arbitrarily detained and
held in terrible prison conditions. Violence and intimidation against
dissidents occurs with impunity. Families of political prisoners are
not allowed to assemble or peacefully protest the improper confinement
of their loved ones. Worshippers are harassed, and free association by
civil society organizations is blocked. The right to speak freely,
including through access to the internet, is denied, and there is no
free press. The United States condemns these abuses.

The initial actions set forth in this memorandum, including restricting
certain financial transactions and travel, encourage the Cuban
government to address these abuses. My Administration will continue to
evaluate its policies so as to improve human rights, encourage the rule
of law, foster free markets and free enterprise, and promote democracy
in Cuba.

Sec. 2. Policy.

It shall be the policy of the executive branch to:

(a) End economic practices that disproportionately benefit the
Cuban government or its military, intelligence, or security agencies or
personnel at the expense of the Cuban people.

(b) Ensure adherence to the statutory ban on tourism to Cuba.

(c) Support the economic embargo of Cuba described in section
4(7) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of
1996 (the embargo), including by opposing measures that call for an end
to the embargo at the United Nations and other international forums and
through regular reporting on whether the conditions of a transition
government exist in Cuba.

(d) Amplify efforts to support the Cuban people through the
expansion of internet services, free press, free enterprise, free
association, and lawful travel.

(e) Not reinstate the "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy, which
encouraged untold thousands of Cuban nationals to risk their lives to
travel unlawfully to the United States.

(f) Ensure that engagement between the United States and Cuba
advances the interests of the United States and the Cuban people. These
interests include: advancing Cuban human rights; encouraging the growth
of a Cuban private sector independent of government control; enforcing
final orders of removal against Cuban nationals in the United States;
protecting the national security and public health and safety of the
United States, including through proper engagement on criminal cases and
working to ensure the return of fugitives from American justice living
in Cuba or being harbored by the Cuban government; supporting United
States agriculture and protecting plant and animal health; advancing the
understanding of the United States regarding scientific and
environmental challenges; and facilitating safe civil aviation.

Sec. 3. Implementation.

The heads of departments and agencies shall begin to implement the
policy set forth in section 2 of this memorandum as follows:

(a) Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary
of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate and in
coordination with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of
Transportation, shall initiate a process to adjust current regulations
regarding transactions with Cuba.

(i) As part of the regulatory changes described in this
subsection, the Secretary of State shall identify the entities or
subentities, as appropriate, that are under the control of, or act for
or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services
or personnel (such as Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A. (GAESA),
its affiliates, subsidiaries, and successors), and publish a list of
those identified entities and subentities with which direct financial
transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel
at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba.

(ii) Except as provided in subsection (a)(iii) of this
section, the regulatory changes described in this subsection shall
prohibit direct financial transactions with those entities or
subentities on the list published pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this
section.

(iii) The regulatory changes shall not prohibit
transactions that the Secretary of the Treasury or the Secretary of
Commerce, in coordination with the Secretary of State, determines are
consistent with the policy set forth in section 2 of this memorandum and:

(A) concern Federal Government operations, including
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay and the United States mission in Havana;

(B) support programs to build democracy in Cuba;

(C) concern air and sea operations that support
permissible travel, cargo, or trade;

(D) support the acquisition of visas for permissible
travel;

(E) support the expansion of direct
telecommunications and internet access for the Cuban people;

(F) support the sale of agricultural commodities,
medicines, and medical devices sold to Cuba consistent with the Trade
Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7201 et
seq.) and the Cuban Democracy Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 6001 et seq.);

(G) relate to sending, processing, or receiving
authorized remittances;

(H) otherwise further the national security or
foreign policy interests of the United States; or

(I) are required by law.

(b) Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary
of the Treasury, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall
initiate a process to adjust current regulations to ensure adherence to
the statutory ban on tourism to Cuba.

(i) The amended regulations shall require that
educational travel be for legitimate educational purposes. Except for
educational travel that was permitted by regulation in effect on January
27, 2011, all educational travel shall be under the auspices of an
organization subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and all
such travelers must be accompanied by a representative of the sponsoring
organization.

