Daily Briefing – June 16, 2017

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A daily look at deals, events and transactions of note for trade and investment in Cuba.

Trump gets tough on Cuban military, but many of Obama’s openings remain: President Donald Trump’s plans to roll back predecessor Barack Obama’s normalization policies with Cuba will mostly focus on reinforcing the travel ban on Americans going to Cuba for tourism and on restricting business that benefits the Cuban military. The U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments will have 30 days to write the new regulations. (Reuters)

Just 90 miles but more legwork: Americans won’t be allowed to go on individual people-to-people trips and will instead need to go on group trips with scheduled activities and a company guide, according to a policy draft the Miami Herald obtained prior to Trump’s Friday unveiling of his new Cuba plan. The draft also says travelers should keep documents of all their transactions in Cuba for up to five years. (Miami Herald)

Turning back the clock on U.S.-Cuba relations: Ben Rhodes, who led the normalization efforts between the United States and Cuba while serving as former President Barack Obama’s deputy national security advisor, says President Donald Trump’s plan to roll back some of those openings is anything but democratic. He calls the move a “last illogical gasp of a strain of American politics with a track record of failure.” (The Atlantic)

U.S. President’s Cuba policy rollback could trump his business competitors: Before taking the Oval Office in 2017, hotel mogul Donald Trump pledged not to pursue any foreign deals while serving as the U.S. President. Now he’s rolling back Obama-era policies on Cuba that could adversely affect competing hotel industries from engaging in business deals on the island. The plan is supposed to help redirect the island’s travel business from an industry largely controlled by the Cuban military to private, small-business enterprises, but at least one of Trump’s large business competitors may be affected. (CNN)

A somber mood Cuba:  Church bells rang and American flags waved from Old Havana balconies in 2016 when Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba. Today, many of those once celebratory Cubans fear President Trump’s roll back of U.S. policies toward Cuba will discourage Americans from traveling to or doing business with the island. Meanwhile in Miami, Cuban-American hardliners are still convinced the roll-back represents the final heave-ho in toppling socialism on the island.  (The Chicago Tribune/The Associated Press)

American soil no longer solid ground for Cuban emigres: President Trump’s plans to roll back many of his predecessor’s actions to normalize relations with Cuba will not reinstate a two-decade immigration policy that guaranteed virtually all Cubans who reached U.S. soil a pathway to permanent residency. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says about 36,000 Cubans in the U.S. currently have deportation orders, thanks in large part to former President Obama’s 2016 repeal of the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy. (ABC News/The Associated Press)

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