tv U.S.- Cuba Relations CSPAN November 10, 2017 5:47pm-7:07pm EST
/congress. next week, the house is expected to debate its tax plan on the form, while the senate will have hearings on their measures. they would like to pass a reform package by thanksgiving. after the holiday, republican leaders will need to combine the house and senate bills. they aim to send a bill by christmas. on monday, live coverage of the senate finance committee tax hearing at 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. you can also watch online at c-span.org or listen using the free c-span radio app. earlier, the inter-american dialogue held a discussion about the future of u.s. relations with cuba. restrictionst imposed on america's traveling to cuba recently announced by the trump administration. panelists looked at how cuba is reacting to those restrictions and how it may did for from the obama administration. this is an hour and a half.
-- almost three years ago, president obama and castro embarked on a historic opening in relations between the united states and cuba. the trumpgo, administration announced regulatory changes designed to partially roll back the obama administration's strategy of maximizing engagement with the people of cuba. a few months from now, cuba will undergo a historic leadership transition while reckoning with the economy, democratic challenges, and a relationship with the u.s. that is rapidly deteriorating as a result of trump's policy changes and still attacks against u.s. diplomats. the diplomatic drawdown and have anna had a direct impact on this event as the suspension of visa services prevented us from
bringing a speaker from cuba to participate in today's discussion. to help us make sense of all that has happened in recent months and assess what the future might bring for people in the u.s. and for u.s.-cuba relations, we are privileged to welcome three distinguished friends and colleagues with daegis of experience working on cuba. to my left is the executive director of the center for democracy in the americas. the nationalat security council and at the cuban affairs department at the state department and was previously a staff member on the senate foreign relations committee. mike is an assistant professor of latin american history at florida international university, specializing in modern cuba, cuban americans, and the caribbean europe he is coeditor of the volume, "new histories of the cuban revolution." joirge is from harvard
university and chair of the harvard academy for international and area studies, editor of various books and former president of the latin american studies association, and not least the member of -- a member of the inter-american dialogue. i would like to acknowledge our partners at the world press photo exhibition. for over 60 years, more than 4 million people in 100 cities around the globe have enjoyed the work of award-winning photographers. we are fortunate to enjoy a series today, which is evocative and stunning, pictures of everyday life in cuba. you will see these cycling throughout the discussion today. we want to acknowledge the of the ford foundation, without whom this event would not have been possible. i would like to ignore it to but here toes that are
provide invaluable support to the rule of law program. rest assured, the coffee and donuts were not provided by -- with that, we will dive into the discussion. each panelist will speak for about 10 minutes for opening remarks, and then we will open it up for discussion. comments afterr that. emily? emily: thanks. if you were to put u.s.-cuba relations on a line graph and plot it with engagement on the y axis, it would be a jagged line, fisher. -- for sure. two steps forward, one step back. but the long-term trend line is decidedly in the upper direction. this time last year, so october
2016, the obama administration released the sixth of six rounds of regulatory judges governing u.s.-cuba sanctions. each round of regulatory changes was designed to increase the flow of people, goods, and information to and from cuba. these were couched in a larger thecy of engagement over final two years of the obama administration. the u.s. and cuban governments met regularly and engaged in dialogue on a number of issues and signed almost two doesn't -- twoal agreements doesn't bilateral agreements, which touched on issues such as law enforcement information sharing, property ship on health, designating sister marine protected areas.
really wide-ranging discussions on a number of issues. this time last year, we were on linetty steep part of the graph in the upper direction. , those twonything years of rapid progress toward normalization proves that the u.s. and cuban governments can cooperate and that the cooperation can bear fruit. that is really important, because after decades of not cooperating, it was not a sure thing that is cooperation could bear fruit. if you look at the less three that, in have seen fact, it did. this week, everyone is aware, and michael just mentioned it, we have had a downward take on the line graph with the release of new regulations governing cuba sanctions. the treasury department and commerce department governed the implementation of the sanctions
for cuba, and they released some will changeat and rollback travel, u.s. travel tracka, and the financial sessions with which u.s. entities can participate in cuba. the state department, and concert with this, released a list of 180 prohibited entities with him u.s. persons cannot engage in direct financial eccentrics -- transactions. this announcement was the fulfillment of a june and is meant that president trump made in miami where he directed apartments and agencies to begin to draft these rules, so we have been expecting them for some time. i would argue that the downward tick that we have seen this week is not very severe. i will get into why. but the specific changes that
were announced this week with regard to travel, individuals were previously able to travel under the people-to-people category and are no longer able to do so. they are allowed to travel as individuals under the support for cuban people category. there is a new definition for that category that allows for people to stay at private bed and breakfasts, eat at private restaurants, and there is a requirement that individuals do something else to constitute a full-time itinerary. but individuals can still travel to cuba. that is the big take away. notably, the, most state department's list of 180 prohibited entities, a number of hotels where individuals cannot stay, a number of stores in old havana where individuals cannot shop, a number of government
entities with whom u.s. businesses cannot do business. in the coming days and weeks, and i know it has already happened in many respects, lawyers will be pouring over these new rules to determine what the avenues are for continuing engagement. it is important to note that engagement can continue. a lot of the progress of the last three years has been preserved. a u.s. embassy in havana and cubans have an embassy here in washington. u.s. travelers can still travel to cuba and enjoyed a lot of the flex ability that was implemented during the obama administration, general licenses, for example. -- now travelers do not need to seek specific permission from the treasury department to travel. they can self certify that their travel meets the rules governing u.s. sanctions. that remains in play. dialogue will continue.
