More than three months after President Trump made his historic speech in Little Havana announcing the end of Obama’s failed Cuba policy, nothing has happened. Obama’s policy of supporting and defending Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship while abandoning the island’s brave dissidents continues in full force.
Trump’s effort to roll back ‘misguided’ Cuba policy stalls
For President Trump’s historic speech on Cuba policy on the sunny afternoon of June 16, his aides chose a special venue: Miami’s Manuel Artime Theater, a small (839 seats) performing arts center located in East Little Havana and named for the heroic Cuban physician who led the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion against Fidel Castro in 1961. The White House selected the intimate, politically charged setting to emphasize the White House’s tough stand against Fidel’s brother, Raul, who has ruled the island nation since 2008 with the same brutality his late brother exhibited across the preceding five decades.
Mr. Trump was also eager to underscore the sharp difference between his stance on Cuba and that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who ended America’s long-running sanctions and embargo on the Castro regime in 2015, and ordered the reopening of embassies in the nations’ capitals for the first time since 1961.
Campaigning as the Republican nominee for president last year, Mr. Trump vowed to reverse all that – and now he had come to Little Havana to make good on those promises. “It’s hard to think of a policy that makes less sense than the prior administration’s terrible and misguided deal with the Castro regime,” President Trump told the crowd in Artime Theater.
The only problem for the president and his enthusiastic Cuban-American supporters is: Nothing happened.
More than three months after Mr. Trump vowed to reinstate the sanctions and embargo on Cuba, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which manages such programs, has yet to issue the revised official guidelines that would enable Mr. Trump’s policy to be enacted.
“The announced changes do not take effect until OFAC issues new regulations,” the office cautioned in a July 25 document entitled “Frequently Asked Questions on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement.” “OFAC expects to issue its regulatory amendments in the coming months.”
Yet when contacted by Fox News this week, an OFAC spokesman confirmed the required regulatory amendments have still not been issued. Nor could Treasury provide assurances that the drafting process, “still actively underway,” won’t drag on for another three months. “We don’t have a specific date yet for when those revised regulations will be publicly released,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Seth Unger told Fox News in an email, adding only: “We still anticipate it will be in the coming months.”
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