(ii) The regulations shall further require that those
traveling for the permissible purposes of non academic education or to
provide support for the Cuban people:

(A) engage in a full-time schedule of activities that
enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or
promote the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities; and

(B) meaningfully interact with individuals in Cuba.

(iii) The regulations shall continue to provide that every
person engaging in travel to Cuba shall keep full and accurate records
of all transactions related to authorized travel, regardless of whether
they were effected pursuant to license or otherwise, and such records
shall be available for examination by the Department of the Treasury for
at least 5 years after the date they occur.
(iv) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the
Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Transportation
shall review their agency's enforcement of all categories of permissible
travel within 90 days of the date the regulations described in this
subsection are finalized to ensure such enforcement accords with the
policies outlined in section 2 of this memorandum.

(c) The Secretary of the Treasury shall regularly audit travel
to Cuba to ensure that travelers are complying with relevant statutes
and regulations. The Secretary of the Treasury shall request that the
Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury inspect the
activities taken by the Department of the Treasury to implement this
audit requirement. The Inspector General of the Department of the
Treasury shall provide a report to the President, through the Secretary
of the Treasury, summarizing the results of that inspection within 180
days of the adjustment of current regulations described in subsection
(b) of this section and annually thereafter.

(d) The Secretary of the Treasury shall adjust the Department of
the Treasury's current regulation defining the term "prohibited
officials of the Government of Cuba" so that, for purposes of title 31,
part 515 of the Code of Federal Regulations, it includes Ministers and
Vice-Ministers, members of the Council of State and the Council of
Ministers; members and employees of the National Assembly of People's
Power; members of any provincial assembly; local sector chiefs of the
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution; Director Generals and
sub–Director Generals and higher of all Cuban ministries and state
agencies; employees of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT); employees
of the Ministry of Defense (MINFAR); secretaries and first secretaries
of the Confederation of Labor of Cuba (CTC) and its component unions;
chief editors, editors, and deputy editors of Cuban state-run media
organizations and programs, including newspapers, television, and radio;
and members and employees of the Supreme Court (Tribuno Supremo Nacional).

(e) The Secretary of State and the Representative of the United
States to the United Nations shall oppose efforts at the United Nations
or (with respect to the Secretary of State) any other international
forum to lift the embargo until a transition government in Cuba, as
described in section 205 of the LIBERTAD Act, exists.

(f) The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Attorney
General, shall provide a report to the President assessing whether and
to what degree the Cuban government has satisfied the requirements of a
transition government as described in section 205(a) of the LIBERTAD
Act, taking into account the additional factors listed in section 205(b)
of that Act. This report shall include a review of human rights abuses
committed against the Cuban people, such as unlawful detentions,
arbitrary arrests, and inhumane treatment.

(g) The Attorney General shall, within 90 days of the date of
this memorandum, issue a report to the President on issues related to
fugitives from American justice living in Cuba or being harbored by the
Cuban government.

(h) The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United
States Agency for International Development shall review all democracy
development programs of the Federal Government in Cuba to ensure that
they align with the criteria set forth in section 109(a) of the LIBERTAD
Act.

(i) The Secretary of State shall convene a task force, composed
of relevant departments and agencies, including the Office of Cuba
Broadcasting, and appropriate non-governmental organizations and
private-sector entities, to examine the technological challenges and
opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba, including through
Federal Government support of programs and activities that encourage
freedom of expression through independent media and internet freedom so
that the Cuban people can enjoy the free and unregulated flow of
information.

(j) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland
Security shall continue to discourage dangerous, unlawful migration that
puts Cuban and American lives at risk. The Secretary of Defense shall
continue to provide support, as necessary, to the Department of State
and the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out the duties
regarding interdiction of migrants.

(k) The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary
of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the
Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall
annually report to the President regarding the engagement of the United
States with Cuba to ensure that engagement is advancing the interests of
the United States.

(l) All activities conducted pursuant to subsections (a) through
(k) of this section shall be carried out in a manner that furthers the
interests of the United States, including by appropriately protecting
sensitive sources, methods, and operations of the Federal Government.


