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Trump Considers Undoing Obama’s Opening to Cuba

The Trump administration is considering [1] undoing Obama’s opening to Cuba:

President Trump is considering reversing major pieces of the Obama administration’s opening with Cuba and reinstating limits on travel and commerce, citing human rights abuses by the Castro government as justification for a more punitive approach.

Reversing the opening to Cuba would be a significant unforced error, but it is consistent with Trump’s determination to dismantle as much of Obama’s legacy as he can while giving his party’s hard-liners what they want. Restoring relations with the Cuban government and lifting some of the useless restrictions on travel and business were the right things to do, they were overwhelmingly popular with Americans and Cubans alike, and given time they would have benefited the people of Cuba far more than the bankrupt policy that they replaced. Undoing some or all of these measures would return the U.S. to a mindless policy of trying to punish the Cuban government while mostly just hurting the people that Washington claims to be concerned about.

The idea that this administration in particular cares about human rights is especially risible given their indulgence of and praise for the likes of Sisi, Duterte, and King Salman. That doesn’t mean that the abuses of the Cuban government should be ignored or whitewashed, but it should mean that the U.S. doesn’t use them as a pretext for wrecking an otherwise sensible policy of engagement. The only people that want that policy to be scrapped are pro-embargo American dead-enders who are still acting as if we are in the middle of the Cold War.

Another cost of reversing the opening to Cuba is that it will further sour the rest of Latin America on the U.S. under Trump, and it will damage relations with virtually all of our neighbors in this hemisphere. Obama’s decision to restore ties with Havana removed a decades-old burden from our relationships with Latin American states, and Trump would be a fool to want to put things back the way they were.

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22 Comments To "Trump Considers Undoing Obama’s Opening to Cuba"

#1 Comment By Uncle Billy On June 1, 2017 @ 8:50 am

Somehow, I think that China and Russia are greater threats to the United States than Cuba. We do business with both of them, so why are we so terrified of Cuba? Truly weird.

#2 Comment By Poor Richard On June 1, 2017 @ 9:04 am

“The idea that this administration in particular cares about human rights is especially risible given their indulgence of and praise for the likes of Sisi, Duterte, and King Salman. “

Not to mention that we seem to have no problem with Americans visiting countries like China, Israel, and Russia, which not only abuse human rights but are also much graver espionage threats.

#3 Comment By collin On June 1, 2017 @ 9:20 am

Can somebody tell Raul Castro to go to Mar-A-Lago and share a piece of cake with Donald Trump? Also, I not sure what has been wrong with Obama’s opening up Cuba? It seems smart to build better relations with Cuba as Raul Castro can’t live forever.

#4 Comment By Tim D. On June 1, 2017 @ 9:54 am

Trump’s thinking: “Obama supports it, therefore, it must be bad”. Honestly, there isn’t much to Trump’s thinking on this particular issue. The national GOP have become a laughing stock since dear ole George W. Bush’s disastrous tenure.

#5 Comment By ed On June 1, 2017 @ 10:00 am

Spite. He’s doing these things because he can.

#6 Comment By Egypt Steve On June 1, 2017 @ 10:14 am

Re: ” Trump would be a fool to want to put things back the way they were.”

Well, yes. And your point is?

#7 Comment By predisposal On June 1, 2017 @ 10:34 am

@Tim D. “Trump’s thinking: “Obama supports it, therefore, it must be bad”.”

I wish he thought the same thing about supporting the Saudi war on Yemen. In fact Trump is damaging himself and the country by continuing Obama policies in a number of areas.

#8 Comment By JohnT On June 1, 2017 @ 10:36 am

Trump just went to Saudi Arabia and expressly said that Human Rights is something he isn’t going to lecture about. And now this…

Didn’t he also just congratulate Duterte on his murder spree?

SMH

#9 Comment By Chris Chuba On June 1, 2017 @ 12:05 pm

It’s to punish them for harboring all of those Islamic terrorists who are attacking us, oh wait, never mind.

#10 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 1, 2017 @ 12:38 pm

it is of course a waste of time. And the opening actually supports those who favor immigration enforcement. Now, the cubans are prevented from circumventing US immigration laws by the ineffective Cuban communist asylum farce that was extinct on the day it was instituted.

I guess this is one of those rare instances in which I agree with detractors. It never ceases to befuddle that this man who stood against so much seems incapable of standing now on so many fronts.

Stop playing the needless role of the great white hope and only challenge policies that hurt the country’s ethos. I am not sure you ave heard, communism has imploded.

Good grief.

#11 Comment By rayray On June 1, 2017 @ 12:44 pm

@collin
There to be a nice award for Trump from Cuba. And as @collin pointed out, some beautiful cake.

#12 Comment By SF Bay On June 1, 2017 @ 1:53 pm

The personal animus Trump has shown for Obama is on display again. These petty moves are not surprising from a petty man.