the u.s. and cuban governments have made clear they will continue to dialogue on areas of mutual interest. means, even, by any close to a full reversal of the sort of engagement we have seen over recent years. all this comes at a time where there is considerable momentum. u.s. travelers are continuing to travel to cuba. in may of this year, we already reached the mark of the number of u.s. travelers to cuba for the entire calendar year of 2016. this comes at a time where there is congressional momentum, bipartisan congressional momentum. representative rick crawford has introduced a bill to allow for the financing, for the use of financing and agricultural sales, and there are now 44 republicans in the house on the bill. in the senate, a bill to lift the travel ban has 55 total senators signed on to the bill.
that is a majority. so i think it is important to realize that there is a steady path of momentum from travelers, congress, and also the private sector. last week, we saw john deere and caterpillar sign some pretty big deals in havana. mayemonstrates that there these some negative news and negative rhetoric coming out of the u.s. government, but it cannot quite put back in the bottle what was released over the last two and a half years. but there are challenges. i think we will hear more about those from other panelists. there is aample, leadership transition in cuba coming up in february. we do not know what that will bring. currentlye operating as a skeleton staff and the
cuban embassy in washington and in havana. this is the result of serious symptoms experienced by u.s. diplomats and canadian diplomats, and an ongoing investigation is going on. the u.s. has drawn down our diplomats from havana, and it is important to understand, issued a travel warning alongside it, but the travel warning is figured bureaucratically by the drawing down of our diplomats. the next step that the u.s. took to expel cuban diplomats from washington or to request that 60% of the cuban diplomats from washington leave seems to be a step too far or a step that begs of question why in the midst an ongoing investigation -- did the u.s. government ask the u.s. diplomats andhere
do so and away were where they reportedly handed a list of 15 specific names to the embassy, names that gutted the commercial section of the cuban embassy in washington? and the investigation into the serious symptoms experienced by our diplomats is ongoing, and we do not know what that will turn up. that while wenote have taken a step back or are on the downward path of the line graph right now, it is not quite as bad as it could be. but there are some challenges on the horizon. michael: thank you, emily. mark, let's go to you. mark: good morning. thank you for having me. i was asked to focus my opening remarks to the american it into then how we f
present picture of u.s.-cuban relations, how we are responding to our being affected by what was just mentioned. it is no secret that there are vocal voices in the cuban-american community that are behind the recent change in the policy announced yesterday. it begs the question -- is there a constituency there that supports these efforts or are there other voices? let me start with context. approaching 20 years, if i am not mistaken, florida national university has everyted a rigorous poll year on cuban-american political attitudes and opinions. what it shows is that there is a steady trend line of shifting onan ds bora opinion u.s.-cuban policy. there is strong support for the
right of all americans to travel to the island. there is majority support for ending the embargo. but there is particularly strong support, almost universal, for the right of cuban americans to travel to the island to see family whenever they wish. so it is not surprising that of all of the changes that have been implemented in u.s.-cuban ,elations and policy since june this is one that has not been touched. i do not think that is a mistake or coincidence. before the obama administration, one of the other restrictions in place was a quite severe limit on the ability of cuban americans to visit or see their families. the obama administration got rid of that early on. i think those against engagement that it have recognized is the political loser for the to start telling the
constituents when they can go see their mom. , the broader noise might not register as much as far as their own ability to go back and forth. there are other clear ways that the community is affected by recent developments. to the extent that there are less u.s. visitors overall, the economy, that may be impacted. cuban-americans a travel to the island do not only go to hug mom, they go to bring cash, on
the order of several billion dollars a year. folks support loved ones on the island, but it feels a rich transnational economy, a supply chain by suitcase, if you will, for many sectors of the economy. also, the black market has to be acknowledged. , in theory,mericans can continue traveling and bring stuff on planes like they do, if we see u.s. airlines cutting back on flights, less u.s. visitors impacting the small business sector, that generally might slow some of that transnational motion in so far as it is connected to the tourist sector. ist important consequence would argue that the cuban-american community is going to feel is a reflection of a reduction in staff, both at he -- at both embassies, in avana and in washington.
