President Donald Trump traveled to Miami and told a cheering crowd of primarily Cuban-Americans that he is going to partially reverse much of President Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba at a campaign-style event at the Manuel Artime Theater, named after a veteran of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Trump condemned the Cuban government as a bloody tyranny and the Obama deal as one sided, constituting as it does an act of appeasement.

What Trump announced regarding Cuba

President Trump announced a number of changes to the deal with Cuba. Commercial flights and cruise ships will still be allowed to travel from the United States to Cuba.

However American citizens traveling to the island dictatorship will have to undergo a Treasury audit if they do not have a government approved reason to go to Cuba. Americans will be barred from spending at establishments run by the Cuban military. The economic embargo will be strictly enforced, with one exception.

On the plus side, Americans will still be allowed to bring Cuban cigars and rum back to the United States, either from Cuba or a third country, but will be barred from selling them. The American embassy will remain open in Havana for the time being.

The 'Art of the Deal' in Cuba

President Trump listed a very stringent list of demands that have to be met by the Cuban government if they hope to negotiate a new deal with the United States.

All political prisoners will have to be freed. America fugitives from justice residing in Cuba will have to be extradited back to the United States. The Cuban government will have to respect Human Rights, including freedom of expression and assembly, and hold free and fair elections.

Just the first steps

Trump also suggested that the initiatives he outlined were just the first steps in a revamping of American policy toward Cuba.

One item that has not be resolved is an Obama policy that requires the return of all refugees back to Cuba whether or not they are intercepted at sea or after arriving on dry land. The policy angered both Cuban-Americans and human rights advocates, noting that such people will likely to subjected to savage punishment when they are returned.

Will Cuba ever be free?

The Obama opening to Cuba was undertaken under the theory that decades of isolation have not worked to end the Castro tyranny and that another approach was necessary. However, repression in the island dictatorship has become, by all accounts, even more savage since the Obama initiative. Trump has concluded that the deal that was struck was a bad one and now Cuba needs to offer extensive concessions if it wants to have friendly relations with the United States.