He has backed down an a few campaign promises, like not moving our embassy to Jerusalem, but then again Obama didn’t want to do it either.

#13 Comment By William Dalton On June 1, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

The President who recognized that the mission of the State Department is to advance our national interests, not to intervene in abuses of human rights in sovereign states, is not one would expect to pull such a bonehead move. But there has never been any rhyme or reason behind Trump’s policies – simply sound and fury signifying nothing more than the prejudices of his supporters.

#14 Comment By JKSKSKSx On June 1, 2017 @ 5:10 pm

@EliteComminc. Now you realize this?

How is it that you people call yourselves Christian anyway? Didn’t Christ teach to forgive and to ask for forgiveness? Yet here you are, holding onto old grudges long after any rationale for their existence is gone. However you heartland types, flyover country people who insist that you are the true thing, have no problem demanding, nay expecting forgiveness for all your sins. From native people for example, who must just accept the arc of history. So also the african americans, or for that matter the iraqis etc etc. You expect forgiveness, yet have none to offer in return.

You want petty? Would you really like to see petty? You curse california and yet every single technology you use, every new medicine that saves your life comes from california. We are making his world, while you are whining like babies in it. How about this for petty, you can keep your grudges, get rid of the healthcare for which you are the beneficiary, and we will outsource all our jobs. How do you like that?

#15 Comment By a spencer On June 1, 2017 @ 7:27 pm

JKSKSKSx,

As good as it feels to excoriate people, I think Elite might live in California?

Anyway, among the “heartland types”, I know a lot of people to the left of Bernie. During the DNC primaries Sanders won Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

#16 Comment By Adriana I Pena On June 1, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

This is not something that a lot of Miami residents want. They can now, after so long, visit with relatives in Cuba, and reconnect.

Why take that away from them?

#17 Comment By LW On June 1, 2017 @ 11:56 pm

Donald Trump is a narcissist, he can’t stand the Obama stamp on something productive, good, positive…. therefore he’d taken us back to policy of 50 years ago. How can anyone defend this guy, what a mess.

#18 Comment By rayray On June 2, 2017 @ 1:06 am

Trump is not even sure why he is doing this. He might vaguely remember some Fox News talking points beating up Obama…but he doesn’t have the insight to realize that even Fox News ultimately doesn’t but into their own criticisms.

Obama made some solidly smart decisions, and made them while be excoriated ruthlessly for them. But he did them anyway because they were right. That’s what leaders do.

#19 Comment By c matt On June 2, 2017 @ 10:23 am

Since when has any American administration cared about human rights? It’s all about political calculations (whether the calculation is accurate or not).

#20 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 4, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

Excuse the delay. I just missed your comment.

“How is it that you people call yourselves Christian anyway? Didn’t Christ teach to forgive and to ask for forgiveness? Yet here you are, holding onto old grudges long after any rationale for their existence is gone. However you heartland types, flyover country people who insist that you are the true thing, have no problem demanding, nay expecting forgiveness for all your sins. From native people for example, who must just accept the arc of history. So also the african americans, or for that matter the iraqis etc etc. You expect forgiveness, yet have none to offer in return.”

Uhhhh I am not sure you understand me. I think normalizing relations puts the US in the position of enforcing immigration laws, minus the exception of asylum.

1. I have never bought into the asylum press. That means, that normalize relations is fine with me, for the reasons I stated. The reason there was a communist revolution was because the rich and powerful really lorded it over and abused the general population, in my view.

I have no idea why you are accusing me of holding a grudge against Cuba. Whatever issues I have with my Latin cultural background it’s not that the Cuba has a communist government.

2. Fortunately, my father was a US service member and I spent most of my youth seeing the country with no particular roots to any one region. Fortunately, I have lived on the west coast, the south, the east and mid-west. My issues with enforcing immigration law may have something to do with with a lack of forgiveness, but its really beside the point. If you are not a US citizen or by any other condition here legally, you are entitled to safe passage home and nothing more. If it makes violating US territory harder, then I would support removing normalizing relations. My position is and remains that the US should have closed all border traffic for five years, after 9/11. I still think we need to over haul the entire mess. A travel ban is kind of a start, but hardly sufficient. H1/2/3 VISAS of any kind, for rich, privileged foreigners best and brightest or not — gone for reasons repeatedly expressed.

3. About this matter of forgiveness. I am not sure why this matters. Suppose the issue was forgiveness. Forgiveness would have no impact on immigration laws or the reasons why we have them. As purely a pragmatic matter, to forgive or not to forgive just doesn’t really come into play.