in the waning days of the obama administration, it was a tough pill to swallow. but everybody saw it coming. it was kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. as soon as a process of normalization began, a pretty forormal immigration policy the cubans was perhaps destined to fit away. -- to fade away. cubans began to leave the island in record numbers, the highest number in 30 years. the attitude was, if you are going to go, you have got to go now. that may have accelerated this. it was a bitter pill to swallow, and i think cubans had a tough time, but they understood perhaps where it was coming from . what has happened now with the reduction at the embassy and that there is no conflict, that closes another avenue of
outmigration and just travel, the number of visitor visas. this has left a lot of people in limbo. i forget the exact stat, but i think i read that the u.s. consulate in havana had one of the largest numbers for pending these applications period, maybe something like 100,000. now it is totally unclear what is going to happen there. saidtate department has the issuing of immigrant visas is going to be moved to bogotá, colombia, not a very practical solution. for many reasons, including cost, for the reason that cubans need a reason to get to colombia, and to do that, they have to prove they have a certain amount in the bank. when you apply for a visa and go for an interview, you do not
necessarily get a decision right away. this is a real sad fact. even for the immigrant visa part, i think this will lead to sharp declines of the amount of cubans coming to the united states. whathas implications for is still important bilateral agreement for the u.s. and cuban government dating back to the 1990's, where the u.s. is supposed to issue a minimum of 20,000 travel documents for legal travel. outve a hard time figuring how we will me that mark. they have not make clear whether there will be in process for issuing visitor visas, and that also slows down this kind of transnational flow. so this does have serious impacts. this is an area of political vulnerability for representatives from miami who are defining the policy change but whose constituents are really suffering these practical
effects. in miami, it is completely possible to be a member of any political party, to have voted for the current president or not, and still believe that you want to bring your sister over to come live with you. to the extent that this drags on, this is going to be a real problem and i think something that constituents will tell their representatives about, i hope. let me conclude with kind of a question and a tentative set of answers. i have argued that cuban-american opinion on matters of u.s. policy has consistently shifted. yet, we still have a scenario in which the cuban-american community's elected representatives reflect a different point of view. why is that? the first thing i would say is that there is a difference between the cuban-american community in general, right, everybody, regardless of your
citizenship status, than those who are u.s. citizens and have a right to vote. i have often thought that as much effort and resources are for engagementt here in washington, i would like to see folks do a voter registration tried in certain areas. as i said already, cubans are not single issue voters. it is possible to have voted for trump and not support his cuban policy. i would say this electoral picture may he changing. 2018 will be really interesting in miami. many of you know that a long time congressional representative is retiring, and that race is quickly shaping up to be a rather dynamic one. it could flip, and the field is already crowded. that couldt flips, have pretty significant changes
for u.s. cuba policy. would agree the rollback we have seen under the trump administration is significant and will have real is also nothing close to a complete cancellation of the "deal." for those of us who believe in the value of engagement, i think there is still space to work and continue to advocate for that agenda. thank you. michael: thank you so much, mike. jorge? jorge: i am delighted to be back at the dialogue once again to chat about a topic that is .amiliar in many ways conversations of this sort have been going on for a very long time. idea of theily's timeline was particularly helpful in that sense. the way i would like to use my
not my usualaps think it is helpful -- how can the president's policies advance the president's goals? my own views will, i hope, be clear to you along the way. is instantly that is a good way to frame it, because this is the president of the united states and we are thinking about the president's goals and policies. began with the things he has said. he has said, including over the last few days, that he cares about the value of utility, the importance and the right of the u.s. base near the cuban city of guantánamo. whether the role of the base as a prison will or will not expand is a little unclear to me, but
it would almost only continue as a prison for some indefinite amount of time. continuingrpose, through the past few presidents, there has been an effective collaboration between the u.s. and cuban armed forces. the reason for that is both sides have a similar interest. the u.s. does not want the prisoners to get out. the cubans do not want the prisoners to get in. so to advance the president's goals with regard to guantánamo, it makes sense to sustain the policies that the president inherited. take a different topic, one of the signature questions during the trial presidential campaign, with which he has continued to empathize over the last several months am of the first year of his administration, is immigration. and as you have heard, the agreement signed in january 2017
fits perfectly to the president's migration goals, therefore the continuation of those inherited policies fit admirably well to the president's goals. the easiest way to put it is the cubans would be treated in the same way as everybody else under u.s. immigration law when they seek to enter the united states. the more important point is that they are bilateral agreements indicating the joint interest and the joint consent of the two governments that include not only treating cubans in that way but also for the u.s. to return cubans who have attempted to enter the united states without proper documentations to cuba, whether they are crossing the straits of florida or they are crossing the u.s.-mexican border and that cuba would agree to accept them. that is a better agreement than
the united states has with any other country in the world, and it is a lot more effective. it is much more professional treatment for the u.s. coast guard and for other u.s. aggression personnel involved in this issue. so to advance the president's goals, the policies the president has internet -- inherited on this issue area work very well. law enforcement, with regard to a variety of topics, certainly a but drugrime trafficking, the president has made it clear during his campaign and at various times during the first year of his presidency that he cares about the basket of issues that one would associate with regard to law enforcement. cuba and the united states began to cooperate informally but steadily on law enforcement andes through the 1990's
the summer of 2016 they formalized an agreement to make sure that security forces in both countries could be especially effective. for anyone who reads through u.s. government reports with regard to whether other governments and other countries do or do not cooperate and advance the policies with regard to drug trafficking and punishment of criminals associated with that line of work, cuba shows up amazingly well. policyot just a commitment of the cuban government but the effectiveness of the cuban government at doing exactly what president trump's goals indicate cuban government policy and cuban government goals ought to be. well,this issue area, as affirming the inherited policies that the trump administration received serve best the president's goals.
