President Trump declared Friday he was restoring some travel and economic restrictions on Cuba that were lifted as part of the Obama administration's historic easing, the AP reports. He challenged the communist government of Raul Castro to negotiate a better deal for Cubans and Cuban-Americans. "I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," CNN quotes Trump as saying. Announcing the rollback of President Obama's diplomatic opening, Trump said Cuba had secured far too many concessions from the US in the "misguided" deal but "now those days are over." He said penalties on Cuba would remain in place until its government releases political prisoners, stops abusing dissidents, and respects freedom of expression.
Though Trump's announcement stops short of a full reversal of the Cuba rapprochement, it targets the travel and economic engagement between the countries that has blossomed in the short time since relations were restored. The goal is to halt the flow of US cash to the country's military and security services in a bid to increase pressure on Cuba's government. US airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve Cuba, but individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited. Trump's move was a direct rebuke to Obama, for whom the diplomatic opening with Cuba was a central accomplishment of his presidency. The new president's action is broadly opposed by American business groups.