For all those who didn’t get to go to Cuba during the two years after President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on travel to the country, you might be SOL.
President Donald Trump is expected to make substantial changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba in Miami on Friday.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to terminate Obama’s opening, which re-established diplomatic relations between the two nations after more than 50 years; and this time, Trump may actually be able to do it.
A government official briefed on Trump’s changes, however, told USA Today that he didn’t expect Trump to completely shut off relations. The news site reports:
The embassies that were reopened in Havana and Washington will likely remain open, and the governments are expected to continue working on a variety of diplomatic issues. Cuba experts believe Trump will focus on smaller changes that will make it more difficult for Americans to travel to Cuba and for U.S. businesses to do business directly with the Cuban government.
Vocal critics of Obama’s change in policy, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), both Cuban Americans, have pushed Trump to shut relations down completely.
But one writer for the Miami Herald suggests that Rubio sold his soul (i.e., mercilessly grilled ex-FBI Director James Comey during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee) to get the president to change U.S. policy toward the island nation.
“Trading the integrity of this country for a political shift on Cuba policy is disgraceful,” wrote Fabiola Santiago, who said that Rubio almost acted as Trump’s “defense attorney instead of as member of a bipartisan committee investigating crucial national security issues” during Comey’s testimony.
Santiago also reported that representatives from the Trump organization looked into opening a luxury golf course on the island without Treasury Department approval long before Obama restored relations in 2014—in violation of the U.S. embargo then in place.