Tag Archives: Cuba

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S CUBAN POLICY

On Friday, June 16, President Donald Trump ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba, plus a clampdown on U.S. business dealings with the Island country’s military. According to fortune.com, Trump said that, “with God’s help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve.

In a speech in Miami, the administration indicated that it plans to roll back certain parts of former President Barack Obama’s historic opening to the communist country.

However, Obama re-opened the U.S. embassy in Havana, and Trump plans to leave it open.

Trump’s revised Cuban policy, a new presidential directive, calls for stricter enforcement of a longtime ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists, and seeks to prevent U.S. dollars from being used to fund what the new U.S. administration sees as a repressive military-dominated government.

Also, according to fortune.com, the president faced pressure from U.S. businesses and even some Republicans to avoid turning back completely, the directives Obama set in place with the communist regime. Thus, while the president has changed some things about Obama’s agreement with Cuba, Trump’s Cuban policy has also left some things in place.

The new Cuban policy bans most U.S. business transactions with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group, a Cuban conglomerate involved in all sectors of the economy, but makes some exceptions, including for air and sea travel. Also, the administration has no intention of disrupting existing business ventures such as one struck under Obama by Starwood Hotels, which is owned by Marriott International, Inc., to manage a historic Havana hotel.

According to the Washington Examiner, Americans will still be able to travel to Cuba under approved categories without first checking with the federal government. However, the president intends to eliminate the “people to people” travel to Cuba program on an individual basis. Under the Obama administration, individuals could assert on their own to go to Cuba by indicating, individually, that their trip was educational in nature. According to the White House, the president thinks that the type of arrangement instituted by Obama would make it too easy for people to visit Cuba as tourists, which is still illegal under U.S. law. Supporters of the ban say tourism helps direct dollars to the repressive government on the island. However, the “people to people” traveling in groups will still be allowed.

Also, President Trump does not plan to reinstate the limits on the amount of the island’s coveted rum and cigars that Americans can bring home for personal use.

According to the Washington Examiner, the President vowed to reverse the Obama administration’s policies toward Cuba that have enriched the Cuban military regime and increased the repression on the island, per one official.

Trump’s readjustment of the United States policy toward Cuba targets the repressive members of the Cuban military government, as one official put it, and not the Cuban people.

Officials said that the tighter new Cuban policy should be seen by Cuba as pressure aimed at getting Cuba to expedite the release of U.S. fugitives living in Cuba, respect human rights, and move toward free and fair elections.

Trump’s new Cuban policy will also keep in place Obama’s decision to end the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which gave Cubans a path toward permanent residency if they arrived in the United States. Obama said at the time that the policy unfairly gave preference to one group of immigrants over others.

Note: The information in this article was taken from fortune.com and washingtonexaminer.com.

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STATE OF THE UNION – ONCE AGAIN OBAMA GOT IT WRONG – PART THREE

The following is part three of a series on what the current president got wrong in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, according to dailysignal.com.

  • We all remember when President Obama called ISIS a J.V. team. Well, today, the terrorist group poses more of a threat to the world than ever before. The Heritage Foundation group has pointed out in the past two years that ISIS has established a presence in 19 countries with foreign fighters flocking to the wannabe caliphate in droves. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS controls territory the size of Maryland and rules over a population equivalent to Virginia’s. Although ISIS was recently kicked out of the Iraqi town of Ramadi, it still occupies Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city of almost 2 million. Obama’s remarks in the SOTU re-affirmed what we already knew; that there is still no strategy to defeat ISIS and he is anxious to pass this buck on to his successor.
  • When it came to national security issues, President Obama’s State of the Union address veered from delusional to dishonest. He presented the American people with a series of false choices, straw arguments, and inaccurate assessments regarding his track record. Regarding ISIS, Obama tried to downplay the existential threat they posed. Obama went on to provide a list of initiatives that the U.S. was spearheading in the war against the group, which included efforts to cut off ISIL’s financing, disrupt their plots. Stop the flow of terrorist fighters, and stamp out their vicious ideology. These were unusual examples to cite, because on every count, these efforts have failed. ISIS is stocked with foreign fighters, its ideology has spread across the glove, it has launched attacks in mainland Europe, and it remains financially strong. Obama also dismissed the idea that theology could be at the heart of ISIS’s appeal dubbing them simply “killers and fanatics.” Yet a refusal to acknowledge the religious component to ISIS’s activities is counter-productive.
  • Almost seven years later, the so-called Russian reset policy is now a Russian regret. Russia still occupies 20 percent of Georgia’s territory. Moscow’s imperialism has resulted in the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea and a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. Russia is testing NATO in the Baltics, rebuilding its military bases in the Arctic, and has intervened in the Syrian Civil War with no regard to the consequences. Since taking office, President Obama and many of those around him have assumed that Vladimir Putin is someone you can do business with, that Europe is no longer important, and that military power no longer buys the same influence on the world stage as it once did. These assumptions have led to bad policy decisions by this White House that has emboldened Russian aggression and tested the transatlantic alliance to its limits.
  • The current president has remained in denial about the disastrous nature of his Middle East polity throughout the small parts of his state of the union speech that dealt with foreign policy. He said that priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks. That was certainly not the case in his last state of the union speech, which was the first that did not mention al-Qaeda since George W. Bush’s 2002 speech. He glossed over the uneven results of his half-hearted, slow-motion incremental response to the rise of ISIS and fumbling responses to the deepening crisis in Syria where his administration has been consistently behind the curve. His optimism on defeating these two terrorist networks would be reassuring if he wasn’t the same misinformed person who told Americans hat the war in Iraq had ended, that ISIS was a J.V. team, and that ISIS was contained the day before it launched the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130 people.
  • President Obama, once again, used his State of the Union speech to urge Congress to work with him to close the terrorist detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO). But it is worth reminding everyone that GITMO is open for one reason and one reason only; because Obama failed to close the facility when the stage was set for him to do so. In 2009-2010, Obama’s party held a 59-41 majority in the Senate, and a 257-178 advantage in the House of Representatives. If the president needed any legislation to close Guantanamo, a debatable point, or simply the political backing of the majorities in both houses of Congress, the stars were aligned for him to do so. But instead of working with Congress to close GITMO in 2009-2010, the administration engaged in a series of controversial moves that caused a bipartisan uproar, resulting in the Democrat-controlled congress passing legislation that each year since 2009 has made it more difficult to close GITMO.
  • The facts clearly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Obama’s radical new Cuba policy. Diplomatic recognition and increased commercial opportunities to the Castro regime have emboldened the military dictatorship. This has directly resulted in historic levels of repression against the anti-Castro opposition. Despite a year of unilateral concessions, Havana continues undermining the U.S. and our interests. Dissidents have suffered historic levels of repression, even during Pope Francis’s visit to the island. Recently, it was discovered that the regime has been in possession for over a year of an inert U.S. Hellfire Missile, which was shipped from Spain to the island. The administration has not been able to answer how it got there, or if other hostile countries have obtained sensitive defense technology from it. It must also be remembered that it was only two summers ago when the Cuban government violated U.N. Security Council sanctions by clandestinely shipping weapons to North Korea.
  • Back to ISIS, where Obama first called the Islamic State a J.V. team. Then he said they were contained just before an ISIS inspired terrorist attack. Now Obama has characterized ISIS as masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks during the State of the Union address. The president’s most recent characterization of ISIS again tries to downplay the terrorist group’s capabilities, suggesting it is something far less formidable than it actually is.

