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A tour bus in front of the Capitolio, Cuba’s National Capitol Building, Havana, June 17, 2017 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).

Trump’s Hard Line on Cuba Is a Bluff, and Havana Knows It

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

“Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of Cuban exiles in Miami on June 16. That declaration was not quite true, since there was no single deal to cancel. President Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba included a series of bilateral agreements on issues of mutual interest and five packages of regulatory changes to the U.S. embargo that Obama made unilaterally in order to boost travel and trade.

Trump’s new policy, embodied in a Presidential Memorandum, partially closes two holes that Obama punched in the embargo. First, Trump’s new regulations will limit the “people-to-people” category of educational travel by restoring the requirement that visitors travel in groups with a licensed travel provider. No more self-guided tours—but visitors can still bring back rum and cigars. ...

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