tv Inside Story Al Jazeera January 17, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST
one. the world number one popped in his first ever hole in one of his professional career in abu dhabi. the 25-year-old northern irishman also birdied the last hole to leave him two streaks behind tournament leader martin kay her. >> there is a new rule book for dealings between cuba and the united states. the obama administration is released a new set of guidelines governing rules for travel money, technology and more. now the hard part starts. that's inside story. hello, i'm ray suarez. because a small number of
americans had to deal with the restrictions you might have gotten the impression that since the embargo of trade and travel to cuba might have changed. things would freeze and thaw. there were high profile cultural exchanges. then there would be incident and provocation and the doors would slam shut. now the new administration in the face of angry push back against republicans are hoping to take the u.s. out that have freeze-thaw cycle for good. the obama administration moved on its promise on friday. the opening of banking
relationships, and the allowance for americans to travel on a general license for authorized purposes and projects. americans who visit cuba can return up to $400 worth of goods. >> this easing of the economic embargo will allow lives to improve. >> this relaxation of rules comes days after the release of 53 political prisoners a step agreed to last year to start restoring ties. but the half century-old embargo can be relieved by congress, where many remain skeptical. senator marco rubio wrote in a statement, one thing that is more crystal clear today is that
this one-sided deal is enriching a tyrant and regime at the expense of u.s. national interests and the cuban people. a study estimates that companies could collect up to $1.3 billion a year if the cuba embargo were to be fully lifted. >> the new world of cuban relations starts now. we look at two countries 90 miles apart figure out how they're going to be neighbors again. it was one thing to make the splashy announcement. now it gets implicated. joining me for that conversation, richard feinberg. tomas bilbao of the study group, and jim quinn at the u.s. rice federation. did that much change with the
new rules issued for today? >> yeah, i think it's an historic shift. what we've seen in the last 15 years that basically put all it's opens everything. we go from a policies that obsesses over the cuban government, to a policy that obsesses putting resources in the hands of people. >> some are curious, and some fascinated about the idea of get getting to cuba. but when i look at the rules it seems to cover the same group of people that it did before, this is not throwing open the gates and sending down jets packed
with american holiday makers. >> that's right. you still cannot go to cuba to lie on the beach legally. but you will not need to get prior specific authorization from the treasury department to travel there. i think we can expect a big jump in regular american tourists going down there. maybe 100,000 have gone in the last year or two each year. now i can easily imagine that number might jump to, say, 500,000 each year. that would be a huge increase both for cuba and americans. that will have an impact on the american debate as they discuss additional openings down the road. >> would people look for opportunities to go with school groups. to go with church groups, to define themselves under one of these categories and not just say that they were tourists. >> what is important to understand before if you were going down for legitimate purposes you had to invest the
time and resources and five gating the process of obtaining licenses before ready to go. and now you're able to do so under the presumption that you qualified if you're going for that purpose and you're willing to back that up later. it simplifies the process in doing that, and that has an allure for a lot of silver society in the united states who would like to engage in civil society in cube without having to hire an fancy lawyer. >> i have no doubt that your industry, specifically rice but generally american farmers were waiting for today to see what would come down the road. what do you make of it? >> certainly there are two aspects that we think will be very important for our industry, that it allows for direct banking between the relationship between u.s. banks around the cuban bank, which was not allowed before we had to go through a third country in order
to make arrangements for the export arrangement. so that changed under this new regulation that allows relationship between u.s. and cuban banks. additionally, before 2005 the only requirement was that the payment had to be made before the delivery of goods to the port in cube. in 2005 that changed to the require that payment be made before it deported to the u.s. this goes back to the old rule as it was before. you don't have to pay before the vessel leaves the potter. it just has to be paid before it arrives in cuba. >> this is an aspect that the new opponents of the obama administration, it stuck in their craw thisy that you could get down the road extensions of credit, that cuban buyers would
not have to pay up front in cash everything that they pressured. that going away they see as a real problem. you seem to see it as a real boom. >> it still requires cash in advance. the cash has to be paid before the vessel arrives or the title changes and the goods delivered are the cuban port. it's still cash in advance. we still cannot offer credits. our export competitors as an example in vietnam offers credit to cuba and cuba uses vietnam as their principles source of rice for their local economy. >> meaning that a kernel of rice traveling from the mekong delta to cuba makes it rather than arkansas or texas .