to a different topic, the president has indicated at various times that he thinks with regard to international --de the u.s. would enjoy ,nd if you apply that to cuba beginning at the start of the 21st century, early in the bush authorized by, congress, the united states became an agricultural exporter to cuba. by almostreated a, any calculation of percentage albeitds, a sensational, in terms of monetary worth only a few billion dollars, but a sensational trade surplus for the united states. those policies of agricultural exports continued under the obama presidency and have continued in 2017 under the trump administration. the amount for calendar 2016 was
in the neighborhood of $245 million. the civil aviation agreement negotiated during the obama administration also fits well with the president's preference for a symmetric agreement that advanced the economic interest of the united states. on paper, it looks like any normal civil aviation agreement where there is the rights established for both sides. has only onecuba airline, and it does not find to the united states. so all the traffic between the united states and cuba necessarily adds to the one-sided economic advantage of the united states. even the regulations that went into effect yesterday, as you look through it, the closer you get to u.s. interests, the less adversely they are effective.
it is important to bear in mind that even this element of asymmetric economic relations has the consent of the cuban government, because for the cuban government this is not an optimal deal, but it is a much better deal than not having it. because it is what makes it possible to increase the number of visitors, as emily indicated, and it is what makes it possible to develop other areas of economic activity in a country where the best functioning economic sector happens to be aurism, and the other one is loved economy. on all of the issues that i am touching, the cuban government may not like some of the new regulations that have gone into effect or the words that
accompany these regulations. but it does not really have a better alternative. what is interesting about the cuban government response, beginning early in 2017 but particularly since june, is how remarkably aimed it is, how remarkably moderate it is. it does not have a better response, and this is what makes the continuation of these policies happen. the president indicated in his remarks in june that he also cared about fostering market economy openings in cuba. there are various ways in which there may or may not be a u.s. relationship with the cuban market economy. pillars include visitors, flights, remittances, and permitting because of economic activity, such as airbnb, to which u.s. visitors may go.
one of the things that is noteworthy about the regulations that went into effect yesterday is they affirm all four of those, as you heard first from emily and then from michael. visitors can visit. flights may continue. remittances can be sent. and people are being steered into private bed-and-breakfast agreements, whether managed or not by airbnb. it does not matter in this case. the cuban private economy, particularly in havana, thrives on these arrangements, will function better under these arrangements, and to the extent that the president truly does believe in the goals he has articulated to support a market economy in cuba, then the policies that yesterday's regulations reaffirmed advances the president's goals, as well.
bear in mind the cuban government may be somewhat unhappy about elements of how its private sector economy may have been growing. there is some public evidence of that, but the cuban government does not have a better alternative to grow its economy than to permit these activities. once again, in this area, it consents to its evolution. inth remembering, not yesterday's regulations, but the president's budget proposal to the congress -- it may be dead on arrival -- but the office for managing budget opposed to zero out the $20 million in usaid money, and that is entirely consistent with the preferences of the cuban government. political changes, they have been alluded to already. the president falls by his words and by his actions, and the secretary of state, by being
even more explicit in his words to a rear foreign service personnel at the state department, have indicated that a regime change is not a top priority in general for the foreign policy of the united states. the secretary of state has described it quite clearly really -- clearly. with regard to cuba, that seems to be different. what is interesting is if one follows the logic of the remarks from the president and secretary of state, it is because there is int not that much at stake u.s.-cuban relations that the administration believes it can afford to pursue a policy with the current component of regime change. but even in that context, it is not pushing it enough to undermine or even to undercut the other presidential goals on policy. to the extent that monitoring the presidential succession
scheduled to take place in cuba it doesnd of february, make sense to continue diplomatic relations as the trump administration continues to affirm. monitor our process of succession, that may include president ralph castro and many other leaders of the membership. it includes affirming cuban-american travel, includes affirming study abroad programs and the like, all because they are among the relatively few instruments that the united states has to try to facilitate some encourage, motivate possibilities of political change in cuba, as does that segment of the president's remarks in june of 2017 where president trump indicated that he would like to continue to negotiate with cuba. toparticular with regard fugitives of justice, but more
generally in regard of providing a variety of motivations and topics to be confirmed. the issue than with the regulations advanced yesterday, nearly all of which were anticipated by the president's remarks last june, could be put in the following way -- the political news from yesterday, as opposed to the regulatory news from yesterday, political news from yesterday is how much of the inherited policies have been reaffirmed. down to the credit cards that you and i know we cannot use, but they were part of the old regulations and have remained in the new regulations. it is noteworthy that some of michael's representatives in congress found the decisions yesterday did not go as far as they would have liked, and if you follow the line of argument i have been trying to present to you, it is because this more
modest version of the s left to thenjure president's stated goals. regulations yesterday for the most part advanced none of the president's goals. they get in the way of market opening activities. they make it more difficult to advance the kinds of practical elementes that are an of the component of a presidential statement in june about fostering entrepreneurship in cuba in the private sector. they are, for the most part, annoying. the impact on the cuban government will require some relatively modest readjustments after margins. more annoying they will be to u.s. travelers and to student groups or universities and colleges that wish to establish there.
