Cuba embargo

Sebastian Ballestas / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

President Trump's speech in Little Havana last Friday wasn’t about remaking America’s Cuba policy. It was about reliving the Cuban-American past.

It was an exile Woodstock reunion, a nostalgic return to a time when Miami Cubans (and their impressive voter turnout) convinced Washington to isolate communist Cuba. Back to the years when they tightened the economic and diplomatic screws until the head slots stripped – certain it would drive the Castro dictatorship from their mother island.

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Rolando Pujol Rodriguez

When President Barack Obama arrived in Cuba, it was the latest turn in a major shift in US-Cuba relations away from animosity and skepticism.

However, it will take more than a presidential visit to totally defuse the decades-old tension. Leaders of both countries will have to address many existing policies and laws that have not changed for years, including the trade embargo and the quirk in US immigration policy that almost encourages Cubans to migrate here.

Orlando's First Commercial Flight to Cuba

Nov 30, 2016

The first commercial flight from Orlando to Havana Cuba took off Tuesday morning carrying 150 passengers. Many had traveled from places like New York and California to realize a longtime dream of visiting the island.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

The first commercial flight from Miami to Havana in more than half a century left Miami International Airport at 7:30 on Monday morning.

American Airlines crew and executives cut a ceremonial red ribbon at Gate D30 before 125 passengers boarded flight 17 to Havana. Airline employees handed to all on board commemorative straw hats for the occasion.

The U.N. General Assembly votes every year on a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.S. has always opposed the symbolic measure.

But today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Samantha Power told the General Assembly that for the first time, the U.S. would abstain.

ARIANNA PROTHERO / WLRN

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The product that helped define Tampa will face new competition under an executive order issued on Friday by the Obama administration.

The directive lifts the $100 limit on Cuban cigars that travelers can bring into the U.S., which could spell trouble for the last operating cigar factory in Tampa.

As of Monday, U.S. citizens who travel to Cuba will no longer be limited to bringing back goods worth up to $400 — including $100 worth of tobacco and alcohol. President Obama ordered the changes, which also clear the way for Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals to gain U.S. regulatory approval.

Instead of those special quotas, normal limits on Americans' importation of foreign products for personal use will apply.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Revelations that Donald Trump’s hotel and casino company secretly spent money trying to do business in Cuba in violation of the U.S. trade embargo roiled Miami politics Thursday, forcing top Cuban-American Republicans to express concern about Trump’s dealings while maintaining that the allegation isn’t reason enough to disavow the presidential nominee yet.

Tom Hudson

Just days away from the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years, the White House announced another set of changes to American travel, trade and financial policies toward Cuba. The further easing of restrictions and the presidential trip come as three leading congressmen expect a vote before the end of the year on removing either the travel ban or the 54-year-old trade embargo.

There are bills in both the U.S. House and Senate to lift the 54-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. They haven’t gotten too far. But yesterday the co-sponsors of the House measure were in Miami after a visit to the socialist island - and they were guardedly optimistic their bill might generate enough support this year to bring a vote.

U.S. Representatives Tom Emmer of Minnesota and Kathy Castor of Tampa introduced the Cuba Trade Act of 2015 last summer. The bill would repeal the half-century-old ban on U.S. companies doing business with Cuba.

Florida Roundup: Property Claims In Cuba And U.S.

Dec 11, 2015
Ramon Espinosa / AP

The U.S. and Cuba may have embassies in each other’s countries, but relations are far from normal. Human rights, basic freedoms and an open economy continue to be major areas of friction between the two.

For the first time, negotiators tackled the contentious issue of reparations this week. American companies and Cubans in America want billions for property confiscated two generations ago when Fidel Castro and the communists seized power. Homes, businesses, shops, factories, farms -- they were all just taken by the revolution.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Just as Cuba prepares for its first papal visit in 17 years -- one laden with questions of human rights, religious devotion and the future of normalizing relations -- the Obama administration released a new set of trade rules Friday morning in an effort to further thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations.

The rules will take effect Monday, and aim to weaken the U.S. trade embargo imposed on the island nation since 1962.

Nancy Klingener

When Bill Lane visits Cuba, he looks at the roads. It's not that he's a veteran traveler to Cuba even though he's visited three times since 1998. Lane works for Caterpillar. His company sells paving machines, road graders, bulldozers and other heavy equipment used to build and repair roads.

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