Trump’s Cuba Travel Policies Backfire 

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A new summary by the Associated Press of regulations for American travel to Cuba concludes that Trump’s new policies have produced the opposite of their declared intent. When Trump announced that ‘people-to-people’ travel to Cuba would no longer be permitted, many Americans shifted their travel to cruise excursions, with land excursions organized by the government. Dollars previously spent on the private sector – such as staying at bed and breakfasts – has sharply fallen off. Meanwhile, Americans can still travel for the purpose of supporting the Cuban people, though most are unaware of this. (News Observer)

Cuba Moves Up National Assembly: The national assembly session that will decide who succeeds Raúl Castro as the president of Cuba will start a day early, the government announced. The assembly, elected in a March vote, will start its session Wednesday rather than Thursday. This means that the session will conclude Thursday, the anniversary of the defeat of the CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. The assembly will decide who replaces the 86-year-old Castro. The most likely successor is vice president Miguel Diaz-Canal, 57, making him the first non-Castro to rule the island since the Revolution. (U.S. News)

Canada Sends Home Families of Diplomats: Canada will make its embassy in Cuba an “unaccompanied post,” say officials, meaning that diplomats will not be stationed there with their families. The removal of family members comes as Canada continues to investigate the cause of symptoms experienced by their personnel, and those of the American embassy, in 2017. Those symptoms, including dizziness, headaches and nausea, were reported in 10 of 27 Canadian embassy personnel and family members. The cause of the illness remains unknown. (Reuters)

Before His Presidency there was Trump Tower Havana: While Donald Trump has taken a hard line on Cuba, cutting back on U.S. tourism and continuing to enforce the embargo, he was in favor of investing in Havana. When Trump ran as a presidential candidate in 2016, Newsweek magazine reported that Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts had hired a consulting firm in the late ‘90s to explore opportunities to build a hotel. Businessweek later reported that Trump Organization officials also visited Cuba between 2012 and 2015 to explore golf course development. (The Conversation)

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