what is most ever is for the president's goals, what is truly counterproductive to almost any view of the president's goals as he has articulated them, and on this point i end, is shredding the consulate in havana and in washington. people need to move. to accomplish because of objectives that the president has articulated, preventing the issuance of these is a gross mistake. the sooner it is corrected, the better. but i think we're better off if we try to think through and t iue the kinds of lines tha have tried to sketch to you. disagree who, like me, with the regulations that went
, form itct yesterday in a way that tells the administration we do understand a lot of what you are doing and a lot of what you are not doing. stop it. michael: thank you so much, jorge. we have a rich set of issues on the table. i will throw out the first question. line graphemily's metaphor and try to extend that out into the future, i think i heard from all of you that we are certainly on a downward slope at the moment, that relations are going through a rocky time. but also heard reasons for cautious optimism, some factors that point to underlying strength or resilience in the relationship, whether emily's references to congressional support for trade and travel, whether mike's discussion of the
attitudes of the cuban-american community, especially as it pertains to strong operating consulates in both countries that allow the movement of people that the community has jorge'sccustomed to, or discussion of narrowly interpreted u.s. interests and how those are best advanced in many cases by a policy of continuity, rather than one of change from the prior administration. i guess being a little provocative, does that mean that you are all optimistic that a couple years from now, we will look back at this as sort of a low point and look at these as putting ustors in a better place in the bilateral relationship or do you see a deepening of this current freeze?
if i could ask all of you in answering to make reference to what is happening in cuba, especially the leadership change. the videony of saw of the vice president that circulated recently pointing to some ofiate change in the more hard-line policies from the cuban government, so if you could reflect on the way in which events in cuba itself may shape this timeline if we extend it out, say, trying for months. i will start with jorge this time. me take it where your question/comment just ended. so if you dial back through president obama's visit to it was and retrospect, too successful. it scared the cuban leadership.
beginning with fidel castro's last of the u.s. presidential election and that has continued that has time, constrained what might have been consequences of an opening of u.s.-cuban relations cuban domestic politics and freedom of expression, the kinds of the vice president federal ed in that remarks in the video. is a cuban election coming up, not just a succession that has been scheduled, cuban elections
received a vast amount of attention from the because onal press national assembly elections, as isuspect all of you know, it an ideal electoral law if you're a politician, the number of feats is equal to the number of will win. and so you the interesting feature, less cuban electoral law, it has nevertheless rights for the voter. 'm not counting abstentions, people who show up to vote. one, you can vote blank. is, you can annul your ballot. vote e third is you can selectively, for reasons that i've never understood, the cuban decided to cluster candidates, so in any district, between two and five people to the national assembly.