>> there is aen advantage when it comes to the logistics, and timing of delivery. request we're 700 miles from the port where we can export rice to cuba and deliver within two-week window easily where if you're coming from southeast asia you're talking 45-60 days. time is money as well. it also limits where the rice can be discharged. >> professor , a lot of americans thought we had an embargo with cuba and they're surprised to find that the united states is the greatest suppliers to that island. >> a number of years ago there were holes punched in the embargo, which allowed shipment of certain products, certain medicines, and certain agricultural products including
rice, chicken parts, and some others. u.s. exports to cuba has been in the range of $300 million too $400 million per year. as is this program is suggesting under the new regulations there could be a very considerable increase not only in tourists, but also in u.s. exports. a lot depends on how the cuban government reacts. there is an offer for u.s. telecommunications, and we don't know what extent the cuban government will embrace these opportunities or not. >> this is an important part of the debate. in the past wasn't there a rhythm that was set up? there would be opening, a little bit of convergence, and then a shootdown, arrest, show trial,
and then things would go back into the deep freeze again. >> i think what's changed now is what president obama has said the united states is going to take unilateral steps in the interests of the united states and in the interests of the cuban people. by continuing the steps that the u.s. takes, we're putting policy in the hands of the cuban government. if we can agree that the cuban government is not a democratically elected state, it oppresses freedom, and human rights, why should we put our policy in their hands. >> isn't this risk which? not only this policy has to please people who want to go to cuba out of curiosity, but please people who have been suspicious of the castro government over the decades, and suspicious . >> yes, the total number of trips by cuban members to cuba
exceeded the number of votes received by three cuban american votes. we have over a half million trips every year. there are there are polls that show the majority of cuban americans overwhelmingly support travel to the island. not just by cuban americans but all americans and support the lifting of the travel ban. if you ask cuban americans if they think that the embargo has worked, overwhelmingly they feel that it has failed. >> when we come back the president can only do so much to modify the state of play between cuba and the united states. even if the administration steps up to the limits of its powers what can't president obama do? what limitations will remain in place until congress acts? stay with us. >> monday. the most secretive nation on earth.
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>> i think we can--we may see some of that changing. the offer on telecommunications will have to deal with the cuban state because the cuban state telecommunications is a monopoly owned and run completely by the cuban state. we'll see a whole there in the embargo. i think what is going to happen, my prediction is opposition to the administration policy will largely collapse. i think that marco rubio will find himself pretty isolated. i don't see the republican party as a whole taking this on, because as the private sector in the united states sees new opportunities it will go not just agriculture and medicine
the construction and travel industry those firms will put pressure on the republican party to allow an opening of markets for u.s. business into cuba. i do think that the administration will build constituencies widening constituencies for its policies in cuba, which will give it more political/legal room to take further steps down the road to punch more holes in the embargo. >> you were talking about great potential in the future. are your lobbyists and the lobbyists for other commodities circulating right now on capitol hill? >> absolutely. and our message is very simple one. we would like normalized trade relations with cuba. that is our bottom line. if we get that, we think that rice and other u.s. agricultural product also make enroads into the market.
