Monday, April 22, 2019

Cubans Eager for Trump Decision on Cuba

With President Trump to make a decision on Cuba today, it is expected he will reverse Obama-era executive orders by tightening restrictions on trade and travel. The possibilities include banning U.S. trade with any Cuban entity linked to the military, a reduction in the number of categories under which Americans can travel to Cuba, and a limitation of one visit per year for Cuban-Americans with family on the island.

“This would affect us a lot in the Cuban community. I have tried six times to bring my parents to visit me,” Yaniel Guevara, a 33 year-old U.S. permanent resident said.

After the Obama administration announced in late 2014 that diplomatic relations would be restored, Airbnb became the first major U.S. company to operate in Cuba. Since then, Airbnb has reported that $40 million has been paid to private bed-and-breakfast owners in Cuba since April of 2015.

“What’s still unclear is whether it’s a matter of investing in — for example, joint ventures — or if the restriction goes further into transacting any business. I mean, making any payment to such entities. Because if the latter were the case, that has a much broader impact,” Pedro Freyre, an attorney and international practice chair at Akerman LLP, said.

The Obama administration hoped that engagement in Cuba would result in bringing democracy to the island. Since diplomatic relations were reestablished, the number of Americans traveling to the island has increased with renewed commercial air service, and there has also been an increase in small businesses in Cuba.

NBC News