candidate a and not for candidate b, even though and b will become members of the national assembly. but nevertheless, it is also cuban communist party and mass organizations to do is dear voter, vote for el voto legal, the states. so you could sum those three and selective ll them nondissident, you can call them nonconforming. assembly election, between a fifth and quarter of nonconforming votes. million cubans choosing to vote in ways at odds with the political organizations. that's not a small matter. tiny number. reasons only he
municipal election process that is under way, the fwft is much alarmed about who might be andidates that might be their case before. suppose the cuban electoral law this, mething such as that in a district with two to candidate ates, the with the fewest votes would be defeated. not a radical idea. five candidates, four get elected, one loses. if that rule had been applied in the 2013 national assembly election, one-third of the have beenbureau would defeated. the political contest, it's not just a change of names. a vice president, trying to become president of would do what politicians in any country do,
would like those who an opening are already forming, i like to -- whom i need to win because that is in the e median voter elect people or thousand so have opinion who may be in the team of the next president those are ones who are afraid of the opening and advising i were the -- i assure you, i am not, i ould have advised him to do what he did. >> thanks, mike, estrangement or engainment? > you know, i'm not particularly optimistic at the a ent about this dip being temporary thing. i guess it depends how we define certainly over the course of this don't see any i this trong incentive for
administration to try to figure in the consular issue particular. i think there's an element of that was justtion assume not issue as many visas be frank.dy, to and so, there's an element of kind of results, whatever we think about the that we're taking to reduce personnel and whether they were justified or not, the sort of even more onsistent with the policy on immigration than the wet to dry foot is. think that that's particularly encouraging. i would also say that in terms cuba's internal dynamic, i hink some of what jorge has just described predates the
trump administration coming in, in which the y manner in which the obama times was framed at really wrangled the other side, politically had to be framed an argument of -- well, work, old policy didn't let's try something else. the problem is work to what end end, as the u.s. defines it, republican or democrat, is not one the cuban really liked and still feels that way. the notion a nicer u.s. policy be a kind of trojan horse, that is something that was in rhetoric and that cuban authorities had begun to react to. maybe counter intuitively, a policy even if it is mostly retoriccally aggressive and most of the engagement has remained a lot of s still avenues for that, the harsher rhetoric is something that is to deal with on the other side. and so, i think there might be
cuban political society that knows how to deal with this. there is y that another -- there is a new variable and that variable, variables, i think cuba's economy is not doing great. have not been able to meet the projected targets for positive news as this past week about foreign the demographic real.em is the sort of stalling of internal things haven't , moved right, august there was a issuing license for small business people, those are things reaction to the things obama, and -- i on't know the relationship between the internal and extern al
l -- keep engageing and keep travel go iing. we may be in for some inertia. emily. >> emily: i think over a 10-year period, the trend line will positive, over know, i'd i don't like to think positive, i think as i articulated in my remarks, a lot of momentum on travel, on business ties, on dialogue and that continue.o think but as we've all mentioned, cuba's getting ready to head transition andip we right now are acutely aware leadership transition there is a lot of rhetoric. there is a lot of uncertainty, a posturing and it's unclear how that will affect the
relationship, but i onnk i'll focus for a second congress, because i think it is emarkable that despite the negative rhetoric from the trump administration and despite the despite uncement and the departments and agencies spending the last several months drafting new rules to restrict trade and travel, that there has concerted effort in congress to gather co-sponsors, bills to either lift the embargo entirely or to erode of the embargo. and among republicans and i that's really worth mentioning because some of the not just ongress and the senator flake who has ositioned himself publicly at odds with the administration, but some in the house, who were of g the first supporters candidate trump, during the
leaders on the these bills to promote engage the ones who are advocating to their colleagues he need to change our policy and they have over the last six gathered more republican co-sponsors during this ncertain time and i think that bodes well for a continued positive trend line. perfect. okay. that was a great introductory we're ready for your questions and comments. we'll take three at a time and time for a few rounds. i see a couple hands here. dan, start with you. dan: thank you. blue star with strategies. i want to come back to the point of cuban entrepreneurs, it is possible listening to panel to interpret his as being good for cuba entrepreneurial sector, it will
the sector or it could be really negative. what have you seen or heard from entrepreneurs on the ground, how are they interpreting this? cuban as a stion, society and what is the society reaction to -- or not. thank you. thanks, right here. alex , good morning, sanchez, defense analyst. ne question for emily, you talked about -- do you think orse case scenario, the trump administration should onsider -- embassy and go back to -- or just red line and this annot happen or something that could happen after the new cuban president comes into power? quickly,uestion really michael can talk about, too. businesses k about that cannot go to in cuba, can which ones e about they are? you mentioned -- restaurants and
they cannot go to and how is this enforced? thank you. >> okay. up here. timothy towel, former officer kennedy starting in the administration. -- he cuban desk in 1968, ied, poor fellow, number two, great j ersection, leadership, raul castro, is the great guy that cuban 20th century, in my day, old days, he was the bad guy, he didn't give eight-hour army, es, but he ran the the intelligence service and the police. protected his brother from probably killed
fuegos. sent attractive chegova ra on out of the ns country to keep him away. senators, how ridiculous, so e's a bad guy and used a company called gaviota toresmo, about, to een talking make money for the army, the police and intelligence service. in my book and i'm old-fashioned, he's a bad guy. so, you know -- >> question? >> is he changed? is he going to heaven? him? happened to >> okay. >> we don't get a lot of -- is heaven questions around here. that's good. you.y, start with emily: i will take dan's
question. havana in june during the president's announcement, my was to meet with cuban entrepreneurs to get their assessment of the u.s. policy vance of the announcement and i was there when the announcement was made trump in his remarks said that his policy toward cuba was designed to sector the cuban private and it was designed to divert -- s away from government cofers and rnment into the cuban private sector. the folks i was meeting with were clear they didn't think the that effect have and a month later we brought a number of them up to washington they could make their voices heard in the dc debate, they met state department, with commerce, with a number of embers of congress and presented some policy recommendations as to how u.s.