a good example, a look back exports of rice to cuba. that made up 28% of all their imports. that will continue to grow, but then we saw what happened in the change of policy. by the bring of 2011 we were not exporting any rice to cuba. >> what conditions prevail under the embargo that still restrict the way you do business? you talk about credit earlier, but are there other things that make it hard, even if you have ready customers who want what you've got to sell. >> as i mentioned before. the cash payment in chance. that's still the rule. it still has to be paid for before it can be delivered to the port in cuba. the u.s. cannot offer credits. that's one thing that we can offer to other countries, but
that's not something that we can offer to cuba. >> if an american jumps on a plane and makes his way to the international airport in havana can he or she just pull plastic out out of their pocket and go on vacation? >> not yet, no. first i would ask why they're not taking a flight from miami. >> but they don't fall into one of those categories that specify now, if they want to make their own way over there, are they still in violation of trading with the enemy act and all that? >> yes, they would be. what the categories do, they provide general license for the 12 categories that you explained earlier. if you're simply going to cuba outside of one of those categories, and in order to evade the controls you travel through a third country, then you would be in violation and you would be subject to fines and imprisonment depending on
what you did. unfortunately, that is very difficult. i would think what the obama administration has done is create several categories which would allow americans to pardon me and engage in cuban civil society in a variety of ways. there are several avenues they can do it whether through their church organizations, that is the way forward. in the future, offer, there have been efforts to introduce legislation in the congress to lift the travel ban as a stand alone piece of legislation that has gone very far. so i suspect a travel repeal will be introduced, and as you explain there is overwhelming support by american voters and even cuban american voters for
that type of move. >> do you suspect that people will try to make the trip on their own with pockets of canadian dollars or euro that won't get the state department on their back? >> that's certainly possible but i hope that more americans will be able to fit into one of these categories. they're go to cuba to learn about cuba, and people to beam people exchanges and learning about the economy. it is a very dynamic situation. that's important to emphasize. this is really just a first certificates of steps hoping things up. but as more and more tourists go down there , i think you'll see rapid change, and that in turn will feedback through the american political system and
create an opening for further measures on the part of the administration. >> we'll take another break and come back with more inside story. reestablishing a broken relationship a relationship after a broken relationship, many families long in the united states may hope to reclaim properties seized and nationalized by the cuban revolution. stay with us. >> sunday night. >> 140 world leaders will take the podium. >> get the full story. >> there is real disunity in the security council. >> about issues that impact your world. >> infectious diseases are a major threat to health. >> "the week ahead". sunday 8:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
to havana and ask for it back? undoing long-standing policy is more complicated than agreeing that it's over. still with us, richard feinberg, tomas bilbao, and jim guinn. is that going to be the type of situation, tomas, after the berlin wall fell with many eastern european families heading back to see if they can get that factory and that farm back? >> there are many cube be americans who lost property after the revolution who will want to recover those assets or receive some type of compensation. although i know many believe its counterproductive at this point to kick out families, and sometimes multiple families to who live in properties that was taken nen at a years ago. but it will be an issue. however, what is complicated
about it, for those who were cubans at the time of confiscation, the united states has no role in international law to play. the united states can only play a role for those, really-- >> on behalf of americans. >> on what have of people who are american or u.s. persons at the time of the situation. the embargo makes it more difficult for cuban americans right now. >> i don't want to exaggerate, an architecture already exists for these kind of claims. can they set up a model and been those claims? >> there are three types of claims. claims by u.s. citizens and corporations who were americans at the time of the
ways in the 1960s. those have all been arcade those presume ply will be negotiated directly between the u.s. government and cuban government probably at some point. probably in the individual to that there are men thousands of claims by cuban american. according to u.s. law the u.s. does not need to. espouse those games. in the case of nicaragua , they did try to get their properties back or some form of compensation. in vietnam, they did not push the vietnamese government to provide conversation to .
then there are cubans who are still on the island, who may have lost some properties. this will be an interesting process. they'll want to clare the air, and create a favorable environment, and they'll also want to put behind them the conflict of over property. >> doesn't have have to be some property rights for when . >> yes, certainly . so far there hasn't been any issues because money paid in advance before arriving in cuba. but it's going to take some time to develop those relationships
to develop that trust. you don't start with trust in the beginning. it has to be built. >> but is american capitol gun shy or gung-ho s&p. >> we saw what happened when we normalized relations with relations with vietnam. it can be done. it's not an issue that trust can't be built. it can. >> great to have you with me today. terrific conversation. that brings us to the end of this edition of inside story. thanks for being with us. the program is over but the conversation continues. we want to hear what you think about the issues raised on this day's program. log on to our facebook page. take a look at what others are saying and visit us on twitter.