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Trump Partially Reverses Obama-Castro Deal, Demands Free Elections in Cuba and Release of Political Prisoners

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jun 16, 2017, 2:54 pm
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Trump demands “free elections” on the island, restrictions for Americans who travel there and suspension of transactions with the Cuban Army.(Flickr)

EspañolThe United States will change its policies toward Cuba, US President Donald Trump announced this Friday, June 16.

The US will ask that the oppressive regime first make democratic progress before continuing a process of normalization, which was started by former President Barack Obama during his final months in office.

Trump said he was putting the Castro regime “against the wall,” by not only demanding “free elections” on the island, but also the release of political prisoners. He also plans to restrict American travel, demand the release of political and freeze transactions with Cuban military forces.

Cuba’s upcoming elections, scheduled for October, are now being overseen by an electoral commission, but it’s still unclear whether they will meet the standards that Trump reportedly expects.

Both Trump and Republican Senator Marco Rubio slammed former President Barack Obama for his failure to hold Raúl Castro’s regime to higher democratic standards.

“A year and a half ago a president, an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to a regime,” Rubio said before Trump took the stage at a rally in Florida. “Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba.”

 

 

 

 

Trump said he will ask the Department of Treasury and Department of Commerce to develop regulations to prohibit US transactions with Cuba’s military, intelligence and security services.

Transactions related to the operation of the US embassy in Havana, the operation of the Guantánamo naval base, the promotion of Cuban democracy and the expansion of telecommunications access to the Cuban people, will also be exempt from the policy, an unnamed official said.

American travel, which has spiked in recent months following Obama’s looser restrictions, will once again become very difficult.

“The profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military,” Trump said. “The regime takes the money and owns the industry. The outcome of the last administration’s executive action has only been more repression and a move to crush the peaceful, democratic movement.”

It will still be possible to travel to Cuba under the twelve categories of travel allowed by the Treasury, but Americans must keep receipts and travel documents to facilitate government auditing.

Source: Cubanet

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Mexico’s Left-Wing Morena Party Fined for Holding Unauthorized Campaign Events

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jun 16, 2017, 2:16 pm
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EspañolMexico's left-wing party has been fined US $611,000 for holding unauthorized campaign events. The country's Electoral Tribunal fined the National Regeneration Movement — known widely in the country as "Morena" — because its candidate for governor of the State of Mexico, Delfina Gómez, and Presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, held campaign events across 35 municipalities before the legal electoral calendar had technically started. Read More: The Mexican President’s Cheap Talk on Human Rights of Central American Immigrants Read More: Mexican Ex-Governor Javier Duarte Arrested in Guatemala Following Six-Month Chase The fine serves as a resolution to a lawsuit filed by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party last July. According to PRI representatives, Gómez advertised her image on several billboards, which should be interpreted as campaigning. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   "Delfina Gómez Álvarez's position (as candidate) was presented to the electorate of the State of Mexico and as a consequence, violated the principle of fairness in the contest, to the detriment of other contenders," the Electoral Tribunal said in its ruling. Morena, on the other hand, said it is planning to call for an annulment of the governor's election in five districts in the State of Mexico for the "flagrant violation of the principle of free and authentic elections." Source: Animal Político

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