support the st cuban private sector. in the month interim between the tour, they had experienced a umber of cancellations and their overarching sentiment was ambiguity etoric and in our policy deters travel and in the ngagement and short term had seen the impact of that. fast-forward to present day in the wake of the travel they have seen further reduction in cancellations. cuban private sector, it is focused.hospitality we had couple folks on advocacy served cuban clients, but the cuban clients them ey serve are many of in the hospitality sector and have extra resources because of increased travel primarily travelers, increased
resources to contract an event their wedding or private ds in a magazine or to hire a fancy to come and do some ads for their hospitality-facing business, all the hospitality sector experienced acutely short-term impact of the ambiguity of the policy and egative rhetoric, but the secondary market, i'll call it that, was starting to feel the going and i fear that is coming lt more in the months. that said, i've also heard from industry that there is a sense of relief the rules have finally come out. really hurting the travel industry from their perspective was the month-long process and the fear of
hat was coming and the uncertainty and the rules that you bought your ticket before the announcement or was it before the implementation of or was it, you know, before president trump was elected, what were the different average s and the traveller from the united states just asewn wait until the dust settles and from the travel ndustry perspective, the dust began to settle yesterday and a clearer view on the path of -- on the ways to cuba legally and that will have an impact upporting the cuban private sector down the road. to add to have much emily's response on the small business side, i'd just say that
of the weird regulatory things we have to figure out, the travel industry will have to out, if individual people to people travel is not possible a group ave to go in again, this expanded definition of support for the cuban people, lot like what people to people was, whether enough momentum to sort of funnel people into that and onvince people it's okay or people to get onboard that train, i think that is what you have seen. addition to the fear of leading up to regulations, that may impact this going forward is negative this.round i think people often aren't as treasury eeds reading department regulations as i was yesterday and they just hear, i that's the more and end of it and they decide to go somewhere else. dip further and small business sector certainly
with, they teracted are concerned about it. i don't see how decreasing verall numbers, even of u.s. travelers by adding confusion, sector.at to the question on enforcement, that's a good question. the list of banned enterprises is 180-ish. that list is comprised jointious hotels that are all, res between -- not many joint ventures between a foreign country or another of the cuban or state company that is linked or at being lifrpged to the cuban armed forces, but here is also strange things on there. you can't engage with, i think, preserved soda, but it didn't list another brand of soda also made. the business of telling americans which brand of
soda they can drink. some rum brands are listed, but not others. of if ar as getting rid the mantra of this administration is stripping away useless regulations, this seems to fly in the face of that. enforcement is a key thing. cuba economy is cash economy, the tourist om perspective or u.s. tourist erspective, so how to figure out, how to audit receipt of i ch brand of coke i drink, don't know if that is feasible. i also don't know if that is the is just think the point to create regulatory muck to isincentivize people from potentially going. i have not heard of any budget cally increased at ofac, to staff this, i would like to think they have more worry about,ngs to we will see if there is enforcement follow through, greater auditing. the enforcement piece might fall disproportionately on
of folks, new wording i'm trying to parse out about study abroadgrams, programs, jorge has experience of ing with bureaucracy those matters and u.s. university study abroad programs identifiable ly and conspicuous target. i'll ms of civil society, end with this, that is the loaded term, as we know and complicated one. would say fthere is sector of civil society that's ramatically onboard with the trump administration policy, i don't think they don't speak for majority. i would include civil society, this is not le and being seen favorably. an incredible -- the normalization process had ups and downs. i think there were overinflated xpectations of what it would bring, or how quickly from cuban
perspective. there were other clear winners, others not so much. the idea we would go back, even that and still get back on track 10 years later, hat is just incredibly disappointing thing, particularly for young people who have made a conscious have on to stay when some had the opportunity to leave and have seen most of their friends up where i live in miami or elsewhere. so now to be going back to this story, it's a tough pill to swallow. last long.it doesn't >> jorge, do you want to take on of raul castro's legacy? much so.ry -- s i a great question and biographies,n many rauldel castro, but not on castro. remain in the
communist party after the presidential transition remains to think about it. the contrast, is if one takes a long time span of raul castro's life. public appears in the arena in 1958, when troops under command rebel troops under kidnapped u.s. citizens and subsequently available archival information at the time that his prother fidel castro thought was extreme and nearly crazy. there was a real difference of opinion between the two brothers. jump forward to the mid-1960s, is s his ministry that responsible for and it is him as endingr who most resists omap.rogram, known as the
