tv Washington Journal Frank Mora Discusses U.S.- Cuba Policy CSPAN June 17, 2017 12:56pm-1:30pm EDT
political aspirations and since of destiny lead him to push sheila jager aside. during that time, there was a well-known political figure in chicago. hugely respected man. senator did newhouse who everybody in black chicago elite could never go higher because he was married to a white woman. it is in itself political tradition of black chicago in the late 1980's, the early 1990's that for a black man to aspire to represent black chicago, it is necessary to have a black spouse. announcer: on queuing day. &a."q >> c-span, where history unfolds daily.
in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television programs and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: welcome back. frank morris is with us. he directs the latin and center at florida international university and we are talking about the future of u.s.-cuba policy under the trump administration. yesterday, as you well know, president trump said he was canceling as what he views the obama administration's completely one-sided deal with cuba. he did less than that. tell us about it. guest: he did a lot less. i think there is a lot less continuity to change from obama's policy. two fundamental changes, americans will be restricted
from traveling on what was known people to people travel where they could go to cuba under 12 different categories. from now on, under president trump's changes they will have to go through groups and there will be much more monitoring or auditing to make sure that cubans are in fact traveling as a group and for the purpose they say. the other change is that any financial transactions or people staying at hotels owned by the cuban military, cuban services, will be prohibited. any business with the conglomerate that runs most of ,he military's operations financial relationships or interactions will be prohibited. the has been very little interaction with those companies over the last two years. host: let's take a listen to president trump speaking yesterday in miami about his decision.
[video clip] >> the previous administration's easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the cuban people. they only enrich the cuban regime. [applause] the profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military. the regime takes the money and owns the industry. the outcome of last administration's executive action has been only more repression in a move to crush the peaceful democratic movement. therefore, effective immediately i am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with cuba.
[cheers and applause] your university conducted found a majority of cuban-american residents -- and i am reading from the executive summary -- the majority of cuban-american residents of miami-dade county opposed continuing the u.s. embargo of 62% opposed continuing the embargo. who is the president doing this for? guest: there has been many polls that have reflected that. i think this is a kind of transactional arrangement that the president is doing with marco rubio and a few other cuban-american congressmen to want to somehow go back to a previous policy that did not work. you are right, there is something of a consensus almost among the cuban-american community and really throughout the country that supports much of what president obama had done
two years ago. it seems that in some ways donald trump agrees. a lot of what president obama did and changed will be continued with one important exception, but nonetheless there want tolization that we continue doing much of what the previous administration was doing. host: jeff flake and patrick leahy, two senators in washington are leading a bipartisan group of about 55 senators who want to lift the embargo to cuba. the sanctions, rather. how do you think this will fall or be received among the politicians? guest: this is one issue for which there is bipartisan support. jeff flake and senator leahy have presented a bill in the senate that has 55 cosponsors to lift all restrictions on travel.
the president is not likely to sign that but it is an indication at a time that there is little republicans and democrats agree on, they seem to agree on this one issue about maintaining the same policies president obama had and to somehow lift restrictions and sanctions on cuba as a way of supporting the cuban people. i think that is very interesting. host: many in the exiled community where you live were opposed to what president obama did because of the ongoing human rights abuses in cuba. have you seen any movement on that front? guest: the polling suggests in the cuban-american committee their support for what president obama did, and in cuba there was quite a bit of support because there are folks and the small private sector -- 30% of the people in cuba are employed by the private sector in part due to the changes that encourages americans and others to travel
to cuba, to stay at cubans' airbnb homes, to spend money into the hands of the cuban population to empower them as they think about their future. there is some restrictions for byricans traveling to cuba cuban-americans can continue going to cuba as many times as they want, and can continue sending remittances to cuba as much as they want, as they did under president obama. host: we are talking with frank mora about the shift in u.s.-cuba policy. republicans call (202) 748-8001. democrats call (202) 748-8000. independents call (202) 748-8002 . let's go back to the phones, michael is calling from noonan, georgia on the line for democrats. caller: thank you for taking my call.
the reason i'm calling is you look at the background, the president was speaking in miami. all you saw was white people. i hate to sound racist. i am not. but if you go to cuba you see the black huber. -- cuba. in that picture you saw not one black cuban so for him to speak for the cuban situation, they call it what it is. i do not want to say it, i will let the people think about it. thank you for taking my call. guest: it is true, i think the cuban-american community here in florida and other places of the country are white but if you go to the island there is a significant population of afro cubans. that reflects in many ways history, socio-economic status of cubans throughout its
history, including today in cuba. the afro cubans are not at the same level in terms of physicians and societies, socioeconomic conditions as weight cubans are. .hat we saw -- white cubans are it is reflected in the cuban-american community. host: we have a tweet asking the question -- didn't row castro stepped down? castro step down? who is front runner for president? he has not stepped down. guest: he announced an favorite 2018 he will step down as leader of the communist party. he will step down as president of the country but remain head of the communist party.
