President Donald Trump is expected to visit Miami as next Friday to announce a new Cuba policy that could tighten rules on trade and travel, rolling back parts of former President Barack Obama’s opening to the island, according to a U.S. official and people familiar with the matter.
Trump’s aides are nearing completion of a review of relations with Cuba and are expected to send recommendations to his national security team and then to the president in coming days, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Plans are in the works for Trump to roll out his new approach on June 16 in a speech in Miami, where he is expected to claim fulfillment of a campaign promise and justify it, at least in part, on human rights grounds, the sources said.
But they cautioned that a delay in the announcement is still possible if it takes longer for Trump to make a final decision.
While specific changes have not yet been finalized, the sources say Trump is likely to unveil a partial rather than complete rollback of Obama’s actions, which included restoration of relations and reopening of embassies after a diplomatic breakthrough in 2014 with America’s former Cold War foe.
Among the options under consideration are banning U.S. companies from doing business with Cuban enterprises tied to the military – which controls a large part of the communist-ruled island’s economy – and tightening rules on Americans traveling there, according to people familiar with the discussions.
With the Cuba review approaching its final stages, both sides of the issue have recently stepped up lobbying to sway Trump’s decision.
In the letter sent to Trump on Friday, seven of his fellow Republicans warned that rescinding Obama’s policies would “incentivize Cuba to once again become dependent on countries like Russia and China.”
Senior officials at the National Security Council met on Friday to begin finalizing a list of recommendations, the sources said.