military units for production were in effect of course labor camps, where a variety of were sent, most notably thousands of those accused to be homosexual. castro, who havana.-- to his daut ser principal public is cate affirming being gay not a crime under the laws of the republic of cuba and of practical ber policies, including police retraining to make sure that affirmed n. 1968, cuba's cultural on of revolution, called revolutionary castro, publicly affirms, we did not make a to protect the right of trade and lead to
clearly tions of salient activity like barber hot and beauty salon and dog stands and plumbers, all of which become state enterprise. raul castro, in fall of to be known as policy to update the cuban opens up that significant growth for all of small private business activity. wo very different kinds of behavior. the first time i noticed a split in een the two brothers is the early 1990s. he middle of a severe economic crisis, when raul castro, gives view, he had his favorite journalist, give him a the ed question, what is greatest threat to cuban national security today? castro's very was
frioles, beans. and it is to eat only after that, that you have authorizing policy changes in the private sector. is00e interesting question were today's raul's views always views, which he had suppressed them, just as other eople are known to suppress their sincere views at a moment in time? i don't think so and that's why the 1958 decision to k tonap the bunch of u.s. citizens. think this man generally learned, he changed his substantative view on important questions, changed his views, not just from deep reading, but the world had changed and he, unlike his brother, was to these o adjust changes. and that might not get into at least to pe
purgatory. >> peter. >> peter. well, what i've heard so far is what the u.s. reaction to be, how the g to u.s. may or may not perform, relationship. the cubans have a role in this, i presume. choices about ke new policyion to the agenda of the trump administration. see some countries have gotten angry, some politicians angry at merica get the united states and call for and others perhaps he wide majority are ready to accommodate the trump presidency find ways of continuing.
debate, is there any cuban ion, about how government wants to respond to admin -- trump policy, let's say. >> gentleman here and finish mark. >> my question is really macro level.d the as a policy continue to shift, here was a conversation about eliminating 10% hacks on u.s. exchange level. how is that impacting or continue to impact moving forward? secondly, the question around of currency tion and how is that going to impact forward?ings lastly, three, four, five months ago, there is dialogue on both of the aisle, democrat and
republican, serious discussion blockade, ination of has that died completely or do we see that continue to happen scenes and expect something to happen in the that?e with >> bob snyder. csas.rk snyder, this goes to the question, jorge, of your linking trump goals and the policy decisions degree it also goes to the question of where raul is. venezuela and from the standpoint of the trump one of ration, this was the few areas in latin american outspoken and en clearly opposed to the direction venezuela, toward that ick torral regime n. context, one of the few nations with some influence in venezuela is cuba. so question is, does the recent
any y decisions one, have effect on cuba's willingness to useful role? or is it simply unrelated and to be any shift in the cuban policy with respect venezuela? >> thanks, mark. let's start there, jorge, if you and to take that question move backwards. so to peter's question. i would say the cuban government actions and more recently by its words, signalled it is thinking about this. t is prepared to continue go own the list, guantanamo bay, -- aviation vilave
and the like. he response to -- whether response to new regulations or the response to the speech in self-discipline, with which cuban government officials responded is noteworthy at mildly. to put it very this is highly professional team team, long in office from raul all the way down and this is their view. and i think honestly, the reason do not have a better alternative. t is not better for them to pair up some of these things to against the united states. nd my assumption is as much they dislike having to accommodate and adjust to the administration that they ave and they will likely continue to do so.
your question on venezuela, i'll leave your very suc, on stions on the the -- let me just say my first about in just a few exchange will have rate unification, 1997, then 20th g, the anniversary of that conversation, so i remember it. on venezuela, i -- i have some time that cuban willing to ould be be part of some international rrangement with regard to venezuela. i don't think this takes an normous amount of mental effort. the -- the cubans who come back in venezuela, the tens of thousands who have done
know, do keep saying this is not a competent government. it's not a revolutionary government. they may not then take logical what the heck are we doing this but it is not -- and incumbent president, unlike hugo chavez, his predecessor lacks skills, not just competence. is not inconceivable for cuba is to our main interest save our relationship with venezuela, of this particular incumbent is an obstacle. >> c-span's "washington journal" everyday with news and policy issues that impact you. veteran's day weekend on saturday, final alute founder jas pen booth discusses her organization, which provides aid to homeless emale veterans and their amilies and everett
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i'm not speaking on behalf of the f.b.i. or any ntelligence agency and i'm not speaking on behalf of anybody, but myself, but i would like to and pray that i am speaking on behalf of the americans andslim 1.7 billion across the globe think -- i want them to feel comfortable and stand up not the that is religion, that is what is being arped by al qaeda and isis, they are not the only ones with a voice anymore, that is my goal. >> federal agent tamer elnoury, fighting domestic errorism in america, with his book, inside a muslim f.b.i. agent, interviewed by author of "thinking like a terrorist, insight of former f.b.i. watch after ent," words sunday night on book t.v.
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