he has been, the word is that he is sort of appointed or is preparing the vice president, who is about 56, 57 years old, younger generation, a technocrat who was going to at least theoretically take over in february 2018 as president of the council of ministers and the council of states. ul will remain very much the power behind the throne until he passes behind the scene. it will be interesting after that. host: president obama also repealed the wet foot, dry foot policy. do you think president trump will continue -- consider reinstating it? guest: it does not seem that he will consider changing what president obama did. this started under president clinton in the mid-1990's to do
with a migration crisis at the time dealing with cuba. announced asort of a way to resolve the crisis is that any cuban coming to the country who is caught in the high seas trying will be returned to cuba. however, if you are able to land on dry land, then you are and can be brought into the country and there is a process by which you are legalized and after a year you can become a resident under different legislation. that is no longer the case. cubans can no longer come to the country and announce under a previous policy they should stay. they can and apparently will be returned even if they cross the u.s.-mexico border, or get to florida or one of the islands in the keys since the change in policy. host: scott calling from canaan, maine, on the line for independents. , what is am curious
the difference between our policy with cuba currently than the one we have with china? because china is owned by the guessment and basically i cuba is too. i see this as nothing more than trump just doing get backs on obama's policy for making him look like an idiot at that press dinner they had. i really would like to know what the differences, if you could explain that. thank you. guest: sure. .his is an interesting question i think the trump administration has been pretty explicit and the secretary of state has been quite explicit when they say that human rights and democracy will no longer be a criteria with which we are going to frame and conduct our foreign policy. that would be the first time
since the end of world war ii that the administration has decided not to have that at the core of its foreign policy. so there has been, you see the administration deal with the philippines, turkey, these authoritarian governments. apparently when it comes to cuba , democracy and human rights does matter. there is an important contradiction between what the administration has set about foreign policy and with regard to cuba, and that more than anything indicates how cuba is once again being determined by domestic political factors than by any national interests. host: we have the front page of the miami herald -- in miami, trump toughens cuba policy "like i promised." hardline -- how
influential is the cuban exiled community in miami? guest: i think it is influential. the are well organized, they have resources. they are politically influential. there are cuban-american legislators. i amare influential, but not sure they are quite reflecting the view of the cuban-american community at this time. as we discussed earlier with respect to the polls, i am not sure if there might be a backlash toward president trump's policy change. i think it is important to emphasize that even though president trump and vice president pence said during the campaign and a transition that they were going to reverse everything that president obama had done, and then actually just yesterday- actually said he was canceling everything president obama did.
at the end of the day he did not do that much. he may have seen some value to what president obama had done. i do not want to overvalue the significance of restricting american travel. that will have a day-to-day .mpact to cubans on the island i think president trump has decided to continue much of what president obama had done. host: we have a tweet from rick -- details of cancellation of obama policy is just for show. a sickly nothing changed. the people liked what obama did. we have rene calling from troy, michigan. to be: i happened listening to british broadcasting, the radio portion, and i understand there is a fabulous shopping center that was actually designed for foreign travelers. marble floors, crystal chandeliers, all the very high
and exclusive shops -- hi end exclusive shops. they were preparing for travelers no matter where they came from, and then a couple of small hotels. i do not know what the capacity is but i know we have some in town, 100 people, 120. they are not allowing a trump hotel there. i think that is one of the rubs too. i bet if cuba said, come on, let's build a trump hotel, all of that rhetoric that the president read off of the teleprompters would be gone. i come as a republican, and thoroughly ashamed of what our party is allowing this man to do to our country. shame on the republicans for allowing this to happen. hast: it is true that cuba over the last number of years
made some big investment in tourism. it is clearly an area where they have an opportunity to make foreign-exchange. and i think last year there were a little over 4 million tourists that visited the island and that has been going up quite a bit over the years. million, 15%.1 were american or cuban-american traveling to the island. if americans are going to go less to cuba because of the restriction, not cuban-americans but americans, then that number will go down a bit but i am not sure it will have that big of an impact on the sort of macro of the cuban economy. i don't want to dismiss or underestimate the impact that it can have on the day-to-day lives of cubans who are benefiting through airbnb and other ways of receiving americans and others in the country. host: alexandra is a democrat from mckeesport, pennsylvania. caller: i have been listening in
my heart just swells with pride for the lady who called, the republican, and her statement of what the president has been doing to this country because i thought that america, it is predicated on freedom of speech, freedom of the press. to me, it seems like the only thing that trump wants to do is step on people. i think he thinks he is still on that game show of his, you are fired. he did not change health care. he has repealed, which is a totally different thing. i think a lot of people are failing to get educated these days. my father taught history for 55 years and i love history, and it breaks my heart to see what them -- what this man. the people that called in about thatam, one guy thinking
c-span is trying to foil trump with that 45 anniversary of nixon. nixon was brilliant. guest: just to go back to that , it in the previous caller is true the president has evolved on the issue of cuba. it was widely reported last year that he had sent representatives to explore opportunities to build a hotel on the island. that position evolved. he mentioned he kind of liked what the president had done but it wasn't a good deal, and he then called for the complete reversal of what the president had done, although as i have mentioned it does not seem that he has done that big a reversal after all. --t: one more tweet says trump is not going to prop up the castro regime like obama did. 45 is doing this for the cuban people. from baltimore maryland, on the
line for -- caller: i have always been romantically interested in cuba. i have no problem with this fake democracy versus communism. i think it is a joke. you are absolutely right he did try and was rejected, i believe, by the communists because they did not want his profiteering on the island but beyond him, those in thethat were with him halfway rejection of the cuban policy, or 10% as you say, the idea, where it these guys -- weren't these guys paid back? as far as being paid back for the profits that were lost, weren't they were enumerated by america and the american taxpayers so they have no claim on the properties? my question to you, why is the sugar support so strongly
defended by rubio and the cubans ,n florida when we have welfare corporate welfare overwhelming donald trump being owner of a hotel in d.c.. guest: i am afraid the ghost claims have not been addressed. property owners have not been compensated. that issue had been a part of the discussion earlier between president obama and the cubans. .hat issue was not resolved it continues to be unresolved. president trump did not mention anything about claims, i don't believe, yesterday. the other thing president trump did not change, president obama negotiated about 21 or 22 different agreements on a range of issues that formed the basis and framework of a bilateral relationship.
