Trump's rollback of improved relations with Cuba helps no one

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It's a sharp contrast to Obama's a year ago, during which top USA and Cuban diplomats met regularly to discuss topics including law-enforcement cooperation and compensation for Americans whose property was taken during the 1959 Cuban revolution. Travel Agent recently chatted with some Caribbean specialists to get their reactions to recent news that Trump is considering rolling back many of President Obama's policies toward Cuba. The measure had brought about a newfound freedom of US citizens to travel to the island.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops objected that the move would affect U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba and would hinder U.S. commerce with entities controlled by the Cuban government. Moreover, from a political standpoint, Cuba's government remained generally unchanged-limiting any movement toward a more open and democratic society that the relaxation of sanctions in part sought to foster.

But in a rollback of these people-to-people exchanges, travel for non-academic educational purposes will be limited to organised group travel - which will be subject to these same conditions.

The new policy also leaves intact most aspects of the Obama Administration's relaxed requirements for travel to Cuba, including the general license authorizing travel for business meetings or professional research. He will not be restoring the "wet foot dry foot" policy revoked by Obama, however, which allowed Cuban refugees successfully reaching American soil to remain in the country. Travelers must keep full and accurate records of all transactions related to any authorized travel, and such records must be available for OFAC examination for a five-year period following the conclusion of travel.

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Officials have confirmed they will not seek reinstatement of the controversial "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which granted special asylum rights to undocumented migrants from Cuba while denying them to migrants from other countries.

Among the reasons for his decision, Trump had stated that the Obama administration's policy only allowed the Cuban regime to benefit from increased tourism. The Treasury Department is also directed to regularly audit travel to Cuba to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

A letter from Menendez addressed to then-Secretary of State John Kerry, said that the senator believed that Cuba's sanctuary efforts to Shakur "is an intolerable insult to all those who long to see justice served".