I am not sure I have done anything to my fellow citizens for which I need forgiveness. If you know of something, you are certainty welcome to bring t to my attention. My bitterness just isn’t something that causes me to harm others, knowingly. Whatever, I have cause for has not yet crossed that line. I hope it never does. Whatever issues I have concerning vengeance, I take before God, that is his domain.

a. native americans should be compensated for treaty violations and clear cases of graft by the US government for failing abide by said agreements. I think most of those cases are clear cut and on the record.

b. As for African Americans I am unsure how to untangle the mess that the US has made of foundations she promised her citizens and in many ways to this day has sought to bestow on foreigners while denying them the very same and then to this day justifying and cloaking the matter in legal, social and political gamesmanship, even religion. Now that is not something that rests on conservatives alone. That’s rests on all of us. And it is the most grievous of sins because it jam packed with hypocrisy. That’s a very difficult matter to redress. Not that blacks don’t have their own individual vices and failings as all people, they do. But attempting to saddle what the country condoned on the backs of people who live in the midwest alone is an attempt evade national guilt.

__________________________

“You want petty? Would you really like to see petty? You curse california and yet every single technology you use, every new medicine that saves your life comes from california. We are making his world, while you are whining like babies in it. How about this for petty, you can keep your grudges, get rid of the healthcare for which you are the beneficiary, and we will outsource all our jobs. How do you like that?”

I certainly have my issues with Ca. Goodness gracious, never so great a state squandering its resources, talent and vitality. I am not sure if all of my technology comes from Ca. But I can say this. I have had more than a few choice words for the computers and cell phones I have purchased. Not because they come from Ca. But because they routinely fail or the services attached are simply lousy and fail to meet the claims for which they were purchased.

I stopped taking medication, including aspirin more than thirty years ago. Good grief, longer than that. Let’s see, I am considering taking something over the counter for my feet. I have mightily abused them. And I am unclear, how much of what I intend to use will come from Ca. Since I live here, I tend to feel I have a right to complain. And there’s plenty to complain about. The legal system here is just as unjust, convoluted, and self serving as elsewhere. The liberals are just as hypocritical as anywhere else. And certainly not as tolerant. It took some tie o get used to going to Church in anything without a tie.

But above all, that millions of Ca would do for foreigners what they won’t do for their fellow citizens. It’s a rather dark space here for that type of ethos.I am not sure why any black person supports anything a liberal or democrat says on that alone. No pint blaming white conservatives, white liberals from Hollywood to Silicon Valley are all too happy to keep their black populations out of the financial waterways as they embrace all things asian, hispanic, middle eastern, aside from the black ‘criddles’ (black entertainment value goodies) that make them money, whites here of every brand prefer all things nonblack.

But you are correct, followers of Christ are to forgive. I am not sure that translates into political agreements. In fact, I am sure that it does not.

And while Pres. Trump and I have disagreements. He remains the best candidate for today. And six months has failed to provide any doom and gloom — sky is falling scenarios.

No illegal immigrants allowed.

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 4, 2017 @ 8:56 pm

” . . . get rid of the healthcare for which you are the beneficiary, and we will outsource all our jobs. How do you like that?”

I am not a subscriber to government healthcare. In 2004 or “there ’bouts”, I was hit by car while bike riding. I refused to get into the ambulance because I knew I could not afford it. It’s not I didn’t think I wasn’t entitled to healthcare, but what I was entitled to, I simply could not pay for.

If you can explain a means to provide healthcare without increasing the debt I might very well consider health coverage provided by the state. I would even seriously consider it if the country would cease and desist in killing children in the womb. It’s very difficult for me to take emotional appeals seriously from anyone who promotes or shrugs off the murder of children. This is a very dark ethic in our country and its nearly impossible to emotionally guilt me into any position when we are killing children under the color of law.

And I certainly do not approve of our governments support for companies that are sucking the life blood of country in terms of wealth by unemploying millions hardly a conservative ethic.

And I am genuinely and deeply agitated that the republican party participated in a scheme to empty Louisiana of it black population on behalf and apparently the behest of whites in the state and then proceed to replace them with illegal immigrants. I was hoping what I heard was false, but the reports are deeply troubling. As troubling as it was to hear that whites visiting Louisiana were unhappy because they wanted to be served by blacks.

Importing cheap labor by foreign entry is the flipped coin of outsourcing. And I am not sure in my history of comment, you can find me supporting either practice.

But again, the machinations by the majority to disadvantage blacks knows no party.

#22 Comment By Dan Green On June 5, 2017 @ 7:29 am

I lived and worked in South Florida through the Cuban Missile Crisis followed by witnessing the fleeing of many Cubans to our shores. All great people . Then of course Jimmy Carter had still another model to allow our Cuban friends to become legal. All in all South Florida is better for it. Now a reality. Much fanfare was organized for Obama’s historic change to our relationship. Nothing wrong with that. Reality is so what who needs Cuba for what sound reason. If were off on another tangent about spreading Democracy to improve other cultures we have ample evidence that doesn’t sell.