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Trump to announce plan to stop cash flow to Cuban military

  • FILE- In this Aug. 31, 2016 file photo, two passengers deplane from JetBlue flight 387 waving a United States, and Cuban national flag, in Santa Clara. As President Donald Trump is expected to announce a reversal on the U.S. Cuba policy on Friday, June 16, 2017, Cubans are bracing for the worst. Across the island, people of all ages, professions and political beliefs expect rising tensions, fewer American visitors and a harder time seeing relatives in the U.S.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File) Ramon Espinosa



Associated Press
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stopping short of a complete turnabout, President Donald Trump is expected Friday to announce a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of U.S. cash to the country’s military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations and allowing U.S. airlines and cruise ships to continue service to the island.

In a speech Friday at a Miami theater associated with Cuban exiles, Trump will cast the policy moves as fulfillment of a promise he made during last year’s presidential campaign to reverse then-President Barack Obama’s diplomatic re-engagement with the island after decades of estrangement.

Senior White House officials who briefed reporters Thursday on the announcement said Obama’s overtures had enriched Cuba’s military while repression increased on the island. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the policy before Trump announces it, despite the president’s regular criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

The moves to be announced by Trump are only a partial reversal of Obama’s policies, however. And they will saddle the U.S. government with the complicated task of policing U.S. travel to Cuba to make sure there are no transactions with the military-linked conglomerate that runs much of the Cuban economy.

By restricting individual U.S. travel to Cuba, the new policy also risks cutting off a major source of income for Cuba’s private business sector, which the policy is meant to support.