Cruise-Ship-300x183U.S. business owners with dealings in Cuba were relieved after President Donald Trump outlined his new Cuba policy last week because it might not have a big impact on their ventures. Some have reportedly paused all business with the island until they see how Trump’s changes will be implemented and what new regulations they will require.

Lawyers who help corporations navigate the regulations and laws imposed by the embargo have been going through every detail of the memorandum Trump signed on June 16 as well as a White House fact sheet and the answers to some frequently-asked questions issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to get a feel of the new policy. That is all the lawyers have to go on until the new rules are written. Trump mandated that the writing process begin by next month.

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Cuban-Migrants-in-Panama-300x200The Panamanian government is offering 126 Cuban migrants stranded in the country a chance to return to Cuba and become self-employed entrepreneurs. In exchange, the migrants will receive multiple-entry visas to Panama and an undetermined amount of capital for investment purposes.

The proposal was announced by Panama’s Deputy Minister of Public Security Jonathan del Rosario last week. He said Panama has done “everything possible” to help the migrants. This proposal would only apply to the Cubans stranded in Gualaca in western Panama. Del Rosario made it clear that the migrants in Gualaca won’t be allowed to remain in Panamanian territory.

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1303-Trump-Cuba-061617-300x214Cuban officials have released an official response to President Donald Trump’s June 16 speech in Miami that reinstated restrictions on travel and banned dealings with businesses owned or controlled by the Cuban military.

The statement noted Trump’s “hostile rhetoric” and said the U.S. was in no position to lecture Cuba on human rights. However, it also confirmed Cuba’s continued willingness to collaborate with the U.S.

“The Government of Cuba reiterates its will to continue a respectful and cooperative dialogue on topics of mutual interest, as well as negotiations of outstanding issues with the US Governement,” the statement said.

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Donald-Trump-at-Bay-of-Pigs-300x200President Donald Trump is to announce a plan on Friday to tighten U.S. policy toward Cuba by adding travel restrictions for Americans traveling to the island and banning U.S. companies from doing business with enterprises controlled by the Cuban military, White House officials said on Thursday.

Trump’s changes are intended to cut off cash flow to the Castro regime by banning business deals with the Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group (GAESA), a government-controlled conglomerate involved in all sectors of the Cuban economy, in an attempt to pressure Cuba’s leaders to allow the island’s private sector to grow. Exceptions will be made for sea and air travel, which means U.S. cruise lines and airlines serving the island won’t be affected by the directive.

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Cuban-Flags-Over-Balcony-300x212With President Donald Trump expected to announce his administration’s revised Cuba Policy in Miami this Friday, those for and against engagement with the island nation are scrambling to let the president—and even his daughter Ivanka—know their position.

The president has received several letters from dissidents, professors concerned that a revised policy could affect educational exchanges, U.S. senators, and various lobby groups and human rights organizations. Some were addressed to Ivanka Trump, including one from a group of over 50 Cuban female entrepreneurs urging her, businesswomen to businesswoman, to make sure the opening created by the previous administration isn’t closed.

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Donald-Trump-300x200President Donald Trump is expected to travel to Miami this Friday to unveil his administration’s revised U.S.-Cuba policy, the Miami Herald reports.

The location of the event has not yet been announced, but Miami has long been an enclave for Cuban exiles. Unveiling the policy changes there suggests that it’ll please the hardline Cuban-Americans whose support helped Trump win the Presidential vote in Florida.

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Bill-Nelson-300x163U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio are reportedly lobbying the Trump administration to get compensation from Cuba for Americans whose property was confiscated when the communist government nationalized industries and utilities.

“The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) has certified more than 5,900 claims against the Cuban Government for stolen property. These claims—now valued at approximately $8 billion—remain unresolved,” the letter said.

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Cruise-Ship-300x183An economic impact analysis by Engage Cuba claims that airlines and cruise lines will lose $3.5 billion and over 10,000 jobs over the course of President Trump’s first term if he undoes all the changes made to U.S.-Cuba policy by former President Obama. Trump is expected to amend the changes Obama began instating from December 2014, but the full scope of his plans for the island have yet to be seen.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit’s report assumes the worst-case scenario in which the Trump administration rolls back the entire U.S. regulatory regime toward Cuba, including legalized travel for U.S. citizens and residents, licenses for certain exports, expanded remittances, and the end of the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy.

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MS-Veendam-300x212Holland America is the latest American cruise line to receive approval for sailings to Cuba. The Seattle-based company received approval last week to call in Havana and Cienfuegos, a city on the island’s southern coast.

Holland America opened bookings last Friday and has scheduled voyages that pass through Cuba on its 1,350-passenger cruise ship, MS Veendam, from December to April 2018. The company will offer 7- to 12-day trips that start in Fort Lauderdale.

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People-in-Cuba-300x206Senators Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) reintroduced a bill last week that would eliminate all restrictions on travel to Cuba. The bill, which had 8 cosponsors when it was first introduced in 2015, has the bipartisan support of 55 senators.

“As the administration is finalizing its Cuba policy review, it is important to show that a bipartisan majority in the Senate supports not only not rolling back the measures that President Obama took to expand travel, but to go even further and remove all restrictions,” James Williams, head of Engage Cuba, told el Nuevo Herald. Engage Cuba is a lobby group backed by companies and organizations that support the removal of sanctions on Cuba.

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