that has not changed. those agreements still are valid. still have diplomatic relations and in fact, the restrictions that were lifted on how much rum and cigars americans can bring back, those restrictions were not reimposed so americans can continue bringing back as much as they did before. i remember clearly how president obama was made fun of by some for having lifted those restrictions, but president trump decided to continue that policy as well. host: as best you are able to tell, how do you think this has been received in cuba? guest: i think the cuban government, as expected, made some statements as a reaction but in the end it has been kind of moderate. they do not want to seem to overreact to what president trump said yesterday outside of what the official statements
have been. in my view, they will wait a little longer to see how the implementation of this works because we are still waiting to hear or see the regulatory changes that will lead to the implementation of what the president announced yesterday with respect to travel. it is interest -- important to uise companies and travel companies will continue to travel to cuba. they are not restricted from continuing their business. farmers in iowa and arkansas will continue to sell their products to cuba. pharmaceutical companies will continue to sell to cuba. so again, the relationship doesn't change that much from an economic standpoint with the exception -- and an important exception -- it will be more difficult for americans, not cuban-americans but americans to travel to the island. lorettake a call from
from huntersville, north carolina, a democrat. caller: good morning. you asked earlier what was his purpose in doing this. and i say that his only purpose createdse barack obama the policy. i mean, his only agenda is to go behind barack obama, everything that he touched and negate it. if barack obama had done nothing in the eight years he was in, donald trump would have nothing to do because that is his only goal, to negate everything that barack obama did. negated, reverse it, whatever he can do. thank you. guest: host: in many ways, the
president is trying to reverse what president obama did. but this was the campaign promise candidate trump made at the end of the campaign. although as i said, he has evolved on the issue. at the end of the day, he really did not meet the campaign promise in terms of the extent of change he said he was going to do. in fact, he started the speech yesterday saying he was canceling everything president obama had done on the issue of cuba. that is not accurate according to the white house statement. host: our last call for this half-hour comes from gus from key largo, florida, on the line for republicans. good morning. caller: good day. i am calling to clarify a few things. the wet foot/dry foot policy begin after the bay of pigs fiasco in the early 1960's. he made the statements in
regards to the blacks and white or amber or brown ancestry.with spanish and then in regards to compensation for stuff taken after the cuban revolution by bacardi family would like their stuff back. as far as being in south florida near the miami area, you listen and you of the cubans would think miami was a one horse town. they did everything, they built everything, and everybody else was sitting eating bonbons. guest: i just want to correct
once again. the wet foot/dry foot did start with president clinton after a migration crisis in 1994 or 19 the nice six --1996. the gentleman may be reviewed -- referring to the cuban adjustment act that dealt with the legal status of cubans that came early in the revolution. that legislation was passed in 1966. that is different from an executive policy taken by president clinton in the mid-1990's. host: we have one more call. independents. for caller: i want to make sure i'm clear on this. when you say things that trump stepped back, it is things the cuban government will benefit from, correct? guest: actually, americans can
continue going to airbnbs. americans can go to cuban hotels as long as that hotel is not owned and operated by the cuban military or security services. we did a study, my university along with brookings institutions, that looked at cuban tourism. we found about 40% of the rooms in cuba are at hotels owned and operated by the cuban military, which means that in addition to the airbnb locations, about 50% to 60% of the hotels are still available. americans who do travel under the new restrictions cannot stay at those hotels, at state hotels. how do you implement and how can you follow or monitor or audit where americans stay? it will be an interesting enforcement exercise. at least, that is how i understand the policy change to be. host: frank mora directs the
latin and caribbean center at florida university -- >> comic up sunday morning, -- comic up on sunday morning, newt gingrich. and humane society president and ceo wayne discusses his book "the humane economy." columnistcial times on his book "the retreat of describedberalism," the change in our political culture means for western values. be sure to watch "washington journal" sunday morning at 7:00 and joined the discussion. >> tomorrow or newsmakers, tim walz look at congressional oversight of the veteran affairs
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