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635. 11/8/2017

“Under new regulations that take effect Thursday, the Trump administration is banning U.S. citizens from doing business with dozens of entities that have links to Cuba’s military, intelligence and security agencies. … Approved travelers will also have fewer places to frequent in Cuba. The administration released a list of hotels, marinas, stores and rum factories owned by the Cuban military that will now be off-limits to Americans. The list includes 84 hotels: 27 in the capital Havana, 13 in the popular beach resort of Varadero and others spread around the island.”

Alan Gomez, “Trump cracks down on U.S. business and travel to Cuba. Here’s what’s changing,” USAToday.com, Nov. 9, 2017

634. 11/8/2017

According to a NYTimes.com article on Nov. 8, 2017: “The Trump administration on Wednesday [Nov. 8, 2017] tightened the economic embargo on Cuba, restricting Americans from access to hotels, stores and other businesses tied to the Cuban military. A lengthy list [“List of Restricted Entities and Subentities Associated With Cuba as of November 9, 2017,” State.gov, Nov. 8, 2017] of rules, which President Trump promised in June [16, 2017, National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba] to punish the communist government in Havana, came just as Mr. Trump was visiting leaders of the communist government in Beijing and pushing business deals there. Wednesday’s announcement was part of the administration’s gradual unwinding of parts of the Obama administration’s détente with the Cuban government.”

Gardiner Harris, “Trump Tightens Cuba Embargo, Restricting Access to Hotels and Businesses,” NYTimes.com, Nov. 8, 2017

633. 11/8/2017

“Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) are announcing amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively, to implement changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President in June [National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba]. The State Department is taking complementary steps to implement these policy changes that cumulatively seek to channel economic activities away from the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services, while maintaining opportunities for Americans to engage in authorized travel to Cuba and support the private, small business sector in Cuba. The changes will take effect on Thursday, November 9, 2017, when the regulations are published in the Federal Register.”

“Treasury, Commerce, and State Implement Changes to the Cuba Sanctions Rules: Amendments Implement President Trump’s June 2017 National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,” Treasury.gov, Nov. 8, 2017

632. 9/29/2017

“On September 29th, the Department ordered the departure of nonemergency personnel assigned to the U.S. embassy in Havana, as well as all family members. Over the past several months, at least 21 U.S. embassy employees have been targeted in specific attacks. The health, safety, and well-being of our embassy community are our greatest concerns. Investigations into the attacks are ongoing, as investigators have been unable to determine who or what is causing these attacks.”

“Senior State Department Officials on Cuba,” State.gov, Sept. 29, 2017

631. 9/21/2017

“Cuban officials have taken to social media all week to denounce President Donald Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly as well as his overall approach to U.S.-Cuba policy. … The Cuban Ambassador to the U.S., Jose Cabanas, has been calling via social media for an end to the U.S.-Cuba embargo, a demand Cuban officials make at the U.N. General Assembly every year. … Their tweets also have included numerous denials of any Cuban government involvement in a mysterious series of health incidents that have affected American diplomats in Havana.”

Elizabeth Llorente, “Cuban officials blast Trump, US embargo, amid UN General Assembly,” FoxNews.com, Sept. 21, 2017

630. 8/9/2017

“The U.S. State Department says it expelled two Cuban diplomats earlier this year after several Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Havana experienced strange medical symptoms and were either recalled to the U.S. or allowed to come home. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the ‘incidents’ were first discovered in late 2016, but she declined to provide any details.”

Scott Neuman, “Cuban Diplomats Expelled After U.S. Embassy Staff ‘Incidents’ In Havana,” NPR.org, Aug. 9, 2017

629. 6/16/2017

According to the “National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,” [In the Trump Administration, the directives that are used to promulgate Presidential decisions on national security matters are designated National Security Presidential Memoranda (NSPMs), according to FAS.org] by President Donald J. Trump of June 16, 2017: “My Administration’s policy will be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, as well as solidarity with the Cuban people. I will seek to promote a stable, prosperous, and free country for the Cuban people. To that end, we must channel funds toward the Cuban people and away from a regime that has failed to meet the most basic requirements of a free and just society.”

Donald J. Trump, “National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,” WhiteHouse.gov, June 16, 2017

628. 1/20/2017

January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

“President Trump’s Inaugural Address, Annotated,” NPR.org, January 20, 2017

627. 1/12/2017

On the same day President Barack Obama rescinded the so-called “wet-foot/dry foot” policy for Cuban immigrants, in the same “Statement by the President on Cuban Immigration Policy“ on Jan. 12, 2017, he wrote: “Today, the Department of Homeland Security is also ending the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program. The United States and Cuba are working together to combat diseases that endanger the health and lives of our people. By providing preferential treatment to Cuban medical personnel, the medical parole program contradicts those efforts, and risks harming the Cuban people.  Cuban medical personnel will now be eligible to apply for asylum at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, consistent with the procedures for all foreign nationals.” [Con Embargo]

President Barack Obama, “Statement by the President on Cuban Immigration Policy,” ObamaWhiteHouse.archives.gov, Jan. 12, 2017

626. 1/12/2017

In a “Statement by the President on Cuban Immigration Policy“ on Jan. 12, 2017, President Barack Obama wrote about ending the mid-1990s so-called “wet-foot/dry foot” policy of expediting U.S. legal status to Cubans who made it to U.S. land: “Today, the United States is taking important steps forward to normalize relations with Cuba and to bring greater consistency to our immigration policy. The Department of Homeland Security is ending the so-called ‘wet-foot/dry foot’ policy, which was put in place more than twenty years ago and was designed for a different era. Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities. By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries. The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea.” [Con Embargo]

President Barack Obama, “Statement by the President on Cuban Immigration Policy,” ObamaWhiteHouse.archives.gov, Jan. 12, 2017