Sec. 4. Earlier Presidential Actions.

(a) This memorandum supersedes and replaces both National
Security Presidential Directive-52 of June 28, 2007, U.S. Policy toward
Cuba, and Presidential Policy Directive-43 of October 14, 2016, United
States-Cuba Normalization.

(b) This memorandum does not affect either Executive Order 12807
of May 24, 1992, Interdiction of Illegal Aliens, or Executive Order
13276 of November 15, 2002, Delegation of Responsibilities Concerning
Undocumented Aliens Interdicted or Intercepted in the Caribbean Region.

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or
otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive
department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of
Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or
legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with
applicable laws and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any
right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in
equity by any party against the United States, its departments,
agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other
person.
(d) The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to
publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Source: National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the
Policy of the United States Toward Cuba | whitehouse.gov -
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/16/national-security-presidential-memorandum-strengthening-policy-united Continue reading

El chavismo contraatacó en su guerra con la fiscal general, Luisa Ortega, al pedir este viernes al máximo tribunal venezolano que autorice su enjuiciamiento luego de que la funcionaria emprendió acciones legales contra la Asamblea Constituyente que impulsa el presidente Nicolás Maduro, reporta AFP.

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Americans will still be able to travel to Cuba, but rules will be stricter
BY MIMI WHITEFIELD
mwhitefield@miamiherald.com

The good news for Americans who want to travel to Cuba is they still
can, but a draft of President Donald Trump's presidential policy
directive indicates they shouldn't even think of sneaking away for a day
on a Cuban beach.

And they better keep detailed information on their travels. The draft
emphasizes that travelers must keep a full record of every transaction
they make in Cuba and hold on to it for five years.

The major change from the Obama era in Trump's Cuba policy draft: U.S.
travelers making educational people-to-people trips can no longer go to
the island on their own but must travel with groups accompanied by a
company representative.

A number of travel companies, airlines and cruise lines were reluctant
to comment on the draft details, preferring to wait until Friday when
Trump officially releases his new presidential directive on Cuba in
Miami. There are also no regulations accompanying the presidential
policy directive. Those are expected within 90 days.

But some are concerned that the new policy will dampen enthusiasm for
Cuban travel.

"Additional prohibitions and oversight on travel will only confuse
Americans and dissuade them from visiting Cuba, causing significant
economic hardship to Cuban entrepreneurs and average Cuban families, as
well as Americans working in the hospitality sector," said Collin
Laverty, president of Cuban Educational Travel, which arranges group
travel to the island.

Pedro Freyre, a Miami lawyer for cruise lines and other businesses that
have deals with Cuba, noted that it's hard to determine the scope and
precise nature of Trump's new policy until the regulations are drafted.

"The devil is in the details. It will be critically important to engage
U.S. regulators as they go forward with the drafting of the guidelines
to ensure that these are not overly burdensome to U.S. business," he said.

Because they haven't been able to see a final draft and review the
details of the new regulations, most travel companies declined to comment.

In general, the president is trying to navigate a delicate line between
cracking down on money that goes directly to the Cuban military and not
taking measures that would hurt Cuban citizens who have embraced private
enterprise, opening restaurants, bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels,
and other businesses that cater to the growing number of travelers to
the island.

Visits by Cuban Americans and other U.S. travelers in 2016 reached
614,433, a 34 percent increase over 2015.

On one hand, the draft says the president wants to increase support of
the Cuban people through expansion of internet service, free media, free
enterprise, free association and lawful travel.

But on the other, it prohibits direct financial dealings with GAESA
(Grupo de Administración Empresarial SA), which controls hotel brands
such as Gaviota. Its portfolio in early 2017 included 64 hotels and
villas with more than 27,000 rooms. It even runs discotheques and
hunting preserves.

The Trump policy also allows family travel to Cuba to continue without
restrictions and places no limits on remittances, according to the draft.

That's good news for the Cuban community, said José "Pepe" Hernández,
president of the Cuban American National Foundation. "It wouldn't make
sense to put sanctions on the people," he said.