It looks like I’m going to need at least one more article to cover everything that was covered in the State of the Union address. Again, thanks go to the Daily Signal for their detailed information.

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IF YOU WANT WOMB TO TOMB

In some previous posts, I have reiterated that this country was founded on the principles of giving everyone freedom and therefore allowing them to provide for themselves and succeed at their desired rate. This means that if you want chauffer driven limousines and multiple extravagant homes, go for it. If you’re content to live in a modest three bedroom/two bath house and drive Chevys and Fords, that’s perfectly okay too. If living in a one room shack with an outhouse in back is your thing, again, that’s okay. You have the freedom to choose. Of course, it should be understood that being given the freedom to go after what we want doesn’t necessarily mean that we will get it. The more lofty your goals, the more risks you’re probably going to have to take. Things can happen and you might find yourself living in that shack with an outhouse in back. If your goal is to be a school teacher, you’re not going to have money to burn. Depending on the state where you teach, you will probably be entitled to some sort of pension. So, you should be able to adequately provide for your needs and more, but you won’t have multiple mansions and chauffer driven limousines. And this is not to say that if you’re an attractive young man in his twenties and you reject the advances of some little hot-to-trot sixteen year old and she screams to everyone that you sexually harassed her, you won’t have difficulties. Through no fault of your own, your career could be in the toilet. While this is most unfortunate, it can happen.

Having said the above, our founding fathers intended for government to be small and non-intrusive, giving individuals the opportunity to excel and provide for their own needs as they determine them. Government was to exist for the people. Fast forward to the second decade of the twenty-first century and we find that the federal government of the United States of America is bloated exponentially and our country has become for the most part a totalitarian/nanny state. Seven days after the 2014 mid-term elections, we have a president that appears to be totally discounting the election results and has indicated that he doesn’t care what the American people want, he intends to continue his dictatorial actions with his pen, doing what he wants. The president and his henchmen, the liberals/Democrats/progressives or whatever they want to call themselves, continue to tell you that they know what’s best for you and will make every effort to continue to take what few freedoms that we now enjoy away from you. They know better than you do when it comes to what you should eat, what you should drive, what setting your thermostat should be, what you should eat, how you should raise your children, etc. Vote Democrat and elect us and you won’t have to worry about anything for the rest of your life. In fact, you don’t even have to stay informed, just vote Democrat. That’s what Michelle Obama told African-Americans. Talk about a racist comment, but that will be fodder for another post.

Now if you want all of your needs from womb to tomb provided for by a government that is all knowledgeable and trustworthy according to that government, there are many places where you can relocate to. If you like warm weather all year round, there’s Cuba, and it’s not that far from the United States. If you decide you don’t like it down there, you can always set out in a small boat for the United States. If you’re lucky enough to dodge all of the sharks and make it to land, you can get back to the United States of America. Then there’s Venezuela that also has a warm climate. They even have elections in Venezuela and will tell you how to vote. The only catch is that you had better vote and vote for everyone on the ballot. Then it’s smooth sailing in a government run state. If you prefer a cooler climate, Norway, a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy, might be a good choice. In other words, Norway does provide womb to tomb coverage for practically all of your needs. And, of course, there are more choices. But if your are determined to move to a country where you don’t have to take responsibility for your actions and everything you need will be provided for you, you’ll need to take some additional responsibility and do some research while you’re still a citizen of this arrogant, selfish, racist nation.

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