WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is expected to reverse his predecessor Barack Obama's Cuba policy by restricting the flow of money to the oppressive elements of the country's military, intelligence and security services and ensuring that the statutory ban on the tourism is strictly enforced, an officials said today.
While a formal announcement in this regard would be made by Trump himself in Miami later in the day, officials at the White House said the reversal of Obama's Cuba policy was about meeting one of the US President's top campaign promise.
"One key thing to note about the policy is that it directs the Secretary of the Treasury and Commerce to change their regulations on the topic. No changes go into effect until those regulations are promulgated," a senior White House official told reporters.
The official was speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of Trump's expected announcement about the reversal later in the day.
The official noted that during the campaign last year, Trump received an endorsement from the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, the first presidential endorsement this group has ever made, at their museum in Little Havana, Miami.
"The president has repeatedly said he was 'honoured and humbled' to have received that endorsement from these veterans, recognising that they were fighting to restore liberty and justice for the people of Cuba," the official said.
During his address, Trump had vowed to reverse the Obama administration's policies toward Cuba that have enriched the Cuban military regime and increased the repression on the island.
"It is a promise that President Trump made, and it's a promise that President Trump is keeping," the official asserted.
Noting that it was readjustment of the US policy towards Cuba, the official said the new policy under the Trump administration will empower the Cuban people.
"To reiterate, the new policy going forward does not target the Cuban people, but it does target the repressive members of the Cuban military government," the official said.
Another Senior White House Official said in February Trump had ordered a full review of the US policy toward Cuba.
The National Security Council led by General H R McMaster engaged in a thorough inter-agency review process, including more than a dozen working-level meetings, multiple deputies' meetings and principal meetings.
During this process, the President met with members of Congress who are experts on Cuba policy and have been leaders in formulating Cuban policy from a legislative perspective for years, the official said.
"The president has tasked his cabinet to work together to find ways to improve what we considered President Obama's bad deal, and we're very excited about the result that the president will unveil tomorrow, and I think more details of that will be forthcoming," the official said.