But he thinks sanctioning the Cuban military is a step in the right
direction. "One of the great problems we're seeing is that most of the
really valuable assets are now the property of the military or under
management by the military," Hernández said.

Under Obama, there were 12 categories of travel permitted, from
humanitarian and religious trips to people-to-people tours and travel
for athletic competitions. Travelers did not have to seek prior approval
from the U.S. government, although tourist travel wasn't permitted.
Those travel categories will remain under the Trump policy directive,
which also bars sun-and-beach vacations.

It's estimated that businesses run by GAESA control more than 40 percent
of the Cuban economy. GAESA's holdings range from the Mariel Special
Economic Development Zone, gas stations, convenience stores,
telecommunications companies, and a commercial airline to the Cuban
Export-Import Corp. (CIMEX), a Cuban enterprise whose holdings include
rental car agency Havanautos, free zones and container ships.

After the regulations are issued, travelers won't be able to book hotel
rooms at Gaviota hotels, which include the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski,
Havana's newest luxury hotel. Some of Cuba's best hotels are managed
under operating contracts with foreign hotel operators.

A full ban on business with military enterprises would have meant cruise
lines would not have been able to pay port fees, essentially cutting off
budding cruise travel to Cuba from the United States. But the draft
indicates that airport and seaport operations necessary for permissible
travel, cargo and trade are exempt from the prohibition on dealing with
military enterprises.

As recently as this week, Miami-based Victory Cruise Lines was approved
to sail to Cuba, making it the 10th U.S. line to get the green light for
Cuba. The luxury, all-inclusive line plans to sail to Havana, Maria la
Gorda, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba on its 202-passenger ships.

Victory President and Chief Executive Bruce Nierenberg said the cruise
line stands to win from the new regulations because all the shore
excursions it offers will follow U.S. guidelines.

"As an all-inclusive product, including all the tours, the tour guides
and arrangements on shore … we are perfectly positioned to be in full
compliance with any regulations covering how our guests use the Cuban
product," Nierenberg said.

"While there has been a significant anxiety about this announcement from
the administration and its potential impact on travel and tourism to
Cuba, the actual adjustments being called for are constructive ways to
get everyone's attention and bring Cuba and the U.S. closer together in
the long term," he said.

MIAMI HERALD STAFF WRITER CHABELI HERRERA CONTRIBUTED TO THIS STORY.

FOLLOW MIMI WHITEFIELD ON TWITTER: @HERALDMIMI

Source: Air, cruise travel to Cuba will continue under new Trump policy
| Miami Herald -
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article156441624.html Continue reading
Editorial: Trump acierta DDC | Madrid | 17 de Junio de 2017 – 01:27 CEST. En su discurso en Miami, el presidente estadounidense Donald Trump dividió acertadamente a la sociedad cubana en dos grupos: militares y pueblo. Su antagonismo con el régimen no se centró en la ideología, en el partido único, ni siquiera en […] Continue reading
‘A Obama le costó ocho años salir en directo en la televisión en la Isla, a Trump solo seis meses’ AGENCIAS | La Habana | 17 de Junio de 2017 – 15:35 CEST. La aparición del presidente de EEUU, Donald Trump, en las pantallas de los hogares cubanos desató el célebre “choteo”: en la calle, […] Continue reading
En estado de salud ‘muy deteriorado’ los tres hermanos en huelga de hambre DDC | Holguín | 17 de Junio de 2017 – 18:56 CEST. Los tres hermanos Adairis, Anairis y Fidel Miranda Leyva se encuentran en un estado de salud “muy deteriorado” desde que iniciaran una huelga de hambre el pasado 8 de junio, […] Continue reading
Las FAR constituyen su Comisión Especial para las ‘elecciones’ de 2018 DDC | La Habana | 17 de Junio de 2017 – 14:06 CEST. Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FAR) crearon este viernes su Comisión Electoral Especial (CEE) para las “elecciones” de 2018, según dio a conocer el diario oficial Granma. Esta comisión está compuesta por […] Continue reading