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Renewed US-Cuba Spat: 'Trump Acts on a Whim'

© REUTERS / Joshua Roberts / U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. - Sputnik International
During his June 16 visit to Miami, US President Donald Trump said he was giving up on Barack Obama’s policy of normalizing relations with Cuba. Interviewed by Sputnik, several Latin American experts described this as a resurgence of Washington’s Cold War rhetoric.

The Cuban flag is raised over their new embassy in Washington, DC (File) - Sputnik International
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After US President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on a government air base in Syria, dropped the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan and nixed all the accords his predecessor Barack Obama had signed with Cuba, he is seen by many as a political outsider cornered by the media and his own intelligence agencies, Argentine Communist Party leader Jorge Kreyness told Sputnik Mundo.

“Donald Trump is back to the anti-Communist rhetoric of the most traditionalist kind,” he added.

He believes that Trump’s refusal to mend fences with Havana would harm Cuba by slashing the number of American tourists coming to the island, undermine the fledgling business cooperation between the two countries and antagonize businessmen on both sides of the Straits of Florida.

Jorge Casals, the former director of the Institute of International Relations of Cuba, said he was worried to hear Trump blaming Havana for the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

“Trump wants to create the impression that he is making good on the promises he gave while on the stump. He pretends that he will change everything, while in reality nothing is changing,” Casals said.

He added that Trump’s “America First” slogan was actually at variance with what 70 percent of Americans think about Cuba, including 71 percent of Republicans who believe that normalizing ties with Cuba is the right way to go.

“Trump will now have to explain his decision to his own businessmen who want to do business with Cuba, especially in aviation, tourism and agriculture,” Jorge Casals said.

Dr. Rene Gonzalez Barrios, the president of the Institute of Cuban History in Havana, believes that “Trump acts on a whim” and uses “the most vulgar and disrespectful rhetoric a head of state can possibly use when addressing a whole nation.”

Cuban and US flags are seen on the balcony of a restaurant in downtown Havana, Cuba March 19, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Barrios described the Cuban nationals who support Trump’s initiative as “invaders who use their connections in Washington to influence the [Trump administration’s] policy.”

He also said that Trump’s recent visit to Miami had proved once again that after what he said there mending fences with Cuba would be a tough call even though relations between the people of the two countries remain good.

In late-2014, then-President Barack Obama launched the process of fence-mending with Cuba, and in March 2016, he paid a personal visit to Havana. The United States also eased its economic sanctions against Cuba, but not the 50-year-old trade embargo, which still remains in place.

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Russia regrets the high degree of anti-Cuban sentiment in the US with Foreign Minister spokeswoman Maria Zakharova  writing on Facebook that “over the last decades each new US administration has been canceling the basic foreign policy solutions of the previous one. Full unpredictability became the only predictable quality of the American foreign policy long ago.”

The Cuban Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the measures taken by the US president would fail, just like similar American measures taken before, and would neither undermine the Cuban revolution nor bring the Cuban people to heel.

“The US is not in a position to lecture us. We have serious fears about the state of human rights in that country,” the statement said.

Addressing a crowd of anti-Castro Cuban expats during a trip to Miami, Florida, last Friday, President Trump charted a course of more confrontational relations with Havana.

He then signed a six-page directive that ordered new travel and commercial restrictions, which we were seen by many as an attempt to chip away at the legacy of Barack Obama, who spent the last two years of his presidency looking to improve relations with Cuba.

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