How Cuba policy, and its inevitable drama, ensnared Trump’s White House
On Aug. 11, 2016, Donald Trump gave his thoughts on the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ Cuban immigration policy as part of a wide-ranging interview with Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei focused on South Florida issues.
Emily Michot Miami Herald
But Trump’s policy shop, citing the president’s political agenda, signaled the White House would want to make changes, the sources said — and was already talking about them to Cuban-American lawmakers from Miami.
“Only the president will decide the best course to take in regard to U.S. relations with Cuba,” a senior White House official said Thursday. “The president is aware that government repression against Cuban opposition, dissidents and peaceful civic protesters such as the Ladies in White have dramatically increased since the renewing of diplomatic relations with Cuba.”
As a candidate, Trump vowed in Miami last September to “reverse” Obama’s Cuba “concessions.” His campaign credited Trump’s visit a month later to Little Havana’s Bay of Pigs Museum, where he accepted an endorsement from the Brigade 2506 veterans, as an important reason he won Florida on Election Night — an assertion disputed by supporters of Cuban engagement.
“As the President has said, the current Cuba policy is a bad deal,” another senior White House official said Thursday. “It does not do enough to support human rights in Cuba.
“We are in the final stages of our Cuba policy review,” the official said. “However, a final decision on a path forward has not yet been made. Once the review is complete, we will announce the results.”
An announcement is expected in coming weeks — perhaps from Trump himself in a Miami visit as early as June —but no date has been set.