President Donald Trump will reportedly announce his new Cuba policy Friday in Miami, which may reverse some of Barack Obama’s attempts to improve America’s decades-long hostile relationship with its neighbor.
The Obama administration secretly began the process of normalizing relations between the two nations before an official announcement was made in late 2014. The easing of the U.S. embargo led to increased U.S. investment and tourism on the island. More hotels opened, daily flights began operating, and U.S. companies invested in Cuban agriculture projects.
U.S. tourism to Cuba has more than tripled since 2014.
But Trump is now reportedly considering banning business with the Cuban military and clamping down on travel to Cuba while maintaining the diplomatic relations restored by Obama. While Trump has been quiet on Cuba since taking office — though the plan to reverse Cuba policy has reportedly been set for some time, the administration has had its implementation repeatedly delayed by more pressing matters — he periodically talked tough on Cuba on the campaign trail, especially in Florida.
“All the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them — and that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” Trump told supporters in Miami last September. “Not my demands. Our demands.”
As Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said in a statement, he’s confident Trump will “keep his commitment on Cuba policy by making changes that are targeted and strategic and advance the Cuban people’s aspirations for economic and political liberty.”
Much like Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, corporate interests tend to not be in favor of Trump’s reported reversal on Cuba, making it the latest Obama-era policy Trump has made a point of reversing despite opposition from Democrats, Republicans, corporate America, and even his own advisers.