Other Views: Back to the past with U.S.-Cuba relations

Back to the past with U.S.-Cuba relations

 

Are the Trump administration’s new stricter rules on travel and trade with Cuba a return to the past? The Cold War days. Likely. Is that a shame? Well, yes and no.

The new regulations announced Wednesday cancel any direct U.S. financial transactions with 180 entities tied to the Cuban military and intelligence and security services. We can’t argue with the soundness of that move. It’s possible this correction of the flow of money from the U.S. to the Castro regime was needed.

Let’s be clear. In Cuba, for the most part, the government owns everything. Money goes into its pockets — not the people’s. It’s naive to think otherwise.

Many of entities that U.S. companies can no longer strike new deals with come under the umbrella of Cuba’s military conglomerate GAESA. They include hotels, marinas, tourism agencies, industries, stores and even a few rum and soft drinks manufacturers.

No doubt, reasons for the tightening of rules include Trump’s willingness to undermine one of Obama’s crowning accomplishments — the easing of relations with Cuba frozen for more than 50 years.

But another reason is this: Is it possible that in the Obama administration’s rush to “get this done” before Obama’s presidency ended certain things were let go — for now, hoping they would work themselves out with the Cuban government?

Well, two years later, the reprehensible sonic attacks on scores of U.S. diplomatic personnel living on the on the island is unacceptable — regardless of whether the Cuban government carried out the attack or not. It occurred on their soil.

Two years is obviously not long enough. Cuban officials said this week the new U.S. rules will harm the Cuban economy and both its state and private sectors. But the change will also channel economic activity away from the military.

— Miami Herald

 

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Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:13

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